Studying Computer Science in the UK

Where can I study computer science? 

There are around 2300 computer science courses in the UK from nearly 200 universities, including two of the world’s best – the University of Oxford (sixth) and the University of Cambridge (eighth). You can take your pick from a wide range of versatile, modular degree programmes tailored to your interests, from pure computer science or information systems to specialist areas like health informatics. 

What is the application process? 

Most computer science degrees in the UK require at least two A levels or equivalent. Expected grades range from CDD to AAA. Good grades in mathematics and computing are an advantage. International Baccalaureate is 34 points, with an IELTS of 6.5 overall and no lower than 6.0 in any component. 

How long does it take to graduate? 

Most computer science undergraduate degrees will take around three years to complete in the UK, with many offering opportunities to spend a year studying abroad or on work placement. Postgraduate degrees are usually between one and two years. Some universities also offer an integrated master’s degree, allowing you to complete the undergraduate and postgraduate components in four years of full-time study. 

What is the course structure? 

Course content will vary between institutions and courses, but most computer science degrees will spend the first year or two ensuring you have the core knowledge required for your discipline. This will likely include numeracy and essential technical understanding such as network management, programming, mobile development, systems security and AI. Most courses will complement this with the transferable skills you’ll need throughout your career, such as teamwork, communication and organisation. Wherever you study, you’ll be encouraged to solve problems with the creative, analytical thinking that employers highly value worldwide. 

What kind of equipment is available? 

Most UK universities will be well-resourced with state-of-the-art computing laboratories. So you’ll be able to hone your skills on the kind of specialist equipment required to undertake development projects and create innovative prototypes—everything you need to thrive in natural environments as soon as you leave. 

Why is the UK a good choice for computer science? 

The UK was home to the world’s first computer science degree program at the University of Cambridge and the first modern computer at the University of Manchester. Today, we’re at the forefront of computer innovation. The UK tech sector is worth around £180 billion and employs more than a fifth of workers in the UK’s biggest cities. 

Are there any scholarships for computer science? 

If you’re looking for funding opportunities, you’ll find many choices in computer science scholarships for international students. Scholarships are available from City, University of London, Queen Mary University of London and Royal Holloway, University of London – as well as a range of other universities outside the capital, such as the University of Birmingham, the University of Edinburgh and the University of York. 

What accreditation is available? 

Many UK computer science degrees offer accreditation from BCS (British Computer Society), The Chartered Institute for IT. Just look under the course details on the university’s website before you apply. 

What are my work options after I graduate? 

With an average starting salary of around £25,000, you will have a wide range of job roles, from data analysis and IT consultancy to developing and designing computer games. And international students who have completed an undergraduate or master’s degree can apply to stay and work in the UK for two years upon graduation through the Graduate Route.