Taught course

Advanced Computer Science

University of Cambridge · The Computer Laboratory

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK First class Honours Degree.

The First-class Honours Degree, or equivalent, should be in computer science. Alternatively, applications will be considered from those holding a degree of equal status in engineering, science, or mathematics and where the applicant can demonstrate significant relevant preparation for the Cambridge MPhil course.

Mathematics to A-level standard or equivalent and programming experience will be presumed.

Months of entry


Course content

The aim of the course is to provide preparation appropriate for undertaking a PhD programme in computer science. Students select five taught modules from a wide range of advanced topics in computer science from networking and systems measurements to denotational semantics, and from natural language processing to current applications and research in computer security. Students may also choose from a selection of topics borrowed from the Department of Engineering. Additionally, students take a mandatory, ungraded course in Research Skills which includes core and optional topics.

Students also undertake a research project over two terms and submit a project report in mid-June. Research topic selection and planning occurs in the first term and the work is undertaken in subsequent terms. The taught modules are delivered in a range of styles. For example, there are traditional lecture courses, lecture courses with associated practical classes, reading clubs, and seminar style modules.

The course aims:

  • to give students, with relevant experience at first-degree level, the opportunity to carry out directed research in the discipline;
  • to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests;
  • to provide preparation appropriate for undertaking a PhD programme in computer science;
  • to provide the Faculty with an extended period in which to train students and then to judge the suitability of students for PhD study;
  • to offer a qualification that is valuable and highly marketable in its own right that equips its graduates with the skills and expertise to play leading roles in industry and the public sector.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme, the students will have:

  • a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their chosen area;
  • demonstrated some originality in the application of knowledge, together with an understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their chosen area;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details