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best universities for information technology uk

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Best Universities for Computer Science UK

Last updated: January 14th 2020

In a world when everything is getting digitalized, computer skills are more than necessary. Accordingly, more and more people are aiming to become computer scientists to get the most of its numerous benefits. In such case, a high-quality education definitely makes the difference between a good computer scientist and an excellent one. For certain this level of education is offered in British universities.

Now that you found your study destination as a computer science student, you need to choose the university. Fortunately or not, in the UK there are a lot of options for this. However, if you want to make the best pick you must be sure you know precisely what these universities offer you.

Check the following list of best computer science schools in the UK:

  1. University of Cambridge
  2. University of St Andrews
  3. Imperial College London
  4. Loughborough University
  5. Swansea University
  6. University of Surrey
  7. Durham University
  8. University of Birmingham
  9. University of Leeds
  10. University of Manchester

University of Cambridge

The Computer Science or Computer Laboratory how it’s known since 1970, is one of the oldest and most prominent computer science institutions in the whole globe.  If you choose this university, then for sure you’re handing your education to some of the worldwide leading researchers in the field.

The University of Cambridge offers Computer Science courses in all academic levels. The undergraduate course is called the Computer Science Tripos and can last for three or four years to be completed. At the end of the three-year study program, you’ll receive a BA honours degree. Meanwhile, if you undertake an additional year at the university you can receive a BA and a Master of Engineering degree (MEng).

The general master’s degree course, MPhil in Advanced Computer Science, lasts for one year and it aims to prepare to attend a three-year PhD program at the Laboratory.

Entry requirements and application

The application for a Computer Science course at the University of Cambridge is open to all students. The documents you need to show up in your application may depend on factors like the academic level of your course. In general, the university is very selective and aims to admit only the best students. Because of this, their first requirements are your grades. For example, to apply in an undergraduate program, a typical A-level in Computer Science is A*A*A. If you choose to study 50% maths in the first year a certain level of skills in this subject may also be required. Except for A-level qualifications the university accepts a number of other international qualifications.

Note that if you’re admitted to a study program you’ll be called in an interview and after that, you’ll have to sit for the Computer Science Admissions Test (CSAT).

If you’re applying for an undergraduate course you can make your application through the UCAS, whereas graduate applicants can do it through the University’s application portal.

University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews offers a range of courses in Computer Sciences. At the undergraduate level the following courses are available:

  • BSc Computer Science
  • MSci Computer Science
  • BSc Computer Science (Gateway)
  • MSci Computer Science (Gateway)

Whereas, the following are offered at the postgraduate level:

  • MSc Advanced Computer Science
  • MSc Artificial Intelligence
  • MSc Computer Communication Systems
  • MSc Computation and Information Technology
  • MSc Data-Intensive Analysis
  • MSc European Masters Dependable Software Systems
  • MSc Human-Computer Interaction
  • MSc Information Technology
  • MSc Management and Information Technology
  • MSc Software Engineering

Besides these, the university offers MPhil degrees, which include a year of research.

Entry requirements and application

The first entry requirement you need to meet when applying at this university is to have higher grades from your previous education. Although it’s a competitive university it accepts a large number of qualifications. Furthermore, the university’s gateway programs are meant to help those students who don’t have the required level of grades.

Besides your grades, the application may usually contain a CV, a personal statement or a reference. As in many British universities, the application can be carried online through the UCAS platform.

Imperial College London

At the University of Imperial College London you’ll find a variety of courses in Computer Science:

Three-year courses:

  • BEng Computing

Four-year courses:

  • MEng Computing
  • MEng Computing (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)
  • Men Computing (International Program of Study)
  • MEng Computing (Management and Finance)
  • MEng Computing (Security and Reliability)
  • MEng Computing (Software Engineering)
  • MEng Computing (Visual Computing and Robotics)
  • In addition to these, there are two Mathematics and Computing joint degree courses
  • BEng Mathematics and Computer Science
  • MEng Mathematics and Computer Science

Entry requirements and application

Your academic achievements are the first thing taken into account in your application for a Computer Science Course at the  Imperial College London. If you’re an international student an English language proficiency may be required to assess your suitability. If you’re willing to enter an MSc course in Computer Science you must undertake a GRE test ahead of your application. Other documents required may include a reference or a personal statement. With all this being said, you must always check carefully to see a detailed description of entering requirements.

The application is carried online regardless the academic level of the course you’re applying for. Your submission for an undergraduate program can be done through the UCAS platform, while for a postgraduate study program directly to the university.

Loughborough University

The University of Loughborough is proud of having a rich scheme of Computer Science study programs. These are the available undergraduate courses for you at this university:

  • BSc Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • MSci Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • BSc Computer Science and Mathematics
  • MSci Computer Science and Mathematics
  • BSc Computer Science
  • MSci Computer Science
  • BSc Computing and Management
  • BSc Information Technology for Management
  • MSci Information Technology for Management

And these are postgraduate courses:

  • Advanced Computer Science (Taught)
  • Internet Computing and Network Security (Taught)
  • Vision, Imaging and Autonomous Systems (Research)
  • Networks and Systems (Research)
  • Theoretical Computer Science (Research)

Additionally, there are two types of Foundation programs offered at this university:

  • Computer Science with a Foundation Year
  • Computer Science with an international Foundation Year

Entry requirements and application

The University looks upon the candidates who have the best qualifications. Fortunately, it recognizes a number of different qualifications like GCSE, A/AS Levels, Cambridge Pre-U, and other international qualifications like International Baccalaureate (IB), Scottish Highers and Advanced Degrees, Irish Leaving Certificates, etc.

The application contains documents like your formal qualifications (already mentioned), personal details, a language proficiency, a personal statement and a reference. Any additional document may be required regarding the type of course you choose, your nationality or other similar factors.

Note that if you’re applying for an undergraduate course you can do it through the UCAS, while at a postgraduate level you must by submitting your application online at the university’s website or sending it by post.

Swansea University

The University of Swansea boasts a large number of Computer Science study programs, covering all the core topics of this study fields.

Below are given the undergraduate Computer Science courses you can apply for at this university:

  • BSc Computer Science
  • MSci Computer Science
  • BSc Software Engineering
  • MEng Computing
  • BSc Computer Science (including Foundation Year)
  • For each of the above programs, there is a parallel program which includes an additional year abroad or in the industry.
  • BSc Education and Computing

And a distinctive qualification that combines academic and work-based learning to teach students the demanded skills to work in the industry.

The following are the postgraduate courses

Taught Masters Degree

  • MSc Advanced Computer Science
  • MSc Advanced Software Technology
  • MSc Computer Science
  • MSc Cyber Security
  • MSc Data Science
  • MSc Computer Science: Informatique (Swansea route)
  • MSc Computer Science: Informatique (Grenoble route)

MSc by Research Degrees

  • MSc by Research in Human-Computer Interaction
  • MSc by Research in Theoretical Computer Science
  • MSc by Research in Visual and Interactive Computing

Master of Research Degrees

  • MRes Computing and Future Interaction Technologies
  • MRes Visual Computing
  • MRes Logic and Computation
  • PhD and MPhil Degrees
  • PhD/MPhil/MSc by Research in Computer Science

Entry requirements and application

The entry requirements change depending on the course of your choice. To easily track this information you can use a course navigator at their official website to learn entry requirements for each course. For example, for a 3-year BSc Computer Science course the minimum academic A-Levels qualification set by the University is AAB.

On your application, you must show copies of your previous qualification and a certificate of your grades. If you’re an international student, you must prove your English proficiency. Furthermore, a letter of support or reference may add value to your application.

Note that a CV or a Resume is compulsory if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught program if you’re a non-graduate applicant.

The application for an undergraduate program can be done through the UCAS, while for a postgraduate course can be done by submitting your application online at the university’s website.

University of Surrey

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Surrey is part of a larger body, the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

These two courses are offered at the undergraduate level

  • BSc Computer Science
  • BSc Computing and Information Technology

Each of these two study programs can be offered for 3 years or 4 years when including a year of professional training. So this turns the number of undergraduate Computer Science courses at this university at four programs.

Below are two postgraduate Taught degree courses:

  • MSc Information Systems
  • MSc Information Security

The university offers individual research students as part of its PhD program.

Entry requirements and application

The application for a computer science course at this university is open for all prospective students. Your grades play a significant role in your admission, but there other documents that count on your application assessment. Mainly the following documents are required

Scanned copies of your qualifications

  • Evidence of English
  • Copy of Passport
  • A personal statement (non-research courses only)
  • A research proposal (research courses only)
  • Two references and the contacts of your referees

The application for an undergraduate course is carried online through the UCAS, while an application for a postgraduate course can be done directly at the university’s website. After you have been selected, you’ll receive the login data for your Surrey Self-Service students’ platform.

Durham University

At the undergraduate level, the University of Durham offers two courses in Computer Sciences:

  • BSc Computer Science (3-year program)
  • MEng Computer Science (4-year program)

At the postgraduate level, the Department offers an MSc Internet and E-Business course, and two research postgraduate programs: MSc by Research and a PhD program.

Entry requirements and application

The entry requirements change depending on the program of your choice. In general, your academic qualifications come first. Your grades in particular subjects related to the field of study may be required. For example, an A in Mathematics at a level or an equivalent is required. The university also accepts other types of qualifications. The minimum required of an International Baccalaureate is 38 points

The application for an undergraduate degree program is made on the UCAS’s platform. Conversely, an application for a postgraduate program can be online directly at the University’s website.

University of Birmingham

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham offers a range of high-quality courses, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

These courses are offered at the Bachelor level:

  • BSc Computer Science (3-year program)
  • MEng Computer Science (4-year program)
  • MSci Computer Science (4-year program)

At the postgraduate level the following courses are offered:

  • MSc Computer Science
  • MSc Advanced Computer Science
  • MSc Cyber Security
  • MSc Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • MSc Robotics
  • MRes Natural Computation
  • MSc Degrees in related disciplines (Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering MSc Degrees)
  • MSc Programs in Cognitive Robotics and Cognitive Psychology
  • PhD (Research)

Entry requirements and application

The Computer Science school of the University of Birmingham has a diverse student population, hosting students from more than 150 countries of the world. Depending on where you come from, different entry requirements may be burdened to you.

In general, an application form, your CV, qualifications attained, a reference or a personal statement may be required in your application. If you’re an international student and English is not your first language, make sure to undertake a standardized test, TOEFL or IELTS. After you have completed all necessary documents, scan them and upload at the UCAS’s platform if you’re applying for an undergraduate program and direct at the University’s website if you’re applying for a postgraduate course.

University of Leeds

At the University of Leeds you can choose among these computer science undergraduate programs:

  • BSc & MSci Applied Computer Science
  • BSc & MEng Computer Science
  • BSc Computer Science (Biological and Technology Solutions)
  • MEng & BSc Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence
  • MEng & BSc Computer Science with High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering
  • MSci & BSc Computer Science with Mathematics
  • MEng & BEng Electronics and Computer Engineering

And between the following master courses:

  • MSc Advanced Computer Science
  • MSc Advanced Computer Science (Cloud Computing)
  • MSc Advanced Computer Science (Data Analytics)
  • MSc Advanced Computer Science (Intelligent Systems)
  • MSc High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering
  • MSc Mathematics and Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Leeds is also valued as a research-oriented university. Its research activity is done on fields of Artificial Intelligence, Applied Computing in Biology, Medicine and Health, Distributed Systems and Services, Computational Science and Engineering and Algorithms and Complexity.

Entry requirements and application

The entry requirements change according to the type, of course, you’re applying for. The admission board aims to select the best students. For this purpose, a required minimum of qualifications is set by the University of computer science study courses. For example, in a BSc Applied Computer Science, you must have a B in Mathematics as an important subject for you to succeed at the university. Additionally, a minimum grade in English may be required to you. On the other hand, if you’re not a native English speaker then you have to sit in a standard language examination.

Other documents required for your application may include a personal statement or a letter of reference.

If you’re applying for an undergraduate course you can submit it online at the UCAS’s platform. Whereas, if the course you’re applying for, is a postgraduate program, then you can do it directly at the Department website.

University of Manchester

The School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester offers a large number of study programs.

These are undergraduate courses in this department:

  • BSc Artificial Intelligence
  • BSc Artificial Intelligence with Industrial Experience
  • MEng Artificial Intelligence
  • BSc Computer Science
  • BSc Computer Science with Industrial Experience
  • Computer Science (4 years) [MEng]
  • Computer Science with Industrial Experience (5 years) [MEng]
  • Computer Systems Engineering (3 years) [BEng]
  • Computer Systems Engineering with Industrial Experience (4 years) [BEng]
  • Computer Systems Engineering (4 years) [MEng]
  • Computer Systems Engineering with Industrial Experience (5 years) [MEng]
  • Software Engineering (3 years) [BSc]
  • Software Engineering with Industrial Experience (4 years) [BSc]
  • Software Engineering (4 years) [MEng]
  • Software Engineering with Industrial Experience (5 years) [MEng]

Not to mention here some other interdisciplinary undergraduate courses, which represent a blending of Computer Science with any related topic like, for example, the Business Management.

The following courses are offered at the master level

  • Advanced Computer Science
  • Advanced Computer Science and IT Management
  • Advanced Computer Science Master of Research [MRes]

The School of Computer Science has four research bodies, a merge of ten individual research groups.

  • Advanced Interfaces
  • Advanced professor Technologies
  • Bio-Health Informatics
  • Formal Methods
  • Imaging Sciences
  • Information Management
  • Machine Learning and Information
  • Nano Engineering and Storage Technology
  • Software Systems
  • Text Mining

Entry requirements and applications

Since it pretends to select the best students, the department has set entry requirements depended on a variety of factors like your prior academic qualifications, your nationality, the type, of course, you’re applying for etc. In order to increase your chances of being admitted be sure to have higher grades, especially in subjects that are closely related to your major field of study. For example, your Maths skills will be needed for you to do well in your studies and that’s why university will look for candidates with higher grades in Mathematics.

Besides your qualifications and transcripts of grades, a personal statement, your proficiency in English and a reference may be required.

Whether you’re a resident student or an international student when you apply for an undergraduate course you must submit your application online at the UCAS platform. By contrast, the application for a postgraduate course can be carried through university’s online application platform.

Top UK Universities for Computer Science in 2020

10:15AM Mar 11, 2020

Top UK Universities for Computer Science in 2020 main image

In the recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020, there are 601 computer scienceuniversities. In the United Kingdom there are 50 top computer science schools to choose from.

The QS University Rankings by Subject 2020 are based on four indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper and the H-index (a way of measuring the productivity and published work of a scientist or scholar). You can find more details about the methodology behind the subject rankings here

Read on to learn more about the top ten universities to study computer science in the UK in 2020…

Top Computer Science Schools in the UKBased on the QS University Rankings by Subject 2020
UK RankingWorld University RankingInstitutionLocation
1University of OxfordOxford
2University of CambridgeCambridge
314 Imperial College LondonLondon
417 UCL (University College London)London
523 University of EdinburghEdinburgh
7=51-100King’s College London (KCL)London
7=51-100The University of ManchesterManchester
10=101-150London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)London
10=101-150The University of WarwickWarwick
10=101-150University of BristolBristol

=10. University of Bristol

Bristol University

The University of Bristol takes joint 10th place in the UK this year (101-150 worldwide), scoring highest in the research citations per paper indicator, showing the strength of the university’s research output.

The university’s BSc Computer Science gives students the opportunity to work on a software group project, where you will work to deliver an application to a client, with help from an industrial mentor.

=10. The University of Warwick

University of Warwick

The University of Warwick also ranks in 101-150 worldwide this year for its computer science course, placing joint 10th in the UK. The university also scores well across the indicators, particularly in the research citations per paper indicator, reflecting its high research standards.

The BSc Computer Science at the University of Warwick encourages students to work directly with industry leaders, helping to develop transferrable skills by providing hands-on experience in the industry.

=10. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

London School of Economics (LSE)

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) also ranks in joint 10th place, and 101-150 in the world. The university scores particularly well in the employer reputation indicator – denoting its prestigious standing amongst graduate employers.

LSE state that their computer science courses provide students with a sound intellectual background rather than professional training, to allow their graduates to go into a wide range of careers.

=7. The University of Manchester

University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is in the world top 100 this year for computer science, placing at 51-100, and joint seventh in the UK, scoring particularly well in the H-index indicator.

The University of Manchester’s computer science program allows its students to choose modules that reflect their individual interests and specialise in topics of their choice.

=7. King’s College London (KCL)

King's College London

King’s College London places in joint seventh in the UK this year for computer science. The University scores particularly well in the research citations per paper indicator, a reflection of the high quality of the research produced by the university.

The university offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study abroad for a year, take an industrial placement or explore more advanced topics, such as robotics. Postgraduates will apply computer science to industrial and commercial settings ranging from engineering to internet systems, web intelligence and data science.

5. University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh

In fifth place this year, dropping two places in the 2020 rankings is the University of Edinburgh, placing 23rd worldwide. The university performs well in both the research citations per paper and H-index indicators this year – an insight into the excellent standards of the university’s research output.

At the University of Edinburgh, your computer science program will incorporate practical elements of programming computers to solve real life problems.

4. UCL (University College London)

University College London (UCL)

UCL rises an impressive six places this year to fourth in the UK, earning near perfect scores in both the H index and the research citations per paper indicator.

Undergraduate computer science students at UCL can undertake an Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) in their second and third year, alongside their core and optional modules. UCL also have close relationships with other research institutions, charities, businesses and local schools.

3. Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Imperial College London ranks in 14th place worldwide this year, after rising one place in the 2020 computer science subject rankings. Although the school scores well across all of the indicators, it is the H-index indicator where Imperial really shines, earning a near perfect mark.

Imperial’s computer science course has an emphasis on ‘instilling problem-solving skills and independent learning, rather than on the teaching of specific technologies’.

2. University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

In second place in the UK, we have the University of Cambridge, in sixth place worldwide. The University of Cambridge’s top score can be found in the employer reputation indicator, where it earns the highest score of any UK university.

In Cambridge there are more than 1,000 specialist computing and advanced technology companies and commercial laboratories in the ‘Silicon Fen’ region surrounding Cambridge and a number of these companies employ graduates from the university. The course itself offers students a mixture of theoretical and practical skills.

1. University of Oxford

University of Oxford

Top of the ranking in the UK for computer science this year is the University of Oxford, ranking fifth in the world. As you might expect, the University of Oxford scores well across each of the indicators, particularly the research citations per paper and employer reputation indicators.

The University of Oxford say that their computer science course will help students gain practical problem solving and program design skills.

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