Best Universities in UK for Computer Science

Last Updated on January 15, 2023 by Team College Learners

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Top UK Universities for Computer Science

As a Computer Science student, you’ll study the theory of software, learn how to design it and become a top problem-solver. Our university rankings include Artificial Intelligence, Games, Health Informatics and Software Engineering.

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

Top Universities in UK for MSc in Computer Science

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…

Warwick Computer Science Ranked 2nd in UK Research Assessment - News
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 Best UK Universities for Computer Science 2021

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.

Best universities for computer science degrees 2020

Find the best universities for computer science using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings dataOctober 16 2019

Computer programming

Studying computer science is a smart bet in today’s world, as the career opportunities for tech-savvy graduates are expanding every year.

There’s also an extensive choice of universities when it comes to deciding where to study computer science.

5 STEM Postgraduate Courses for Growing Industries | Postgraduate Search

Nearly a sixth of the featured universities are American colleges, and almost a third are based in Europe. Approximately 230 of the universities are to be found in Asia.

Computer science degrees vary in their focus and specialisms. Some courses are very theoretical, while others are more focused on programming.

The ranking uses the same methodology as the World University Rankings, but with slightly higher weighting given to the innovation metric and lower weighting for citations. The full methodology can be found here.

Scroll down to find out what you can do with a computer science degree.

Top 5 universities for computer science

1. University of Oxford

Although computer science is a relatively modern discipline, the University of Oxford has one of the oldest departments in the country, formerly known as the Oxford University Computing Laboratory.

Since its beginnings, the department has provided lectures for undergraduates and trained research students at postgraduate level.

In addition to core computer science topics, students can take courses in computational biology, quantum computing, information systems, software verification, software engineering and computational linguistics.

The department offers three undergraduate degrees: single honours computer science, maths and computer science, and computer science and philosophy.

Like students of other subjects, computer science students – whether undergraduate or postgraduate – belong to one of Oxford’s colleges, where they have the option to eat, socialise, study and live.

2. Stanford University

The Stanford University computer science department was established in 1965. The department offers bachelor’s of science, master’s of science and a doctor of philosophy.

The department undertakes research in many areas, including artificial intelligence, robotics, foundations of computer science, scientific computing and programming systems. There is also a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research across chemistry, genetics, linguistics, construction and medicine, among others.

The home of the computer science department is the Gates Computer Science Building, named after Bill Gates, who donated $6 million to the project.

3. ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich has a history of developing software and designing computer systems. Eventually, these projects called for a dedicated computer science department, which was created in 1981.

The department covers many areas of computer science, including computational intelligence, networks and distributed systems, algorithms and theory, and information security. Different programming languages are also taught on software engineering courses.

There are close relationships with other departments within the university and with partners in business and industry, such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, SAP and Disney, with which the university collaborates on research projects.

ETH Zurich dates back to 1855, just a few years after the formation of the federal state of Switzerland. Created as a centre for scientific knowledge and innovation, it remains a top institution for a range of subjects.

What can you do with a computer science degree?

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The department of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology confidently declares: “Our students change the world.”

Many of its alumni feature on lists of influential entrepreneurs who are making changes at home and abroad.

Students are encouraged to develop start-ups, and research projects have explored problems such as calculating the financial risks of renewable energy and developing faster parallel computing.

Undergraduates are enrolled on a flexible curriculum that allows them to focus on both abstract theory and practical problems in computer science. Students can major in computer science or in both computer science and molecular biology.

Graduates go on to design video games, work on supercomputers, research robotics and often join big companies such as Google and Microsoft.

5. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge computer science department offers undergraduate students the Computer Science Tripos course, a three- or four-year computer science course.

The university also offers an MPhil in computer science as a general master’s degree, which helps to prepare students for a PhD in computer science.

There are many research groups based in the computer science department, exploring topics such as artificial intelligence, security, graphics and interaction, and computer architecture.

Student experience of studying computer science

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Studying at POSTECH, South Korea
Caltech: ‘uniquely difficult but a wonderful place to study’
Keeping up with coding
Women in STEM: ‘I hope that one day the tech sector will be more diverse’

Best universities for computer science 2020

Click each institution to view its World University Ranking 2020 profile

Computer Science Rank 2020 Computer Science Rank 2019UniversityCountry/region
 1  1 University of OxfordUnited Kingdom
 2  3 Stanford UniversityUnited States
 3  2 ETH ZurichSwitzerland
 4  5 Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUnited States
 5  4 University of CambridgeUnited Kingdom
 6  6 Carnegie Mellon UniversityUnited States
 7  11 Imperial College LondonUnited Kingdom
 8  9 Harvard UniversityUnited States
 9  8 Princeton UniversityUnited States
 10  10 California Institute of TechnologyUnited States
 11  15 National University of SingaporeSingapore
 12  12 University of California, Los AngelesUnited States
 13  29 Nanyang Technological University, SingaporeSingapore
 14  14 Cornell UniversityUnited States
 15  =20 Tsinghua UniversityChina
 16  7 Georgia Institute of TechnologyUnited States
 17  28 The Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong
 18  26 Technical University of MunichGermany
 19  23 UCLUnited Kingdom
 20  13 École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneSwitzerland
 21  =20 Columbia UniversityUnited States
 22  27 University of Michigan-Ann ArborUnited States
 23  =18 University of TorontoCanada
 24  17 University of EdinburghUnited Kingdom
 25  =18 University of Texas at AustinUnited States
 26  22 University of WashingtonUnited States
 27  32 Peking UniversityChina
 28  16 Yale UniversityUnited States
 29  25 University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUnited States
 30  31 Johns Hopkins UniversityUnited States
 =31  34 University of MontrealCanada
 =31  33 University of PennsylvaniaUnited States
 33  24 New York UniversityUnited States
 34  38 Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University ParisFrance
 35  30 University of California, San DiegoUnited States
 36  37 Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong
 37  36 University of Southern CaliforniaUnited States
 38  46 University of Hong KongHong Kong
 39  43 University of ChicagoUnited States
 40  41 University of WaterlooCanada
 41  45 Zhejiang UniversityChina
 42  40 The University of TokyoJapan
 43  35 University of British ColumbiaCanada
 44  53 Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)South Korea
 45  49 Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityChina
 46  47 RWTH Aachen UniversityGermany
 =47  56 Delft University of TechnologyNetherlands
 =47  50 Seoul National UniversitySouth Korea
 49  44 University of Maryland, College ParkUnited States
 =50  42 Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyGermany
 =50  39 University of Wisconsin-MadisonUnited States
 52  66 KU LeuvenBelgium
 53  72 Duke UniversityUnited States
 54  51 University of California, Santa BarbaraUnited States
 55  70 Technical University of BerlinGermany
 =56  =88 Aalto UniversityFinland
 =56  52 University of MelbourneAustralia
 58  48 LMU MunichGermany
 59  =74 Eindhoven University of TechnologyNetherlands
 60  =57 Rice UniversityUnited States
 61  =57 University of Science and Technology of ChinaChina
 62  55 University of California, IrvineUnited States
 63  61 École PolytechniqueFrance
 64  64 Technion Israel Institute of TechnologyIsrael
 65  69 University of FreiburgGermany
 66  79 McGill UniversityCanada
 67  60 National Taiwan UniversityTaiwan
 68  67 Technical University of DarmstadtGermany
 =69  84 Australian National UniversityAustralia
 =69  54 KTH Royal Institute of TechnologySweden
 71  NR Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)South Korea
 =72  68 Nanjing UniversityChina
 =72  101–125 Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamNetherlands
 =74  59 Brown UniversityUnited States
 =74  71 ITMO UniversityRussian Federation
 76  =76 Vienna University of TechnologyAustria
 77  65 University of MassachusettsUnited States
 78  73 University of AmsterdamNetherlands
 =79  =76 King’s College LondonUnited Kingdom
 =79  =74 University of Technology SydneyAustralia
 =79  126–150 UNSW SydneyAustralia
 82  62 Kyoto UniversityJapan
 =83  NR Northwestern UniversityUnited States
 =83  =88 University of ZurichSwitzerland
 85  63 University of ManchesterUnited Kingdom
 =86  101–125 Queensland University of TechnologyAustralia
 =86  101–125 University of SydneyAustralia
 88  =81 Sorbonne UniversityFrance
 89  126–150 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityUnited States
 90  90 University of LuxembourgLuxembourg
 91  =91 Boston UniversityUnited States
 =92  101–125 Chalmers University of TechnologySweden
 =92  101–125 Heidelberg UniversityGermany
 =92  97 Penn State (Main campus)United States
 95  101–125 Moscow Institute of Physics and TechnologyRussian Federation
 96  101–125 University of AdelaideAustralia
 97  =93 Polytechnic University of MilanItaly
 98  74 Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong Kong
 99  83 Michigan State UniversityUnited States
 100  NR Aarhus UniversityDenmark
 101–125  98 University of AlbertaCanada
 101–125  101–125 Arizona State University (Tempe)United States
 101–125  126–150 University of BirminghamUnited Kingdom
 101–125  86 University of BolognaItaly
 101–125  NR University of BonnGermany
 101–125  101–125 University of BristolUnited Kingdom
 101–125  =93 City University of Hong KongHong Kong
 101–125  101–125 University of Erlangen-NurembergGermany
 101–125  101–125 Fudan UniversityChina
 101–125  78 Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityRussian Federation
 101–125  126–150 McMaster UniversityCanada
 101–125  96 University of MinnesotaUnited States
 101–125  99 University of North Carolina at Chapel HillUnited States
 101–125  101–125 Northeastern UniversityUnited States
 101–125  126–150 Ohio State University (Main campus)United States
 101–125  100 Queen Mary University of LondonUnited Kingdom
 101–125  95 University of QueenslandAustralia
 101–125  101–125 Rutgers, the State University of New JerseyUnited States
 101–125  126–150 Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – PisaItaly
 101–125  101–125 University of SouthamptonUnited Kingdom
 101–125  126–150 University of South AustraliaAustralia
 101–125  126–150 University of SurreyUnited Kingdom
 101–125  =81 Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael
 101–125  =91 University of TrentoItaly
 101–125  151–175 TU DresdenGermany
 126–150  101–125 University of California, RiversideUnited States
 126–150  101–125 University of Colorado BoulderUnited States
 126–150  126–150 Dartmouth CollegeUnited States
 126–150  126–150 École Normale Supérieure de LyonFrance
 126–150  126–150 Free University of Bozen-BolzanoItaly
 126–150  126–150 University of GenevaSwitzerland
 126–150  151–175 Griffith UniversityAustralia
 126–150  126–150 University of GroningenNetherlands
 126–150  126–150 Harbin Institute of TechnologyChina
 126–150  101–125 Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael
 126–150  176–200 Indian Institute of ScienceIndia
 126–150  126–150 King Abdulaziz UniversitySaudi Arabia
 126–150  151–175 Korea UniversitySouth Korea
 126–150  101–125 Lancaster UniversityUnited Kingdom
 126–150  NR Macau University of Science and TechnologyMacao
 126–150  101–125 University of MalayaMalaysia
 126–150  126–150 University of MannheimGermany
 126–150  101–125 National Tsing Hua UniversityTaiwan
 126–150  151–175 University of NottinghamUnited Kingdom
 126–150  126–150 Sapienza University of RomeItaly
 126–150  201–250 Sejong UniversitySouth Korea
 126–150  151–175 University of StuttgartGermany
 126–150  87 Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)South Korea
 126–150  126–150 Technical University of DenmarkDenmark
 126–150  NR Télécom ParisFrance
 126–150  126–150 University of TübingenGermany
 151–175  151–175 Aalborg UniversityDenmark
 151–175  NR University of BaselSwitzerland
 151–175  101–125 University of California, Santa CruzUnited States
 151–175  301–400 Central South UniversityChina
 151–175  176–200 University of FloridaUnited States
 151–175  176–200 University of GöttingenGermany
 151–175  176–200 Graz University of TechnologyAustria
 151–175  126–150 University of HelsinkiFinland
 151–175  176–200 Hong Kong Baptist UniversityHong Kong
 151–175  176–200 Indian Institute of Technology BombayIndia
 151–175  201–250 Indian Institute of Technology KharagpurIndia
 151–175  126–150 Université Catholique de LouvainBelgium
 151–175  176–200 University of MacauMacao
 151–175  201–250 National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech)Taiwan
 151–175  151–175 North Carolina State UniversityUnited States
 151–175  151–175 University of PassauGermany
 151–175  301–400 Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic UniversityRussian Federation
 151–175  126–150 Queen’s University BelfastUnited Kingdom
 151–175  101–125 Stony Brook UniversityUnited States
 151–175  151–175 Texas A&M UniversityUnited States
 151–175  201–250 Trinity College DublinRepublic of Ireland
 151–175  85 University of TwenteNetherlands
 151–175  NR Università della Svizzera ItalianaSwitzerland
 151–175  101–125 University of WarwickUnited Kingdom
 151–175  NR William & MaryUnited States
 176–200  251–300 University of AntwerpBelgium
 176–200  101–125 University at BuffaloUnited States
 176–200  126–150 Durham UniversityUnited Kingdom
 176–200  176–200 University of EssexUnited Kingdom
 176–200  176–200 Free University of BerlinGermany
 176–200  201–250 Huazhong University of Science and TechnologyChina
 176–200  NR University of IdahoUnited States
 176–200  301–400 IMT AtlantiqueFrance
 176–200  176–200 University of LeicesterUnited Kingdom
 176–200  176–200 Linköping UniversitySweden
 176–200  NR Lund UniversitySweden
 176–200  151–175 National Chiao Tung UniversityTaiwan
 176–200  201–250 University of OttawaCanada
 176–200  201–250 University of OuluFinland
 176–200  151–175 Paris-Sud UniversityFrance
 176–200  126–150 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campusUnited States
 176–200  151–175 University of PotsdamGermany
 176–200  151–175 Radboud University NijmegenNetherlands
 176–200  151–175 Ruhr University BochumGermany
 176–200  176–200 Temple UniversityUnited States
 176–200  151–175 University of Virginia (Main campus)United States
 176–200  151–175 Washington University in St LouisUnited States
 176–200  176–200 West Virginia UniversityUnited States
 176–200  176–200 Xi’an Jiaotong UniversityChina

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