Top UK Universities for Computer Science | Top Universities
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Top UK Universities for Computer Science

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Keshala Jayawickrama

Updated Jun 19, 2024
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In the recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, there are 686 universities offering computer science degrees. In the United Kingdom, there are 58 top computer science schools to choose from.  

The QS University Rankings by Subject 2023 are based on five indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper, international research network 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 2023.  

Other top universities for computer science degrees 

While the top 10 universities mentioned above are prestigious choices, there are numerous institutions excelling in various areas that deserve consideration. Universities like Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Princeton University in the US and Imperial College London lie right outside the top 10.  

Most of the universities included in the ranking offer placement opportunities for students enrolled in computer science programmes. Notable institutions, including De Montfort University, Leicester and Loughborough University in the UK, have established strong connections with renowned organisations such as PepsiCo, HSBC Bank, Honda, IBM, Microsoft, Sony, GSK, and others, both within the UK and internationally. These universities would be excellent choices for students interested in securing paid placements, and to gain industry exposure during their academic journey. 

10. Lancaster University 

lancaster

Ranked 124th globally and holding the 10th position in the UK is Lancaster University. The university has excelled across all indicators, particularly standing out as the sixth-best institution for computer science in the UK for the research citations per paper indicator. 

Lancaster University's BSc computer science programme is accredited by the British Computing Society (BCS) and the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), giving students the knowledge and skills needed to become a computing professional.   

Top 10 universities for the Computer Science subject area in the UK based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024

Country Rank
Global Rank
University
Location
4

QS World University Rank

3

Global Rank

Oxford
8

QS World University Rank

5

Global Rank

Cambridge

9. Queen Mary University of London 

Queen Mary University of London, is now ranked 106th globally, marking a significant ascent from its previous global rank of joint 127th. In the UK, it has also made notable progress, moving into the top 10 list. 

Known for its top-tier research, it’s ranked fifth in the UK for citations per paper. The university's computer science programmes are accredited by the British Computing Society (BSC), and the students are given the flexibility to complete their computer science degree in three, four, or five years, with options for industrial experience and year abroad programmes. 

8. The University of Warwick 

The University of Warwick is ranked eighth in the UK, as well as achieving a global rank of 77th this year for its computer science programme. The university scores well across the indicators, particularly in the research citations per paper indicator, reflecting its high research standards.  

The BSc Computer Science degree at the University of Warwick has a strong employability focus. Each course includes an intercalated year option, which allows students to spend a year working in industry or studying abroad. There are also plenty of opportunities to gain industrial experience through internships during the summer holidays.  

7. The University of Manchester 

manchester

Ranked 65th globally and seventh in the UK, the University of Manchester earns a perfect score for its international research network.  

Degrees from the university’s department of computer science are internationally renowned for their blend of foundational rigour and research-led teaching in cutting-edge domains. Students will have the option to complete an intercalated year, where they can work in industry or study abroad.   

6. King's College London (KCL) 

kcl

King’s College London is placed sixth in the UK this year for computer science and 63rd globally. 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.  

Undergraduate students at the university can choose to study abroad for a year, pursue an industrial placement, or delve into advanced topics like robotics. Postgraduates, on the other hand, will have the chance to apply computer science in various industrial and commercial settings, spanning from engineering to internet systems, web intelligence, and data science. 

5. UCL (University College London) 

ucl

UCL has seen a slight shift in its rankings this year, coming down one place both globally and in the UK. It is now positioned 24th in the world and fifth in the UK, earning near-perfect scores in both the H-index and research citations per paper indicators.  

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 has close relationships with other research institutions, charities, businesses and local schools. 

4. University of Edinburgh 

edinburgh

University of Edinburgh has moved up one position to be ranked fourth in the UK, and its global ranking has seen a significant improvement, up six places to 20th in the world. The university is placed second in the UK for its international research network, demonstrating its strong global research connections. 

 Additionally, it has achieved high scores for both research citations per paper and H-index indicators depicting the excellent standards of the university’s research output. 

The University of Edinburgh’s four-year BEng Computer Science degree provides students with a sound practical basis in computer science, while also allowing you to specialise in areas of interest. 

3. Imperial College London 

imperial

Imperial College London has achieved a prominent global ranking, securing 15th position worldwide this year. Although the school scores well across all indicators, it performs particularly well in the H-index citations, and employer reputation indicators, ranked third in the UK for both.  

Imperial’s teaching is research-led and is taught by some of the best academic researchers in the world. Its Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) offers students the chance to work alongside academic researchers in their field of study. 

2. University of Cambridge 

 cambridge

The University of Cambridge is ranked second in the UK and seventh worldwide. The University of Cambridge is also placed first in the UK for its academic reputation. 

There are more than 1,000 specialist computing and advanced technology companies and commercial laboratories in the ‘Silicon Fen’ region surrounding Cambridge. 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 

 oxford

Top of the ranking in the UK for computer science this year is the University of Oxford, which is also ranked fifth in the world. As you might expect, the University of Oxford has scored exceptionally well across each of the indicators, ranked first in the UK for employer reputation, citations per paper and H-index citations.  

The University of Oxford say that their computer science course concentrates on creating links between theory and practice, covering a wide variety of software and hardware technologies and their applications. This helps students gain practical problem-solving and program design skills. 

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