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Top UK Universities for Computer Science in 2020

By Chloe Lane

Updated August 23, 2021 Updated August 23, 2021

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.

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 UK

Based on the QS University Rankings by Subject 2020

UK Ranking

World University Ranking




University of Oxford



University of Cambridge




Imperial College London




UCL (University College London)




University of Edinburgh




King's College London (KCL)




The University of Manchester




London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)




The University of Warwick




University of Bristol


=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.

This article was originally published in March 2020 . It was last updated in August 2021

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Written by

As Content Editor for and, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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