Top UK Universities for Computer Science in 2021 | Top Universities

Top UK Universities for Computer Science in 2021

By Chloe Lane

Updated April 13, 2021 Updated April 13, 2021
  • A total of 651 computer science schools are featured in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021, with 52 of these located in the UK.
  • The best computer science programme in the UK is found at the University of Oxford which ranks sixth globally.

In the recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021, there are 651 computer science universities. In the United Kingdom there are 52 top computer science schools to choose from. 

The QS University Rankings by Subject 2021 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 11 universities to study computer science in the UK in 2021. 

Top Computer Science Schools in the UK 

Based on the QS University Rankings by Subject 2021 

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 



The University of Warwick 





London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 




Lancaster University 




University of Bristol 


=10. University of Bristol 


In joint 10th place in UK this year is the University of Bristol. The school ranks 145th worldwide and earns one of the UK’s highest scores in the research citations per paper indicator. 

The school’s BSc Computer Science programme gives students the opportunity to work on a software group project in their second year. In this project, students work in a team to deliver an application to a real-world client, with help from an industrial mentor. 

=10. Lancaster University 


Also ranking in joint 145th globally is Lancaster University, sharing its joint 10th position in the UK with the University of Bristol. 

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.  

9. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 


The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ranks in ninth place in the UK and joint 139th in the world. LSE scores particularly well in the employer reputation indicator – denoting its prestigious standing amongst graduate employers. 

LSE’s computer science courses have a strong mathematical background. They provide students with a sound intellectual background rather than simply professional training. This allows its graduates to go into a wide range of careers. 

8. The University of Warwick 


Image: © Keith Williams (cc-by-sa/2.0

In eighth place in the UK, the University of Warwick ranks in joint 96th worldwide this year for its computer science course. The university 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 has a strong employability focus. Each degree 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 


Ranking 66th globally and seventh in the UK, the University of Manchester scores particularly well in the research citations per paper and H-index indicators. 

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) 


King’s College London places in sixth in the UK this year for computer science and joint 62nd 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. 

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 


In fifth place in the UK this year is the University of Edinburgh, placing 26th 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. 

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. 

4. UCL (University College London) 


UCL places fourth in the UK this year, earning near perfect scores in both the H-index and the research citations per paper indicators. It ranks joint 23rd globally, after dropping six places in the index in 2021.  

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. 

3. Imperial College London 


Ranking in 16th place worldwide this year, Imperial College London places third in the UK this year. Although the school scores well across all of the indicators, it performs particularly well in the H-index indicator, earning a near perfect mark. 

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 


The University of Cambridge ranks in second place in the UK and in eighth place worldwide. The University of Cambridge’s top score can be found in the employer reputation indicator, where it once again earns the highest score of any UK university. 

At Cambridge 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 


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

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. 

This article was originally published in April 2021 .

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Written by

A Content Writer for, Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. She enjoys writing articles about a wide range of topics for a student audience. 

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