Are you a world-changer? Whether it’s finance, health, the creative industries or sport, the study of computer science helps build the technology that fuels big leaps forward.
The impact you could make
- Help people work, learn and communicate better
- Play a key role in solving global problems, including climate change
- Develop technologies that can drive advances and even take us to space
What you might study
- Algorithms and data structures
- Database systems
- Mathematical principles
- Programming languages and software development
- Web and mobile apps
- Cyber security
- Artificial intelligence
Options to study in this field include:
Create a prototype design for an app interface, based on user design techniques.
Assign tasks and run meetings for a team of developers working on an AI project at IBM.
Subjects it's useful to have studied first
Studying computing at the University of South Wales
Wondering what studying computing is like? Academics and students at the University of South Wales describe their experiences.
So you want to study computer science?
Year 12 student Katie speaks to Holly Boothroyd, a Software Engineer at Microsoft.
Famous people who studied computer science
- Mark Zuckerberg - founder of Facebook
- Reed Hastings – CEO of Netflix
- Marissa Mayer – CEO of Yahoo
- Jimmy Fallon – talkshow host
- Karlie Kloss – model
- Liam Neeson - actor
Careers: Where can it take you?
Find out more about your career prospects from studying computer science.
The following information is based on a typical web developer role.
in 2022. 3% growth over next 8 years
Up to £78,089
Getting in: Entry requirements
Find out more about what you'll need to study computer science at university or as an apprenticeship.
Average requirements for undergraduate degrees
Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from computer science applicants.
Highest: AAA > Lowest: CCD
Advanced Highers: BBB
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Computing, SVQ IT Professionals - SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative to A Levels/Highers.
Specific entry requirements vary considerably, depending on the focus of the course. For example, a very theoretical course may require A level Mathematics, whereas Business IT programmes would probably not ask for any science background beyond GCSE. Few courses specify A level Computing or equivalent.
Considering an apprenticeship?
Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:
Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
Where to apply
You apply directly through the employer.
You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
Apply to university and apprenticeships
There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.
Digital and IT apprenticeships
Watch our guide to digital and IT apprenticeships, hosted by Katie Thistleton. Hear from apprentices and employers.
Find out more
Chat to a current computing student
Chat to a current computer science student using UniBuddy.
Some conversation starters for you:
- Ask which modules they really enjoyed.
- Find out how easy it was for them to make friends on their course.
- Do they have any tips on your personal statement?
- Did they do anything to prep for uni before they went?
- Are there books, podcasts or YouTube channels they would recommend?
The student and apprentice view
Get the student view of computer science, be it taking a traditional degree or studying and working on an apprenticeship.
Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our application advice will help you get ahead in your computer science journey.
Skills, experiences and interests to mention
- Are you good at problem solving? Do you enjoy playing games like Minecraft?
- Have you ever coded something? Maybe you’ve used Raspberry Pi or have done CodeClub
- Can you confidently discuss the debate around happens to our personal information online?
- Could you talk about the benefits of AI and how it will change the world of work?
- Teamwork and communication is really important in this field. Have you ever been part of a team? Maybe a hackathon or even a sports team? Have you ever organised an event at school?
Personal statement guidance
We asked admissions tutors to share their dos and don’ts for writing a strong and engaging computer science personal statement. Here's what they told us.
Go deeper into topics around computer science with the following.
Courses and apprenticeships
Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)
Higher Technical Qualifications
Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are an alternative to apprenticeships or degrees.
They have been specifically designed with employers to ensure learners get the skills that employers have said they need. They are a quicker and cheaper alternative to a degree and can lead to higher wages early in a career.
See all Computer Science HTQs