Computer Science is about understanding computer systems and networks at a deep level. Computers and the programs they run are among the most complex products ever created by humans; designing and using them effectively presents immense challenges. Facing these challenges is the aim of Computer Science as a practical discipline, and this leads to some fundamental questions:
How can we capture in a precise way what we want a computer system to do?
Should we trust computers? Can we mathematically prove that a computer system does what we want it to do?
How can computers help us to model and investigate complex systems like the Earth’s climate, the financial system, or our own bodies?
How can different computer systems communicate and cooperate effectively and reliably?
Can computers learn to speak English, or Chinese?
Can computers do everything that human intelligence can do?
What are the limits to computing? Will quantum computers extend those limits?
The theories that are now emerging to answer these kinds of questions can be immediately applied to design new forms of computers, programs, networks and systems that will transform science, business, culture and all other aspects of life in the 21st century.
Computer Science at Oxford
The University of Oxford tops the Sunday Times University League Table 2013 for Computer Science. Oxford has also been ranked third globally, and top in Europe, for Computer Science and Information Systems in the latest QS World University rankings.
The Computer Science course at Oxford concentrates on creating links between theory and practice. It covers a wide variety of software and hardware technologies and their applications. We are looking for students who have a real flair for mathematics, which we will help you to develop into skills that can be used both for applications such as scientific computing, and more importantly for reasoning rigorously about the specific behaviour of programs and computer systems. You will also gain practical problem-solving and program design skills; the majority of subjects within the course are linked with practical work in our well-equipped laboratory.
Common roles for Computer Science graduates include computer programmer, software designer and engineer, financial analyst and scientific researcher.
Recent Computer Science graduates include an IT project manager, a software developer, and a technical trainer.
Maria, who graduated in 2007, is an IT consultant at CHP Consulting. She says: "This has been my first job since graduating. It has allowed me to use the technical skills gained in my degree in a client-facing environment."
Students interested in this course might also like to consider Computer Science and Philosophy, or Mathematics and Computer Science.