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Department of Computer Science and Technology


The MPhil in Advanced Computer Science (the ACS) is designed to prepare students for doctoral research, whether at Cambridge or elsewhere. Typical applicants will have undertaken a first degree in computer science or an equivalent subject, and will be expected to be familiar with basic concepts and practices. The ACS is a nine–month course which starts in early October and finishes on 30 June. It covers advanced material in both theoretical and practical areas as well as instilling the elements of research practice. The course combines lectures, seminars and project work in various combinations tailored to the individual student; more details are given below. Prospective applicants should note that the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science is not a conversion course.

Course structure

The course consists of:

  • 5 taught modules;
  • a research project report of no more than 15,000 words (excluding appendices and bibliography) on a subject approved by the Degree Committee;
  • 12 units from the mandatory Research Skills Programme including compulsory units in written English and presentation skills.

The project can be research or application oriented and industrial collaboration is possible. Project selection and planning occurs in the first term and the project is undertaken in the following two terms. The final report is submitted at the end of the project in the second week of June.

The taught modules are delivered in a range of styles. For example, there are traditional lecture courses, lecture courses with associated practical classes, reading clubs, and seminar style modules.

Course registration is on the first Monday following 1 October and the course finishes on 30 June the following year.


Applicants for the MPhil in ACS are expected to have met the following prerequisites

  • First-class honours degree, or equivalent, in computer science. Alternatively, a degree of equal status in engineering, science, or mathematics where the applicant can demonstrate significant relevant preparation for the Cambridge MPhil course.
    • Minimum academic requirements for the University of Cambridge may be found at International Qualifications.
      Note: The minimum academic requirements for the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science are higher than the University's minimum requirements.
    • Please contact us via email to if you would like us to check the suitability of your qualifications informally before applying. We advise doing this at least three weeks before the application deadlines below.
  • Mathematics to A-Level standard or equivalent
  • Programming experience


Applications for admission in the academic year commencing October 2020 have now closed.

Applications for admission in October 2021 will open in early September 2020. Places are limited and applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applications will close on 26 February 2021.

Applicants should refer to the Graduate Admissions page for links to the application portal, deadlines, guidance and information.

Please note the following:

  • Applicants who require funding support from the University and Cambridge Trust must submit their applications by 3 December 2019: see University funding deadlines.
  • The Course code is CSM3.
  • The application form includes a questionnaire. This asks for:
    • one or two brief project proposals of no more than 500 words each which will help the MPhil Admissions Panel to identify potential supervisors and is indicative only;
    • five modules from the current year's syllabus with no more than four modules chosen from Michaelmas Term and no more than two from Lent Term.
      Successful applicants will be invited to select from the list of modules we expect to be offered in the next academic year.
      The 2020-21 module names and brief descriptions will be published in July 2020.
  • Please note that there is an application fee.
  • Applications are considered as they are received; you may be interviewed by telephone, video-conference or in person.

Please note that your application can only be considered by the department once it has been submitted. Your application can only be submitted once it is complete.
You will need to upload all your supporting material including transcripts, degree certificates before you submit the application. It is therefore very important to have all your supporting material, including agreement from your referees to provide you with references, and your transcripts, ready to submit before you start the application.

Funding competitions

Applicants wishing to be considered for funding competitions should check their eligibility on the University-wide Sources of Funding web page.

The application portal acts as a scholarship funding application as well as an application for admission. In most cases, no further funding application form is required. There are some exceptions, however: we recommend checking the Student Funding webpage which provides information about other grants for students applying to Cambridge and their closing dates.

Self-funding students may apply for admission in October 2021 up until 26 February but should note that places are limited and the department encourages an early application.

Postgraduate Loans for postgraduate degrees for eligible UK residents are available. Please see the UK Government's web page for further details at

Further information

Please contact the Faculty's Graduate Education Office with any questions not answered on these pages.

Email: Graduate Education Office

Tel.: +44 1223 334652 or +44 1223 334656
Fax: +44 1223 334678

Applicants should apply using the online application form.

We strongly recommend obtaining a tracking number and include your application number if posting documents to the University's Graduate Admissions Office.

Graduate Admissions Office
Academic Division
4 Mill Lane
Cambridge CB2 1RX