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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.
  • Mathematics to A-Level standard or equivalent
  • Programming experience


Applications for admission in the academic year commencing October 2024 have now closed.

Applications for admission in October 2025 will open in September 2024. Places are limited and applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applications will close on 28 February 2025.

Applicants should refer to the Postgraduate 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 23:59 (GMT) on 5 December 2023: see University funding deadlines.
  • The Course code is CSM3.
  • The application form includes a questionnaire. This asks for:
    • two research themes in preference order (see Research);
    • 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. Please include the name of a potential project supervisor if you have already discussed the project idea with a member of the teaching staff.
    • Choose 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.
  • Please note that there is an application fee.
  • Applications are considered in three gathered fields:
    • Batch 1: USA applicants applying for Gates Cambridge Trust (US) scholarship by 11 October 2023 will be considered and interviewed in October/early November 2023.
    • Batch 3: All other applications, including Gates Cambridge Trusts (Rest of world) received before the 5 December 2023 deadline, will be considered in late December and early January 2024. Applicants invited to an interview by video conference or phone should make themselves available between 3-15 January 2024.
    • Batch 5: Applications received after 5 December 2023 but before 28 February 2024 will be considered in late March and early April 2024. Applicants invited to interview should make themselves available between 18 March and 22 April 2024.
    • You may be interviewed by telephone, video-conference or, restrictions permitting, 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 Department of Computer Science and Technology offers bursaries to outstanding UK home students for the study of the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science. The awards vary in size and are usually a contribution towards tuition fees. No separate application form is required. 

  • 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 up until 25 February but should note that places are limited and the department encourages an early application.

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

    Further information

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

    Email: Postgraduate Education Office

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

    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 Postgraduate Admissions Office.

    Postgraduate Admissions Office
    Student Services Centre
    Bene't Street, New Museums Site
    Cambridge, UK
    CB2 3PT