skip to content

Department of Computer Science and Technology


The Faculty

The Faculty of Computer Science and Technology is part of the School of Technology, one of Cambridge’s six Schools. In Cambridge, a Faculty is ‘a body of persons…for the purpose of furthering the study of a subject or subjects’ – and it is not used to describe either an individual member or group of academic staff, they are instead members of the Faculty. The Faculty is run by a Faculty Board and is largely self-governing. Certain aspects require reference to the Council of the School of Technology, the Student Registry, or the University’s central governing bodies.

The Faculty has a Degree Committee, which is the principal administrative committee with which you will have to deal. The Degree Committee comprises academic representatives from across the Faculty. It is the Degree Committee that has oversight of supervision, postgraduate education, and postgraduate examinations in the Faculty.

Probationary status

Research students are admitted on a probationary basis in the first instance. All research students are initially registered for the Certificate of Postgraduate Studies in Computer Science (CPGS). They are transferred to the Ph.D. Degree after a successful completion of the first-year registration process, which includes passing the CPGS.

Supervisors and postgraduate advisers

Each student is assigned an individual who acts as his or her principal supervisor. A second person is appointed to act, in a less formal capacity, as graduate adviser for the student. Usually the graduate adviser provides informal backup support, but sometimes will be the main person supervising the student. An independent assessor is also appointed to assess the first and second-year reports.

College membership

Every postgraduate student is a member a College. Colleges are social and academic communities, offering moral support, companionship and enrichment through intellectual diversity. They provide some of the key practical services and infrastructure that help students to flourish in Cambridge, such as accommodation and communal meals. These enable students to focus on their work and to make the most of their time in Cambridge. Each postgraduate student is assigned a Postgraduate Tutor or equivalent (the title may vary) at the College, who is intended to be a source of personal advice and pastoral care. The Postgraduate Tutor is unlikely to be familiar with their student’s subject areas, but is likely to be able to help with information about financial support, counselling, medical services, accommodation, and other practical matters.


Research students in the Faculty of Computer Science and Technology are admitted on a full-time basis only. It is not possible to take paid work while you are studying full-time at Cambridge, and you must not expect to provide additional income in this way. The only exception is:

If you are a full-time postgraduate student reading for the PhD, MSc or MLitt Degree you may, without obtaining special permission, undertake teaching work for the Colleges (‘supervisions’) or your Department or Faculty for up to 6 hours a week including necessary preparation. A further 4 hours a week including preparation (10 in all) may be undertaken if the permission of your Supervisor has been obtained. No larger portion of your time may be devoted to teaching work and no time may be devoted to work other than research upon the approved subject without special permission from the Board.

The Faculty of Computer Science and Technology recommends that in your first year you do no more than three hours per week supervisory work.

As a postgraduate student, you are expected to work on your research around 40 hours per week and will be expected to be resident in Cambridge for this period unless you have

*We encourage you to take vacations during departmental closure dates such as Christmas and Easter and, with your supervisor's agreement, a period over the summer.


Students need to live (or reside) within the University's precincts in order to keep residence. This means finding accommodation within the 10 mile radius of Great St Mary’s church. If, however, there are good reasons for this not being possible or convenient, you can apply to live outside this limit.
Application forms for residing outside the University's precincts are available from your Self-Service pages. See also the Student Registry's pages on Terms of Study.