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MPhil in Advanced Computer Science

Course Description

The aim of the course is to provide preparation appropriate for undertaking a PhD programme in computer science. Students select five taught modules from a wide range of advanced topics in computer science from biomedical information processing to denotational semantics, and from natural language processing to current applications and research in computer security. Students may also choose from a selection of topics borrowed from the Department of Engineering. Additionally, students take a mandatory, ungraded course in Research Skills which includes core and optional topics.

Students also undertake a research project over two terms and submit a project report in mid-June. Research topic selection and planning occurs in the first term and the work is undertaken in subsequent terms. 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.

Visit the website: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/cscsmpacs

Course detail

The course aims:

- to give students, with relevant experience at first-degree level, the opportunity to carry out directed research in the discipline;
- to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests;
- to provide preparation appropriate for undertaking a PhD programme in computer science;
- to provide the Faculty with an extended period in which to train students and then to judge the suitability of students for PhD study;
- to offer a qualification that is valuable and highly marketable in its own right that equips its graduates with the skills and expertise to play leading roles in industry and the public sector.

By the end of the programme, the students will have:

- a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their chosen area;
- demonstrated some originality in the application of knowledge, together with an understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their chosen area;
- shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
- demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.


The M.Phil in Advanced Computer Science covers advanced material in both theoretical and practical areas as well as instilling the elements of research practice. It combines lectures, seminars and project work in various combinations tailored to the individual student. Students choose a from an extensive list of topics.


- Thesis -

All students submit a research project on a topic approved by the Degree Committee, of no more than 15,000 words (excluding bibliography, photographs and diagrams but including tables, footnotes, and appendices), to the Secretary of the Degree Committee no later than 12:00 noon on the second Friday in June.

- Individual modules may include a final assessment piece by an essay or a mini-project report of up to 5,000 words.
- Individual modules may include weekly assignments of up to 1,500 words.
- Individual modules may be assessed by written in-class test or by take-home test.
- Students taking modules borrowed from the Engineering Tripos, Part IIB, may be required to take written examinations in Easter Term.
- Modules offered by the Computer Laboratory may be assessed by written in-class test or by take-home test.
- Modules may also include a proportion of practical assessment.
- Modules may include a proportion of assessment of student presentations and participation in reading group discussion.
- Modules may also include a proportion, not more than 20% of the overall assessment, of ungraded exercises which are assessed on a Pass/Fail basis.
- The examination may include, at the discretion of the Examiners, an oral examination on the work submitted by the candidate, and on the general field of knowledge within which such work falls.


The minimum requirement for continuation to the PhD programme in Computer Science is that MPhil students achieve an overall Pass in the taught modules and, separately, the project. Continuation is dependent on the approval of the Department and Degree Committee.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

The Department has limited funds to support partial and full scholarships for UK and eligible EU students. Applicants will automatically be considered for these awards. Since only limited funds are available, applicants should not rely on receiving financial support from the Department and should explore all available funding opportunities.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK First class Honours Degree. The First-class Honours Degree, or equivalent, should be in computer science. Alternatively, applications will be considered from those holding a degree of equal status in engineering, science, or mathematics and where the applicant can demonstrate significant relevant preparation for the Cambridge MPhil course. Mathematics to A-level standard or equivalent and some programming experience will be presumed.

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