Computer Science

Director of Studies:

Dr Chris Town

Faculty Website:

Course Information:

Computer Science is interdisciplinary. It is firmly rooted in engineering and mathematics, with links to linguistics, psychology and various other fields. When concerned with hardware design it overlaps with electrical and electronic engineering. Between these extremes there is a large body of challenging and constantly evolving material relating to both theoretical and practical aspects of computer systems and applications.

Wolfson does not currently admit undergraduates for the 'Computer Science with Mathematics' course option.

Academic Requirements:

Mathematics A Level is essential for the study of Computer Science and Further Mathematics is preferred.

See also Entrance requirements for additional advice about general requirements for entry, qualifications and offers.


Candidates will be asked to sit a written test before interview. Wolfson does not require applicants to sit the Thinking Skills Assessment test (TSA).
At interview, engagement with and enthusiasm for the subject will be explored by the course Director of Studies and Admissions Tutor.

Student Profile:

Matthew Toseland.

"It's been obvious since the summer school that Wolfson is the friendliest and most helpful of the mature colleges. Coming back into education after over a decade, with a previously undiagnosed disability and not being sure exactly what I wanted, people here have been really helpful. After two years of worry, occasional difficult choices and really hard work, I'm getting the most out of my education, and have a better idea what I want out of university and career - starting with this good result! I've met lots of new people too - you're always running into graduate students at lunch, often with their own stories and interests. Being part of the community here, and the department, is a refreshing change from the brilliant but sometimes insular volunteer-geek world of my last job."

In 2015 Matthew was awarded a prize and a year's membership from the British Computer Society (BCS). The Computer Science Tripos Examiners had nominated Matthew for the BCS Annual Student Prize for an outstanding second year student.

Manfredas Zabarauskas

Photo of Manfredas

"The Computer Science course at Cambridge is a unique opportunity to gain a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the subject, learning from leading experts in the field. To be successful in the Tripos you have to be prepared to get your head around the theory and get your hands dirty with the practical aspects of Computer Science. In order to do so you need to be passionate about the subject and if you are, you will find the course highly rewarding. Supervisions will help you to stay afloat, but expect hard and challenging work every step of the way.

You will learn the theoretical concepts that underpin most of the Computer Science, rather than technologies that will disappear in a few years' time. You will not focus on mastering some particular programming languages (even though you will be taught some programming), but you will learn the paradigms and principles which will allow you to pick up a piece of new technology and make something cool with it in a couple of days. That's also what the industry is after. 

In terms of the facilities provided, the College library has a very good selection of Computer Science textbooks and a computer room with PWF machines available 24/7, including all the required tools for software development installed. Furthermore, College is equidistant from the New Museums Site (where most of the 1st year lectures take place) and the Computer Laboratory (2nd and 3rd year lectures). On top of that, add a good gym, full kitchens, beautiful gardens, TV, newspaper and table tennis rooms, a bar and an outside tennis/basketball court, and you will get an incredible place, where you can both excel at what you do and feel at home."

Manfredas has since successfully completed his degree and is currently working as a product manager for Google. 

Computer Science at Wolfson

Wolfson has the largest number of Fellows in Computer Science of any Cambridge College. The history of Computer Science at Wolfson goes back to two of our most distinguished members:

Professor Roger Needham had been a Fellow at Wolfson since 1967 and headed the Cambridge Computer Laboratory from 1980 to 1995. He went on to become founding Managing Director of Microsoft Research Europe in Cambridge from 1997 until his death in 2003. He made numerous contributions to the fields of security, operating systems, computer architecture, and networking research.

Professor Karen Spärck Jones, who sadly passed away in 2007, made ground breaking advances in the fields of information retrieval and natural language processing, including many techniques (such as inverse document frequency and relevance weighting) that form the foundation for all modern web search engines.

List of current Computer Science Fellows at Wolfson College: