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Computer Science

Computer Science is about understanding computer systems and networks at a deep level.

Computers and the programs they run are among the most complex products ever created; designing and using them effectively presents immense challenges. Facing these challenges is the aim of Computer Science as a practical discipline, and this leads to some fundamental questions:

  • How can we capture in a precise way what we want a computer system to do?
  • Can we mathematically prove that a computer system does what we want it to?
  • How can computers help us to model and investigate complex systems like the Earth’s climate, financial systems or our own bodies?
  • What are the limits to computing? Will quantum computers extend those limits?

The theories that are now emerging to answer these kinds of questions can be immediately applied to design new computers, programs, networks and systems that are transforming science, business, culture and all other aspects of life.


Computer Science can be studied for three years (BA) or four years (Master of Computer Science). The fourth year allows the study of advanced topics and an in-depth research project. Students do not need to choose between the three-year and four-year options when applying to the course; all students apply for the four-year course, and then decide at the start of the third year whether they wish to continue to the fourth year (which is subject to achieving a 2:1 at the end of the third year).

The course concentrates on creating links between theory and practice. It covers a wide variety of software and hardware technologies and their applications. We are looking for students with a real flair for mathematics, which you will develop into skills that can be used both for reasoning rigorously about the behaviour of programs and computer systems, and for applications such as scientific computing. You will also gain practical problem-solving and program design skills; the majority of subjects within the course are linked with practical work in our well-equipped laboratory.

Teaching in Computer Science, as in most other subjects, has two main components: University lectures and classes, and college tutorials. The lectures and classes are provided and held in the Department of Computer Science. The tutorials are held in college and cover all first-year courses and roughly half of the second-year courses. More details on the structure of the degree can be found here.

The teaching provision at Jesus College is generous in relation to the number of Computer Science students. While many Oxford colleges have only on tutor in Computer Science, Jesus College has several tutors, who are committed to research in computer science as well as to teaching, and who together will cover a wide range of subjects.

Tutorial Fellows

Professor Seth Flaxman

Professor Seth Flaxman is a Fellow and an Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence. His research is in machine learning, public health, and public policy. He teaches programming computer science courses.

Professor Standa Živný

Professor Standa Živný is a Fellow and a Professor of Theoretical Computer Science. His research is in algorithms and complexity theory. He teaches theoretical computer science courses.

Non-Tutorial Fellows

Dr Oiwi Parker Jones

Dr Oiwi Parker Jones is a Hugh Prize Fellow and a Postdoctoral Researcher. He teaches machine learning, neuroscience, linguistics and phonetics.

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt is Principal of Jesus College and a Professorial Research Fellow in Computer Science.

Professor Sam Staton 

Professor Sam Staton is a Hugh Prize Fellow and a Professor of Computer Science. He teaches Principles of Programming Languages.


Dr Atılım Güneş Baydin

Dr Atılım Güneş Baydin is a Departmental Lecturer in machine learning at the Department of Computer Science and a Senior Researcher in machine learning at the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford. His research interests are Machine learning, probabilistic and differentiable programming, simulation-based inference, applications in physical sciences and space.

The deadline to submit your application for undergraduate study via UCAS is 15 October. Please refer to the University’s webpages for detailed information on how to apply.

Places available at Jesus College

In a total College entry of about 100 undergraduates, 2 places are offered in a typical year to read Computer Science, 2 places are offered to read Computer Science and Philosophy, and 2 places are offered to read Mathematics and Computer Science.

Academic requirements

Academic requirements for this course can be found here.

Selection criteria

The specific selection criteria are given on the department’s website here.

Admissions tests

All candidates must take the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT) as part of their application. The registration date and test date will be confirmed on the University’s website soon. Everything you need to know, including how to register and guidance on how to prepare, can be found can be found here.

Written work

You do not need to submit any written work as part of an application for this course.


Interviews are held in mid-December. If you are interviewed at Jesus you can typically expect two separate interviews with different tutors. The interviews will involve some general questions, but most of the time will be spent discussing logical and mathematical topics.

Deferred Entry

Please refer to the Departmental website for subject-specific advice.

The Tutors have no objection in principle to offering a place to a candidate who wishes to defer entry for a year, provided this intention is made known at the outset. You must apply for deferred entry at the time of application to Oxford: you cannot change your mind after an offer has been made.

You should be aware that applicants who are offered places for deferred entry will generally be among the very strongest of the cohort for their subject, and the College limits its offers of deferred places in order not to disadvantage candidates applying in the following year. In some cases, an applicant for deferred entry may be offered a place for non-deferred entry instead.

Joint Schools

The following undergraduate joint courses are available at Jesus College:

The Department of Computer Science at Oxford enjoys a high reputation, both nationally and internationally, for the excellence of its teaching and research, and is among the largest in the country.

Research at Oxford covers a very wide range in both theoretical and applied Computer Science. It attracts generous research funding and draws students and visiting faculty from all parts of the world.

The following degrees are available at postgraduate level:

  • DPhil in Computer Science
  • MSc in Advanced Computer Science
  • EPSRC CDT Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems
  • EPSRC CDT Health Data Science
  • MSc Software and Systems Security
  • MSc Software Engineering
  • MSc in Mathematics and Foundations of Computer Science

Common roles for graduates include computer programmer, software designer and engineer, financial analyst and scientific researcher.

If you have any questions about entrance requirements, or about applying to study at Jesus College, please contact the Admissions Officer: