STUDENT LIFE / AUG. 29, 2017
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The Top 10 Best Computer Science Schools in the World

students studying computer science

With companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google dominating the world, it’s only natural that computer science is becoming ever-more popular; with everything from magazines, gaming to shopping moving online, programmers are in high demand. Gone are the days when it was considered a geeky-subject that wasn’t cool – computer science is cool and will also bag you a hefty pay-check too! If this is a subject you want to pursue in higher education, you’re probably wondering what universities have the best courses.

To make your decision easy we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 schools in the world:

10. National University of Singapore

If you fancy studying and living an exotic life on the tropical island then the University of Singapore is the one for you. The school was originally founded as a medical school in 1905, with its growing success; the school of Computing was established in 1998. The course specialises in Computer Science and Information Systems. 

Computer science includes areas such as artificial intelligence, media, and security. Information systems, includes business intelligence, electronic and social commerce, healthcare information systems, and IT-enabled service innovation. Both the faculty and students are involved in developing new software and applications. Students are encouraged to develop prototypes that may have commercial potential.

Cost of Fees: £21,500

Length of Course: 4 years

Location: Singapore

Number of Students: 35,000 (2,000 in computer science)

QS Ranking of: 84.2

9. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

Like swiss chocolate, then look no further than the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Where else will you get the chance to study in a country that has four official languages and has the ultimate skiing destination (the Alps) at your feet? ETH Zurich has a history of developing software and designing computer systems which led to a dedicated department in 1981. Covering many areas of computer science, including computational intelligence, networks and distributed systems, algorithms and theory and information security allowing the undergraduates to collaborate on projects with well-known companies like IBM, Microsoft, Google SAP and Disney.

Cost of Fees: £1,400

Length of Course: 3 years

Location: Switzerland

Number of Students: 19,233

QS Ranking of: 85.4

8. Princeton University

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about this university, on TV or referenced in Hollywood films. It’s one of the most beautiful North American universities, but its technical capacity may overshadow its aesthetic pleasures. At this world class school, students can benefit from learning about problems in Bitcoin and Crypto currencies, bioinformatics, computational neuroscience, geo-replicated cloud storage and any number of other leading subfields of information theory.

Not surprisingly given Princeton’s focus, all its students, even undergraduates, are required to do at least one design or research-related project before graduation. Their department is broken down into computational biology, markets- game theory-economics, computer architecture, graphics-vision, machine learning, programming languages-compilers, security, system networks, and theory.

Cost of Fees: £35,000

Length of Course: 4 years

Location: New Jersey, USA

Number of Students: 8,181

QS Ranking of: 85.6

7. University of Oxford

Few universities in the world share University of Oxford’s prestige and historic character. There’s nothing to inspire you towards excellence like walking the streets geniuses before you walked. If you want to be the next Stephen Hawking in computer science, then the University of Oxford is the place to be.

Established in 1957, the Oxford Computing Laboratory is one of the longest accustomed computer science departments in the UK. Research topics include algorithms, information systems, automated verification, computational biology, foundations-logic and structures, security, programming languages, and software engineering.

 Cost of Fees: £9,250

Length of Course: 3 years

Location: Oxford, UK

Number of Students: 23,195

QS Ranking of: 87.8

6. Harvard University

The renowned University trained the world-famous Mark Zuckerburg, who dropped out before completing his course to finish his project which is now known as Facebook. If you want to follow in Mark’s footsteps (not literally as you’ll want to successfully obtain your full-degree) then this is the school for you. Founded in 1636, Harvard has had substantial time to develop into the standard by which all other research universities are measured.

Students have a choice of three different institutes, including the Center for Research on Computation and Society, the Institute for Applied Computational Science, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Students can study theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, developments and interface of economics, trustworthy systems, graphics, linguistics, security, robotics, data-management systems, architecture and machine learning.

Cost of Fees: £36,000

Length of Course: 4 years

Location: Massachusetts, USA

Number of Students: 22,000

QS Ranking of: 88.4


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5. University of Cambridge

Established in 1209, the university oozes rich history and attracts thousands of visitors per year. Some of its most famous alumni include Sir Isaac Newton (the British physicist who discovered gravity), the actor Ian McKellen, the actress Emma Thompson and the newspaper editor Arianna Huffington. With over 200 research workers alone, the Computer Science Department has an equally impressive history and record of excellence. Current subjects include bioinformatics, computer architecture, computer vision, distributed systems, graphics and human-computer interaction, networking and wireless communication, logic, and semantics, machine learning, operating systems and virtualization, programming, security, natural language processing, and sustainable computing.

 Cost of Fees: £9,250

Length of Course: 3 years

Location: Cambridge, UK

Number of Students: 19.672

QS Ranking of: 88.9

4. University of California, Berkley (UCB)

The University of Berkley is known for the size and quality of its libraries and laboratories. If you choose to study here, you will not only excel in technology, but you will also have the true campus experience. The programs offered at Berkley include the theory of computation, the design and analysis of algorithms, the architecture and logic design of computers, programming languages, compilers, operating systems, scientific computation, computer graphics, databases, artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Their mission is to prepare you for a possible research or technical career.

Cost of Fees: £11,000

Length of Course: 4 years

Location: Berkley, USA

Number of Students: 30,000

QS Ranking of: 84.90

3. Carnegie Mellon University

In 1900, this private university rose through the rankings as a research school focusing on innovation and creativity in the hard sciences. This prestigious university produced the math-minded John Nash whose life was the basis for the popular movie “A Beautiful Mind”, and Professor Scott Falhman who created the smiley emoticon.

Their leading computer science department is broken down into the following sections: computer science, human-computer interaction, Institute for Software Research, computational biology, Language Technologies Institute, machine learning, and Robotics Institute. Master’s and doctoral level studies are offered in all departments; however, only computer science, computation biology, and machine learning are offered at the bachelor level.

Cost of Fees: £40,000

Length of Course: 4 years

Location: Pittsburgh, USA

Number of Students: 13,961

QS Ranking of: 91.9

2. Stanford University

The Nobel-Prize winning university has every possible advantage a computer science program could ask for, from plenty connections to well-staffed departments in related math and science fields. With over 50 years history, its students have created some of the world’s most recognizable technology companies such as Google, Yahoo, Taiwan Semiconductor, and Electronic Arts.

The universities achievements have caught the eye of Bill Gates who donated funds to build their state of the art Gates Computer Science Building. Their computer science department wants to ensure that their future is as successful as their past, and as a result, has outlined a detailed “Strategic Plan” to guide their future endeavours creating new challenges and opportunities for CS research and education.

Cost of Fees: £35,000

Length of Course: 4 years

Location: Stanford, USA

Number of Students: 16,336

QS Ranking of: 93.6

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

It comes as no surprise that the world’s most prestigious university is also home to the top computer science and information systems course. Famous graduates include William Reddington Hewlett, who co-founded HP and Colin Angel, who created the IRobot Corporation and has done considerable work for NASA’s Mars mission.

MIT boasts several world-class computer research centres, including the largest research laboratory and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Numerous advancements have come from this workshop, including the first credible chess program, and much of the technology underlying the internet today. The school is also a leader in nanotechnologies, information philosophy, and bioinformatics.

Cost of Fees: £35,000

Length of Course: 4 years

Location: Massachusetts, USA

Number of Students: 11.376

QS Ranking of: 94

When it comes to computer science, you’re spoilt for choice when choosing a university in a new and exciting location. Using this comprehensive list you will be on the road to success at one of the industry leading companies or even creating your own start-up.


Are you currently studying computer science at one of these top universities, or have done so in the past? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!

*Based on the QS world university rankings 2017

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