There is not single answer as to what is the best university offering computer science. The choice will depend upon many different things depending what is being sought in a course – from job prospects to student satisfaction with teaching, or the research potential of the university; from whether the course is academic and theoretical, or more practical.
The location of the university will also impact choice about what is “best” since there may be personal preferences for living in a certain part of the country, having a rural or a urban campus, having access to other facilities, or even different study modes. Institutions will also vary from year to year with what is offered adding to the difficulty in giving a single answer
Those considering studying computer science will find the Complete University Guide an indispensable aid to making choices. The guide allows prospective students to search by subject name, region, group and year to rank universities according to different criteria like student satisfaction, entry requirements, research assessment, job prospects and the overall score.
For computer science the University of Cambridge comes out overall top, followed by University of Oxford and Imperial College London. These universities also rank the same top three for entry requirements being the toughest to get into. Stirling and St. Andrews in Scotland come out best with the student satisfaction rankings, suggesting they are more rewarding courses.
While the undergraduate may not be interested in research the research potential of the university is also a consideration. When assessing the quality of research of the institution Cambridge comes out a clear leader, closely followed by Imperial College, Southampton and Edinburgh. Cambridge Oxford and Imperial College also lead the way in the rankings for the employability of graduates after completion of the course.
While the Complete University Guide can help individuals find answers as to what are the best ranked universities for a given course, entry to a course remains dependent upon qualification and performance in the entry criteria. It is usually necessary to consider some backup options in the event that applicants do not meet the criteria,3or the course of choice becomes full with more qualified applicants.
The University Central Administration System (UCAS) is the central administration that handles all the applications to university courses and also matches prospective students to the “best” course for them, based on the student’s preferences and the entry requirements of the institutions. It can be quit a juggling act sorting out places as students are offered places, accept or reject them, and the space is opened (or not) for someone else.