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    Hi guys. For the past few months I have been undecided as to whether I want to apply to either Oxford or Cambridge to study CompSci (hopefully for 4 years). I can see myself enjoying both places and both courses are obviously going to be very high quality. Since I tend to switch my preference like clockwork, I want advice on which I would probably have the better chance of receving an offer at. Any information would be appreciated

    I take Maths, FM, Chem, Physics (Computing at GCSE)
    Oxford:
    - I am told they look at GCSE's more, and I have 9A*s + A in Additional Maths + A* in HPQ. However, I don't know to what extent this is true.
    - The MAT may be an opportunity to perform better, and they don't see my current UMS

    Cambridge:
    - Their department has almost 4 times as many places, and supposedly the acceptance rate is almost double Oxford (about 14 vs 8 %).
    - However, I performed fairly poorly in my AS maths exams (FP1 76, M1 89, S1 89). While I am predicted 4A*s, I am worried this may ruin my chances of getting an interview. There is no admissions pre interview, only the CSAT at interview.
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    If you're changing your mind so frequently about which course to apply to, it's worth actually looking in depth into what will be covered in each course. You can find summaries of the courses for Oxford and Cambridge and see what interests you more.

    For Oxford it's worthwhile having a look at past MAT papers. Do some under timed conditions, and then have a look at the Computer Science feedback for that year to work out how your score compared to the cohort who took that year's MAT paper.

    Just looking at the admissions statistics, it doesn't seem like yours particularly add up - in 2016/17 Cambridge had 861 applications, made 131 offers and will probably have around 100 acceptances. In that same year Oxford had 424 applications for Computer Science (plus 81 for Computer Science & Philosophy and 306 for Mathematics & Computer Science) and made 36 offers (plus 13 for Computer Science & Philosophy and 42 for Mathematics & Computer Science). So broadly they're as competitive as each other if you include the joint degrees, and if you look at just Computer Science then Cambridge has around an 11.6% acceptance rate against Oxford's 8.5%.
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    If you're thinking of doing 4 years, then Oxford is probably the better choice as you need a fulfill high grade requirements for finals to do a fourth year in Cambridge, whereas you're unimpeded from doing a Master's in Oxford once you've entered.
    Some more thoughts:
    1. If you apply to Cambridge, you will need to do the CSAT, which, depending on what type of maths you like, you may find harder or easier than the MAT. This is something you should take into account.
    2. Those UMS scores are far from competitive for a Cambridge application (average Maths UMS for computer science applicants tends to be over 95), so unless you have eye-catching supercurricular activities, I wouldn't advise you applying to Cambridge

    Good luck and make sure not to rush decisions. Request prospectuses and take a look around the respective websites.
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    (Original post by NoTreason)
    If you're thinking of doing 4 years, then Oxford is probably the better choice as you need a fulfill high grade requirements for finals to do a fourth year in Cambridge, whereas you're unimpeded from doing a Master's in Oxford once you've entered.
    That's not correct: in order to carry on to the fourth year at Oxford, you need to get at least a 2:1 in the second and third years (combined).

    Good luck and make sure not to rush decisions. Request prospectuses and take a look around the respective websites.
    That's certainly good advice.

    Gavin
 
 
 
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