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Study computer science abroad

An in-depth guide to studying computer science as an international student.

Computer science degrees abroad

Computer science is the study of computers, computation and information. It’s all about understanding computer systems, and taking a scientific approach to their applications.

It’s also one of the most popular subjects for international students to study overseas. It’s a fast-paced and ever changing field, and choosing to study a computer science degree abroad can expose you to new technologies and approaches.

Computer science program structure

Computer science can be defined differently by different universities; some may use computer science to refer to information technology degrees, while others use it as an umbrella term to cover several degree areas that involve computers and technology.

This means the program curriculum can vary greatly between countries and universities, so it’s important to take a close look at the structure and scope before you apply. Here are some of the topics you can expect to cover:

  • Computing fundamentals
  • Programming languages
  • Algorithms
  • Continuous mathematics
  • Machine learning
  • Computer architecture
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Software engineering

You’ll have the opportunity after your first year to select optional modules that will help you personalize your degree. This means you can choose to study the areas that most interest you and best suit your career aspirations.

Computer science degrees are largely assessed through exam papers, but most programs will also include individual project work supported by small classes and personal tutors. There is also often the opportunity to work on real world problems, supported by local industry.

Types of computer science degrees

Computer science contains a number of disciplines and specializations that you can choose to study at degree level. Some common computer science subdisciplines you could study include:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer forensics
  • Software engineering
  • Information systems

If you would rather focus your studies on one specific area, it may be worth considering one of these courses.

Why study computer science abroad

It’s no wonder that computer science is one of the most studied subjects at universities all over the world. As the world around us becomes more and more digitized, the demand for computer scientists has never been higher, and the career opportunities after graduation are plentiful.

Choosing to study computer science overseas means you’ll be able to choose from a huge range of programs, from some of the world’s most respected universities and colleges. It will also expose you to a new culture and approach which could broaden your understanding of the subject.

Making the huge step of studying computer science abroad will also help you stand out when it comes to finding a career after your degree. It will show employers that you’re able to adapt to new environments, and it will give you a unique international perspective.

Where to study computer science abroad

Working out where you want to study computer science is a huge decision, and there are many factors to consider while you choose:

  • If you want to remain in the country after graduation to work, consider which location offers the best career prospects
  • Also think about how long you want to study for - in some countries you can gain a bachelor’s degree in three years, in many others it will take at least four
  • Make sure you choose a country that you’ll be happy living in for at least three years, so think about things like the climate and culture

Read our guide on choosing where to study abroad for more help on making the right decision for you.

Best countries to study computer science

When it comes to the countries with the best ranked and most respected computer science programs abroad, the US and UK are seen as at the head of the pack.

However, the chasing pack include Switzerland, which offers some of the very best courses available anywhere in the world.

Asia is also at the forefront, with Singapore, China and Hong Kong all offering top ranked programs. This is also an area of the world famous for being at the cutting edge of technology, which means you’ll have the latest tech at your fingertips.

Best universities to study computer science

When deciding which university is best to study computer science, it’s important to remember that the content of each university’s program is likely to be very different.

Therefore make sure you look carefully at the structure and curriculum of the program and make sure it’s right for you and your career aspirations. Don’t just apply to the best ranked computer science universities in the country you want to study in without checking the program details first.

You should also think about what you want from your university experience. Do you want to study at a traditional campus university and to live in residence halls? Would you rather live in a big city, or a quieter area? Do you want lots of sports and societies that you can get involved in?

See all universities offering computer science programs

How to study computer science abroad

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    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

    Be guided through your application process

  3. Visa & embassy guidance

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  4. Enrollment & travel advice

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Computer science study abroad programs

There are several different types and levels of computer science degrees that you can study abroad. At undergraduate level you can study a bachelor’s as a BSc, or some offer a BEng. There is often no difference between the two, other than a BEng may be accredited by an engineering body. A computer science bachelor’s will take three or four years to complete.

As a graduate you can study for an MSc in computer science, which usually take one or two years depending on the country you’re studying in. If you want to continue your education after a master’s, you can study an MPhil or PhD in computer science, which can be completed in between two and four years.

Computer science undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in computer science

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    Computer Science - Analysis, Simulation, and Modeling - BSc Concord University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,186 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Computer Science - Analysis, Simulation, and Modeling
  • false

    Computer Science - BSc Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    35,736 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Computer Science
  • false

    Computer Science - BSc Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,634 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Computer Science
  • false

    Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science with a Year in Industry - BSc University of Birmingham, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,260 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science with a Year in Industry
  • false

    Computer Science - Human-Centered Computing - BSc University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,800 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Computer Science - Human-Centered Computing
See all bachelor's degrees in computer science

Pathway in computer science

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    Computer Science, International Year One - UGP University of Lincoln, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    12,910 USD
    Start date
    January, September, October
    Show program overview about Computer Science, International Year One
  • false

    Engineering & Computer Science, International Year One - UGP University of Huddersfield, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    11,500 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Engineering & Computer Science, International Year One
  • false

    Computer Science (Foundation) - UGP Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,900 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Computer Science (Foundation)
See all undergraduate pathways in computer science

Associate in computer science

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    Computer Technology: Technical Computer Graphics - AASc Southeast Missouri State University, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    13,155 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Computer Technology: Technical Computer Graphics
  • false

    Computer Science: Cybersecurity - ASc Mohawk Valley Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    6,892 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Computer Science: Cybersecurity
See all associate degrees in computer science

Certificate in computer science

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    Computer Foundations - Cert Durham College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    14,907 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Computer Foundations
See all undergraduate certificates in computer science

Computer science graduate programs

Master's in computer science

  • false

    Professional Computer Science - MSc Westcliff University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    13,500 USD
    Start date
    January, March, May, June, August, October
    Show program overview about Professional Computer Science
  • false

    Computer Science (Cybersecurity) - MSc Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    25,118 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Computer Science (Cybersecurity)
  • false

    Computer Science/Software Engineering with a Year in Industry - MEng University of Birmingham, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    5 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,260 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Computer Science/Software Engineering with a Year in Industry
  • false

    Computer Science - MSc University of Helsinki, Finland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,000 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Computer Science
  • false

    Computer Science - MSc Linköping University, Sweden

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    19,000 USD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Computer Science
See all master's degrees in computer science

Doctorate in computer science

  • false

    Computer Science - PhD RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    33,600 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about Computer Science
  • false

    Computer Science - PhD University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,896 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Computer Science
  • false

    Mathematics and Computer Science - PhD Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    9,000 EUR
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about Mathematics and Computer Science
  • false

    Computer Science - PhD Texas State University, USA

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,929 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Computer Science
  • false

    Computer Science and Engineering - PhD Koç University, Turkey

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    0 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Computer Science and Engineering
See all doctorates in computer science

Certificate in computer science

  • false

    Computer Science, Teaching and Learning - PGCert University of Central Arkansas, USA

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    9,648 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Computer Science, Teaching and Learning
See all postgraduate certificates in computer science

Entry requirements to study computer science abroad

The specific computer science degree requirements for each program will vary based on the country and university you’re applying to, but as a general rule you’ll need:

  • To have completed secondary education in your home country with strong grades in relevant subjects, usually including mathematics
  • A personal statement that outlines your interest in the computer science
  • Satisfactory English language proficiency test scores
  • Academic references
  • A bachelor’s degree, usually in computer science or a related field, to study at postgraduate level

Make sure you check the requirements for your chosen program carefully before you apply. Some universities may ask for examples of your work, for example any programming you’ve done.

In some countries you’ll need to apply through a centralized application service, where as in many countries you’ll need to apply directly to the university or college. Here is more information on how to study abroad.

Future computer science careers

One of the most attractive aspects of a computer science degree is that the skills it will give you are in high demand. Every industry needs tech-savvy employees, so you’ll have plenty of career options with a computer science degree.

Here’s some of the most common computer science degree jobs:

  • IT consultant
  • Software developer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Web developer
  • Information security analyst
  • Project manager
  • Database administrator

If you know what you want to do, work out what skills that career needs and make sure you choose a program that covers them.