Record numbers apply for computer science degrees

The number of people in the UK applying for computer science degrees has jumped by 13 per cent this year, the highest increase of any UK university subject, according to BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Overall, there were 158,340 applications to start full-time undergraduate degrees in computing, compared to 140,420 in 2021.

“The demand for computer science follows the rising profile of AI, global cyber security, social media safety, and tech’s role in understanding climate change and pandemic modelling,” said Julia Adamson, director of education at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. “The impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns have also made us realise how important digital technologies are in our personal and professional lives. The long term challenge of closing the gender gap in computer science remains clear and starts at school level.”

The number of UK 18 year olds hoping to take computing degrees increased by 21 per cent according to BCS’ analysis of new January deadline data from admissions service, UCAS.

Most of the increase was driven by applicants from England - up 18 per cent - and Wales - up 10 per cent. Scotland and Northern Ireland were broadly unchanged.

Over 30,700 applications to computing degrees were from women – 19 per cent of total applicants to UK undergraduate computing degrees – which BCS said meant the gender gap has “closed only fractionally on 2021”.

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