Computer science is now the UK's fastest growing degree subject

Two female students with shocked expressions reading letters outside of a building

A record number of people will begin computer science degrees this year, with more women taking computing than any other university subject group.

Analysis of this year’s exam results in the UK found that the number of students placed on undergraduate degrees in computing across the country has increased by 7% when compared to last year, with just over 24,900 students due to start courses – the largest percentage increase of any subject.

The figures, compiled by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, also revealed that computer science degrees have seen a 20% increase in accepted applications from women since 2019, which is also a higher increase than any other subject group listed by UCAS.

When it comes to A level entries, Computing has also shot up 41% across England, Northern Ireland and Wales in the last three years – the highest increase of any subject, BCS said.

“From autonomous vehicles, to media and communications, to banking and health care, we are in a digital society and computing skills are amongst the highest in demand,” commented Julia Adamson, Director of Education at BCS.

“So, it’s exciting that more young people have opted for advanced studies in computing at university - and particularly important to report a continued growth in the number of young women represented and achieving the highest grades.”

However, BCS has cautioned that the overall number of women that had accepted applications for computing, around 4,830, remains low when compared to men (20,080). This means that male students continue to outnumber women by 4.2:1 this year – only a slight improvement from 4.7:1 in 2019.

Despite this, female students continue to outperform their male counterparts at A level, with 38.8% achieving an A* or A, compared with 34.4% of men. That’s a considerable rise on both counts, with the comparative figures from 2019 showing that 18.7% of women and 17.4% of men hit those same grades that year.

Charlene Hunter MBE, CEO of Coding Black Females and member of the BCS board, commended the figures but warned against any potential complacency.


Going paperless in 90 days

The three steps to quick and effective digitisation


“It’s great to see young women choosing to take computer science in record numbers, but we can’t be complacent at all,” she said.

“In a world where big challenges like climate change and cyber security require highly skilled technologists, we need ever greater numbers of people from a diverse range of backgrounds to see computer science as an ethical, aspirational career choice.”

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.