The popularity of Computing degrees is growing faster than for any other course, with students applying in record numbers, according to BCS research.

The number of young people in the UK applying to study computing in 2023 has risen by 9.6%, more than for any other university subject.

BCS analysed January deadline application data, from university admissions service UCAS.

The rise was likely to be down the high profile of AI, combined with the range of career options for UK computing graduates, like cyber security and climate change data science, BCS said.

In total there were 92,980 applications from UK 18 year olds to start UK Computing degrees this year.

For you

Be part of something bigger, join BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Gender gap closes slightly

Computing degrees have also seen an 18% growth in applications from women in the UK this year; again, a higher percentage increase than for another subject group listed by UCAS.

BCS said male students still outnumber female students in computer science by 3.8 to 1 this year, but the gap has closed slightly from 4.2 to 1 at the same stage in the application cycle in 2022.

A passport to change the world

Julia Adamson, MD for Education and Public Benefit at BCS said: “Young people – and an increasing proportion of young women – see that a computing degree is a passport to change the world. AI and machine learning are transforming how kids complete homework and how job applicants write the covering letters. It’s no wonder so many people see their futures in technology. The more diverse range of people we have working in computing the fairer and more inclusive the results will be for all of us.”

UCAS Chief Executive Clare Marchant said after the publication of the 2023 application figures for full time undergraduate study at UK universities: “We are seeing increased interest in subjects which students perceive to have good career prospects, such as computing and law.”