18 February 2021

Record numbers of people have applied to study Computer Science degrees in 2021, new figures show today.

There are currently 129,610 applications for computing courses at UK universities this year, an increase of 4% on 2020.

Women account for 17.5% of Computer Science degree applicants in 2021 - a similar figure to last year, according to analysis of UCAS data by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Applications to UK computer science courses from EU students have decreased by 58%, a pattern that is mirrored across other subject areas. Applications from international students outside the EU to Computing have risen by 26%.

Across the UK countries, applications for Computer Science degrees have increased from students in England (+8%) and Scotland (+11%), with fewer applications from students in Northern Ireland (-7%) and Wales (-2%).

Last year the popularity of A level computer science increased by 12%, with the share of female students increasing slightly to 15% of the total.

Julia Adamson, Director of Education at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “These graduates of the future are at the start of a great career path, which has lots of opportunities.

“Covid saw the pace of technological change increase, and this is set to continue.

“Job prospects in this transformed landscape, where so many of us are now increasingly reliant on technology across all sectors, will continue to expand.

“The National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) is training teachers and inspiring students, to enable more young people to gain a fantastic experience of computing skills at school. We’re excited about the future and that this will encourage more students to take the next step by applying to Computer Science degree courses.

“While there is still a long way to go to achieve true diversity in our sector, the rise of groups such as Coding Black Females is helping to shape the range of new talent coming into the industry, making it more relevant to society as a whole.”

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