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Women in Computer Science Day

This event normally runs in March/April. It will not run in 2021.

Oxford University's Computer Science Department and Metaswitch Networks are delighted to welcome female students from year 10 (and 11 if available) (14 - 16 year olds) and their teachers/parents to a Computer Science Taster Day. The day is designed to raise awareness of what Computer Science is at university level. Delegates will:

The day will combine lots of short talks, some longer lectures, plus a chance to walk around the exhibition area and tour an Oxford college. Speakers and session-leaders will include Oxford University lecturers, and researchers, plus representatives from our event sponsor Metaswitch Networks. There will also be the chance to meet current Oxford students.


This event is open to year 10 (and year 11 if available) female students from UK schools. It is intended for high-performing students with a flair for Maths - those intending to take Maths (or even better Further Maths) A-levels (or equivalent) are particularly welcome. Those who already have an interest in Computer Science are also welcome.
Max. 10 students per school; there is no minimum.
Under 16s need to be accompanied by a parent or teacher. Older students are welcome to come unaccompanied. Either way we schools need to book places for their students.

When and where

Mathematical Institute, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG. Tuesday 22 May 2018, 9:30am — 4:30pm. Booking essential. Attended before? Note that from 2017 onwards the venue for Women in Computer Science Day has changed.


Do participants need to have studied IT/computer science before coming to the day?

No previous knowledge of the subject is expected. The day is designed to raise awareness of what Computer Science is and its practical applications. Computer Science is a very mathematical subject, so students with a flair for Maths or sciences are likely to be those who benefit from the day.

How much does the taster day cost?

This event is free. Students need to bring their own packed lunches. Attendees will need to organize their own transport to Oxford. (See below).

What should I bring with me?

A packed lunch. (Some refreshments will be available free of charge.) There is a cafe on-site, but this is a large event and the cafe is likely to be very busy, so we strongly suggest that you bring food with you. Something to make notes with would be useful. See the question below on what to wear.

What should I wear?

You do not need to wear a suit or come smartly dressed unless you really want to. Some students will wear their school uniform, whereas others will be much more casual. It is entirely up to you. It is going to be a long day, so the most important thing is that you are comfortable. As part of the day you will be taking a college tour. This will take around an hour, so sensible shoes and a warm coat are a must, as you will be walking to, from, and around the college during this time.

Do I need to book a parent place? (My young person is 16 or over.)

The number of people who can attend this event is limited by the number of seats in our lecture theatres. Parents/teachers who sign up to the event will follow the same timetable as the student attendees. Therefore, if you only wish to drop off/pick up your young person (or even just drop in for a coffee with us) there is no need to book a parent place. Parents are of course welcome to attend, but please be aware that if you book a parent place, but decide instead to spend the day shopping/sightseeing in Oxford without telling us in advance, that is a wasted place at the event, that could have been used by a keen young person.

We are a college not a school, or home schooled — can our students still take part?

Yes! We don't mind what kind of school or college attendees come from, just as long as it's in the UK and the students are thinking about university applications. We tend to talk about 'schools' when we should say 'schools or colleges' because the word 'college' means something different to us: at Oxford colleges form part of the University. Please don't be offended, or think that we're trying to exclude you. We also wellcome home schooled students. Please just write 'home educated' or similar in the 'school name' box on the booking form.

We are a UK independent/fee-paying school — can our students still take part?


How do I book?

Bookings are now closed. This event will not run in 2021.

We understand that sometimes schools might only have one or two students who you would like to attend, and can't justify sending a teacher for so few pupils. We are happy for a parent to accompany the student(s) or for students over the age of 16 to attend unaccompanied.

Please note that bookings can only be made by the person planning to attend; each student, and teacher should fill in his/her own booking form. Teachers: please ask your students to book for themselves. There's a box on the form where students can ask for their booking details to be forwarded to their teacher's email address.

If you would like to be notified when bookings open for other Computer Science related events at Oxford University, please sign up to our mailing list.

How do I get to the venue?

Venue: Mathematical Institute, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG. Maps and directions can be found here. We strongly recommended that you use public transport if at all possible. If you do travel by car or minibus, please note that parking in the city centre is very limited. There are several Park & Ride bus services that run from car parks on the outskirts of Oxford. If you are bringing a minibus please note the Council's pages on access for High Sided Vehicles at Park and Rides. Please note this is a different venue from previous year's events.

Is accommodation available?

Unfortunately we are not able to provide accommodation. If you cannot get to Oxford in one day you may like to consult Oxford Rooms or book accommodation at one of the city's Youth Hostels.

Can I pick which college tour I go on?

Sorry, no. We will allocate you a college tour. If there is a college that you're really keen to see, or you've visited before and want to see somewhere different, let us know in one of the free fields on the booking form and we'll see if we can accomodate your preferences.

Will I get to do some practical programming?

Not at this particular event. It will be mostly short lectures, and a chance to look around an exhibition featuring Computer Science research. If you're interested in practical programming activities we suggest you take a look at our Geomlab and Turtle websites. These are free resources that can be used at home or in schools.

I've got a question — who do I talk to?

Please contact:

Please note the organisers reserve the right to change the programme without notification, and to make alterations to the advertised details for the day at short notice.