The Array of Programming Languages Taught at Oxford University

Foundations in Functional and Object-Oriented Languages

When students embark on their computer science journey at Oxford University, they start with a strong focus on two distinct programming languages: Haskell and Scala. Haskell is a “purely functional” language known for its mathematical precision in reasoning about programs, while Scala represents a modern approach to object-oriented programming. The university firmly believes that beginning with a limited number of languages allows students to grasp the core principles of programming more effectively.

A Diverse Palette of Programming Languages

As students progress through their studies, they continue to work with Haskell and Scala, but they also have the opportunity to explore a broader spectrum of programming languages. In later years, students may encounter languages like Java, Prolog, C, C++, and Objective CAML. These languages are introduced as part of more specialized studies within the field of computer science, providing students with a well-rounded skill set.

Exploring Programming Language Principles and Compilers

Oxford University’s computer science curriculum goes beyond practical coding. It encourages students to delve deep into the theoretical aspects of programming languages and the intricacies of compilers. This comprehensive exploration helps students gain a thorough understanding of the fundamental concepts that underlie various programming languages and the mechanisms that enable them to function.

Freedom of Choice in Projects

An intriguing feature of Oxford’s computer science program is the flexibility offered to students in their projects. When working on their final projects, students enjoy near-unrestricted freedom to select the programming language in which they wish to develop applications or implement solutions. This open-ended approach nurtures creativity and motivates students to apply their knowledge across a range of contexts.

Mastering the Art of Language Acquisition

One of the defining characteristics of Oxford’s approach to computer science education is the emphasis on equipping students with the ability to rapidly adapt to new programming languages. Upon completing their studies, students possess not only proficiency in a selection of languages but also the skills to pick up a new language in a matter of hours and effectively utilize it with the assistance of a well-structured manual.

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