Postgraduate research courses

Our School has a large and thriving graduate research community. We provide an active and stimulating environment to carry out your doctoral research and have an extensive range of specialist labs and facilities. We offer various routes to a research degree.

If you wish to study for a PhD by research (with no taught element) then you will initially be enrolled on a combined MPhil/PhD pathway. In your second year of study, depending on your progress, a decision will be made as to whether you will proceed towards an MPhil or a PhD.

An MPhil involves a minimum of two years of full-time research, the product of which is a 50,000 word thesis on a topic which has an element of novelty.

A PhD requires a minimum of three years full-time research. The resulting thesis is 80,000 words in length and is expected to extend the understanding of a specialist topic beyond the current state of the art.

Following your two or three years of research, you are likely to need a further period of up to one year for writing your thesis. Reduced (completion) fees are charged during this time.

Our MPhil and PhD by research courses have no taught element but you may attend course modules on an informal basis (and see our New Route Integrated PhD for an alternative that includes a taught element).

The MSc by dissertation involves a minimum of one year of full-time research, during which you will produce a 30,000 word dissertation. Students registered for this type of course usually have some prior experience in the area they wish to research, for example from work in industry or a project carried out during a first degree.

There is no taught element, although you may attend course modules on an informal basis. You also have an option to upgrade to an MPhil or PhD by research if you make good progress.

Our new route integrated PhD is for students who wish to complete both a taught MSc and a PhD. In your first year you will follow the normal programme of study for a specialist taught Masters degree. You will then proceed to full-time research and would normally follow the MPhil and PhD by research programme.

The new route integrated PhD normally takes four years of full-time study and research to complete. Following this you are likely to need a further period of up to one year for writing up your thesis. Reduced (completion) fees are charged during this time.

We offer this course in the area of computer science, with the first year spent studying for our MSc Advanced Computer Science.

We welcome applications from Home and EU students wishing to study part-time, and from candidates working in UK industry who would like to register for our MPhil/PhD by research or MSc by dissertation though external research at their place of work on a part-time basis.

Our MPhil/PhD is also available to overseas candidates via distance learning. You will initially register for six years of part-time research, though this may be reduced to four or five years if your thesis is completed within a shorter time period. As a distance learning PhD student you will be expected to visit our University for at least one month every year, usually in the summer, and must have suitable facilities available at your place of work in your home country.

Our postgraduate research finder lists all of the PhDs that we offer. If you have any questions about undertaking postgraduate research in our School, please contact us.

Research topics and supervision

We offer postgraduate research courses spanning the computer science and electrical engineering disciplines. You will find a range of research areas in our School, from practical engineering through to theoretical foundations, and from established subjects to newly emerging technology, applications and fundamentals.

You do not have to choose a supervisor before you apply. If you indicate your research topic or area of interest on your application form then we can match you with a suitable project supervisor. However, please do feel free to browse our staff research interests and email individuals to discuss your proposal. You can also contact us and our Graduate Administrator can put you in touch with potential supervisors as well as help with your application, visa and general enquiries.

PhD studentships

Our Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence (IGGI) offers studentships in digital game research, design and development and artificial intelligence.

See Fees and Scholarships for information about other funding opportunities.