An Integrated PhD provides a route into research study if you do not have a Masters degree, or have very little research training. It enables you to spend your first year completing a Masters-level qualification, followed by a full-time PhD studied over 3-4 years. We also offer a ‘standard’ PhD in this subject which can be studied either full-time (3-4 years) or part-time (6-7 years).
In your first year, this course provides you with the flexibility to master the areas of computing that interest and excite you most. You choose from a range of topics including:
In your second year you move into the PhD element of the course. Our research activity and supervision for the research part of this degree is concentrated in the following principal research areas: artificial intelligence, biologically inspired architectures, educational technology, e-learning, natural and evolutionary computation, natural language engineering, software agents and software engineering. Our cross-disciplinary projects draw on the expertise of our electronic engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists and psychologists.
Our work is supported by extensive networked computer facilities and software aids, together with a wide range of test and instrumentation equipment. Our research covers a range of topics, from the theory of computation and the philosophy of computer science, computational intelligence and computer games, to artificial intelligence and robotics, with most of our research groups based around laboratories offering world-class facilities. Our impressive external research funding stands at multi-million pounds per year and we participate in a number of EU initiatives and undertake projects under contract to many outside bodies, including government and industrial organisations.
Our School is a community of scholars leading the way in technological research and development. Today’s computer scientists are creative people who are focused and committed, yet restless and experimental. We are home to many of the world’s top scientists, and our work is driven by creativity and imagination as well as technical excellence. More than two-thirds of our research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent' (REF 2014).
Our research covers a range of topics, from brain-computer interfaces, human language understanding and technology, intelligent and adaptive systems, information and data analysis, robotics and embedded systems, to future networks, optoelectronics and radio frequency and signal processing foundations, with many of our research groups based around laboratories offering world-class facilities.
Our impressive external research funding stands at over £4 million and we participate in a number of EU initiatives and undertake projects under contract to many outside bodies, including government and industrial organisations.
In recent years we have attracted many highly active research staff and we are conducting world-leading research in areas such as evolutionary computation, brain-computer interfacing, intelligent inhabited environments and financial forecasting.
Studying for your PhD involves person-to-person interaction with your supervisor, who will guide you in developing your chosen research topic, refine your research skills, and advise you in capitalising on the technical knowledge you already have from your taught degree. Supervisors often keep in touch with their PhD graduates throughout their careers, and may work on scientific collaborations with them after they finish their doctorate.
We are one of the largest and best resourced computer science and electronic engineering schools in the UK. Our work is supported by extensive networked computer facilities and software aids, together with a wide range of test and instrumentation equipment.
Studying within our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering provides both the recent graduate and the practising computer scientist with the opportunity to gain new skills or enhance existing ones.
Our graduates have achieved success in a variety of professions. Many have pursued careers in computing and information technology, while others have gone on to work in research organisations or become university academics.
Our recent graduates have progressed to a variety of senior positions in industry and academia. Some of the companies and organisations where our former graduates are now employed include:
We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
A good honours degree, or international equivalent, in: Computer Science; Computer Engineering; Computer Networks; Computer Games; Computing; Software Engineering, Electronic Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Telecommunication Engineering; Information Engineering; Automation; Mechatronic Engineering; Mathematics or Physics.
Our four year integrated PhD, allows you to spend your first year studying at Masters level in order to develop the necessary knowledge and skills and to start your independent research in year two.
Graduates of Computer Science; Computer Engineering; Computer Networks; Computer Games; Computing; Software Engineering must have studied :
Graduates of Electronic Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Telecommunication Engineering; Automation; Mechatronic Engineering; Mathematics; Physics must have studied:
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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Most of our taught courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
The research element of your degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
Within our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, your PhD thesis is generally completed within three to four years and has a length of around 80,000 words.
Your PhD is awarded after your successful defence of your thesis in an oral examination, in which you are interviewed about your research by two examiners, at least one of whom is from outside Essex.
£16,230EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
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