Postgraduate Research

Postgraduate Research

Our research is industry-driven and built on strong interdisciplinary collaborations between Departments, both within the School and with Departments and Schools across the wider University, which creates huge opportunities for postgraduate researchers.

Research students can undertake research at a range of levels, through either full-time or part-time study. It is possible to complete an MRes, MSc by research, or PhD through the School of Natural and Computing Sciences.

A comprehensive induction programme is provided to all new postgraduate research students through the Graduate School in conjunction with the School which gives new students a chance to meet key individuals in the School and College as well as other new postgraduates. This is followed by specialist and generic research skills courses during the period of study. In addition to centrally provided postgraduate training, Departments within the School organise seminar series, where students and staff make presentations of their research. Students are also encouraged to present their work at appropriate national and international conferences.

A PhD normally lasts three years, and an MSc by Research normally lasts one year. Research students usually have two supervisors, depending on the nature of their topic, and are allocated office space with computing facilities, with well-founded laboratories providing the equipment necessary for experimental work. There are also extensive opportunities for fieldwork in the UK and overseas as dictated by the nature of the research.

Postgraduate Research students are also often invited to contribute to teaching activities by providing paid laboratory or tutorial assistance to undergraduate students. Training for such activities is included in the induction programme and the follow-up sessions on demonstrating. As well as developing teaching skills, this is a means of supplementing income.

Research Areas (PhD Supervision)

PhD, and MSc by Research degrees are awarded on the basis of independent research. Students working on these degrees are individually supervised by members of academic staff who are experts in the student's research area. 

Entry Requirements

Applicants normally need a 1 or 2(i) Honours undergraduate degree in Computing Science (or a related subject), or a Masters degree in Computing Science (or a related subject).

How to Apply

Please refer to our admissions pages for information and guidance on applying to a Postgraduate Research programme.


There are many possible funding sources for PhD candidates, some of which are described in the postgraduate funding web page maintained by Student Recruitment. For many years, a standard funding source for many of our students has been an EPSRC studentship. This has now been enhanced in recent years by Project Studentships. The department also runs a Departmental Bursary Scheme, based on a combination of ORS and departmental funding.

EPSRC Studentships

From time to time, EPSRC research studentships become available, normally for students starting in the autumn. These awards provide maintenance and fees for UK students and permanent residents, but provide only the tuition fee component for European Union students. For more information, see the EPSRC guide.

Project Studentships

Sometimes the School has studentships which are associated with a particular research topic. For up-to-date information and application procedures for project studentships, see our vacancies page. Project studentships generally pay maintenance and UK/EU fees for three years; non-EU candidates can apply for these, but will need to make arrangements to cover the gap between overseas and EU fees.