Computer Science MPhil, PhD

Computer Science
Entry requirements:
2:1 +
3 years (PhD), 2 years (MPhil)
6 years (PhD), 4 years (MPhil)
Start date:
January, April, July, October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



in the UK for Computer Science

Guardian University Guide 2018

Top 20

in the UK for Computer Science

The Complete University Guide 2018


of research impact rated 'internationally recognised' or higher


The Department of Computer Science has a dynamic research culture with an international reputation. We are committed to delivering inspiring teaching and cutting-edge research at the forefront of technological innovation.

Founded in 1974, the Department of Computer Science is one of the most well-established university computing departments in the UK with a long track record of developing skilled and highly employable graduates, as well as a reputation for cutting edge research and industry engagement.

Based in the recently multi-million pound refurbished Haslegrave Building, the Department is one of the largest within the School of Science. It brings together a lively community of over 40 members of staff, around 500 undergraduates, 50 taught MSc students and 50 research students.

Committed to providing the best teaching and learning environment, our students benefit not only from excellent facilities and world-class cutting edge research carried out by staff, but from our enviable international industry links. Our Industry Liaison Committee represents leading UK and international companies, providing regular input to curriculum development, career advice to students and additional teaching resources.

Industry partners shape the way research and projects are conducted. Organisations such as BAE Systems, Jennic, Arqiva, Sure, Advantica, Toyota, Sensinode and Rolls-Royce have collaborated with the Department in order to develop new ideas and solve the challenges facing industry today.

These links with industry ensure the Department of Computer Science sits at the forefront of technological development – and also provide early opportunities for students to secure employment.

We have a talented research community which continues to make a valuable contribution to the rapidly-developing Computer Science sector, particularly in areas such as wireless communications, multimedia, logistics, healthcare, the emergency services, transport, surveillance and the environment.

Our research ranges from underlying mathematical theory to the practical creation and operation of networked systems.

Our PhD with Integrated Research Studies is a 4 year, full-time PhD which has 120 credits of additional research training spread over the first two years. This additional research training involves taught modules in research methods and in specialist advanced subjects related to the research topic undertaken.

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree or its equivalent, or equivalent experience in an area related to computer science.

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.

Our facilities

Located in the recently refurbished Haslegrave Building, our facilities offer the best all-round experience for learning, enhancing employability and expanding skills. Students have 24-hour exclusive access to computer laboratories, including a dedicated MSc laboratory, supported by a team of systems specialists, and our virtual learning environment provides online access to lectures and other material.

You will have access to excellent facilities, including 24-hour computer laboratories and a range of hardware and software including humanoid robots, body-wearable sensors, eye-tracking systems and visual reality facilities.

Research areas

Vision, Autonomous and Human-Computer Systems (AVCH)

The research focus of this group is the development of advanced image analysis, coding and computational intelligence technologies that can be used to implement autonomous or decision support systems in a wide range of application areas in both hardware and software.

The group also engages in human factors research recognising the importance of the parts that humans play in any system. Research strengths include: computer vision, computer graphics, decision support systems, human factors, image and video processing and analysis, machine learning, multi-agent systems, pattern and object recognition and requirements analysis. The group collaborates extensively with industry to ensure the relevance of its research. It has a strong track record of attracting funding from EPSRC, TSB, EU, Home Office, NHS and UK industry.

Internet Systems and Network Security (ISNS)

Theories and technologies in networking, sensing, control and communication play important roles in the modern world and are expected to remain of great significance in the future. Our research focuses on all aspects of networking and communicating systems, and addresses specific issues related to the internet and control, wireless sensor networks, network performance modelling and measurement, performance evaluation with Quality of Service (QoS) constraints and application performance investigation. Work ranges from the underlying mathematical theory to practical creation and operation of networked systems. Research strengths include: internet control, wireless sensor networks, internet Quality of Service and congestion control, coding theory as well as in accessibility and usability.

Theory and Applications of Formal Systems (TAFS)

The research of the TAFS Group covers a relatively wide range of established and emerging fields in Theoretical Computer Science, including mathematical logic, formal languages, computability and complexity theory, numerical analysis, cryptography, geometric computation, algorithmic learning theory and energy-efficient scheduling.

Your personal and professional development

Support from your supervisor

You will receive academic and pastoral support from two supervisors and the Director of Research Degree Programmes. The Department also offers a regular, varied programme of seminars with both internal and external speakers, organised social activities and opportunities for research skills training and networking. You will also have access to a workstation, online access to many international journals, access to funds for conference attendance and consumables, and access to library and IT services.

Skills and experience

A PhD programme will give you the opportunity to develop new and highly sought after skills which can set you up for a range of careers. It’s a chance to make a novel contribution to knowledge, to become a world expert in a particular field, and it can open a range of doors with different employers. You'll also enhance your interpersonal skills, such as networking and relationship building, which will be invaluable in your future career.

Each of our programmes has been developed in collaboration with a number of national and international organisations, to ensure it meets the needs of industry and provides students with the latest knowledge and skills sought after by employers.

Future career prospects

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Apical, Head of IP Development
  • Qualcomm, Senior Engineer
  • SchoolPod, Scisys, Software Developer
  • Oxehealth Ltd, Research Engineer

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Who you'll be working with

How to apply

If you can't find a suitable PhD opportunity that fits your interests and experience from our funded (studentships) and unfunded opportunities, you can submit a research proposal to the Department of Computer Science in the hope of finding a supervisor who will work with you on your dream project.

If you would like to apply for a PhD in the Department of Computer Science through this method, you should include a research proposal of approximately two pages with your application. This proposal should outline the research context, the main aim and objectives of the proposed research, and some indication of the methodology to be used.