Computer Science

Qualification(s) available: PhD

Entry requirements
3 years
6 years
Start date
1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October
UK fee
To be confirmed
International fee


Our 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, we are 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 master's students and 50 doctoral researchers.

Committed to providing the best learning environment, you will 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 us to develop new ideas and solve the challenges facing industry today.

These links with industry ensure we sit at the forefront of technological development and provide early opportunities for our 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 four-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.

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Why you should choose us

Our research

We have a dynamic research culture with an international reputation. Our research ranges from underlying mathematical theory to the practical creation and operation of networked systems. Research undertaken within the department makes valubale contribution and has a positive impact to the rapidly growing sector.

Vision, AI, Autonomous and Human-Centred Systems

This research theme focuses on both theoretical and application aspects in artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision, robotics and autonomous systems, machine learning, bio-inspired AI, pattern recognition, embedded intelligence, image processing, as well as human-computer interaction (HCI) and human-factors.

We collaborate extensively with industry to ensure the relevance of our research and we attract funding from EPSRC, Newton Fund, Innovate UK, the EU, the Home Office, the NHS and UK industry. Our research has been successfully applied to a variety of real-world domains, including:

  • service robots
  • agricultural robots
  • driverless vehicles
  • autonomous vehicles
  • underwater robots
  • human motion analysis
  • medical imaging
  • security and surveillance
  • sports
  • environment monitoring
  • ambient assisted living
  • risk and safety assessment
  • commodity trading
  • manufacturing.

Networks and Systems (NetSys)

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 communication 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 the practical creation and operation of networked systems.

Research strengths include internet control, wireless sensor networks, internet Quality of Service and congestion control, coding theory, and accessibility and usability.

Theoretical Computer Science (TCS)

The research of the TCS 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.

Interdisciplinary research centres

As part of the School of Science, PhD students within the department may also contribute to our interdisciplinary research centres:

  • Centre for Sensing and Imaging Science
  • Centre for the Science of Materials
  • Centre for Geometry and Applications
  • Centre for Analytical Science
  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical Modelling
  • Interdisciplinary Science Centre from Laboratory to Fabrication (Lab2Fab)

For more information on research areas, please contact Professor Qinggang Meng or call +44 (0)1509 635676.

Your development

You will receive academic and pastoral support from two supervisors and the Director of Research Degree Programmes.

Our extensive training provision, supported by the Doctoral College, will also enhance your skills and experience as a researcher. These include seminars and modules in advanced research methods, our School research student conference and research café, and the Doctoral College’s Café Academiques, research conference and Summer Showcase.

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.

Your future career

Recent graduate destinations include:

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

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

A 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) or equivalent experience in an area related to computer science.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Fees and funding

UK fee

Full-time degree per annum
To be confirmed

International fee

Full-time degree per annum

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. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

Find out more about research degree funding

How to apply

If you can't find an advertised project that fits your interests and experience, you can submit a research proposal to the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences to find a supervisor who will work with you on your project. You can view our list of academic staff on our department website or you can email us for guidance.

Your research proposal should be approximately two pages long and include the research context, the aims of your study, a brief literature review, an outline of the proposed research methods, and your preferred member of staff to supervise the project.

Further information on preparing your proposal can be found here.You are strongly recommended to contact us before applying to discuss your topic, availability and funding.

Apply now