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Research degrees in Computer Science


PhD study

We are well-known for our pioneering research and pride ourselves on our world-class cutting-edge research projects. Joining us as a PhD student gives you the chance to experience this buzz and be part of our efforts to shape the future of electronic engineering and computer science. We have a dynamic community of approximately 150 PhD students and 80 research assistants in our labs working on leading edge research.

We offer well-integrated doctoral study programmes in our various areas of specialisation, each of our research groups is involved in internationally leading research, funded by UK Research Councils, the European Union, and industry around the world. As one of the UK's leading Electronic Engineering and Computer Science Schools, we offer our postgraduate students a comprehensive and supportive training environment. You will work as part of a friendly and vibrant research community under the supervision of experts in the field. As a member of one of our research groups you will be accommodated in a research laboratory alongside other PhD students and full-time post-doctoral researchers. Students often participate in the funded research projects of the group. We provide a generous travel budget to enable research students to present papers at international conferences. Budgets for expenditure on experiments, equipment, and software are also available.

For more detailed information and funding opportunities for PhD students, please visit the website for the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Media Arts and Technology (MAT)

The PhD in Media and Arts Technology is an innovative inter-disciplinary training programme in the science and technologies that are transforming the creative sector. Our mission is to produce post-graduates who combine world-class technical and creative skills and who have a unique vision of how digital technology transforms creative, technical and social possibilities.

This is a unique four year PhD programme built around core courses in advanced research methods, interaction design and digital media processing, production and recording techniques. There are also optional specialist modules ranging from Digital Audio Effects through Digital Rights Management to Contemporary Performance.

You will work under the supervision of internationally recognised experts in:

  • Digital Music
  • Digital Video
  • Human Interaction
  • Performance and Live Art

You will also develop a working partnership with one of our strategic collaborators including: BBC, The British Film Institute, and BT. Our programme is part of a £250 million strategic initiative, funded by Research Councils UK, and is exceptionally well resourced. You will have access to our state-of-the art research and performance facilities including the Augmented Human Interaction Laboratory and the Pinter Studio Theatre as well as the extensive resources offered by our industrial and public sector partners.

 New in 2011 were the Media and Arts Studios including the Listening Room, Control Room and performance Laboratory as well as the full range of resources offered by the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.

Further information

Richard Kelly
MAT Programme Manager
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7335

For more detailed information and funding opportunities please see:

Computer Vision

The Queen Mary Computer Vision Group has been conducting world-leading research in computer vision and machine learning for over 20 years, and is internationally renowned for its work on video behaviour and action recognition, person re-identification, multi-camera tracking, and face analysis.

For over two decades, the Queen Mary Computer Vision Group has been funded by government research agencies including the UK SERC, MRC, EPSRC, BBSRC, DTI, MOD, DSTL, the Home Office, the Royal Society, the Welcome Trust; the European Union ESPRIT II, RACE, ACTS, HCM Networks, FP5 IST, FP7 ICT, FP7 ERC, FP7 SEC, FP7 Transport, H2020; the US DOD; and industrial partners including BAE Systems, BAA, BT Labs, BBC R&D, Safehouse International, Vision Semantics, Seequestor, and QinetiQ.

The core expertise of the group includes deep learning for generic visual computation, statistical modelling for pattern recognition, algebraic methods for visual information processing, biologically inspired mathematical modelling, zero-shot learning for scalable visual recognition, unsupervised learning for data structure discovery, human-in-the-loop modelling for adaptive model learning.

The main areas of application include but not limited to person re-identification, face recognition, action and behaviour analysis, clothing analysis, sketch recognition and synthesis, vehicle analysis, identity recognition, video summarisation, smart camera network, target detection and tracking, privacy, multi-view scene reconstruction, eye-movement, and 3D display.

Interaction, Media and Communication

Interaction Media and Communication (IMC) is an internationally recognised interdisciplinary group with a current grant portfolio of over £12 million. We explore new forms of human action and interaction using a combination of ideas and methods from the arts, computer science, philosophy, and social science. Our primary research areas are: human interaction, public engagement, creativity, and performance and advanced multi-modal interaction.

Our Augmented Human Interaction (AHI) Laboratory is a unique research facility that combines state-of-the-art multi-person motion capture equipment with novel 3D auditory and visual displays. This enables us to capture and transform a wide variety of human-human and human-machine interactions. We will shortly be extending this facility through a new Space for Performance and Interaction (SPI).

IMC's current research projects include a large ESRC project on human dialogue, a large EU project on human-robot interaction and an internationally lauded science outreach activity: cs4fn. We also have new strategic links with the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) with whom we share an EPSRC platform grant and jointly lead an innovative new PhD programme in Media and Arts Technology . [new window]

We publish our research in high quality international journals and have a strong presence at international conferences in our area (eg Cognitive Science and Human-Computer Interaction). We also chair important international conferences in our area (eg SIGDial and Creativity and Cognition). Our innovative arts-science collaborations have been shown at the National Portrait Galley, the ICA, SHUNT, and arts and science festivals around the UK.

Risk Information Management

The Risk Information Management Group undertakes leading-edge interdisciplinary research in decision analysis and risk, databases/information retrieval (including user centred approaches), personalisation, learning, uncertainty, and Bayesian methods. The Group's research involves numerous commercial partners and there are two companies Agena ( and Apriore which grew directly out of research by key members of the Group. Agena delivers Bayesian Network solutions, while Apriore delivers integrated database and information retrieval technology.

Much of the group's research involves combining data and human expertise to create intelligent solutions for high stakes decisions. In the area of risk assessment we work with practitioners to produce intelligent unified models, that use both data and expertise as inputs, to support expert decision making in multiple application domains. The group is currently working on improved decision making in medical, legal, systems engineering, security and safety applications.

The group's information retrieval work has created specialised search tools for applications including ecommerce, financial service portals, computer crime detection, as well as patient management in medical fields. Its research includes multimedia, XML, MPEG- 7 and Web retrieval, knowledge-based uncertain reasoning, formal models and theories, integration of database and information retrieval technologies (probabilistic SQL), personalisation, document clustering and summarisation, evaluation of retrieval systems, information seeking, computational linguistics, and natural language processing.

Information Engineering: Information Retrieval

Our internationally renowned Information Retrieval group has strong expertise in structured document retrieval and business information domains. Members of our group have been at the leading edge of information retrieval research developing specialised search tools for applications including ecommerce, financial service portals, computer crime detection, as well as patient management in medical fields.

Research topics include multimedia, XML, MPEG-7 and Web retrieval, knowledge-based uncertain reasoning, formal models and theories, integration of database and information retrieval technologies (probabilistic SQL), personalisation, document clustering and summarisation, evaluation of retrieval systems, information seeking, computational linguistics, and natural language processing. Results from these research investigations are being applied in the context of business search solutions, distance learning, digital libraries, the semantic web, music retrieval, and interactive digital TV.

Since 2002, the group has attracted research funding from the EU, EPSRC, Royal Society, Library and Information Commission, and the British Council. Research projects include: SAVANT on the integration of personalisation include techniques for interactive digital TV domain and a range of user devices such as PDAs, Tablet PCs and TVs; and OntoWeb on developing search facilities based on RDF and XML technologies for the Semantic Web.

The group has strong links with the international Information Retrieval community and with industry in Europe. Apriorie Ltd is a spinout company that builds on the commercialisation of the HySpirit retrieval platform. The group is also a founding member of the London Knowledge Management Network and a member of the UK Multimedia Knowledge Management Network.

Computer Science Theory

Our Computer Science Theory group specialises in the logical, mathematical and statistical foundations of computer science, with a breadth and depth of expertise almost unmatched in the UK. The group's expertise is broad in range from complexity, through automated reasoning, concurrent and distributed systems, formal methods in human-computer interaction to verification of systems software and logic. We tackle the hard problems inherent in discovering the power and limitations of computer systems, and how principled design, based on the right mathematical models might make them more robust and secure. We collaborate with NASA, Intel, Microsoft, and other companies and government agencies on using novel mathematical modelling techniques.

Our group is known as a world-leading centre for research on logical methods for reasoning about computer systems. We have spearheaded several developments - separation logic, logic for continuous systems, information theory for security, process types for web services - in which novel theoretical developments by us have been brought to bear in new application areas. We have also made fundamental contributions in pure logic (model theory, proof theory, categorical semantics), and in complexity theory. At the moment we have about £4m in research funding, supporting a thriving intellectual community. This includes a prestigious EPSRC Platform Grant, awarded to leading research groups in the UK to underpin their strategic development.

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