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Data-Centric Engineering

Applications & Eligibility

Applications for the September 2021 programme in Data-Centric Engineering closed on 31st May. 

All candidates have been notified of the outcome of their applications.

At this stage, we cannot guarantee that we will have an intake in September 2022. Please check this webpage again in February/March 2022, or email 


Please read this information very carefully:

Our programme is designed for, and aimed at, those who:

  • Have been out of formal education for at least three years (i.e. latest degree – if any – awarded before September 2018).
  • Have at least 3 years’ work experience (or equivalent) in a related field, preferably UK-based, and plan to develop their career with a UK employer.
  • Have faced barriers to accessing education, e.g. financial barriers, perceived lack of alignment between education and professional development needs, lack of flexibility around work and/or family commitments
  • Are looking for a professional development opportunity which will not put their career or life on hold.

We particularly welcome applicants who:

  • have taken a career break
  • are currently underrepresented in the field and in doctoral-level study
  • have not until now considered pursuing a Doctorate. 

Candidates should usually have

  • an undergraduate degree of 2:1 or above (or equivalent non-UK qualification) in a relevant subject such as Engineering, Physics, or Computer Science*
  • been awarded their most recent degree (if any) before December 2018
  • at least three years' relevant full-time employment (or equivalent) prior to applying to the programme
  • previous experience working in a related field, preferably for a UK company or a company with a substantial connection to the UK;
  • the aim to further their career within UK Industry

*Candidates without a relevant degree or qualifications below a 2:1 degree can be considered on a case by case basis should they have at least five years of relevant work experience post-degree

Our first application deadline is 10th May (23:59 UK time)

We encourage applicants to meet our first deadline and would like to thank all those who are planning to submit their application by 10th May.

All applications received by 10th May will be considered on an equal footing, after the first deadline has passed. All applicants who submitted their application by 10th May will hear about the outcome of their application by Friday, 11th June. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online interview, which will be scheduled between 15th and 22nd June.

Please click on this link to see the Application Process - Timeline [PDF 97KB].

We acknowledge that these are challenging times, and that applicants may need some extra time to put together documents and submit their application. We will therefore accept “late” applications on a rolling basis (until all places are filled) up until our second and final deadline: 31st May 2021 (23:59 UK time). 

Applications received after 10th May will be considered on a first come, first serve basis. We do, therefore, strongly recommend that you submit your application by 10th May (our first deadline) or as soon as possible between 11th and 31st May. Applicants who submit by our second deadline will hear about the outcome of their application by Wednesday, 16th June. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview, scheduled between 23rd and 25th June 2021. 

Your application will need to include:

  • A description of up to five of your work based competencies illustrated through workplace projects and work (300 to 700 words). Relevant work based competencies include: Problem solving, Innovation, Critical analysis, Adaptability, Responsibility, and Communication;
  • A self-reflective summary on the skills that you have identified that you believe that you need to develop in order to undertake doctoral level research (200 to 500 words);
  • A proposal for a doctoral level research project that you are keen to undertake along with a description of how this fits within the aims of the Data-Centric Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training (300 to 700 words). Please see the Research section of our website for examples of projects currently offered.
  • Your CV 
  • All candidates will need to provide two references with their application, with one of these being a recent employment reference
  • Sponsored employees will need a letter of support from the sponsoring or employing company post offer confirming time release from their job.


Applications to the programme will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • the application must be complete: incomplete applications, e.g. applications missing the research proposal, CV, competencies statement and/or self-reflective statement, will not be shortlisted. Make sure you include all documents required before you press “submit”
  • The application demonstrates:
    • relevant work-based competencies (assessed via competencies statement and CV)
    • relevant work experience (assessed via CV)
    • research potential (assessed via research proposal and CV)
    • an awareness of training and development needs, and motivation (self-reflective statement)

Our Centre for Doctoral Training is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The EPSRC have issued guidelines on their eligibility criteria for funding (please see below for an extract)

What the funding covers:

Professional Doctoral Scholars:

  • Tuition fees at the HOME student rate (please see below) for the duration of the programme, subject to progress;
  • Research and Training Support Grant allowance

Enterprise Doctoral Scholars (if NOT in FT employment during the course):

  • Tuition fees at the HOME student rate (please see below) for the duration of the programme, subject to progress;
  • Research and Training Support Grant allowance;
  • Enhanced maintenance stipend (up to £20,500 tax-free for full-time students in 2020/2021, TBC for 2021/2022). Please note that the stipend is meant to address financial barriers. 

International Students:

We appreciate all talent and skills, and we welcome applicants of all backgrounds and identities. Our applications are open to both home and international students who meet the programme entry criteria. We can allocate up to 30% of our places to International Students. Regretfully however, the funding allocated to us does not cover the full cost of tuition for those classified as international students. If a candidate classified for fees at the international student rate is offered a place on the programme, the difference between home and international fees will have to be covered from other sources, e.g. additional funding, the employer, or the student directly.

For the academic year 2021/2022, the difference between home and international fees will be £22,450.


The extract below is taken from the afore-mentioned EPSRC guidance document, Annex B:

To be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

UK National
The UK includes the United Kingdom and Islands (i.e. the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).
In terms of residency requirements for UK nationals, candidates will continue to be eligible for home fee status as long as:

  • they were living in the EEA or Switzerland on 31 December 2020, and have lived in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar for at least the last 3 years before starting a course in the UK
  • have lived continuously in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar between 31 December 2020 and the start of the course

EU applicants

EU applicants with settled status will be classified as home student for fee purposes

EU applicants with pre-settled status will qualify as a home student if they have 3 years residency in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland immediately before the start of their course

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or Indefinite leave to enter (ILE) Indefinite leave to enter or remain (ILR) are types of immigration status for those with non-UK or non-EU passport. 

International Students
If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

This will not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

If in doubt please contact us with full details of your degree award dates, nationality, immigration status, and residency since 2018.

For further information, or to discuss part-time options for this programme, please contact Dr Gabriella Caminotto, CDT Manager, at

Please note that this is not a distance learning programme. Due to the nature and aims of our programme, we expect candidates to be living in the UK at the time of application, throughout the programme (for taught courses, placements, and training activities), and after completion and award.

Please also note that your application will be initially submitted to the School of Physics and Astronomy. Successful applicants will be enrolled in one of the five Schools within the Faculty of Science & Engineering, on the basis of their research project and supervisor.

Please find the slides and recordings of our preapplication workshops below.

Part 1 Workshop: Developing your Career in Data-Centric Engineering

Our programme in a nutshell - slides [PDF 73,744KB]

Part 2 Workshop: How to apply and communicate your skills and competencies in your application. 

The Application Process - GC's slides [PDF 927KB]

Competencies Slides [PDF 228KB]

Research Proposal slides [PDF 1,535KB]

Submitting an Online Application - a step by step guide (slides; see the second-last video below for a recorded presentation)