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School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

How to apply for a PhD

Follow our step-by-step guide for advice on applying for a PhD.

Step 1 - Before you apply

You will need to have made a decision regarding which of our research groups you think would be the best fit for your area/s of interest. Because we are interested in developing the next generation of outstanding researchers - whether in academia, industry or government - we are only able to supervise students with research interests that tie into our existing research groups.

Your research group will be a key part of your research degree experience, so we recommend you carefully consider this decision and mention on your application which research group you are interested in joining. Read some recent publications from the group and try to identify a potential supervisor and research topic (see here for some ideas of topics). You might want to check out what some of our current and former PhD students say about their experiences in their research groups, the School and the College.

Please look at the College's advice on applying for a research degree and remember to review the College's entry requirements.

For application to one of our Doctoral Training Centres, please visit the relevant programme website:

Step 2 - Applying for a research degree

To apply, please follow the online process described at Apply for Research Degrees.

Please note that instead of the Research Proposal we request a Statement of Research Interests. Your Statement of Research Interest should identify a topic area and answer two questions:

  • Why are you interested in the proposed area?
  • What is your experience in the proposed area?

Your statement should be brief: no more than 500 words or one side of A4 paper.

Your statement should be uploaded under the 'Personal statement' section of the application. You may then separately upload a 'research proposal' as well, but this will be optional.

In addition we would also like you to send a sample of your written work. This might be a chapter of your final year dissertation or a published conference or journal paper.

Step 3 - Once you have applied

Your application will be reviewed by academic staff. If there is a good match between your interests and those of a member of staff and a research group, we will contact you for an interview.

Further information

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact us.

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