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Apply now for September 2015.

Submit your application using PRISM. You must identify at least two UCL academics with the expertise needed to review your application.

There may be occasional industry sponsored scholarships which become available even after the application deadlines have closed. Please refer to the information relating to these for advice on applying. Such information will be posted below as and when it becomes available.

Application forms

Applications can only be made via the new UCL PRISM application portal.

prism application link

Filling in the form

Your application is made online via the PRISM application portal.

In order for your application to be considered it must include the following information:

1. The names and email addresses of TWO potential supervisors who you would like to review your application - please note that without this your application is likely to be REJECTED

  • Visit UCL's departmental websites, and identify academics in your areas of interest 
  • Learn about the research they have conducted, and the PhD projects they have supervised.
  • Send them an email (i) introducing you, (ii) outlining your research interests, (iii) explaining that you wish to apply to the "multidepartmental SECReT Security Science research programme", and (iv) would like to list them as a reviewer in your application
  • List their names under the "Supervision" section of the application.

2. The names of the funding schemes you intend to apply to, along with any submission deadlines.

Interviews can only be organised once shortlisted applicants provide information about their funding plans.

3. Academic transcripts for each of your degree level qualifications

Transcripts should be uploaded to your PRISM application, under the "Qualifications - Proof of award" section. They should outline both the grades you achieved in individual modules and the overall grade you obtained in your degree programme, degree certificates are not sufficient. Transcripts must be translated into English. 

4. The details of three referees who can comment on your academic ability. 

At least one of them must be an academic referee.

5. A personal statement indicating: 

  • the research fields you are mostly interested in. 
  • the main skills and knowledge you could contribute to this project
  • your reasons for selecting this integrated taught doctoral programme.

Defining your research question at the time of applying is not compulsory. SECReT students have the opportunity to explore various disciplines before defining their exact PhD subject at the end of year 1. However, in your personal statement you should clearly indicate what multi-disciplinary research field you are interested in, and detail your research interest. 

Interview information

All applications received with proper documentation will be examined after the deadline date for applications has passed and successful candidates will be invited for interview. The interview will last approximately half an hour and will consist of questions from a panel designed to establish a candidate’s interest in and suitability for the course. At the time of interview candidates will be advised when they will be informed of the result of the interview. 

Course eligibility

UCL sets high standards and is concerned to attract students with excellent academic qualifications and high levels of motivation.

  • Students applying should normally have (or expect to achieve) an outstanding academic record with a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree
  • Candidates with a good Masters degree (e.g. a distinction) or equivalent, are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • The subject area should be grounded in a science based subject widely defined (e.g. computer science, chemistry, engineering, information and communications technologies, materials, mathematical sciences, physics and some life and social sciences). 

All applications will be subject to approval by the UCL Graduate Admissions Office. Nationality or country of origin is not a criterion for eligibility; we welcome applications from EU students and overseas students.

All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence that their spoken and written command of the English language is adequate for the programme by satisifying the UCL English Language Requirements.

Selection and induction

  • Selection

To ensure appropriate quality of students, applicant selection will be based on two criteria. First, a panel of relevant UCL academics will assess applicants on the basis of their potential in their specialist areas (e.g. signal processing). Secondly we will assess the candidate on the basis of their broader knowledge and skills, and aim to evaluate their potential to pursue truly innovative, interdisciplinary research, aswell as their ability to fulfill our expectations for them to engage fully in UCL SECReT wider learning and teamwork activities. We are looking for candidates who really stand out as potential leaders in their field, and whose work will create genuine impact.

PLEASE NOTE: The taught components and the PhD together form an integrated 4 year programme. The taught component (largely in Year 1) is not a stand alone course and applicants are expected to commit themselves to the whole four year programme.

How students are selected: seven step process

  1. Applications are shortlisted by the UCL SECReT team; very weak applications or applications non-aligned with UCL SECReT's ethos or research areas are rejected.
  2. Applications that do not include a minimum of two UCL academics in the field "potential supervisors" are rejected. The others are then forwarded to a panel of academics for review.
  3. Academics review the applications, focusing on those from students who may share their research interests, and submit a review back to UCL SECReT.
  4. The SECReT team now further shortlists applicants for interview based on the feedback from academics and the personal statement.
  5. These students are invited for an interview at UCL with a 3 person panel, usually including the Director or Deputy Director of UCL SECReT, and an academic interested in your proposed research (often the person you have previously contacted or named). Students and academics may contact each other before the interview.
  6. After a 30 minute interview of the student, UCL SECReT will decide whether they will be offered a place on the programme, and whether they will be allocated a scholarship where appropriate.
  7. UCL SECReT team will request UCL to issue a notification letter, and inform applicants of their decision by email. Results will also be posted online. All unsuccessful applicants will be formally notified by UCL.
  • Notification

We expect to make offers within a week of interview.

All unsuccessful candidates will be notified by UCL. Please note that due to the large number of applications we process and the confidential nature of certain documents, we will not provide any feed-back.


  • If I apply and am accepted, can I defer my enrollment by one year?

The programme director may allow you to defer once. Please note that you cannot carry your scholarship over to your deferred year, you will need to apply for the scholarship again. Also, if your residency status changes between the time of applying and the time of joining the programme, you may not be eligible for the scholarship.


All new students will undergo a one week induction course which will introduce them to UCL and the research support facilities available. This will also provide a generic introduction to security science and the operation of the training centre – its background, ethos, aims, programme, regulations, and expectations.