UCL Computer Science


Study with us

Applications are now closed for entry September 2020. We will reopen our application portal from November 2020 for entry September 2021.

The programme will provide students with core skills and knowledge at the forefront of computing (systems security, cryptography, software security, network security), crime science (cybercrime) and policy (information security management, public policy).

It has long been recognised that cybersecurity is a ‘wicked problem’ – one that spills across disciplines, jurisdictions, and borders of all kinds. Our approach to multidisciplinary training will ensure that doctoral students achieve deep domain-specific expertise, while being trained in other areas.

We believe that by working side by side with students from other disciplines, PhD candidates in our CDT will emerge as individuals who can identify problems that can be resolved using a range of tools and methods, as well as being confident in their ability to work effectively with experts from across the socio-technical divide.

Joint taught modules, skills activities, and joint research projects involving multidisciplinary teams cements their ability to work effectively in such setting. This approach ensures we develop multidisciplinary experts, rather than generalists.

The CDT will provide a 4-year programme of training in cutting-edge disciplinary skills in computing, social sciences and humanities, as well as transferable skills relating to cross sector and cross disciplinary communication, teamwork, public dissemination and professional practice.

This is achieved through a combination of structured compulsory and elective taught modules and training activities, as well as an `apprenticeship’ model involving hands-on personal and team-based research under the supervision of a lead in the field of cybersecurity.

Year 1

Students will complete a portfolio of training elements, which are a requirement of funding under the CDT.  In Year 1, students will audit five taught modules to develop their expertise in information security management, cybersecurity, and cybercrime, and will provide them with a solid grounding in research methods.  

This will equip them with the skills and perspectives to solve complex cybersecurity challenges. They will be assessed through the completion of a six-month research project and an integrated assessment that draws on the material delivered across the taught modules.

Years 2 and 3

Taught disciplinary and multi-disciplinary training will continue in years two and three, with students attending further elective modules. Throughout the programme, shorter training sessions and activities will be used to develop transferable skills, as well as broadening student exposure to world-class research practices, knowledge and skills in cybersecurity.  

Year 4

Year 4, students will receive training on grant writing and/or entrepreneurship but will largely focus on completing their thesis.  Training on issues such as responsible research and innovation, writing up scientific research and the peer-review process, will provided throughout the programme.

How to apply and funding

Applications for the 2020 academic year open 01 November 2019

The EPSRC CDT in Cybersecurity accepts applications from:

  • Those who wish to receive a funded scholarship;
  • Those who already have a funded scholarship from another source;
  • Self-funded students.

Below you will find further information about general entry requirements, funding and eligibility.

General entry requirements
  • You must have achieved (or are predicted to achieve) a first class or upper second class honours undergraduate degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent international qualifications or experience). An MSc is preferred, but not essential. 
  • You must fulfil the UCL English language requirements. If your first language is not English then you will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. Further details can be found on the following UCL web page. This programme requires a Good level of English proficiency.

EPSRC Funding (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

What’s included? 4 years of PhD funding including:

  • UCL academic fees (UK/EU Fees)
  • Full tax free stipend (including London weighting)
  • Access to a Research Training Support Grant to cover expenses for research trips/conferences or workshops

To be eligible for an award of both fees and stipend (a full EPSRC award), you must have:

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning that you have no restrictions on how long you can stay
  • Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences)
  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education (this does not apply to UK or EU nationals).

There will be two application cycles: The application process involves three steps:

1) A formal applications to UCL via UCL Select (open from Nov 2019);
2) Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a formal interview;
3) Offers will then be made to successful applicants.

(Retrospective) Application Timeline (For information purposes)



Jan 31 2020- 1st round

Deadline to submit completed application to UCL Select (including uploaded references)

Feb/March 2020

Formal Interviews 

15th May- 2nd round

Deadline to submit completed application to UCL Select (including uploaded references)

June 2020

Formal Interviews 

Sept 2020

Programme start date

Please note that we’re looking for exceptional people for this programme. Although we have two admissions cycles listed above, we may fill all available places in the first round. We do not hold back spaces for the second round – they will only be available if we have not found the right applicants earlier in the year. If you’re interested in joining us, apply early.

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