UCL Computer Science


Computer Science MPhil/PhD

With a reputation as one of the major university centres for applied computer science research in Europe, you will be supervised by academics at the very forefront of computer science.

To find out core information about this degree, such as entry requirements, programme length and cost, visit the UCL Graduate Degrees site.

Course Information
Study may be full-time or part-time. The minimum programme length for the degree of PhD is three years of full-time study or five years of part-time study.  Research students are associated with a particular research group, which takes the lead in their postgraduate research training.  Students are typically co-supervised by two members of the same group.  

Our research is in nine major areas, in each of which we have international recognition:

How to make your application

1) Identify a proposed supervisor and submit a research proposal

As part of your application you are required to submit a research proposal and to identify a potential supervisor.

Please see our research pages for detailed information on the work of our research groups and information on our academic staff's research interests.

Contacting academic staff before applying: it is advised to contact the member of staff with whom you are interested in working before applying so as to discuss your proposed project and ascertain whether they would be available and able to take on a new student. UCL has produced a Post Graduate Research Enquiry Guidelines document guide to help applicants with choosing a suitable supervisor, contacting academic staff and with producing a good research proposal.

If you are applying for a studentship, you should provide a personal statement that is tailored to the requirements of the vacancy.

2) Check you are eligible - see the PhD entrance requirements.

3) Complete an online application via UCL Select.

Applicants should ensure that all the necessary information and documentation has been provided before submitting their application. References will be only be requested when the application is complete. It is the candidate's responsibility to follow up on references and you are strongly encouraged to contact your referees before submitting your application to ensure that they complete the references, as soon as possible after receiving the reference request.

A note about the research proposal & transcripts: your research proposal should be uploaded to the 'personal statement' section of the application.

Any transcripts or references provided as part of your application must be in English. Official translations must be verified by your original university, a solicitor or official translation service such as that provided by the British Council. Translations must also be accompanied by a certified copy in the original language.

Finally, you should keep us informed of any changes in your contact details.

When to apply

There are two deadlines for PhD applications for a September 2020 start (not applicable to funded scholarship which are accepted throughout the year) to the Department of Computer Science:

Round 1

  • Applications in by January 15th 2020
  • References in by February 12th 2020
  • Panel one afternoon W/C Feb 24th 2020

Round 2

  • Applications in by April 17th 2020
  • References by May 15th 2020
  • Panel one afternoon W/C May 25th 2020

We aim to shortlist & interview within 1 month from each panel meeting and offers to follow shortly after interviews.

Please ensure that your application form is complete before submitting it, as only complete applications will be considered.

Note: if you wish to be considered for the UCL ORS/GRS Scholarships, you will need to submit your application and have the references in by 9th December 2019.


It is departmental policy to interview candidates considered by the department to be suitably qualified and in whom there is interest in supervising. We do not admit any applicant unless he/she has been interviewed in person or by phone, normally by two members of academic staff.
Overseas applicants will be interviewed by phone (or videophone/conferencing, where available); the interviewers will ring at a time agreed in advance with the candidate.

Part-time student additional requirements

While we do offer our PhD programme on a part-time basis, the following additional requirements must be addressed at the application stage before an offer is considered:
Must be able to devote 20 hours per week, with at least one full day within the working week (Mon-Fri) included
Must be formally endorsed or supported by their employer or line manager, in writing, if they are in full time employment (or they must only be in part-time employment)
A student would be expected to be working on a PhD topic that overlaps with the work they are doing in employment.

    Find out more and apply