With a reputation as one of the major university centres for applied computer science research in Europe, students 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.
Study may be full-time or part-time. The minimum programme length for the degree of PhD is four 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 fourteen major areas, in each of which we have international recognition:
- Financial Computing and Analytics
- Human Centred Systems
- Intelligent Systems
- Information Security
- Programming Principles, Logic and Verification Group
- Software Systems Engineering
- Systems and Networks
- Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics
- Vision and Imaging Science
- Information and Decision Systems
- Autonomous Systems
- Centre for Blockchain Technology
How to make an application
1. Identify a proposed supervisor and submit a research proposal
As part of the application students 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: Applicants are advised to contact the member of staff with whom they are interested in working before applying, so as to discuss their proposed project and ascertain whether the supervisor will be available and able to take on a new student. UCL has produced a guidelines document about contacting academic staff and producing a good research proposal.
If applying for a studentship, applicants should provide a personal statement that is tailored to the requirements of the vacancy.
2. Check you are eligible - see the CS PhD entry 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 only be requested when the application is complete. It is the candidate's responsibility to follow up on references and the applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their referees before submitting their application, to ensure that they complete the references, as soon as possible after receiving the reference request.
A note about the research proposal & transcripts: applicant’s research proposal should be uploaded to the 'personal statement' section of the application.
Any transcripts or references provided as part of the application must be in English. Official translations must be verified by applicant’s 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, applicants should keep us informed of any changes in their contact details.
When to apply
There are two deadlines for PhD applications for a September 2023 start (not applicable to funded scholarship which are accepted throughout the year) to the Department of Computer Science:
Application cycle 1
- Applications in by 13 January 2023
- References in by 2 February 2023
- Panel one afternoon week commencing 20 February 2023
Application cycle 2
- Applications in by 14 April 2023
- References by 28 April 2023
- Panel one afternoon week commencing 8 May 2023
We aim to shortlist & interview within 1 month from each panel meeting and offers to follow shortly after interviews.
Applicants should ensure that their application form is complete before submitting it, as only complete applications will be considered.
Note: Applicants wishing to be considered for the UCL Research Excellence Scholarship (UCL-RES) will need to submit their application and have the references in by 13 December 2022.
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 they have 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.