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Applications for September 2016 entry are now open.

Submit your application using PRISM. You must identify at least two UCL academics with the expertise needed to review your application. Your application with be rejected immediately if you do not provide the following:

  • Two UCL academics to review your application
  • Your university transcripts
  • A personal statement outlining your research interests
  • At least 3 referees

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

Important Information


Your application is made online via the PRISM application portal. If you are applying for funding from the department applications must be received by 21st April 2016. If you are self-funding or you have applied for funding elsewhere the application deadline is 31st July 2016. All applications received after this date will be rejected.

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 will be REJECTED immediately

  • Identify UCL academics conducting research in your areas of interest. The best way to do this is to visit our research section, visit UCL's departmental websites or search for academics by research theme in IRIS. Learn about their work and the PhD projects they have supervised to ensure that they are suitable. · 
  • 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 potential supervisors in your application.
  • List their names under the "Supervision" section of the application.
  • Note - if you are applying for funding from the department at least one supervisor must be based in Security and Crime Science

2. The names of the funding schemes you intend to apply to, along with any submission deadlines. You'll be able to see a list of the scholarships we offer from the end of January 2016

Interviews can only be organised once shortlisted applicants provide information about their funding plans. These must be outlined at the end of your personal statement, not under the funding section of the application. You will need to write a short statement about what makes you eligible to apply for the particular scholarship(s) you'd like to be considered for.

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 with four parts indicating: 

a. the research fields and research questions you are most interested in studying during your PhD. 
b. the main skills and knowledge you could contribute to this programme
c. your reasons for selecting this integrated taught doctoral programme

d. how you will fund yourself for the 4 years. 

6. A pdf made up of one personal statement for each scholarship you are applying for: 

Each statement must indicate the name of the scholarship and provide evidence showing you are eligible to apply for it (e.g., alignment with the mission of the funding body). Please note that the members of the selection panel come from a broad range of disciplines. Your statements should therefore be written for a lay audience using plain English and avoiding jargon. 

It is not expected that you send a full research proposal at this stage. SECReT students have the opportunity to explore various disciplines before writing their PhD proposal at the end of year 1. However, in your personal statement you should clearly indicate what multi-disciplinary research field and research questions you are interested in studying, and detail your research interest. 

If you have any questions about the programme prior to applying please email scs-admissions@ucl.ac.uk

Interview information

It is the responsiblity of your chosen supervisors to arrange an interview if they wish to, however an interview is not compulsory. You may find it beneficial to contact them in advance and arrange to meet with them - it is as important to your research as it is to them that you have a good working relationship, an interview may help with establishing this.

If you have applied for one of the department scholarships you will need to have submitted your application by 28th April of the same year the programme will be commencing in. If you are shortlisted you may be invited to interview on Monday 16th May. The interview will last approximately half an hour and will consist of questions from a panel designed to establish your interest in and suitability for the course and for the funding. 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: six 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 your chosen supervisors 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. It is up to you to make contact with your chosen academic reviewers, they may wish to interview you before recommending you to UCL SECReT.
  4. Those students who have applied for funding and have been recommended to us by their chosen academics may be invited for an interview at UCL SECReT on Monday 16th May. There will be 2-3 person panel, usually including the Director or Deputy Director of UCL SECReT.
  5. After a 30 minute interview of the student, UCL SECReT will decide whether they  will be allocated a scholarship.
  6. Based on your chosen supervisors' recommendation the 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

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.