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PhD/MPhil Research Degrees


The Department of Computing at Imperial College is a leading department of computer science among the UK universities and offers an exciting research environment for prospective postgraduate students. It has consistently been awarded the highest research rating (5*) in Research Assessment Exercises, including the most recent one held in 2001, and was rated as "Excellent" in the previous national assessment of teaching quality.

Two research degree programmes are offered, one leading to the MPhil degree and the other to the PhD degree. All students are initially registered for MPhil but may transfer to the PhD programme if their progress is satisfactory. The programmes may be followed in either full-time or part-time modes, for which the minimum periods of registration are two or three calendar years, respectively. The time taken for a full-time student to complete the PhD programme is normally expected to be three years from the date of initial registration.

Financial Support

The funding details are different for UK, European and Overseas students.

UK students, students eligible for EPSRC funding

Each year the Department has a number of EPSRC-DTA studentships which are awarded to suitably qualified research students. These pay for the fees and bursary.

Fees: 3,010 per year
Bursary: 13,200 per year

European Students

The current situation is that the Department has some scholarships to fund the fees for suitably qualified European students (this typically includes citizens from countries that joined the EU on 1 May 2004). The student or supervisor has to find the funding for the bursary. It is not likely that this situation will change in the foreseeable future.

Fees: 3,010 per year
Bursary: 13,200 per year (for EU students that fulfill "residency" requirements)

Overseas Students

There are national scholarships for overseas students, called ORS awards, which cover the difference between the overseas fees (10,850) and the home fees (3,010). These awards are prestigious and competitive. The student or supervisor has to find the funds for the remainder of the fees and the bursary. To ensure eligibility for these awards, please apply as early as possible, e.g. in early November for the competition of the subsequent year. Please refer to the 2005 Guidelines for the ORS Awards Scheme.

Fees: overseas students fees are currently 10,850. The ORS award covers the difference between overseas fees and the EPSRC home fees.


Please see Scholarships and Awards for other funding opportunities, in particular the Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Awards. Through its Industrial Liaison Unit, the Department is able to offer enhanced PhD scholarships to selected students. These are supported through generous donations from industrial sponsors. They are allocated early in the first year of study and are tenable for up to 3 years and renewed on an annual basis. The criteria for award and financial value differ between scholarships and are publicised at the start of the selection process.

Deutsche Bank Logo This years Deutsche Bank PhD scholarship has been awarded to Henry Styles, who graduated with a First from our department and is now studying for a PhD under Wayne Luk's supervision.

Microsoft Logo This year's Microsoft scholarship will be shared between Tyrone Grandison, supervisor Morris Sloman, and Ioannis Xanthakos, supervisor Fariba Sadri.

Please note that the Department does not provide funding for either tuition fees or maintenance. There are sometimes Scholarships available through the Department, College, or individual supervisors. Opportunities for Fellowships, Teaching Assistantship (TA) and Research Assistantship (RA) posts are not that frequent and you would need to refer to www.doc.ic.ac.uk/about/situationsvacant/ on a regular basis to see what (if anything) is available.

How to Apply

The Department welcomes new applications from all suitably qualified candidates. Applicants are required to have a good Honours MSc degree or equivalent degree in Computer Science, Mathematics or some IT-related discipline. Candidates who have a BSc degree only will not be considered. Additionally, applicants need to demonstrate strong research potential. Where appropriate, we may encourage applicants to register first for the MSc in Advanced Computing and then, upon successful completion of this, to apply for registration for a research degree. The MSc course includes special research-oriented provisions for students intending to take this route.

We strongly advise you to first read

  1. Departmental information for PhD applicants (this page) www.doc.ic.ac.uk/research/phd/degrees.html
  2.  Imperial College Postgraduate Prospectus www.ic.ac.uk/templates/pg01_front_page_3.asp?P=1212 of which we particularly highlight
  3. the General Information www.ic.ac.uk/P1217.htm
  4. and the College admissions policy www.ic.ac.uk/P1332.htm

before sending our PhD Admissions Team any questions by email phdadmissions "at" doc.imperial.ac.uk or Cristina Novakovic using cmn "at" doc.imperial.ac.uk. Please read item 4 carefully to assess whether your achievements would meet the college's expectations.

Strong candidates increase their change of acceptance or facilitate the processing of their application by

  • ensuring that the full paperwork for the application reaches the college in a timely manner, refer to www.imperial.ac.uk/P1397.htm for application forms and instructions.
  • writing a convincing and compelling research plan for their PhD work as a self-contained document in addition to whatever you may say on your application form, if field of study is uncertain sketch alternative plans
  • developing and carrying out a plan that secures their funding for their entire period of study, and
  • indicating in their application general research topics of interest and the supervisors under which they would like to carry out their PhD work. 

If you have any problems accessing electronic information regarding taught postgraduate degrees please email the Postgraduate Admissions Secretary Mrs. Barbara Claxton or write to:

The Assistant Registrar (Admissions),
Imperial College London,
SW7 2AZ.

In either case the completed application form should be returned to the above address, not to the Department (unless you have explicit instructions to do that). This should be done, preferably, by 1 May 2006 for admission in October 2006.

We no longer can accept ORS and LEE applications for 2006.

Applicants with Disabilities

The department encourages applications from people with disabilities. You are invited to declare your disability to our PhD Admissions Tutor in order to discuss early on suitable arragements for your PhD studies. Please also see the college's arrangements for people with disabilities.