PhD Computer Science

Year of entry: 2023

Overview

Degree awarded
PhD
Duration
36 months full time (or 72 months part time)
Entry requirements

The minimum academic entry requirements for a Doctorate programme are either:

i) a 2:1 UK Honours degree in a discipline directly relevant to the PhD

ii) an undergraduate degree at 2:1 or above and Masters award at Merit level in a discipline directly relevant to the PhD, or equivalent international qualifications

Whilst the most common first degree is Computer Science, we also consider students with backgrounds in an appropriate subject for the research topic (e.g. mathematics, physics, engineering, biology and medicine).

The Department may require a 1st Class Honours degree or international equivalent for some research projects. This requirement is specified at the discretion of the academic supervisor involved under the relevant advertised project.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online  

Before applying we strongly recommend that you:  

  1. Either identify the research project or Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) you'd like to apply for as given at https://www.cs.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/research-projects , or produce your own research proposal (including research project title) as outlined at https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/admissions/how-to-apply/research-proposal .
  2. Liaise with the supervisor you'd like to supervise your research.
  3. Decide how your research will be funded.

In your application you'll need to refer to; a) your chosen research project or own project name, b) your supervisor, c) your chosen funding option, and d) the details of your previous study – so make sure you’ve got that info to hand.

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y N N

Programme description

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Postgraduate research opportunities in computer science

The PhD is a three-year (or six year, if taken part-time) degree resulting in a substantial thesis.

As one of the largest Departments of in the UK we cover a huge spectrum of Computer Science topics. We currently have ten individual research groups ranging from Advanced Processor Technologies to Text Mining. Our core Computer Science research is augmented by interdisciplinary research taking place at the interface with discipline areas including mathematics, physics, medicine and biology. A detailed overview of the Department's research groups and core and interdisciplinary research themes can be found in the 'research' section of our website .    

We're keen to receive applications from potential research students in all areas. Although your application is through the Department, you are basically applying for a place in a research group or with a particular supervisor. You therefore need to look through the research groups to find a suitable topic or potential supervisor. Alternatively you can identify a possible PhD project from our list of available projects.

Open days

Find out when our next postgraduate research open events are taking place on our Open Days page.

Fees

Fees for entry in 2023 have not yet been set. For reference, the fees for the academic year beginning September 2022 were as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): Band A £4,596; Band B £6,000; Band C £9,000; Band D £11,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): Band A £25,500; Band B £27,000; Band C £30,000; Band D £32,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): Band A: TBC; Band B £3,000; Band C £4,500; Band D £5,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): Band A £12,750; Band B £13,500; Band C £15,000; Band D £16,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Scholarships/sponsorships

We offer a number of scholarships and awards to both UK and overseas students at university, faculty and department level.

For more information about these scholarships, please visit our Funding and Scholarships pages.

Contact details

Department
Department of Computer Science
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 0699
Email
Website
https://www.manchester.ac.uk/cs
School/Faculty

The School of Engineering creates a world of possibilities for students pursuing skills and understanding. Through dynamic research and teaching we develop engineering solutions that make a difference to society in an ethical and sustainable way.  Science-based engineering is at the heart of what we do, and through collaboration we support the engineers and scientists of tomorrow to become technically strong, analytically innovative and creative. Find out more about Science and Engineering at Manchester .

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

The minimum academic entry requirements for a Doctorate programme are either:

i) a 2:1 UK Honours degree in a discipline directly relevant to the PhD

ii) an undergraduate degree at 2:1 or above and Masters award at Merit level in a discipline directly relevant to the PhD, or equivalent international qualifications

Whilst the most common first degree is Computer Science, we also consider students with backgrounds in an appropriate subject for the research topic (e.g. mathematics, physics, engineering, biology and medicine).

The Department may require a 1st Class Honours degree or international equivalent for some research projects. This requirement is specified at the discretion of the academic supervisor involved under the relevant advertised project.

English language

All applicants will need to demonstrate competency in English language. Applicants who do not already possess an acceptable English Language qualification will need to take a recognised test and attain the required English Language score:

IELTS:  At least 6.5 overall with 6.5 in the written component and no other subtest below 5.5.

TOEFL iBT:  At least 90 overall with 22 in the written component and no other subtest below 20. We do not accept 'MyBestScore'.

Pearson Test of English (PTE): At least 59 overall with no subtest below 59.

Further information on language requirements can be found on our website

Pre-sessional English: We also accept successful completion of a pre-sessional English course run by the University Language Centre to meet our English language requirements.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online  

Before applying we strongly recommend that you:  

  1. Either identify the research project or Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) you'd like to apply for as given at https://www.cs.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/research-projects , or produce your own research proposal (including research project title) as outlined at https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/admissions/how-to-apply/research-proposal .
  2. Liaise with the supervisor you'd like to supervise your research.
  3. Decide how your research will be funded.

In your application you'll need to refer to; a) your chosen research project or own project name, b) your supervisor, c) your chosen funding option, and d) the details of your previous study – so make sure you’ve got that info to hand.

Advice to applicants

We require the following documents as part of an application.
  • Degree certificates and academic transcripts of previous university study. If your transcripts and certificates are in a language other than English, you must provide an official translation.
  • CV summarising your academic record and highlighting experience that demonstrates your capacity to conduct research. You must include the following:
  1. Work experience
  2. Any prizes/competitions that you have won for your academic work
  3. Experience of presenting your work at conferences/during your degree and list any research you have published
  4.  Details of your final year undergraduate project work and if appropriate your MSc project work
  5. Service and leadership (in any domain including extra curricula)
  6. Community activity (hackathons, societies etc)
  7. Teaching or training experience (including peer support and extra curricula)
  8. Soft skills: creativity, ability to work without constant supervision, good time management.
  • Research Proposal outlining your research project. You must include the following:
  1. Explain the importance of your research in the context of current knowledge
  2. Clearly identify the objectives of the research
  3. Literature review
  4. Explain the methodology to be employed
  • Two academic letters of reference provided by people who have knowledge of your academic ability. An automated e-mail will be sent your referees after submission of the application to make the reference request.

If English is not your first language, we also require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

This information will also be used to shortlist you for funding interview if appropriate; you should therefore ensure that you address all requirements as outlined above.

How your application is considered

We consider your full academic history including which course units you have taken and the marks obtained. Even if you have met our minimum entry requirements, we will take into account your marks in relevant undergraduate and postgraduate taught course units in our final decision making.

If you graduated more than three years ago, we will also consider the information contained on your CV and any relevant work experience you have to assess if you are still able to fulfil the entry criteria.

Interview requirements

An interview is required for entry to this programme of study. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by the admissions team.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

CAS Information

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until, which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

If you have previously studied in the UK on a Tier 4 visa as an undergraduate or postgraduate student, please send a copy of your previous CAS statement to us as it will assist with the issue of your new CAS statement. This includes study in the UK on study abroad programmes and any study that you did not complete.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. The Admissions Team will contact you at the appropriate time.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Deferrals

Admissions staff will decide whether to offer places to applicants for deferred entry on their courses and you should not assume that they will grant all such requests. If you request deferral for more than one year, you would normally be required to re-apply, as your chosen course, and your suitability for it, would change over time. English Language test results can only be considered to be current for two years from the test date.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Programme details

Programme description

The PhD is a three-year (or six year, if taken part-time) degree resulting in a substantial thesis.

As one of the largest Departments of in the UK we cover a huge spectrum of Computer Science topics. We currently have ten individual research groups ranging from Advanced Processor Technologies to Text Mining. Our core Computer Science research is augmented by interdisciplinary research taking place at the interface with discipline areas including mathematics, physics, medicine and biology. A detailed overview of the Department's research groups and core and interdisciplinary research themes can be found in the 'research' section of our website .    

We're keen to receive applications from potential research students in all areas. Although your application is through the Department, you are basically applying for a place in a research group or with a particular supervisor. You therefore need to look through the research groups to find a suitable topic or potential supervisor. Alternatively you can identify a possible PhD project from our list of available projects.

Aims

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is awarded by the University in recognition of the successful completion of a period of supervised research and training, the results of which show convincing evidence of the capacity of the candidate to pursue research and scholarship and make an original contribution and substantial addition to knowledge. The results of this research shall then be embodied in a thesis or other appropriate form and must contain material of a standard appropriate for peer-reviewed publication.

Coursework and assessment

As a research student you would typically work in an office with three/four other researchers from your group. You would be encouraged to present papers at conferences and publish your results in academic journals. We run several research training course-units and you can take course-units on a number of our Masters programmes. Opportunities are also provided to supplement income by undertaking laboratory demonstrating and other teaching support work.

Programme unit list

The programme unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this programme of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Starting Your Postgraduate Research COMP81020 0 Mandatory
Preparing Papers and Presentations COMP82020 0 Mandatory
Preparing for your Final Year COMP83020 0 Mandatory
Submission Pending COMP84020 0 Mandatory

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk