PhD in Computer Science

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The University of Birmingham offers supervision for the degree of Ph.D. in Computer Science in many research areas of computer science.

We are looking for highly motivated and well-qualified graduates to join us to work towards a doctorate. We are ranked 3rd in the UK for GPA in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and 3rd for 4* research, and our work is regularly presented in international conferences and journals, indicating the high standards we achieve in research.

In 2008, the UK Funding Councils undertook a national assessment of the quality of research at British universities in the Research and Assessment Exercise (RAE). Among 81 submissions nationally for computer science, the School is equal 7th in the proportion of 4* awards, for research quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

PhD programmes

For information about our entry requirements, fees and how to apply:

Applying for PhD

When applying as a Computer Science PhD student, the research proposed should be relevant to the research interests of a potential supervisor (see the School's research themes and personal home pages of academics for suitable topics). We have a number of funded PhDs, which can be seen on this page.

You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor informally, whose name can then be given on the formal application via the online admissions portal. Your application can be processed more quickly if it is clear who the potential supervisor is. On the other hand, many applications cannot be accepted because there is no suitable supervisor.

Part-time PhD

Most of our PhD students are full-time students; a small number are part-time students, usually working for UK companies. Note that only Home/EU students can be part-time.

Research Themes

Academics and their PhD students are loosely organised into research themes, please see our research homepage for more information.

Alan Turing Institute 

 The Alan Turing Institute and the University of Birmingham offer a number of places each year to motivated graduate students to complete a fully funded PhD, find out more on the Alan Turing Institute website.

Split-site PhD in Computer Science

It is possible to study for a PhD here in split-site (also called split-location) mode, where most of the research is not done at Birmingham. Such split site PhDs may be an attractive option for some international students. When applying for split site PhD study, you will need some careful preparation:

  • You must have identified a supervisor here who is interested in split-site supervision.
  • In split site mode, several months need to be spent at Birmingham, to attend taught modules such as Research Skills and to agree on the exact research topic for the thesis proposal.
  • In addition to your research supervisor here, you need to find a local mentor, typically an academic at a local university, to work with you while you are away from Birmingham.



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Funded PhD opportunities


Further information

The University has many resources available to assist you in applying to study with us, for more information please the university's research support page.