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  1. Research degrees
Study at City

PhD / MPhil Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science has a vibrant and dynamic community of research students and welcomes applications from candidates whose interests align with those of our academic staff.

Key information

Start date

Research students may commence their studies on 1st October, 1st February, 1st April or 1st July.


Full-time: 2-4 years

Part-time: 3-7 years

PhD by Prior Publication: 1-2 years



Full-time: £6,000 per year

Part-time: £3,000 per year

Part-time external candidate: £2,040 per year


Full-time: £18,000 per year

Part-time: £9,000 per year

Part-time external candidate: £6,375 per year


The Department of Computer Science in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering has a vibrant and dynamic community of research students and welcomes research degree applications from candidates whose interests align with those of our academic staff. Approximately 25 research students enter the programme each year.

Research students are central to research activity in the department. Our goal is to support talented individuals who wish to develop their research skills, to undertake rigorous and inspirational research and ultimately to obtain an MPhil or PhD qualification. Research students are supported in their studies through a structured programme of supervision and training.

Research degrees are available in the following areas:

  • Computer Science
  • Geographical Information Science
  • Health Informatics
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Software Systems Engineering
  • Creativity Science
  • Software Reliability
  • Artificial Intelligence


Entry requirements

Applicants should have a record of high academic achievement. The minimum requirement is a good undergraduate degree (first or upper second class honours) in a relevant subject from a UK university, or a recognised equivalent from an overseas institution.

In exceptional cases, we will consider applications from individuals whose undergraduate degree is in a less relevant discipline but who hold a relevant Masters degree with at least a merit level pass. We will also consider applications from individuals with extensive professional experience in the area of their proposed research.

English requirements

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants whose first language is not English. We require a minimum IELTS overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four components; or, a minimum TOEFL overall score of 92 with a minimum of 22 in Writing and 20 in Listening, Speaking and Reading.

Please note that the UKVI currently requires us to confirm that you are at level B2 or above in all components of English before issuing visa documents.

Find out more about English language proficiency requirements at City.

Visa requirements

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.


We offer the following types of award:

  • PhD by Major Thesis
  • PhD by Prospective Publication
  • PhD by Prior Publication
  • MPhil.

We also welcome enquiries from candidates who wish to spend one year at City, University of London as part of a PhD Sandwich programme.

Degree Pathway

Research students are initially registered for the degree of MPhil. Promotion to PhD registration is contingent upon the satisfactory outcome of a review process. This normally takes place towards the end of the first year of registration for full-time candidates and towards the end of the second year for part-time candidates.

The PhD programme concludes with the candidate submitting their research in the form of a PhD thesis and attending a viva voce examination with two examiners, at least one of whom will be external to City.

Funding options

  • Full-time EU: £6,000 per year
  • Part-time EU: £3,000 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £18,000 per year
  • Part-time Non EU: £9,000 per year

The writing-up fee for all candidates is £500 per year (max 1 year).

External Candidate study of this course costs £2,040 per year for Home/EU students (£1,875 in final year for part-time students) and £6,375 per year for non-EU students.

PhD by Prior Publication

  • EU Year 1: £7,500
  • EU Year 2: £3,750
  • Non-EU Year 1: £24,000
  • Non-EU Year 2: £12,000

Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and are likely to increase by approximately 3% annually.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

The Government has introduced a new Postgraduate Doctoral Loans scheme which can provide a loan of up to £25,000 over three years to support study for a doctoral degree. A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study and can be used alongside any other forms of support you may be able to receive, for example from industry or business or through your PhD supervisor.

Find out more about Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

We welcome applicants funded through a wide range of schemes including:

  • The Science Without Borders scheme for Brazilian citizens
  • Commonwealth Scholarships, for citizens of developed and developing Commonwealth countries.
  • The Indonesia-UK DIKTI Scholarship Programme, for faculty members at Indonesian Universities to study for a doctorate in the UK.
  • The EU Erasmus Mundus programme.



All research students are appointed a supervisory team consisting of at least two supervisors. One of these will be designated as the first point of contact with personal responsibility for ensuring that effective supervision is provided.


The supervisory team will discuss training requirements with the candidate when study is commenced. We may recommend that a candidate takes a number of taught modules, benefiting from the specialist Masters courses in the Department of Computer Science.


Research students are provided with a desk, PC and bookshelves in a shared office space and have access to shared printing facilities. Specialist facilities, such as the City Interaction Lab, are also available where relevant to the research topic. All research students are strongly encouraged to contribute to our dynamic research environment and to attend regular research seminars and meetings.

How to apply

We accept applications on an ongoing basis for entry on 1st October, February and April. Please see the requirements section above for eligibility criteria.

It is essential that you contact a member of academic staff in the department you are interested in, to discuss your ideas for research (research proposal) and gain their consent to supervise your research. Unfortunately, we will not be able to consider your application without this pre-requisite.

Details of relevant academic staff can be found on our department pages.

You are advised to submit your application at least 12 weeks before your proposed start date in order for us to consider and process your application. Once you have contacted a supervisor who has confirmed that they will accept to guide you through your research, please submit an application online using the applicable link below:

MPhil/PhD in Computer Science



If you are applying to study externally (not based at City University of London, supported by a supervisory team in your approved educational institution or workplace) please email with your application number once you have submitted your application to ensure that you are considered for your intended mode of study.

From October 2021, the fees will rise to Full-time Home: £6,120, Part-time Home: £3,060, Full-time Overseas: 18,360, Part-time Overseas: £9,180.

Supporting documents

To apply online, an applicant will need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • Research proposal. The Research Proposal should be a maximum of 3 sides A4. See guidance on writing your research proposal
  • Copies of degree certificates and transcripts in English;
  • Official work e-mail addresses (not private ones) for two referees (one of which must be an academic);
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable).
  • Evidence of sponsorship (if applicable).