Computer Science PhD

PhD Computer Science
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Fact file

PhD Computer Science
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in computer science or other relevant areas
6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Please contact the school
Jubilee Campus
School of Computer Science
Other requirements



Our research

The School of Computer Science offers high-quality supervision from world-leading academics for research degrees.

We provide you with the opportunity to work in both research and development. Our PhD programme is an excellent route for conducting world-class and high-impact scientific research in computer science.

The school's research activity centres around the following research groups:

Agents Laboratory
The Agents Lab group conducts research that spans the specification, design and implementation of agent-based systems, including logic and theory for agents, agents architecture, verification of multiagent systems, synthesis of provably correct agent programs, and the application of agents in simulation and virtual environments.
Automated Scheduling, Optimisation and Planning
The ASAP group conducts research on optimisation for enabling decision support systems, research at the interplay between optimisation and artificial intelligence for modelling complexity and uncertainty as well as developing intelligent systems, as well as research on machine learning and data mining for knowledge discovery.
Computer Vision Laboratory

The CVL group conducts research to develop human-like computer vision capability developing a range of techniques for extracting quantitative descriptions of viewed objects from a variety of images and image sequences, while engaging with other disciplines like biosciences, medicine, engineering, etc.

Functional Programming Laboratory

The FPL group conducts research on the formal specification and verification of computer programs with emphasis on functional programming languages such as Haskell and Agda, by means of a range of techniques such as category theory, compiler correctness, declarative debugging, reactive programming, mathematical logic, type theory, etc.

Intelligent Modelling and Analysis

The IMA group conducts research on inter-disciplinary end-to-end data modelling and analysis through a range of techniques including data mining, bio-inspired algorithms, agent-based simulation and fuzzy systems, emphasis on biomedical informatics, security, energy management and digital economy applications.

Mixed Reality Laboratory

The MRL group conducts research that is user-centred to develop interactive technologies to enhance everyday life, research focus is on human-computer interaction with an approach that is both interdisciplinary (linking to the Social Sciences and Humanities) and intra-disciplinary (with areas such as Distributed Systems, AI, Vision and Formal Methods).

Data Driven Algorithms, Systems and Design (DAS)

The DAS group conducts research on data science by developing machine learning and data mining algorithms and adopting principles of user-centred design to maximize the synergy between human intelligence and cyber-physical systems.

Lab for Uncertainty in Data and Decision Making (LUCID)

The Lab for Uncertainty in Data and Decision Making is interested in the capturing, modelling and reasoning with uncertain data in a decision support context. We have a significant strength in fuzzy logic and are known for our work on non standard fuzzy sets such as type-2 fuzzy sets, non stationary fuzzy sets, intuitionistic fuzzy sets and rough sets.


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Our eight research groups which are tackling difficult real-world problems that often have high impact on industry, commerce and the public. We believe in a shared ethos of 'computing in the world', in which fundamental advances in computer science are connected to knowledge and methods from other disciplines to enable collaborations with research users in diverse sectors.

  • Benefit from our interdisciplinary links with other schools in the Faculty of Science and departments in the Faculty of Engineering

  • Choose from a range of diverse topics spanning theoretical and applied computer science

  • Enjoy our links with campuses in China and Malaysia, with opportunities to travel to complete projects

  • Be part of a top ten school in the UK for ‘research power’ according to the Research Excellence Framework, 2014



The school’s programme of research welcomes applications from students who wish to pursue the award of PhD by full-time or part-time study. Research students come to the school from within the UK as well as from around the globe, including the EU, the Middle and Far East, Latin America, Africa and South Asia. With this diversity of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds, our students constitute a rich, rewarding and supportive postgraduate research community within The University of Nottingham’s UK, Malaysia and Ningbo China campuses. For a richer global experience, it is possible for joint supervision to be agreed between the UK and one of the University’s international campuses.

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A small number of EPSRC awards are available for suitably qualified candidates. All research students are involved in the Postgraduate Professional Development Programme. The school's energetic research culture also involves a programme of visiting speakers and regular symposia organised by staff and students.

The school offers research students:

  • advanced research training
  • expert supervision (from staff who are global leaders within their field)
  • support and help with publishing research
  • school research seminars/work in progress sessions
  • access to a dedicated research director, whose role links into the school’s PG research learning community forum and research committee
  • well-equipped work bases, with excellent library facilities and some dedicated research based spaces such as the robotics and mixed reality laboratories
  • support for research trips and conference attendance
  • library facilities and online resources provide a level of access to material that students could only expect in a research-intensive university
  • excellent IT facilities including high-speed networking, in-house servers and specialist school technical services staff

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Research support

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Postgraduate Students' Association (PGSA) are a particularly important source of support.


Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Details of research supervisors at the University can be found on our research A to Z.

Fees and funding

See information on how to fund your studies, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.

Government loans for doctoral study

The Government recently introduced doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes. Applicants must ordinarily live in England.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 94.4% of postgraduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £29,250 with the highest being £30,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

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Careers prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life. 

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

The University's award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.


Get in touch

 +44 (0)115 951 5559

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
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