How to make your application

1) Identify a proposed supervisor and submit a research proposal

As part of your application you are required to submit a research proposal and to identify a potential supervisor.

Please see our research pages for detailed information on the work of our research groups and below for a summary of our academic staff's research interests.

Contacting academic staff before applying: it is advised to contact the member of staff with whom you are interested in working before applying so as to discuss your proposed project and ascertain whether they would be available and able to take on a new student.  UCL has produced a Post Graduate Research Enquiry Guidelines document guide to help applicants with choosing a suitable supervisor, contacting academic staff and with producing a good research proposal.  

If you are applying for a studentship, you should provide a personal statement that is tailored to the requirements of the vacancy.

2) Check you are eligible - see the PhD entrance requirements

3) Complete an online application via the PRiSM online application system

Applicants should ensure that all the necessary information and documentation has been provided before submitting their application. References will be only be requested when the application is complete. It is the candidate's responsibility to follow up on references and you are strongly encouraged to contact your referees before submitting your application to ensure that they complete the references, as soon as possible after receiving the reference request.

A note about the research proposal & transcripts: your research proposal should be uploaded to the 'personal statement' section of the application.

Any transcripts or references provided as part of your application must be in English.  Official translations must be verified by your original university, a solicitor or official translation service such as that provided by the British Council.  Translations must also be accompanied by a certified copy in the original language. 

Finally, you should keep us informed of any changes in your contact details.

We have also produced a list of FAQs specifically for postgraduate applications, which you may find useful.

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When to apply

There are two deadlines for PhD applications (not applicable to studentship or Visiting Research Student applications, which are accepted throughout the year) to the Department of Computer Science:

Wednesday 4th January (for September 2017 start date)

Tuesday 2nd May (for September 2017 start date)

For applicants wishing to be considered for funding, in order to maximize your chances of securing funding, we encourage you to apply for this deadline. Please note: If you are applying for this deadline, your application will not be considered before the Department's Admissions Panel, which will take place in late May 2017. Successful applicants will be invited for interview (see below for interview schedule) and unsuccessful candidates will be notified. The final result of your PhD application will be decided by the Admissions Panel towards the end of June 2017. You will receive email notification of this result shortly after this date.


Please ensure that your PRISM application form is complete before submitting it, as only complete applications will be considered.

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It is departmental policy to interview candidates considered by the department to be suitably qualified and in whom there is interest in supervising.  We do not admit any applicant unless he/she has been interviewed in person or by phone, normally by two members of academic staff.

Applicants from the UK or Europe will normally be interviewed in person; the department of Computer Science will refund travel expenses (2nd class rail or budget airfare) up to a maximum of £100.  PhD interviews normally last 2 hours, so overnight stays are not normally required and will not be refunded.  If your interview requires an overnight stay and you would like travel expenses to be reimbursed, please contact the Research Student Administrator before making travel arrangements.

Overseas applicants will be interviewed by phone (or videophone/conferencing, where available); the interviewers will ring at a time agreed in advance with the candidate.



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Visiting Research Students

We accept Visiting Research Students for a period of 3 to 12 months. There are three routes of entry: Independent Visiting Research Student, Exchange and Erasmus Visiting Research Student. In order to come to University College London as an Exchange or an Erasmus student, your current university must already have an arrangement with UCL. In order to apply, you should complete an Exchange Application form or an Erasmus Application form (leave section 17 blank as you will not be taking modules as a Visiting Research student).

If your university does not have an agreement with University College London, you are required to apply as an Independent Visiting Research Student and to complete a Visiting Research Student form (in section 26 you will need to include a statement of Academic Purpose outlining your research area and reasons for applying to UCL). You will also need to check that the department has a member of staff in the relevant academic field who can supervise the research, and that they are willing to do so. You can find a list of staff and their research areas at the bottom of this page.

Tuition fees would be payable on a pro-rata basis.

Please note that you are required to send the required to send the completed application forms to Admissions:

UCL Admissions
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Academic Staff Research Interests

This section gives a very brief summary of the research interests of Computer Science (and associated) staff. Please follow the links to staff home pages for more comprehensive information.

Lourdes Agapito

Computer Vision, 3D Reconstruction from Video, Non-Rigid Reconstruction, Structure from Motion, Optical Flow

Danny Alexander

Image processing, pattern recognition and computer vision; medical imaging and medical image processing, magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion imaging; image reconstruction, optimisation and inverse problems.

Jade Alglave

Concurrency, Semantics, Verification

Simon Arridge

Medical imaging; image processing and reconstruction, particularly medical applications and numerical methods for solving ill-posed inverse problems; scale space and shape descriptors; unsupervised pattern recognition; state space estimation methods for dynamical imaging.

Tomaso Aste

Financial networks, scaling and multifractality in financial signals, econophysics, information filtering, complex systems, data analytics, statistical modeling.

David Barber

Large-scale information processing; probabilistic inference and accurate approximate inference techniques; machine learning and information processing in both natural and artificial systems.

Nadia Berthouze

Human-Computer Interaction; affective computing; non-verbal communication; affective posture recognition; cross-cultural studies; personalized information systems; information retrieval; multimodal user interfaces.

Marta Betcke

Numerical solution of inverse problems; Tomographic image reconstruction; Compressed Sensing; Sparsity and Compression. Novel imaging technologies/applications: experimental design and reconstruction problem. Applied Harmonic Analysis. 

Sue Black

Software development and software quality; social media, especially Twitter; social media and software engineering; public engagement and understanding of technology and science; women in computing and science; computer science education; Bletchley Park and computing history.

Ann Blandford

Human–Computer Interaction; interaction design; human error; resilience; sensemaking; information interaction; interactive medical devices; interactive systems in healthcare; usability of digital libraries; understanding systems design in the context of work; socio-technical systems design; methods for designing and evaluating interactive systems.

Gabriel Brostow

Computer vision, computer animation, computational photography, motion perception; data-driven animation, human computer interaction (HCI) for authoring of graphics and visual content, application of vision and pattern recognition to other domains (architecture, special effects, health, emergency response).

James Brotherston

Applications of mathematical logic to program verification and other resource problems; cyclic proof and inductive theorem proving; proof theory; model theory; computability/complexity theory; automated reasoning.

Duncan Brumby

Human-Computer Interaction: General interests are in understanding the strategies that people adopt for everyday tasks, such as when multitasking or searching for information on the web.

Kevin Bryson

Bioinformatics and systems biology: analysis and modelling of genomes, transcriptomes, biological networks and protein structure. I have a particular interest in two clinically relevant systems: streptococcus pneumoniae and polyglutamine expansion diseases such as Huntington’s Disease.

Fabio Caccioli

Systemic risk, Financial networks, Stability of risk measures, Complex systems, Statistical mechanics.

Licia Capra

Software engineering for mobile computing; middleware for mobile and distributed systems; coordination of mobile services; trust models and management.

Christopher Clack

Financial Computing and Quantitative Finance; Intelligent Systems in Finance; portfolio optimisation; stock selection; market modelling; risk; evolutionary computing; genetic algorithms and genetic programming; adaptive systems; functional programming.

David Clark

Program and model analysis; language based security; applications of information theory to program analysis and software engineering; quantified information flow (QIF); semantics based malware detection; slicing and dependence analysis; software testing.

Byron Cook

program verification, program logics, program analysis, termination proving, programming languages, theorem proving, constraint solving, biological systems

Nicolas Courtois

Applied Cryptography, crypto currency/bitcoin, cryptanalysis, cryptography engineering

Anna Cox

How humans learn to interact with computer systems (i.e. from instructions, exploration, etc); what people learn from these interactions (i.e. the content of their mental models); understanding information seeking and interactive search; human error; understanding immersion; computational modelling of HCI.

Ingemar Cox

Multimedia, digital rights management, digital watermarking, content identification, relevance feedback, e-commerce, computer vision, information retrieval.

George Danezis

Computer security, privacy enhancing technologies, anonymity systems, peer-to-peer system security, censorship circumvention, applications of machine learning to security, critical infrastructure security, security for smart cities, cryptographic infrastructures and compilers.

Emiliano De Cristafaro

Security, Privacy and Applied Cryptography.

Christophe Dessimoz  

Bioinformatics, genomics, evolution, scientific computing, mathematical modelling, computational statistics.

John Dowell

User interfaces, especially collaborative learning systems; multimodal systems; information retrieval systems; decision support systems; a cognitive design perspective on the development processes and models used to create user interfaces.

Ivana Drobnjak

Mathematical and Computational Modelling, MRI, Medical Image Computing, Diffusion MRI, Microstructure Imaging, Computational Modelling.

Wolfgang Emmerich

Software engineering principles, methods, tools and notations for middleware-based distributed and mobile software architectures.

Anthony Finkelstein

Requirements engineering; software processes and workflow; document management; management of semi-structured, heterogeneous and inconsistent information; change management; software development tools and environments.

Guido Germano

Computational finance, computational methods in statistical mechanics, computer simulation of complex systems, numerical methods for stochastic processes, agent-based models, scientific computing, high-performance computing.

Nicolas Gold

Computer systems for live music performance; computational musicology and music analysis; search-based approaches to sound synthesis; other topics in digital music; digital humanities; service-oriented software; program comprehension; source-code analysis

Denise Gorse

Novel methods for global minimisation (chaperone-based techniques for finding nativelike states of heteropolymer energy functions, smoothing transformations for avoiding local minima in neural network training); bioinformatics (methods for predicting local protein structure, repeating motifs, interface regions in multi-subunit complexes); hardware-realisable stochastic neural networks (spike-based stochastic computing using the pRAM model, applications in pattern recognition and control).

Lewis Griffin

Machine vision; human vision; colour vision; machine learning; ecological optics; medical image analysis; multi-dimensional density and mode estimation; computational neuroanatomy.

Jens Groth

Cryptography, digital signatures, public-key encryption, anonymity, internet voting, zero-knowledge proofs, multi-party computation.

Stephen Hailes

Mobile systems at all levels from ad hoc routing protocols through to higher layer issues; security, especially of mobile systems but also more generally; multimedia, in particular networked animation at present.

Mark Handley

Internet architecture; congestion control for high-speed, and its multimedia applications; internet routing; IP multicast; architectural mechanisms to limit denial-of-service attacks.

Mark Harman

Search based softward engineering (SBSE), Program slicing, Program analysis, Software testing, Software measurement, Software metrics, Genetic algorithms.

Dave Hawkes

Image registration; building statistical and anatomical models from image data; image guided interventions; CT reconstruction and application areas in neurosurgery; ENT surgery; oncology and orthopaedics.

Mark Herbster

Machine learning theory (online algorithms); support vector machines; neural networks; evolutionary algorithms; machine learning applied to bioinformatics.

Robin Hirsch

Temporal and modal logics; algebraic logic; relation algebra; temporal databases; planning; complexity; model theory; game theory; genetic algorithms.

Tony Hunter

Knowledge representation and reasoning; argumentation; handling inconsistency in information; applications in decision-support and in technologies for understanding and reasoning with information in natural language.

David Jones

Protein structure prediction and analysis; simulations of protein folding; hidden Markov Models; transmembrane protein analysis; machine learning applications in bioinformatics; microarray data analysis; de novo protein design methodology and genome analysis, including the application of intelligent software agents.

Simon Julier

Nonlinear estimation algorithms for robust tracking and distributed fusion of disparate information sources; map building and localisation; mobile mixed reality systems; agile and context-aware information displays; wearable computers.

Brad Karp

Routing (particularly geographic routing) for sensor networks, other multi-hop wireless networks and the internet; internet worm defence, including automated worm signature generation; internet-based distributed systems, including those based on Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs); distributed storage for sensor networks.

Peter Kirstein

Computer networks; networked multimedia; international data network activities; document services; security; active networks; wireless networks; voice/IP, mobile networks.

Jens Krinke 

Program analysis, program slicing and dependence analysis; clone detection and code provenance; automatic bug detection; taint analysis and information flow control for realistic systems; mining software repositories.

Emmanuel Letier

Requirements engineering; system behaviour modelling and analysis using goals, scenarios, and state-machines; handling non-functional requirements and supporting decision making during requirements engineering and software design.

Zhaoping Li

Computational/experimental vision in humans or biological vision, segmentation and object recognition, Sensory signal encoding and decoding, nonlinear neural dynamics, control theory and systems, signal processing, neural networks.

Nicolai Marquardt

Ubiquitous computing; human-computer interaction; digital fabrication and prototyping; novel user interfaces; gestural interaction with large interactive surfaces; proxemic interactions; sensor-based systems; tangible and physical user interfaces; information visualisation; natural user interfaces; prototyping toolkits

Paul Marshall

Interaction design, embodied interaction interaction and tangible interfaces, technologies for face-to-face collaboration, design of technologies to fit specific physical contexts, extended cognition and perception.

Sarah Meiklejohn

Cryptography; Computer security; Privacy; Zero-Knowledge Proofs; Virtual currencies; Cryptographic Compilers.

Niloy Mitra

Geometry processing; symmetry detection; shape analysis; 3D geometry acquisition both for indoor and outdoor scenes; computer graphics; analysis of 3D model collections; image understanding; interaction design; 3D modeling systems; fabrication-aware design.

Steven Murdoch

Computer security; payment systems; privacy enhancing technologies; anonymous communications; network measurement; censorship resistance; usable security; transparency; legal and regulatory issues

Juan Navarro Perez

Separation logic, automated reasoning, software verification, and program analysis. Formal methods and applications of logic.

Peter O'Hearn

Mathematical and philosophical logic; program logic and semantics; program analysis; verification; operating systems.

Massimiliano Pontil

Machine learning theory, pattern recognition and statistics; machine learning problems arising in computational vision, natural language processing and bioinformatics.

Natasa Przulj

Molecular and clinical data integration for patient stratification, bio-marker discovery, drug
re-purposing, disease re-classification;
Data analytics, modeling, fusion, dynamics, applied to clinical, molecular and biological data;
Algorithms for uncovering molecular mechanisms of disease from systems-level “omics” data;
Molecular networks: interactome evolution, dynamics, alignment, protein function prediction;
Large-scale economic data analysis, fusion and modeling the dynamics of economic systems;
Computational graph theory, algorithms, models.

Sebastian Riedel

Natural Language Processing; Machine Learning; Joint/Holistic Processing; Information Extraction; Graphical Models; Scaling up Inference; Learning from Weak Supervision; Probabilistic Programming and Statistical Relational Learning; Mining Scientific Literature.

Yvonne Rogers

Human-Computer interaction, interaction design, ubiquitous computing, behavioural change, interactivity and representations, external cognition, technology-enhanced learning, novel interfaces

M. Angela Sasse

Human-centred technology design; human-centred design of novel communications and multimedia technologies (fourth generation mobile applications and services, human-centred Quality of Service (QoS), measuring perception and impact of audio and video quality, eyetracking and physiological measurements); usability and effectiveness of security systems (authentication systems, biometrics, user education and training, security in large distributed environments).

Simone Severini

Discrete Applied Mathematics, Combinatorics, Classical and Quantum Information Theory, Analysis of Data & Complex Network

John Shawe-Taylor

Machine learning theory, pattern analysis and statistics, kernel methods, support vector machines, computer vision, natural language processing, neuroscience and bioinformatics.

Alexandra Silva

Logic, semantics and design of programming languages, coalgebra, verification, program correctness, automated reasoning.

Mel Slater

Computer graphics and virtual reality: the computer graphics research is concerned mostly with real-time methods for global illumination; the virtual reality research focuses understanding and improving people’s experience in virtual reality through focus on their sense of presence. An important application area is to use virtual reality in the context of psychological therapy.

Srini Srinivasan

Haptics, robotics, virtual environments, teleoperation.

Anthony Steed

Virtual reality and 3D user interfaces; collaborative virtual environments and relationship to ubiquitous systems; real-time 3D graphics for large models; mixed-reality and augmented-reality systems.

Danail Stoyanov

Surgical Vision, Robotic Assisted Surgery, Computer Assisted Interventions, Medical Image Computing, Surgical Skills Understanding and Analysis.

Gianluca Stringhini

Computer Security, Cybercrime measurement, Web Security, Social Network Security, Malware Analysis, Botnet Mitigation, Detection of targeted attacks and Insider Threats.

Phil Treleaven

Artificial intelligence; 3D Body Scanning; financial and economic forecasting; entrepreneurship.

Stefano Vissicchio

Software-defined networking (SDN); network management; inter- and intra-domain routing; traffic engineering; network monitoring; network testing; Internet measurements.

Jun Wang

Information retrieval and web search; collaborative filtering and recommender systems and data mining; web economy and online advertising; social 'the wisdom of crowds' approaches for content understanding, organisation, and retrieval; peer-to-peer information retrieval and filtering; multimedia content analysis, indexing and retrieval.

Tim Weyrich

Appearance acquisition and 3D reconstruction; realistic reflectance models for computer graphics; point-based graphics; interactive applications in art and cultural heritage preservation

Ifat Yasin

Auditory Scene Analysis: streaming, binding, object recognition. Monaural/binaural and spatial hearing in real and virtual environments. Computational models of the human auditory system. Audio-visual integration. Auditory nonlinear processes in normal and impaired hearing. Applications to automatic speech-recognition systems, assistive hearing technology.

Emine Yilmaz 

Information retrieval; web science; web search; data mining; applications of machine learning

Shi Zhou

Internet topology, characterisation and modelling of complex telecommunications networks, network security, detection of network anomalies

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Department of Computer Science, UCL (University College London)
Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Phone: 020 7679 7214 (+44 20 7679 7214)
Fax: 020 7387 1397 (+44 20 7387 1397)