What are the possibilities for funding?
There are various routes for funding, depending on whether you are an overseas applicant or a UK or EU applicant. Take a look at the finance page for full details. In summary there are normally around 7 competitive DTA full studentships from the EPSRC each year, for UK applicants and EU applicants who meet the residency requirement of having been here for 3 years immediately before starting, Additional 7 full scholarships for applications to HiPEDS. For overseas applicants, the College provides various international scholarships; see "College Scholarships" page for more details. The Department may make available 1 or 2 competitive awards a year in addition, which make a contribution to a bursary and/or to fees. There are also various studentships related to projects.
How likely is it I would get a DTA if I am eligible?
If you have a good cv and research statement and we find someone willing to supervise you and make you an offer, and you meet the residency requirements, then there is a good chance you will get an award. If you are an EU applicant, but don't meet the EPSRC residency requirement, then there are some fees only studentships available. It is recommended that you apply by 1 April if you wish to be considered for a DTA.
How are the Departmental Scholarships decided?
The Departmental Scholarships are competitive on merit and decided as indicated in the scholarship citation.
How many students do you accept each year?
The Department recruits between 35 and 45 PhD students each year. All qualified applicants are considered.
How many get a College Scholarship each year?
This depends on the number of applicants across the College as well as on the number of awards the College has available and both of these vary from year to year. The number awarded to Computing is usually a maximum of 2.
What is the deadline for College and Departmental Scholarships?
There are few deadlines throughout the year. But to increase your chances in the competition for scholarships and funding, we recommend that you apply by one of the two dates listed on the how to apply page. Further information about scholarships can be found on the scholarships page.
What is the deadline for other applications?
Normally, an application should be received at least by the end of June if it is to be processed in time for entry the following October.
If I'm accepted, can I start at any time?
No. PhD students can only start in October or April.
Can I defer until the following year?
This will depend on the supervisor. For example, the PhD topic may be linked to a grant and so cannot be delayed.
What happens to my application after I have submitted it?
After making an application the Registry checks your eligibility according to the minimal criteria set by the College. We may require higher qualifications than the minimum. Find out the various minimal criteria for different countries.
Assuming you qualify, the application is passed to the Department. When we receive you application it is considered by the admissions team and potential supervisors are invited to contact you to discuss possible research topics. This is why the research statement is important. All applicants who are made an offer will be interviewed, often by telephone.
What should I put in the research statement?
The research statement is used for two purposes. Firstly, it gives the admissions team an idea of the research you are interested in, so they can match your interests to those of potential supervisors. A short paragarpah describing a general research ara or a list of topics is enough for this.
The second purpose is to impress and attract potential supervisors, so should be your own work. This part requires a 3-5 page convincing and compelling description of some aspect of one of the research topics and include:
(i) motivation for the research (i.e. why the topic is important and potential applications for which your research could be useful),
(ii) research issues you intend to address during your PhD and
(iii) your initial ideas on the research methodology (e.g. what sort of simulation or experimental techniques) you intend to pursue to address the research issues.
You should refer to existing scientific literature where appropriatemention and any relevant previous work that you have carried out (if any).
The research statement does not constitute a commitment to carry out the exact research work that you have described, as this may change after acceptance and discussions with your supervisor.
How can I optimise my chances?
Apply early as some supervisors/ areas are very popular and places may be filled early in the year. Include a full transcript and a research statement with your application; the first is needed before we can formally consider your application and the second will help give us a good idea of the area in which you wish to work. The more details you can give, the more likely it is that a supervisor can be found for you.
If I'm already doing an MEng/ MSci or MSc course at Imperial what marks do I need to get in the exams and for my project?
The expectation is that your average marks will be over, or near 70%, with a significant number of individual grades over 70% (First-class/Distinction level), and the project will be First Class/ Distinction.
I don't know what I want to do my PhD in, what should I do?
You could browse the description of the different research groups in the Department and have a look at the webpages of the staff members. This will give an overview of their research topics. If you don't already have a Masters degree you could consider taking the MSc in Advanced Computing (or possibly the MSc in Computing Science) depending on your background.
This gives you an opportunity to pursue potential interests through courses and a project prior to committing to a PhD. If you are also studying in the Department you should also keep your personal tutor abreast of your plans and seek his/her advice.
What should I do if I don't get a response about my application?
It can take up to 2 weeks depending on the volume of applications, for your application to be processed by Registry before it is released to us. If you don't hear anything from us after 4 weeks you should contact Registry (firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)20 7594 7243) who will forward your query to us.
We try to fully process applications within six weeks of receiving them in the Department.