How can I find out the outcome of my application?

Please check the status by logging on to the Imperial College PhD admissions system where you submitted your application.

If you do not hear anything by the advertised date of the notifications, or within 8 weeks for applications placed after the last deadline, please feel free to contact our PhD Programme Administrator, Dr. Amani El-Kholy, +44 (0)20 7594 8220.

If I receive an admission offer, does it mean that I have received funding?

No. An offer for admission allows you to access to the doctoral degree if you meet all the conditions stated in the offer and if you can self-fund the fees for your degree. If you are awarded a studentship by our department or College, you will be notified with a separate email.

How long will it take to process my application?

Processing times depend on multiple factors, such as whether you submit by the advertised deadlines, the lag before we receive reference letters, the time it takes for the College Registry, the department, and prospective supervisors to screen and possibly shortlist your application for interview. Normally, a final decision on most applications is reached by the notification timelines advertised in our PhD page. However, if an application has a significant chance to be accepted after the notification deadline, we may still retain it under consideration for longer until a final determination can be made on its outcome.

I have a concern, who should I raise it to?

For concerns, please reach out in the first instance to the PhD Programme Administrator, Dr. Amani El-Kholy, +44 (0)20 7594 8220.

How can I be admitted to a Centre for Doctoral Training?

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) run a separate admission process from departments and can award CDT studentships to fund their students. You should follow the instructions on the CDT website in order to put an application to a CDT degree. You will need to be accepted both by the department and by the CDT in order to access a CDT degree.  If you are unsure about the status of your application, you may query the CDT administration team.

What are the possibilities for funding?

There are various routes for funding, depending on whether you are a home or an overseas applicant. Take a look at the Departmental and College Scholarships page for full details.

In summary, there are normally around six competitive DTP full studentships from the EPSRC each year, for UK applicants and EU applicants who meet the home fees residency requirements.

For overseas applicants, the College provides various international scholarships, which are also listed under the Departmental and College Scholarships page.

The Department may make available a number of competitive awards a year in addition, which make a contribution to a bursary and/or to fees. PhD students (excluding teaching scholars, CDT PhD students and RAs), who receive support for their PhD scholarship via the Department, are expected to contribute 100 hours per academic year to the teaching activity within the department, see PhD handbook.

There are also various area-specific scholarships.

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?

Although this depends on the volumes of applications we receive, the Department typically recruits between 45 and 55 PhD students each year. In addition, a number of students between 5 and 15 are accepted yearly into our CDTs. 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 between two and four.

What is the deadline for College and Departmental Scholarships?

There are few deadlines throughout the year. To increase your chances in the competition for scholarships and funding, we recommend that you apply by one of the dates listed on the PhD admissions page. If they meet eligibility requirements, applicants will be automatically ranked by the department for College-funded scholarships such as the President's, CSC and Lee family schemes.

Prospective applicants to the President’s PhD Scholarship must indicate their intention to apply to this scheme in the application form. Further information about scholarship deadlines 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 am accepted, can I start at any time?

No. PhD students can only start in October, January, or April of the academic year they are accepted for.

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. The Department may require higher qualifications than the minimum. 

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 via teleconference (e.g., Zoom, Teams).

What should I put in the research statement?

You can find detailed information on preparing your research statement in our PhD application guidelines.

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, a personal statement, 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 am 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 do not 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 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 range of support services do you offer for enrolled PhD students?

During your time at Imperial there may be times when you require advice and support about a problem or difficulty you are facing. There are dedicated staff in our academic department who can help you with a range of issues. Please see the College's student support zone and policies adopted in College to prevent bullying and harassment for additional information. We aim to create and foster a collaborative environment within the department where everyone feels welcome.

What range of ICT services do you offer for enrolled PhD students?

The department offers each new PhD student the choice of a desktop or a laptop, within a specific budget. Each student is also allocated a dedicated desk and storage space whether in the South Kensington campus, or more recently in I-X.
The department makes a significant investment to provide a Computing Support Group (CSG) with dedicated staff members who support local ICT services for research and teaching. CSG provides an IaaS cloud service, a departmental HPC facility and bespoke research services, all leveraging the College’s provision of email, networking, workstations and a larger HPC facility. HPC and e-storage are available for College users and may be discussed with the PhD supervisor if required.
The Imperial College Library is open 24 hours, and every PhD student has the use of this facility. The Library also provides its students with access to journal articles and conference proceedings via digital libraries for free.

What can I do if I experience unforeseen financial difficulties?

You should, first of all, approach the PhD team in particular your supervisor followed by the PhD office. Additionally, the college has a hardship fund to help with unexpected financial hardship.