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Pursuing a research degree

The Department provides facilities for students to pursue programmes of research leading to the MPhil and PhD degrees of the University of London, by both full-time and part-time study. There are two dedicated research labs in the department and a seminar/meeting room for researchers. Part-time PhD students have the use of a number of hot desks with computing facilities. The computer facilities include high performance/throughput computer clusters.

The minimum entry qualification is normally a Masters or upper second class honours degree in Computer Science. The MRes in Computer Science and MRes in Information Systems and Management programmes also provide the necessary foundations for continuing into the MPhil/PhD programme. The period of full-time study for a PhD is normally 3 years, and for part-time study 6 years. For an MPhil it is normally 2 years full-time and 4 years part-time. Students wishing to pursue a PhD degree are first registered for an MPhil or, if appropriate, the MRes. The first 9 months of study (18 months for part-time students) are spent on training in research methods, background research, developing experimental software and exploring possible research directions. After this initial period, a work programme for the remaining period of study is formulated together with supervisors which will lead to a proposed thesis topic. If during the subsequent phase it seems likely that the thesis will contain significant original work, the registration is transferred from MPhil to that of PhD. This normally happens after about 18 months of full-time study (33 months for part-time students).

A significant proportion of current research students in the Department are part-time. Part-time research students benefit from the same access to academic staff and computing facilities in the evening as full-time students do during the day.