From systems security, programming languages and communications, to computational intelligence, memory management, and interdisciplinary work with biosciences and psychology, a PhD in Computer Science will set you at the forefront of technological development, allowing you to make a difference in tomorrow's world.

As a research student within the School, you undertake original individual study in a specified area of computing under the guidance of an academic supervisor. You become a member of one of our research groups, where you work alongside other students and staff engaged in work in your field. 

We have many partnerships, both nationally and internationally, with universities and industry. You are encouraged to engage with these partners, as well as forge your own relationships in the wider research community. 

PhD study is extremely rewarding, as it gives you the opportunity to contribute something completely new to your area and to establish yourself as an expert. It also requires stamina, creativity and discipline.

You can find a further detail of our research programme here.

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How we support you

You will work closely with your supervisor, a member of academic staff, who is your principal source of support. If you choose a research area that has interdisciplinary aspects, you may have more than one supervisor. 

In addition to regular supervision, you will be supported by a supervisory panel of three academic staff who provide further structured input and guidance.

We support you in becoming an effective researcher through a series of weekly workshops taken in the first year. These cover research-specific subjects including how to access journals and review research publications, how to write and publish academic articles and how to present your work at seminars and conferences. You may also attend workshops on key transferable skills including communication, time management and teamwork provided by Kent Graduate and Researcher College.

Research was always something I liked, so for me I was taking my favourite parts of all my previous degrees and just doing more of it.

Research Groups and Topics

We produce world-leading research across a wide range of areas which creates interesting opportunities for our students and researchers. See below to find a supervisor in one of our research groups.

Computational Intelligence
This group brings together interdisciplinary researchers investigating the interface between computer science and the domains of bioscience, cognition and physics.

See here for the full list of PhD topics in Computational Intelligence.

Find a supervisor in Computational Intelligence:

Jim Ang 
Elena Botoeva
Howard Bowman
Dominique Chu
Alex Freitas
Marek Grzes
Xiaowei Gu
Anna Jordanous
Giovanni Masala
Peter Rodgers  

Cyber Security
This group focuses on the technical aspects of particular classes of security problems.

See here for the full list of PhD topics in Cyber Security.

Find a supervisor in Cyber Security:

Budi Arief
Sanjay Batthacherjee
Theodosios Dimitrakos
Gareth Howells
Rogerio de Lemos
Virginia Franqueira
Julio Hernandez-Castro
Özgür Kafal
Professor Shujun Li
Jason Nurse
Carlos Perez Delgado  

Data Science
The focus of the Data Science Research Group at Kent is to apply the techniques such as signal processing, machine learning, security and statistics in an impactful manner to benefit the wider public.  

See here for the full list of PhD topics in Data Science.

Find a supervisor in Data Science:

Christos Efstratiou
Anna Jordanous
Caroline Li
Matteo Migliavacca
Fernando Otero
Palaniappan Ramaswamy
Daniel Soria
Frank Wang  

Programming Languages and Systems
This group researches both practical and theoretical aspects of programming language design and system building

See here for the full list of PhD topics in Programming Languages and Systems.

Find a supervisor in Programming Languages and Systems:

Mark Batty
Laura Bocchi
David Castro-Perez
Olaf Chitil
Stefan Kahrs
Stefan Marr
Dominic Orchard
Tomas Petricek
Vineet Rajani  

Students in the makerspace, The Shed


The University supports its postgraduate students through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

Our current open scholarships are: 

Further information about scholarships and funding can be found here.

students working at computers

How to apply

To apply for a PhD studentship, we recommend you contact one of our academics before completing your application. You can find out about the research interests of our staff on our People page. Approach potential supervisors to discuss your research topic to identity the supervisor(s) you want to work with and to get advice on how to prepare a research proposal

You can find more details about the application process on our postgraduate how to apply page.  

When you are ready to apply, click the link below to submit your application.

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