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PhD, MPhilComputer & information sciences

Research opportunities

You can study an MPhil over the course of one year or a PhD over the course of three years here in Scotland.

Part-time study is available too.

You can study either option in any of our research groups:

The Digital Health & Wellness research group in the Department of Computer & Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde has been awarded eight Masters scholarships by the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI) under the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Highly Skilled Workforce (HSW) programme.

Find out more about scholarship opportunities.

Saudi Arabia programme

Female members of academic staff in some Saudi universities may be eligible to apply for PhD entry under our External Joint Supervision Programme. This allows for study to take place in Saudi Arabia with occasional student visits to Strathclyde. In the first instance, prospective applicants should contact the External Joint Supervision Programme administrators in their home institution since local university support is required.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD) programme 

As part of your PhD degree, you'll be enrolled on the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD). 

This certificate is designed to support you with your research and rewards you for things you'll do as a research student here.

It'll help you improve skills which are important to professional development and employability:

  • the knowledge and intellectual abilities to conduct your research
  • the personal qualities to succeed in your research and chosen career
  • the standards, requirements and conduct of a professional researcher in your discipline
  • working with others and communicating the impact of your research to a wide range of audiences

All you have to do is plan these activities alongside your doctorate, documenting and reflecting your journey to success along the way.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.


Computer & information PhD supervisors

Dr Robert Atkey

Research methodologies & topics - Formal analysis of Programming Languages via Type Theory, Denotational Semantics, and Theorem Provers

Current PhD student topics - Resource Aware Type Theory

Dr Diane Pennington

Methods/approaches - Data collection - data mining such as hashtags and comments or other online metadata, surveys, interviews, case studies. Analysis: descriptive/nonparametric statistics, discourse analysis, multimodal analysis, geospatial analysis, qualitative and quantitative content analysis.

Current PhD student topics - social media for national libraries, online self-harm information on social media, academics' social media use, hashtags for information retrieval, mental health information access, credibility of tweets for dementia information, resource discovery in heterogeneous digital content environments. 

Dr David Bevan

Three topics:

  • The evolution of the random permutation as the number of inversions increases
  • The asymptotic structure and enumeration of permutation classes
  • Permutation grid classes &nbsp

Dr Murray Wood

Research methodologies & approaches used - Case Study, Experimental Research, Quantitative and Qualitative Techniques.

Current PhD student topics - Software Design, Use of Design Practices such as Inheritance and Interfaces, Design Properties of Open Source Systems.

Dr Sergey Kitaev

Research methodologies & approaches used - methods in enumerative, algebraic and bijective combinatorics, combinatorics on words, and graph theory; discrete analysis approach; algorithmic approach; computer based experimentations.

Current PhD student topics - patterns in combinatorial objects, representations of graphs, uniform distribution of resources.

Dr Leif Azzopardi

Research methodologies & approaches used - Qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, mixed methods, data analytics, user studies, simulations, economic models.

Current PhD student topics - Conversational Search Agents, Human Agent Interaction, Neural and Deep Learning for Information Retrieval, Search Engine and Algorithmic Bias, Search User Interfaces, Models of Search and Information Behaviour, Predictive Analytics of User Behaviour.

Dr Mark Dunlop

Research methodologies & approaches used - user based research particularly in mobile and activity support, qualitative and quantitative usability studies, technology probe development, machine learning for interaction

Current PhD student topics - investigating smart-app support for:

  1. Speech Therapy
  2. Independent Travel for People with Down's Syndrome
  3. Medical Consultation for people with Mild Learning Difficulties
  4. People getting Dialysis Treatment

How can I apply?

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Entry requirements

We look for a first or 2:1 UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in a computer sciences discipline from a recognised academic institution.

If English isn't your first language, you'll also need to have an IELTS score of 6.5 as proof of English proficiency.

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English is not your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 250-1,000 words in length, detailing the subject area and topic to be investigated.

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.


Research supervisors are assigned to you by the department of Computer and Information Sciences.

Let us know who you'd like to work with in your application and the department will team you up with the best supervisor for your project.

Once we've received your application, your research proposal is passed to potential supervisors for consideration.

If it's not compatible with the researcher's current projects and they cannot supervise then it's passed along to another for consideration.

If they can supervise you, then the supervisor will confirm and nominate a potential second supervisor.

As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system.

If you accept, you'll be sent a full offer in writing via the email address you'll have provided.

Accepting an offer

Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

International students

An ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate is a mandatory requirement for some postgraduate students in science, engineering and technology.

Find out if you need an ATAS certificate.

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Support & development

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and help you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have loads of different support for all students here at our University. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

Discover more about computer & information sciences