Postgraduate research study

Our PhD and MSc by Research degrees enjoy worldwide prestige and we offer postgraduate programmes of outstanding quality.

The School of Computing Science provided me with an environment that stimulated my intellectual development and allowed me to do work that pushed the boundaries of science.
Joe Wandy, PhD graduate, 2016

Postgraduate students benefit from the best possible support and supervision and, on graduating, they are well qualified to take up key posts in industry and academia.

The School's academic staff, organised in four research sections, offer a diverse range of specialisms ranging from formal methods and machine learning to human-computer interaction. 

A list of currently available projects and funding opportunities can be found on the PhD projects and funding opportunities page.

Making your research degree application

The same application is used for a Masters by Research (MRes) or a PhD. We want to make the application process as simple as possible and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or problems.

To apply, you need to:

The research plan should generally describe the areas you are interested in. It shows us that you have thought about some of the questions to be answered in your research. Note that if you are interested in one of the listed projects you should still write a research proposal, expanding on the listed description.

If you want help writing this then contact us at the address below or email directly the members of staff working in your area of interest (the email addresses of members of staff can be found from the staff contacts pages) - they will be happy to help you. If you do not give us a research plan then we will not be able to see where you fit in the School’s research activities.

To find out more contact:

Research Student Admissions
School of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8RZ
Tel: 0141 330 5322
Fax: 0141 330 4913


Your research plan

When you are a research student studying for a PhD/MSc, you must show that you are both original and creative. Providing information on the following points will give you the opportunity to demonstrate these qualities and tell us something about your interests. They will also form the outline of a research plan. This plan should be based on work that you have already done or are interested in doing. This does not mean that you will be required to continue this work once you are here. However, it does give us something with which we can estimate your current research skills. Without a research plan we will not be able to judge whether you are a suitable candidate or not.

Please enclose with your application form a sample research plan that addresses the following five points:

  1. Describe some work that you have done, or are interested in doing, which has made you consider undertaking research.
  2. Outline any extensions to this work that you believe would make good research topics.
  3. Select one of these research topics and construct a plan for doing the research. Make the plan as detailed as possible, showing the stages you would go through. It should be at least one to two pages long.
  4. Briefly describe any other work related to your topic of which you are aware.
  5. Write a paragraph that shows how you would convince another person working in similar topic that the results from your work will be new and useful.

If you do not send us a research plan then we will not be able to assess your potential for research. If you have any difficulties with this then email the member of staff in whose area you are interested or email and we will help.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable at the commencement of the academic year and are subject to annual review.   For further information and information on current tuition fees see

Support and resources

As well as excellent supervision, the School will provide you with a rich environment in which to do your research. Among the resources available to you are a sophisticated computing environment, a wide variety of library services (both paper and electronic), and, most importantly, a vigorous society of academic staff and other research students.

The Research Students' Committee (RSC)

The RSC is the committee that looks after PhD and Masters by Research students in the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow. It is responsible for the day-to-day handling of research student matters from progress monitoring through to submission and viva arrangements. Each research group in the School will be represented by one or two research students, nominated by the corresponding group leader. The list of research student representatives is updated yearly, and is provided on the RSC web page. The role of the research student representatives is to bridge between RSC and students. Representatives are expected to communicate and supply feedback from others in their research group.

During the scheduled meetings both student representatives and staff have the opportunity to raise matters of current interest and concern. In addition, students experiencing problems or difficulties should feel free to approach RSC members at any time.

Research discussions

All the research groups in the School organise weekly research discussions during term-time. Normally a member of the group or an outside speaker will present a talk, and a discussion follows, often continuing in the pub or our common room afterwards. These research discussions provide a valuable opportunity to learn more about your subject area, and get to know other students and members of academic staff who are working in your area. As well as specialised research discussions, we have a regular seminar series in which distinguished speakers from around the world give talks. These talks are intended for a wide audience, and all research students are encouraged to attend. You are also encouraged to attend some of the courses given to our final-year undergraduates. These cover a range of specialist topics within Computing Science, eg:

Computer Vision and Graphics
Embedded, Networked and Distributed Systems (ENDS)
Formal Analysis, Theory and Algorithms (FATA)
Human Computer Interaction (GIST)
Inference, Dynamics and Interaction
Information Retrieval
Software Engineering and Information Security

 They provide an excellent opportunity for you to widen your knowledge of your subject, or study a related subject that you think may be important for your research.

Your office

You will be given space to work in a research student office. You will normally share this office with three or four other students, often other people working in your own area. Your office will also have a phone.

Research student office