Postgraduate research

If you are interested in contributing to computer science then we offer individually tailored research projects as part of our PhD programme. This will provide you with a unique experience in which you will study to become an expert in your chosen field.

Applying for a PhD

All PhDs are individually tailored for you. Further details can be found at our Research web page and our Computer Science Programme page.

Funding opportunities

The Department of Computer Science offers a number of funding opportunities for PhD students which are listed below. For further information please visit our fees and funding section.

The University routinely advertises studentships for PhD studies. We also welcome applicants who bring external funding themselves to study with us.

We are offering tuition fee only scholarships for PhD students funded by China Scholarship Council (CSC).

Although not currently on the list of the CSC's official partners in the UK, the University of Surrey's Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science (FEPS) has recently decided to offer tuition fee only scholarships (which is currently £18,000 p.a.) for a number of successful applicants who will be able to secure a CSC PhD scholarship (covering living allowance). The Department of Computer Science will select up to two PhD applicants and support them with their application to the CSC for getting a PhD scholarship.

Please note: CSC scholarships are for Chinese nationals only, but can support some Chinese nationals who are currently studying overseas. Check CSC website for more guidelines.

University of Surrey's Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science (FEPS) has an annual call for up to two University Research Scholarships (URS, covering full costs for UK/EU students only) and up to four Overseas Research Scholarships (ORScovering the tuition fee difference between UK/EU students and non-UK/EU students*).

The Department of Computer Science will select up to two applications for URS and two applications for ORS to participate in the faculty-wide competition for such scholarships.

  • Application deadline: 15 March 2018 (predicted)
  • Expected start date of PhD study: July 2018

To apply please contact Dr André Grüning.

The Department of Computer Science is also open to consider externally-funded PhD students to study with us. Although we cannot provide funding for such students, we can make an offer letter if an applicant passes our quality check which normally can help applicants to secure external funding e.g. PhD scholarships from their governments.

For applicants from Commonwealth countries, Commonwealth Scholarships is a good source for getting such funding. More external scholarships for PhD studies in the UK can be found at and Computer ScienceInformation TechnologyTelecommunications.

For such opportunities, there is no application deadline and students can start in January, April, July or October of each year.

In addition to pursuing your PhD degree awarded by the University of Surrey, we are also welcoming short-term and long-term visiting PhD students especially for visits between 6 to 12 months.

Currently we charge a nominal bench fee of £100 per month for such visiting students. If you are a PhD student registered at another university and would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact a potential supervisor of the Department of Computer Science who will guide you through the formal process.


Verification of security and privacy in modern threat landscapes

Funding information:
A stipend of £16,000 per annum, tax-free, subject to nationality and residence status. Fees are covered for UK/EU students (in value of £4,260).

Applied cryptography

Funding information:
The Studentship consists of a fee waiver and a stipend of £16,000 per annum, and is available to students of UK/EU residency. PhD student positions are limited to three years. 

Multi-factor authentication

Funding information:
You will receive a tax-free stipend of approximately £22,000 per year (for 3.5 years). Additional funding is available to support presentation of research results at international conferences, participation in PhD summer schools, other scientific events, and engagement with industry.

Research tailored to you

All PhD students work on individual projects within one of our research groups. A PhD normally lasts for 3 years.  During this time you will undertake a critical review of your chosen field of study to bring you to the cutting-edge of knowledge, propose a novel solution to your chosen problem, whether theoretical or empirical, and evaluate it. Along the way you will demonstrate your progress during your PhD probationer transfer, publish at either an international conference or through an international journal, before finally defending your thesis in your viva examination.

During your studies you are supported by two academics who you will meet with regularly.  You will also be part of the larger Doctoral College community, which brings together researchers from all parts of the University. As part of the Doctoral College you will attend a training programme that will help you gain the skills you need to become a fully-fledged researcher, whether that is brushing up on your project management skills or learning how to get published.

If you have an idea for a topic, or want to talk to someone about their current work, please get in touch with individual academics.


A typical PhD is structured as:

  • Year 1: background research and topic
  • Year 2: transfer from PhD probationer to PhD
  • Year 3: write-up and viva examination

Key contact

Director of PGR Studies and Admissions Tutor
Dr André Grüning: +44(0)1483 682648

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