Electronic Engineering PhD

Upon completion of my MSc I was able to embark upon a sponsored PhD at Surrey’s Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing. My PhD research is contributing to a European Union project in which the University is one of nine members.

Charles Malleson PhD Electronic Engineering

Why choose this course?

Electronic engineers produce the next generation of computers, satellites and mobile communication systems, and we are positioned at the forefront of these developments.

With our brand new 5G Innovation Centre, four internationally leading research centres and partnership (in collaboration with University of Strathclyde) with the National Physical Laboratory, your time with us will enable you to become an expert in your specialism.

From revolutionary approaches in spacecraft design and ingenious communications systems to nanostructures with incredible properties and the manipulation of light itself, our research in electronic engineering is at the most exciting edge of technological innovation.

Through consistent investment stemming from our deep commitment to world-class, sustainable research programmes, the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering has built up an impressive infrastructure to support all its activities.

The interdisciplinary nature of much of our work encourages us to constantly explore new opportunities to cross boundaries, providing you with truly world-class opportunities.

What you will study

There are around 300 PhD students within the Department and most of our doctoral research is offered by our PhD.

The Department also has an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training on Applications of Next Generation Accelerators in collaboration with the Universities of Strathclyde and Huddersfield, and Queen’s University Belfast.

The quality of our research is recognised by prestigious prizes from industry and government bodies (both British and international). We have a strong track record of funding from UK research councils and the European Union.

Why not discover the experiences of past and present students studying the subject, including Tom Wantock, Soheyl Soodmand and Charles Malleson?

In recent news, one of our PhD students' research efforts was recently praised by the Saudi ambassador to the UK and another PhD student won a Silver Medal at the International Astronautical Congress.

Research areas, centres and groups

  • Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) - dedicated to advancing next-generation electronic and photonic device technologies
  • Institute for Communication Systems (ICS) - formerly the Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR) - the largest academic research centre in the UK specialising in information and communication technology
  • Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) - one of the largest UK research centres in audio-visual signal processing and interpretation
  • Surrey Space Centre (SSC) - the world’s leading research centre for small, low cost space missions
  • Ion Beam implantation, analysis and applications
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Photonics
  • Radio air interface
  • Internet of Things
  • Future internet protocols and architecture
  • Cognitive networks and cognitive radio
  • Radio access system optimisation
  • Security
  • Knowledge and data engineering
  • Computer vision
  • Video analysis and processing
  • Speech and audio analysis and processing
  • Machine intelligence
  • Medical image analysis
  • 3D video and audio
  • Astrodynamics
  • Autonomous systems
  • Propulsion
  • Robotics
  • Space engineering and satellite applications
  • Theory and computation
  • Satellite communications and networks


We offer state-of-the-art facilities in many areas, including:

  • Clean-rooms for the development of nanotechnology
  • Ground-station for monitoring of satellites
  • EPSRC National Centre for Ion implantation and Ion-beam applications
  • Supercomputers for advanced mathematical modeling
  • Multiple camera broadcast studio facilities
  • Professional audio-visual production suite
  • Multimedia laboratories
  • RF and wireless test facilities
  • Internet of Things experimental facilities
  • Complete 4G/5G testbed
  • Broadband satellite network testbed
  • State of art computing and software packages


The quality of our research is recognised by prestigious prizes from industry and government bodies (both British and international). We have a strong track record of funding from UK research councils and the European Union.

We have a number of fully funded PhD studentships for suitably qualified UK and EU nationals who can demonstrate the appropriate residency requirements. Other funding opportunities also exist within different research centres.


Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PhD Full-time 30-48 months October, January, April, July
PhD Part-time 60-96 months October, January, April, July

Entry Requirements

A first or upper second-class degree in engineering or physical sciences, or equivalent overseas qualification, or a lower second plus a good Masters degree (distinction normally required). Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, subsequently confirmed.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

Non-native speakers of English will normally be required to have IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category. 

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time £4195 £20,000
Part-time £2100 £10,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/18 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

Overseas students applying for 2017 entry should please note that annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our research programmes

Doctoral College

Our Doctoral College supports researcher excellence and employability across the doctoral and early career stages of the researcher journey.

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Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

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