We welcome applications from well-qualified graduates wishing to study for a PhD or an MPhil. We supervise research degrees in all areas of faculty specialism, across computer science, artificial intelligence, bio-inspired computing, cognitive science, digital media technologies, and human-computer interaction. Research degrees can be studied full-time or part-time.
Research in the department is organised around a number of research groups and centres, most of which are involved in interdisciplinary work with strong collaborations with other subject areas. Please feel free to contact potential supervisors directly about possible research projects. You can find appropriate contacts through information about example projects, and by browsing faculty home pages and research group websites.
Your research project
Candidates for PhD degree pursue a research project under the guidance of their supervisor(s). The outcome of the research is written up as a PhD thesis, which should make a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding. The period of study for the PhD is usually 3-4 years full time or 4-6 years part time. We consider applications all year round; please see our application advice for further information. Although most students start at the beginning of the academic year in September, students may instead begin their studies in January or April.
Candidates for the MPhil degree pursue a research project under broadly the same conditions as those applying to PhD candidates, except that the period of study is shorter (1-3 years full time, 2-4 years part time). An MPhil thesis is usually shorter than a PhD thesis and must either make an original contribution to knowledge or understanding, or be a valuable presentation or interpretation of material put together in an original manner.
It is also possible to undertake a research degree in cognitive science via the New Route PhD (refer to Postgraduate study at Sussex), which offers an integrated four-year programme of taught coursework in research methods and professional skills, and supervised doctoral research.
It is possible to register for a research degree as an independent distant student. Only applicants who are resident outside the UK may register in this way. All such students must spend a minimum period of at least one term in attendance at the University.
Training for research
Students admitted to research degrees will normally be required to take a research methods training module in their first two terms, although an appropriate MSc module may be provide an alternative way of gaining the necessary knowledge. Students are also free to take advantage of the many opportunities for researcher development offered by the Doctoral School. Supervisors give advice on specific training requirements for individual students.