Computing, artificial intelligence and IT (2016 entry)

Subject overview

  • Sussex is ranked as one of the top UK universities for research in computing in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF): all aspects of our research environment were classified as either world leading or internationally excellent.
  • We have many successful business collaborations, enabling our taught courses to be informed by industry and facilitating exciting research.
  • Our students are highly employable, with 95 per cent of recent graduates’ job roles being at professional or managerial level.
  • Our portfolio of postgraduate courses is designed to meet the needs of students who want to develop a career in the IT industry and those wishing to move into academia or a research career.
  • We provide an intellectually stimulating environment with research in areas including computer science and software systems, digital media, e-business, human-computer interaction, adaptive systems and artificial life, cognitive systems, natural language processing, and artistic and creative systems.

Interdisciplinary research centres

The Department plays a central role in the following major interdisciplinary research centres:

Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics (CCNR)

CCNR is a collaboration between the Department of Informatics and the School of Life Sciences. This thriving centre seeks to explore and exploit the interfaces between the biological and computational sciences. CCNR is jointly run by the Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems group.

Centre for Research in Cognitive Science (COGS)

COGS is an internationally recognised centre for interdisciplinary investigation into the nature of cognition, be it natural or artificial. Members include researchers and students in artificial intelligence, psychology, linguistics, neuroscience and philosophy.

Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science (SCCS)

SCCS is a collaboration between the Department of Informatics, the School of Psychology, and Brighton and Sussex Medical School. The Centre’s aim is to unravel the complex neural mechanisms underlying conscious experience by bringing together computational modelling, cognitive neuroscience, and clinical applications.

Programmes

  • PhD in Cognitive Science
  • PhD in Informatics
  • MPhil in Cognitive Science
  • MPhil in Informatics

As a research student, you are associated with one or more research groups in the Department of Informatics and allocated a computer and working area in comfortable shared offices. You have full access to your research group’s specialist facilities and laboratories.

The Department is engaged in a wide range of highly rated research, covering many areas of artificial intelligence, computer science and cognitive science. We can supervise in all areas of faculty specialism.

Applicants wishing to pursue interdisciplinary research involving artificial intelligence (AI), including computational philosophy of mind or AI of biology, may apply to do research degrees in cognitive science.

Research/industry links 

Research is motivated by social, economic and industrial needs. Strong links have been developed with local and national industry – not least because most practical problems requiring research also demand an interdisciplinary approach. These relationships are further exemplified in the University’s Innovation Centre, where several of the companies are drawing on research carried out at Sussex.

Supervision and review of progress

Students are assigned two supervisors for the duration of their studies. They meet their primary supervisor regularly on an informal basis, and for a documented review meeting every month. A formal review of progress is conducted each year.

Research training

Students admitted to research courses take a Research Skills Development module in their first two terms, which is specifically designed for students in the School of Engineering and Informatics. In addition, specific MSc modules may be recommended to enhance your subject knowledge where necessary.

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Academic activities 

Research students make a substantial contribution to the research output of the Department of Informatics, and frequently present their work at conferences and in journals.

Postgraduate students are encouraged to attend and give talks in the various specialised seminar series in the Department. In addition to the seminar series run by each research group, there are seminar series run by other disciplines and the interdisciplinary research centres, which students regularly attend.

Recent thesis titles

A framework for the design, prototyping and evaluation of mobile interfaces for domestic environments

An inertial motion capture framework for constructing body sensor networks

Automated reasoning for reflective programs

Bio-inspired approaches to the control and modelling of an anthropomimetic robot

Biometric storyboards: a games user research approach for improving qualitative evaluations of player experience

Chaotic exploration and learning of locomotor behaviours

Cognitive modelling of complex problem-solving behaviour

Data-driven techniques for animating virtual characters

Evaluating computational creativity: a standardised procedure for evaluating creative systems and its application

Evaluation of the usability of constraint diagrams as a visual modelling language

Graph-based approaches to word sense induction

Individual differences in synaesthesia: qualitative and fMRI investigations on the impact of synaesthetic phenomenology

Model development and analysis techniques for epidemiological and neurobiological dynamics on networks

Module hierarchy and centralisation in the anatomy and dynamics of human cortex Neuronal oscillations, information dynamics, and behaviour: an evolutionary robotics study

Video analytics for security systems

 

Entry requirements

MPhil in Cognitive Science

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research. If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

MPhil in Informatics

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research. If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

PhD in Cognitive Science

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research. If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

PhD in Informatics

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research. If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787
E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545
E pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk 

Fees and funding

Fees

MPhil in Cognitive Science fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

PhD in Cognitive Science fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

MPhil in Informatics fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

PhD in Informatics fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

Find out more about fees

Visit Living costs

Scholarships

The sources of financial support listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual source of financial support to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

Visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016

Visit Career development and part-time work

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2016/17. For general information, visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

Research is a core activity of the Department of Informatics and is organised around four interdisciplinary research groups. Our research often entails collaborations between the groups, as well as with other academic schools at Sussex and external academic, institutional and commercial partners.

Visit Department of Informatics

The Department also plays a central role in the following major interdisciplinary research centres:

Visit Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics (CCNR)

Visit Centre for Research in Cognitive Science (COGS)

Visit Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science (SCCS)

Cognitive and Language Processing Systems

The research of this group addresses the science and engineering of complex systems for cognitively demanding, and data- and languageintensive domains, including the integration of methods from cognitive science, natural language engineering and machine learning.

Areas of specific interest include classifying large volumes of natural language text (eg free text in medical records), mining opinions from social media, developing machine learning methods for non-standard learning settings, creating novel visualisations of large and complex datasets, cognitive modelling of processes such as attention and graphical production, and designing cognitively informed interactive tools for complex problem-solving and decision making.

Faculty research interests include:

Prof John Carroll
Professor of Computational Linguistics
J.A.Carroll@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Computational Linguistics, Computational/Corpus Linguistics, Machine Learning (AI), Medical Informatics, Natural Language Processing

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Prof Peter Cheng
Professor of Cognitive Sciences
P.C.H.Cheng@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Cognitive Science, Human computer interaction, Knowledge visualisation / information visualisation / visual analystics, Tactile graphics - cognitive science of, User-authentication - cognitive biometric

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Dr Bill Keller
Senior Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence
billk@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Computational Linguistics, Computational/Corpus Linguistics, Linguistics, Machine Learning (AI), Natural Language Processing, Probabilistic Methods, Semantics And Pragmatics

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Dr Novi Quadrianto
Senior Lecturer in Machine Learning
N.Quadrianto@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Bayesian Methods, Computer Vision - Machine Learning, Ethical Machine Learning, Kernel Methods, Machine Learning (AI), Optimisation (AI), Probabilistic Methods, Time Series

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Prof David Weir
Professor Of Computer Science
D.J.Weir@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Computational Linguistics, Data Science, Natural Language Processing

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Dr Sharon Wood
Senior Lecturer in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence
S.Wood@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Modelling, Cognitive Science

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Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems (EASy)

The EASy group has been internationally prominent since it was established in the early 1990s. It is concerned with the interfaces between the biological and computational sciences, particularly with reference to furthering understanding of brains and minds. The group’s research is interdisciplinary and involves many strong links with other departments at Sussex. Research foci include adaptive and cognitive robotics, artificial life, bio-inspired computational methods, computational neuroscience, creative systems, history and philosophy of AI and ALife, clinical applications of neural modelling, scientific studies of consciousness, and synthetic neuroethology. It runs the highly successful Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics (CCNR) jointly with Sussex Neuroscience in the School of Life Sciences. Members of the group also direct the Centre for Research in Cognitive Science (COGS) and the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science (SCCS), both major cross-campus initiatives.

Faculty research interests include:

Dr Luc Berthouze
Reader in Informatics
L.Berthouze@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Biomedical Signal Processing, Computational Neuroscience, Developmental Robotics, EEG, EMG, Motor Control, Network Theory and Complexity, Neuronal network, Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos

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Prof Maggie Boden
Research Professor of Cognitive Science
M.A.Boden@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Christopher Buckley
Lecturer In Neural Computation
C.L.Buckley@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Ron Chrisley
Reader in Philosophy
R.L.Chrisley@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Artificial Intelligence, Cognition, Cognitive Science, Consciousness, Language & Philosophical Logic, Logic, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Mind, Philosophy of Science & Mathematics, & Mathematical Logic, Robotics

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Prof Phil Husbands
Research Professor Of Artificial Intelligence
P.Husbands@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Adaptive Systems, Artificial Intelligence, artificial life, Bio-inspired Neural Computing, Bio-inspired Robotics, Complex System Design, Computational Neuroscience, Digital Art & Design, Evolutionary Computation, evolutionary robotics, History of Science/Medicine/Technology, Machine Learning (AI), Mobile Robots, Nervous system, Optimisation Problems, Systems neuroscience

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Prof Thomas Nowotny
Professor Of Informatics
T.Nowotny@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Biomimetics, Chemical Sensing, Computational Neuroscience, Dynamic Clamp, Electronic Nose, GPU Computing, High Performance Computing, Insects, Ion channels, Machine Learning (AI), Neural networks, New Computing Paradigms, Olfaction, Robotics, Systems neuroscience

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Dr Andy Philippides
Reader in Informatics
andrewop@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: computational biology, Computational Neuroscience, Computer Vision & Image Processing - Pattern Recognition, Evolutionary Computation, insect navigation, navigation, Robotics

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Prof Anil Seth
Professor of Cognitive & Computational Neuroscience
A.K.Seth@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience, Consciousness, EEG, Neuroimaging, neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, Psychology, Time Series, Virtual Reality

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Dr Chris Thornton
Lecturer in Computing Science
C.Thornton@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Information Theory, Predictive Processing, Theoretical Cognitive Science

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Foundations of Software Systems

This group is interested in the theory and practice of future computation and communication. We build mathematical theories of computation and use such models to inform the design of programming languages and compilers. We design and evaluate distributed applications and services that provide the foundations of the pervasive computing infrastructure and other software systems. We model and analyse data representing system configurations, social
networks, trust, and provenance.

Faculty research interests include:

Dr Martin Berger
Lecturer in Foundations Of Computation
M.F.Berger@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Automata Theory, Compiler Theory, Compilers, Computer Systems Security, Concurrency, Cryptography, Domain Specific Languages, Formal Methods, Formal Verification, Foundations of computation, Functional Programming, Just-In-Time Compilers, Logic, Logic for Computer Science, Meta-Programming, Network Security, Programming Languages, Programming Languages - Concurrent, Programming Languages - Distributed, Proof Assistants, Proof Theory, Semantics of Programming Languages, Software Engineering, Software Specification, Software Verification, Theorem Provers

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Dr Ian Mackie
Reader
I.Mackie@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Visual programming languages

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Dr George Parisis
Lecturer
G.A.Parisis@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Data Centre Networking and Storage, Information-Centric Networking, Network Management, Opportunistic, Delay-Tolerant Networking, Software-Defined Networking and Software Verification

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Dr Bernhard Reus
Senior Lecturer in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence
bernhard@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Computational Complexity, Computer science, Foundations of computation, Software Verification

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Prof Ian Wakeman
Professor of Software Systems
I.J.Wakeman@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Communications networks, Datacenter Networking and Storage, delay tolerant networks, Distributed computing, Mobile Computing

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Interactive Systems

This group is concerned with the interfaces between humans and digital technology. We investigate interaction in the broadest sense, and consider it in relation to both traditional desktopbased technology and also more recent digital technologies – including mobile, immersive, ubiquitous and pervasive computing.

We are interested in all types of user, ranging from experts using technology in their work (such as medical professionals) and experts developing technology for their work (such as programmers) to people using technology for entertainment and leisure purposes (such as gamers) and to novices of all kinds (from children using educational technology to adults using social technology).

Our current research focuses on areas including human-centred design, computer graphics, technology-enhanced learning, digital heritage, motion-sensing technologies, digital content creation, digital economy and data analytics.

Faculty research interests include:

Dr Natalia Beloff
Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering
N.Beloff@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Big Data Analytics, Business models for Digital innovation, E-Business Models, Internet of things, Medical Informatics, Numerical Analysis, Remote Sensing & Earth Observation

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Dr Judith Good
Reader in Informatics
J.Good@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Game Based Learning, Game Creation for Learning, Learning, Learning Programming, Mobile Computing, Multimedia, Simulations for Learning, technology for autism

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Dr Kate Howland
Lecturer In Interaction Design
K.L.Howland@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: End-user programming, Game Based Learning, Game Creation for Learning, Human computer interaction, Interaction design, Novice programming, Participatory Design, Technology Enhanced Learning

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Prof Ann Light
Professor of Design & Creative Technology
Ann.Light@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Paul Newbury
Senior Lecturer In Multimedia Systems
P.Newbury@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Technology Enhanced Learning, Virtual Prototyping

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Dr Marianna Obrist
Reader in Interaction Design
M.Obrist@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Interaction design

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Dr Phil Watten
Media Technology Manager
P.L.Watten@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Martin White
Reader in Computer Science
M.White@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: 3D Reconstructions, Blockchain Applications, Digital Heritage, Healthy Living Applications

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Careers and perspectives

Many of our graduates have continued in academia as postdoctoral researchers, lecturers and assistant professors at institutions throughout the UK and worldwide. Other graduates have embarked on careers in industry as scientific officers, project leaders, managers, developers and system analysts in a diverse range of businesses from small specialist outfits to multinational companies such as Morgan Stanley and Microsoft.

To find out more, visit Careers and alumni

Research training

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Visit the Doctoral School website

Visit Stages of doctoral study

School and contacts

Contact us

Informatics, PG Admissions,
University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton BN1 9QJ, UK 
T +44 (0)1273 678195
E enquiries@enginf.sussex.ac.uk

Visit the Department of Informatics

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In addition to on-campus events, come and meet our postgraduate specialists at events across the UK.

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Overseas visits

Meet with Sussex staff in your country at exhibitions, visits to schools and universities, and at a wide range of other events. Forthcoming visits are planned all over the world:

Bahrain • Brazil • Brunei • Canada • China • Colombia • France • Germany • Ghana • Greece • Hong Kong • India • Indonesia • Iraq • Italy • Japan • Kenya • Kuwait • Malaysia • Mexico • Nigeria • Norway • Pakistan • Qatar • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • South Korea • Spain • Sri Lanka • Taiwan • Thailand • Turkey • UAE • USA • Vietnam.

In-country representatives

In the International Office, we manage a network of overseas representatives who have been trained to support international students with their application to study at the University. Services representatives provide can include pre-departure information, support in submitting your housing application and advice regarding applying for a UK Student Visa.

Find out more about our overseas visits and in-country representatives

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