4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018


Engineering and product design are driven by the need for constant improvement. You’ll learn from – and will be inspired by – the engineers who are making these industry improvements happen.

We foster strong links with industry to support collaborative research and to provide routes to knowledge transfer and commercialisation of the outcomes of our research.

As a research student, you're associated with one or more research groups in the Department of Engineering and Design:

We welcome research proposals in all areas our faculty specialise in.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to work on your research full time or part time. For details about part-time study, contact us at

PhD or MPhil?

You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.

  • An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
  • A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.

If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.

How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex


Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.

  • Creative Technology

    Our Creative Technology research is concerned with the interfaces between humans and digital technology and how these are changing.

    We investigate interaction in the broadest sense, considering it in relation to digital technologies, connected physical artifacts, people’s experience and cognition, and their practices with mobile, immersive, ubiquitous and pervasive computing.

    Miss Pollie Barden
    Lecturer in Product Design

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    Dr Natalia Beloff
    Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering

    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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    Prof Peter Cheng
    Professor of Cognitive Sciences

    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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    Mr Giovanni Contreras Garcia
    Lecturer in Product Design

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    Dr Judith Good
    Reader in Informatics

    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

    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

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    Dr Diego Martinez Plasencia
    Lecturer in Interactive Graphics

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    Dr Gianluca Memoli
    Research Fellow in Human-computer Interaction for Acoustic Levitation

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    Dr Paul Newbury
    Senior Lecturer In Multimedia Systems

    Research interests: Technology Enhanced Learning, Virtual Prototyping

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    Dr Marianna Obrist
    Reader in Interaction Design

    Research interests: Interaction design

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    Ms Diane Simpson-Little
    Senior Teaching Fellow

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    Prof Sriram Subramanian
    Professor of Informatics

    Research interests: Display Devices, Haptic Technology, HCI - User Interaction, Music and Acoustic User Interfaces, Shape-memory Alloys

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    Dr Phil Watten
    Media Technology Manager

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    Dr Martin White
    Reader in Computer Science

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

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  • Dynamics, Control and Vehicle Research Group

    This group is known internationally for its high-quality automotive research and fundamental work in dynamics and control, with specific interest in:

    • the convergence of control
    • non-linear dynamics
    • structural mechanics
    • signal-processing activities applied mainly to automotive engineering
    • tribological research. 

    It has attracted research grants from, and formed collaborations with, a variety of local, national and international public and industrial sources including:

    • the EPSRC
    • the Royal Society
    • Jaguar Land Rover
    • SKF.

    Prof Julian Dunne
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering

    Research interests: Automotive Applications, Dynamic systems, Neural networks, Nonlinear systems, Optimal Control, Vibration (Mechanical)

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    Prof Peter Fussey
    Industrial Research Professor

    Research interests: Automotive Applications, Combustion, Control Engineering, diagnostics, Emissions (Combustion), Model Predictive Control, Noise and Vibration Control, Optimal Control, Real-time Software Systems, Software Quality, Systems modelling, Vehicle Emissions

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    Dr Romeo Glovnea
    Reader in Mechanical Engineering

    Research interests: lubrication, mechanical transmissions, Rheology, solid body mechanics, tribology

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    Dr Yevgen Petrov
    Reader in Structural Dynamics

    Research interests: Aeroelasticity, Damping of Vibration/Motion, Finite Element Methods, Mechanical engineering, Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos, Optimisation Problems, Rotor Dynamics, Structural dynamics, Vibration (Mechanical)

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    Dr Luis Ponce Cuspinera
    Lecturer in Mechatronics

    Research interests: Control Engineering

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    Dr Spyros Skarvelis-Kazakos
    Lecturer in Power Electronics

    Research interests: Batteries for Energy Storage, community energy, Dist'n of alternative energy vectors, Distributed Energy Resources, Distributed Power Generation, Electric Vehicles, Energy, Energy - Marine and Hydropower, Energy Hubs, Energy network simulation, Energy Storage, HVDC, Intelligent Control, Intelligent Power Systems, multiple energy carriers, Power Electronics, Reliability: Energy generation, Renewable Energy, Small Scale/Domestic Wind Energy Systems, Smart Grids, Sustainable Energy Networks, Virtual Power Plants, Wave Energy, Wind Power

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    Dr Chang Wang
    Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

    Research interests: 3D printing, Additive Manufacturing, Biomechanics for Orthopaedics, Computer Aided Modelling, Engineering Design, Engineering Stress Analysis, Finite Element Methods, Mechanical engineering, Solid Mechanics, Structural Engineering

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    Dr William Wang
    Senior Lecturer in Engineering

    Research interests: Aeronautics

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  • Industrial Informatics and Signal Processing Research Group

    Our research is focused on:

    • digital image processing
    • computer vision
    • optical computing
    • network and control theory
    • medical and biological imaging and image processing, with a particular focus on cancer diagnosis and treatment.

    These activities find application in a range of strategically important areas including product security, biometrics, automated face recognition, event detection and traffic monitoring.

    Dr Phil Birch
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: 3D Microstructures, Adaptive Optics, Biomedical Signal Processing, Biometric Imaging and Analysis, Coherent Optics, Computer Vision & Image Processing - Pattern Recognition, Computer Vision - Tracking, Diffractive Optics, Lasers - Biomedical Optics, Lasers and Optics, Light, Microscopy - Optical, Optical Computing, Optics - Biomedical, Optics - Imaging, Photonics

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    Prof Chris Chatwin
    Professor in Engineering

    Research interests: Communication technology, Computer Middleware, Computer Systems and Architecture, Computer Tomography (CT), Computer Vision & Image Processing - 3D, Computer Vision and Image Processing - Security, Electrical Impedance Tomography, Functional imaging for health, Health Informatics, Image and Vision Computing, Lasers and Optics, Manufacturing Systems and Integration, Mathematical modelling, Medical and health interface, Medical Informatics, Neural networks, Neurocomputing, Ontologies, Optical Communications, Optical Fibres, Satellite and Microwave Systems, Space science, Tomography for healthcare

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    Dr Tai Yang
    Reader in Computer & Control Engineering

    Research interests: Wind Power

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    Dr Rupert Young
    Reader in Engineering

    Research interests: Computer Vision & Image Processing - Pattern Recognition, Computer Vision and Image Processing - Security, Genetic Algorithms (CS), Holography Instrumentation, Medical Informatics, Photonics

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  • Sensor Technology Research Centre

    The Sensor Technology Research Centre (STRC) is a world-leading centre focusing on sensor technologies, mobile and wireless technologies and their applications.

    The research attracts funding from:

    • the EPSRC
    • TSB
    • the EU
    • a number of industrial collaborators.

    Dr Falah Ali
    Reader in Digital Communications

    Research interests: Mobile and wireless communications, Vehicle communications, Wireless sensor networks

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    Dr Anna Barnett
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: Astronomy & Space Science Technologies, Gamma Ray Astronomy, III-V - Quantum Devices, III-V Arsenides, III-V Nitrides, III-V Optoelectronic Circuits, III-V Semiconductors, III-V Semiconductors (Optoelectronic), III-V Thin Film Arsenides and Phosphides, Instrumentation for Particle Physics Or Astronomy, Instrumentation, sensors and detectors, Optoelectronic Detectors and Receivers, Photodetectors, Photodiode, Planetary science, Radiation Effects on Instrumentation, Semiconductor Devices, Semiconductor Electronic Structure, Semiconductor Structure/Growth, Silicon Semiconductors, Space science, Spaceflight, X-ray Astronomy, X-ray Fluorescence, X-ray Imaging

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    Dr Niko Munzenrieder
    Lecturer in Sensor Technology

    Research interests: Clean room Processing, Flexible Electronics, Large-area Electronics, Oxide Semiconductors, Semiconductor Technology, Thin-film Transistors

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    Prof Maziar Nekovee

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    Dr Menguc Oner
    Lecturer in Communications and Signal Processing

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    Prof Robert Prance
    Research Professor

    Research interests: Engineering Design

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    Dr Daniel Roggen
    Reader In Sensor Technology

    Research interests: Activity recognition, Ambient intelligence, Applied machine learning, Assistive Technologies for Rehabilitation, context awareness, Context recognition, Embedded systems, Human-Computer Interactions, Mobile Computing, Mobile Robots, Sensor technologies, Smart Sensors, Ubiquitous Computing, Wearable computing

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    Dr Zhengguo Sheng
    Lecturer in Advanced Networks and Communications

    Research interests: Cloud computing, Communication and signalling, Internet of things, Machine-to-Machine, Mobile and wireless communications, Power line comunications, Vehicle communications, Wireless Communications, Wireless Sensor Networks (Comms)

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  • Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre

    The Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre (TFMRC) is a dedicated research laboratory specialising in flow and heat transfer, and has substantial experimental and computational facilities.

    It has a proven track record in research, particularly in relation to gas turbine engines, and has attracted significant funding over previous years from industry, the European Commission and the EPSRC to conduct cutting-edge research on a wide range of engineering problems. It is now engaged in a major collaboration with GE Aviation.

    Dr Vasudevan Kanjirakkad
    Lecturer in Experimental Thermofluid Mechanics

    Research interests: Experimental Aerodynamics, Heat Transfer, Turbomachinery

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    Prof Martin Rose
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering

    Research interests: Combustion, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Fluid Mechanics (Continuum), Gas Turbines, Internal Aerodynamics, Turbomachinery, Unsteady Flow

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    Dr Esra Sorguven
    Senior Lecturer in Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics

    Research interests: Aero-acoustics, Cardiovascular systems, Fluid Dynamics, Large Eddy Simulation, Thermodynamics, Turbomachinery

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Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in an engineering discipline or physics. Applicants from other backgrounds may be considered if they have suitable qualifications or work experience.

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 about ATAS.

English language requirements

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

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Scholarships and fees

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters Loan

MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

PhD studentship on Advanced Communication and Networking in Connected Vehicles (2017)

Postgraduate Research, £14,553 tax free stipend plus fees waiver.

Application deadline:

21 July 2017

Find out more about the PhD studentship on Advanced Communication and Networking in Connected Vehicles

PhD Studentship: Engineering Ultra high power Plasmonic Sources for 6th Generation (6G) Terahertz Mobile Communications (2017)

£14,553 tax free stipend plus UK/EU fees waiver.

Application deadline:

16 August 2017

Find out more about the PhD Studentship: Engineering Ultra high power Plasmonic Sources for 6th Generation (6G) Terahertz Mobile Communications

STFC PhD Studentship: Novel Detectors for Astronomy and Nuclear Science (2017)

£18,928 tax free stipend plus UK/EU fees waiver.

Application deadline:

26 June 2017

Find out more about the STFC PhD Studentship: Novel Detectors for Astronomy and Nuclear Science

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students

Home: £4,195 per year

EU: £4,195 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year

Overseas: £18,750 per year

Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.