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Department of Computer Science and Technology


Potential applicants should go to the Graduate Admissions application information in the first instance.

Applications for admission in October 2020 have now closed. The department will consider applications for admission in January 2021 up until the end of September 2020.  Those who are applying for one of the department's PhD studentships and RA'ships, you should use the deadline published on the individual job listing.

For those applicants who have not secured external scholarships and who wish to be considered for the various University and Cambridge Trusts' funding competitions, applications for the academic year commencing October 2021 open early September 2020. The deadline for submission of complete applications will be early December 2020 (date to be confirmed).


Applicants are expected to have

Research Proposal

Students are not assigned to prespecified projects. They are expected to propose an area or topic, and will be accepted only if an appropriate and willing supervisor is available. Applicants should therefore prepare a statement of proposed research of no more than 3000 words (in addition to the usual personal statement) indicating their intended topic and research strategy. This should:

  • show an understanding of existing work in the field,
  • identify an area for new work,
  • have concrete goals and deliverables for the first year, and
  • indicate that you know how to achieve them.

This could usefully be drafted in collaboration with the intended supervisor and candidates are invited to make informal contact with the Computer Laboratory, either through individual staff members or the Graduate Education Manager (address below), before submitting a formal application. Staff members belong to one or more research groups and may be contacted by email in the first instance.
If you contact more than one person in the department, please make sure that all the people you contact are aware of all the others so that we do not duplicate effort. Staff may suggest an informal visit, and may interview applicants in person or by telephone.

Application forms

Applications for admission in October 2021 will open in early September 2020 and applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applications submitted between mid-May 2021 and 30 June 2021 will be considered if there is a named potential supervisor who has invited the application, if the application is complete, and if funding is readily available.

Applicants should refer to the Graduate Admissions page for links to the application portal, deadlines, guidance and information.

Please note the following:

  • Applications for funding support from the University and Cambridge Trusts must be submitted earlier than the deadline above: see University funding deadlines.
  • Research students are admitted to the Certificate of Postgraduate Studies in Computer Science (see CPGS) in the first instance.
  • Applicants will also need to include a brief research abstract within the section of the application form which asks for a research topic and to indicate a potential supervisor's name.
  • Please note that there is an application fee.
  • Applications are considered as they are received.

Please note that your application can only be considered by the department once it has been submitted. Your application can only be submitted if it is complete.
You will be able to upload all your supporting material including a research proposal and the same time as submitting the application form. It is therefore very important to have all your supporting material, including agreement from your referees to provide you with references, your transcripts and research project proposal, ready before you start the application.

Funding competitions and grants

Applicants wishing to be considered for funding competitions should check their eligibility on the University-wide Sources of Funding web page.

The application portal acts as a scholarship funding application as well as an application for admission. In most cases, no further funding application form is required. There are some exceptions, however: we recommend checking the Student Funding webpage which provides information about other grants for students applying to Cambridge and their closing dates.

The current costs of a PhD are available from the Student Registry's Graduate Course Costs and Fee Status page. You will need sufficient funding to cover the University Tuition Fee, and at least the minimum maintenance for three years.

Once again, if you wish to apply for one of the department's PhD studentships and RA'ships, you should use the deadline published on the individual job listing.

Home and EU Students

The Laboratory makes awards to UK and eligible EU students both from funds supplied, for example the EPSRC Doctoral Training grant, and from its own funds such as the Premium Studentship. In the year starting October 2019, the department will help to fund seven research students from its Doctoral Training grant. These funds are limited and we encourage applicants to seek other funding, for example scholarships from their home countries, to come to Cambridge. The Funding Panel considers all successful applicants for funding awards within its gift and submits the names of highly ranked home and EU students to the Cambridge Trusts.

The Laboratory may also have positions associated with industrial collaborations and particular research projects. Such studentships are advertised on the University's Jobs web page.

International students

Very highly ranked international students will be considered for nomination to the Gates Cambridge Trust and Cambridge International Scholarship Scheme (CISS) competitions.

The department will contact applicants directly about its internal awards such as the Premium Studentship.

It is worth noting that full funding must be secured before starting a course at Cambridge. Most of the scholarships will not accept applications from students who are already in residence. Do not assert that you will be able to support yourself and hope that something else will turn up once you are in Cambridge.

Admission conditions

The Faculty's Degree Committee makes recommendations to offer places to successful applicants via the University's central Graduate Admissions Office, the only body with the authority to make an offer of a place as a graduate student. Offers from Graduate Admissions are usually conditional. A deadline will be set by which date all conditions must be met and, once met, the offer is confirmed by the Graduate Admissions Office.

Standard conditions include securing sufficient funding for three years to meet the financial conditions of the University and College membership. Additionally, applicants may be asked to achieve a certain grade in their current studies; to take or retake an English Language proficiency test; and any other conditions the Graduate Admissions Office might apply.

Successful applicants who have applied online may be required to send original documents to the University's Graduate Admissions Office for validation. We strongly recommend the use of a reputable courier and that you obtain a tracking number.


Please contact the Computer Laboratory's Graduate Education Manager with any questions not answered above.

Email: Graduate Education Manager

Computer Laboratory
William Gates Building
15 JJ Thomson Avenue
Cambridge CB3 0FD

Tel: +44 1223 334656

Graduate Admissions Office
Academic Division
17 Mill Lane
Cambridge, UK