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Department of Computer Science and Technology


Potential applicants should refer to the the Postgraduate Admissions Course Directory for information about the program and application requirements.

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 2025, and January 2026, open on 3 September 2024. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. The deadline for submission of complete applications is 23:59 (GMT) on 3 December 2024. Applicants who have secured external funding may apply up to 15 May 2025.

Please note that applications submitted between 4 December 2024 and 15 May 2025 will be considered only if there is a named potential supervisor who has invited the application, if the application is complete, and if funding is readily available. Note that incomplete applications received after this date will only be considered for January 2026 admission but cannot be considered for the funding competitions (for which the deadline is 3 December 2024).

Applicants should refer to the Postgraduate 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 early: see University funding deadlines.
  • Research students are normally admitted to the probationary 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.
  • Applicants should discuss their proposed research with a potential supervisor before submitting the application for admission. See Research proposal for further details about the research proposal, and Research themes for links to potential supervisors within areas of your research interests. Please confirm that you have discussed the project with the proposed supervisor, and that they have confirmed they will be content to review an application from you. You should include a statement to this effect within the research abstract section of the application form.
  • 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 Postgraduate 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 students

The Department makes awards to UK students both from funds supplied, for example the EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant, and from its own funds such as the Premium Studentship and the Hopper Studentship. In the year starting October 2023, the Department will help to fund up to three research students from its Doctoral Training Grant. These funds are limited. The Applications Panel considers all successful applicants for funding awards within its gift and submits the names of highly ranked home and international students to the Cambridge Trusts.

The Department 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.

Please note earlier applications deadline for Gates Cambridge US scholarships for US students who are resident in the US: 11 October 2023.

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. We strongly discourage students asserting they can self-fund a PhD in the 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 Postgraduate Admissions Office, the only body with the authority to make an offer of a place as a postgraduate student. Offers from Postgraduate 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 Postgraduate Admissions Office.

Standard conditions include securing sufficient funding for three years to meet the financial conditions of the University including tuition fees and maintenance, 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 Postgraduate Admissions Office might apply.

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

CDT in Decision Making in Complex Systems

The AI CDT in Decision Making for Complex Systems is a programme offered in conjunction with the University of Manchester that aims to enable students to develop new fundamental AI capabilities in the context of a diversity of complex systems. Rather than working in isolation, as is usual in AI,  the students will learn to develop these in a collaborative manner tied to a specific application domain. The CDT is focused on three areas, Uncertainty in complex systems, Decision-making with humans in the loop and Decision-making for ML systems. Model interpretability and explainability will be transversal to the three topics. Decision making with AI needs  to be interpretable and explainable to facilitate interrogation of decision processes such that trust can be built by the human, and it is essential for understanding and meeting ethical and legal implications.

Like all research students admitted to read for the PhD degree, those admitted to the AI CDT in Decision Making for Complex Systems are admitted on a probationary basis. They will have successfully completed a certificate of postgraduate studies at the University of Manchester before being registered on a probationary NOTAF basis at the University of Cambridge. During this year students may do some additional coursework and will write a research report that is likely to form the foundation of the eventual PhD thesis. Applications for admission in Michaelmas 2025 open in September 2024.


Please contact the department's Postgraduate Education Manager with any questions not answered above.

Email: Postgraduate Education Manager

Include "PhD application query" in the subject.

Department of Computer Science and Technology
William Gates Building
15 JJ Thomson Avenue
Cambridge CB3 0FD

Tel: +44 1223 334656 (NB may not be accessible during remote working)

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Academic Division
Student Services Centre
Bene't Street, New Museums Site
Cambridge, CB2 3PT, U.K.