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Department of Computer Science and Technology


The Department of Computer Science and Technology will offer a part-time route to the PhD Degree with effect from October 2022. 

Part-time structure

The Department of Computer Science and Technology could offer a part-time route to the PhD. At present, the University allows a part-time route which is 60% or 75% of a fulltime PhD route for which the minimum number of terms:

 60% route -15 terms minimum; maximum number of terms for a part-time student is 21 terms.

 75% route - 12 terms minimum; maximum number of terms for a part-time student is 16 terms.

The requirements for the probationary CPGS in Computer Science will be spread across two years with the first-year report due near the end of the fifth term (i.e. end of March for a Michaelmas admittee), and the registration viva occurring in the sixth term (Easter term). The Department expects the completion of the required 12 units from the Researcher Skills Programme across two years. Part-time students are also encouraged to spend one term full-time in the first year of the programme and that students will be in residence in Cambridge during that time.

After successful registration for the PhD Degree, part-time Ph.D. students are expected to have between 2 and 4 meetings with their supervisor per term for at least a further ten terms. They are expected to spend an average of three weeks each term in the Department with a minimum of 45 nights p.a. in residence.

Requirements for a part-time PhD applicants in Computer Science and Technology

  1. The proposed topic of research must be suitable for part-time study.
    • The proposed topic needs to be suitable for study over a minimum of 12 or 15 terms (75% or 60% route respectively) and a maximum of 16 or 21 terms (75% or 60% route respectively) . Applicants will need to provide a schedule of the research over the first few years. 
    • If a supervisor identifies a potential student and a topic as being possibly suitable for part-time study, an initial interview report form must be sent to the PhD Applications Panel for consideration.
    • Potential supervisors should invite the Chair of the PhD Applications Panel or a deputy to attend the formal interview.
    • As well as consideration by the PhD Applications Panel, the interview report will be considered by, and a decision approved by, the Degree Committee. The approved form will also be loaded to the applicant portal for consideration by the Postgraduate Admissions Office.
  2. The proposed supervisor must be able to supervise a part-time Ph.D. for at least the minimum 15 terms. This means that supervisors on short-term contracts, or those due to retire within seven years of a part-time student being admitted, will not be eligible to supervise. Those who are due to take sabbatical leave should consider alternative supervision arrangements.
  3. Applicants should be aware that there is no obligation on supervisors to accept applicants who wish to be admitted as part-time students.
  4. The student must live close enough to Cambridge, or be able to spend enough time in Cambridge during the first two years, to be able to participate, as much as possible, in research group seminars, reading groups and other activities.
  5. The student and supervisor will sign an agreement about how often the student will be in the department. This might be, for example: 2 x 8-hour days per working week per term, or 3 x 1-week per term, plus 40% of time in the research term (1 July to 30 September).
  6. Most CST Research Skills courses are available remotely. For research themes’ group meetings and seminars, physical presence in the department is preferred.
  7. The student will be required to provide a letter from the employer (if the student is employed) confirming that they may have time off to attend the University as required for the duration of the course. Applicants are required to upload a part-time attendance Declaration to their application once approved for admission.

Updated May 2024