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Department of Computer Science and Technology


New research students: welcome!

After settling in at your College and collecting your blue University Card, and Raven passwords, and have completed your student registration at Getting started with IT at Cambridge University, we will also need you to register with the department as instructed below.

The vast majority of students will be working remotely from College rooms or private accommodation during the coronavirus pandemic. You may also be quarantining and you should follow your College’s advice. However, if you have met all your offer’s conditions and if your offer has been confirmed, and there is every likelihood that you will be able to arrive before the division of University term – 9 November 2020 – we will expect to register you in the department. The purpose of ‘registration’ is to validate you on the department’s databases, give you your departmental account details, and introduce you to your cohort of new research students.

Please avoid the first Monday of term as we will be registering M.Phil students and will not be available to speak with you. You should also email your supervisor to arrange your first meeting. Let us know if you are unlikely to be registering before 14 October.

There is a great deal to digest in the first few weeks of term but we hope that many of your questions will be answered on the department’s and College’s websites. We recommend bookmarking the PhD Resources page for future reference. Much of the material is duplicated in the Research Students Handbook though the handbook has some handy maps of the building's floorplans under the coronavirus restrictions. Please think about the planet before printing this.

From time to time you may have questions the web pages don't answer. Just ask the Graduate Education Team. We have Open Office hours from 3 until 4 p.m. daily via MS Teams. If we don't know the answer, we will know who to ask.

The following information is especially relevant for the first week.


We will be creating individual Moodle pages for all research students. You will be asked to confirm that you have completed a RDP course and have read a number of important documents:

  1. All new research students who did not complete the M.Phil in Advanced Computer Science between 2018 and 2020 will need to complete the Researcher Development Programme’s Core Unit CU0. Please login to Moodle using your Raven password
  2. Read the Code of Practice for Research Students 2020-21
  3. Read the ISC Rules, Guidelines and Procedures documents
  4. Read the department’s protocol safe working in the department
  5. Acknowledge your understanding of the department's recording policy for taught courses (including Researcher Development Programme units) and agree that you will not share recorded material.

Once you have confirmed that you have completed these activities, we will issue a Department login and passwords for machines used in the department. Please also read An Introduction to the Computing Facilities at the Department of Computer Science and Technology.

October 2020 Health and Safety Course

All new CPGS students (including former Cambridge Part III undergraduates) will need to complete the Safety Office’s online course Safety office webpage . You should receive an email from the Safety Office when final arrangements have been made.

From 2 p.m., Tuesday 6 October 2020 Virtual Registration

  • The Graduate Education Office will send a VC link for one of a number of briefing session. Students will be grouped broadly by research interests and supervisor and you will be able to carry on chatting after the Graduate Education Manager’s welcome.
  • New research students should have made arrangements to meet with their PhD supervisors independently.

Wednesday 7 October 2020 (online)

  • 11:00 CU1 Introduction to Academic Writing in Higher Education (Dr Karen Ottewell, CU Language Centre) - former M.Phil students do not need to attend this session

Thursday, 15 October 2020, 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.: Induction Session

  • 14:00 Via Zoom
  •  14:05 Milestones: Prof. Cecilia Mascolo, Deputy Head of Department (Recorded)
  • 14:30 Welcome from the Head of Department, Prof. Ann Copestake
  • 14:40 Researcher Development: Dr Eva Kalyvianaki
  • 15:00 Being a research student: current research students (Indigo Orton, Nikhil Churamani)
  • 15:20 Who is here to help, conferences, changes in circumstances Q&A: Ms Lise Gough
  • 16:00 This is when we would normally give you a tour of the building and facilities but this year will be impossible – sorry!
  • 17:30 Virtual Happy Hour – link to follow by email

Other very helpful information:

Despite the interesting challenges coronavirus poses, we really look forward to meeting you in the new term and hope that you will enjoy your time in Cambridge.


The Graduate Education Team
September 2020