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Computer Science Research MPhil/PhD

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Current number of academic staff: 67

Current number of research staff and students: 45 research associates/fellows, approximately 200 MPhil/PhD students across all of our research areas and numerous internationally recognised visiting academics.

Research income: Currently, the Department attracts approximately £7m in research funding.

Recent publications: All academics in the Department publish regularly, with well over 100 publications per year.

Partner organisations: We have strong links with industry, government and other academic institutions. Our research has been supported by several companies from the aerospace, automotive, financial, IT and telecommunications sectors.

Recent events: We host several workshops and conferences and other regular research meetings. Please check our website for forthcoming events.

Key information

Duration PhD three years FT, six years PT.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences

Department Department of Informatics



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Course detail


The Department of Informatics has an extensive research profile, with major externally funded projects, a strong publication profile and significant research activity. Our research is organised around our research groups, and you can find details of the range of current research projects and interests on the Department's research pages.

If you are interested in joining us to undertake PhD research, you should identify topics and academic staff in your area of interest. If you cannot find your chosen topic or area on our individual research section or subgroup pages, contact a relevant member of academic staff for further information and then follow the application procedure.

Algorithms & Data Analysis

The research scope of the Algorithms and Data Analysis (ADA) group ranges from theoretical computational-complexity issues, through design and analysis of algorithms and data structures for generic computational problems, to developing machine learning algorithms that are able to apply but also acquire new knowledge, adapt to environment, and process new inputs. Particular emphasis is placed on developing algorithmic solutions and concrete implementations for various applications, focusing on applications engaging with verticals such as health, security, and finance.

Requests for further information about Algorithms and Data Analysis should be directed to the Head of Group, Costas Iliopoulos: c.iliopoulos@kcl.ac.uk (on sabbatical in 2018/19, please contact another member of the group for any enquiries.


The Cybersecurity (CYS) group studies design, modelling, analysis, verification and testing of networks and systems in order to tackle cybersecurity and privacy problems that are important to industry, society and everyone living in a technologically dependent world.

Our research is both theoretical and applied, and includes cryptography, security by design, security engineering, formal methods for security and privacy, protocols and web and mobile applications, malware, access control, anomaly detection and intrusion detection, business processes and workflows, policies, trust, transparency, human factors and socio-technical systems, usable security and privacy, AI privacy, AI security, safety, information assurance and information warfare, intelligent security, ethical hacking, cybercrime forensics and statistics.

Numerous industrial applications include network security solutions, cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, e-health. We also collaborate with governmental and law-enforcement agencies.

Requests for further information about Cybersecurity should be directed to the Head of Group, Professor Luca Viganò: luca.vigano@kcl.ac.uk

Distributed Artificial Intelligence

The Distributed Artificial Intelligence group explores the use of AI in social and economic contexts where an intelligent entity may be interacting with other entities. The group marries artificial intelligence expertise with social, political and economic theories and data to pursue research that has strong technological and societal relevance and benefit. We take inspiration from tools and techniques in human societies for the engineering of effective decentralised technology, and develop computational models for analysing social, political and economic phenomena to improve the effectiveness and fairness of policy and practice.

Requests for further information about Distributed Artificial Intelligence should be directed to the Head of Group, Dr Maria Polukarov: maria.polukarov@kcl.ac.uk

Human Centred Computing

The Human Centred Computing (HCC) group is concerned with the design, development and evaluation of systems with which humans interact and engage in complex and varied ways, with interest in visualisation, natural language processing and human-computer interaction. This newly created group, building on its activity on empirical designs and visual analytics, will seek to appoint staff to conduct inter-disciplinary research focusing on human involvement with systems.  HCC’s aim is to develop a recognized international expertise in empirical design, user centred methodologies, visual analytics, information visualization, natural language processing, multi-modal interfaces, human factors, and human computer interaction.

Requests for further information about Human Centred Computing should be directed to the Head of Group, Dr Rita Borgo: rita.borgo@kcl.ac.uk

Reasoning and Planning
The Reasoning and Planning (RAP) group focusses on the fundamental Artificial Intelligence challenge of creating, representing and reasoning with expressive models of the world, with particular strengths in dealing with complex systems and in reasoning with information that is uncertain, incomplete or subjective. Research within the RAP group considers both individual and multi-entity reasoning and planning, which may involve humans as well as AI systems.,

Requests for further information about the group should be directed to the Head of Group, Professor Simon Parsons: simon.parsons@kcl.ac.uk

Software Systems
The Software Systems (SSY) group studies design, modelling and engineering of software systems, reasoning about systems, and algorithms and tools for verification of software. An important part of our activities is the research in applications of logic and mathematics to broad computer science. Numerous industrial applications include autonomous systems, transportation, logistics, and safety of complex software. Requests for further information about the group should be directed to the Head of Group, Dr Hana Chockler: hana.chockler@kcl.ac.uk

Course study environment

Course study environment

We are a department with many internationally recognised researchers and visiting academics, large groups of PhD students, research assistants, national and international projects, collaborations with other departments  as well as links with industry. We offer an exciting environment and excellent opportunities for research.

Our PhD students have access to good library facilities, designated PhD offices within the Department where PhD students can dock an assigned laptop for use throughout their studies, Regular group seminars are organised providing PhD students chance to showcase their research and receive feedback from academic staff and peers, and college-based training in transferable and research skills.

The Department is located on the Strand Campus, in the heart of central London, close to the cultural activities of the West End and the South Bank, to the major departments of state at Whitehall, and to the leading financial institutions of the City, and within easy reach of major transport links. Our facilities are within easy reach of the British Computer Society and the Institute of Engineering & Technology (and the IET Library), with access to a formidable collection of scientific journals and other technical material.

The Department moved to the historic Bush House in the summer of 2017, featuring state-of-the-art teaching and office spaces. Although the Department is fairly large in size, there is a friendly and inclusive culture, with regular social and celebratory events to bring staff and students together. Our staff and students come from all over the world, which provides a rich environment for teaching and research. Diversity is positively encouraged and you can read more about the work we’re doing to ensure an inclusive and supportive working environment on our webpages: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/nms/depts/informatics/Diversity-Inclusion

The scope of our research is defined by the interests of our research groups.



Postgraduate training

Faculty and College induction courses are scheduled at the beginning of your degree to prepare you for life as a PhD student. All students are required to complete 10 days of training each year. There is a centrally provided programme of  related and transferable skills training coordinated by the Centre for Doctoral Studies.

Research students are also encouraged to submit papers to conferences, and we try to provide financial support for them to travel to present their papers.

Our research students are also encouraged to teach alongside their studies to help prepare them for a potential future career in academia.

Head of group/division

Professor Luc Moreau

Contact for information

Contact the Admissions Office

  • Before you apply: via our Enquiry Form (www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/contacts.aspx#admissions)
  • After applying: use the messaging service at apply.kcl.ac.uk or contact the Postgraduate Officer, Admissions Office Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 1648

Course website

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Computer Sci Research Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements  
  • Bachelors degree with 2:1 honours degree in computer science or a closely related subject,  and a good background in the area of intended research. 

  • Applicants who do not meet the undergraduate requirements but have or are currently studying an additional Masters with Merit in computer science or relevant subject may be considered.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements  
  • Band D 

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

You should complete the application form and send all appropriate documentation as listed in the requirements. Ideally, you should indicate the research group and, if possible, names of potential supervisors. Your application is evaluated by the relevant research group or individual academic. Applicants may be interviewed, by telephone for those not based in the UK. We aim to notify you of the result within six weeks of receipt of an application by the School. 

September, January, April and July start dates available. Applicants are strongly encouraged to start their degree at beginning of the academic year in September, when the College offers a full induction programme.

ATAS  An ATAS certificate is required for successful applicants applying for this course whose nationality is outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate can be found on our International Student Advice pages.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Document checklist
Personal statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).

Research Proposal Yes The proposal should explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References  Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application

Course intake

Approximately 10-20 per year.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible as we may need to request further information from you to assess your application. This is also important if your application is successful and you are required to meet any offer condition, and/or you need a Student Visa to study here at King's.

The final application deadlines are detailed below; on these dates, the programme will close at 23:59 (UK time) and we will open for the corresponding intake in 2023 soon after the same intake has passed in 2022.

  • February 2022 entry – 12 November 2021 for Overseas fee status and 6 December 2021 for Home fee status

  • June 2022 entry – 1 April 2022 for Overseas fee status and 11 April 2022 for Home fee status

  • October 2022 entry – 29 July 2022 for Overseas fee status and 26 August 2022 for Home fee status

  • February 2023 entry – 21 October 2022 for Overseas fee status and 22 November 2022 for Home fee status

  • June 2023 entry – 3 April 2023 for Overseas fee status and 17 April 2023 for Home fee status

Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier than the application deadlines listed above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

International Foundation

Fees and funding

UK Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees: £5,820 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,910 per year

International Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees: £25,800 per year

Part time tuition fees: £12,900 per year

UK Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees: £6,120 per year

Part time tuition fees: £3,060 per year

International Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees: £26,640 per year

Part time tuition fees: £13,320 per year

EU Students starting their programme in the academic year 2021/22 will pay international tuition fees.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King's terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


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Next steps

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