• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2016, January 2017 or April 2017
  • Duration:

    Part-time: PhD 5-6 years (minimum 4 years); MPhil 4 years.

    Full-time: PhD 3 years (minimum 2 years); MPhil 2 years.

Programme overview

The research programme leads to either an MPhil or PhD degree. Both research degrees involve individual study of a specific research problem. For a student to be awarded a PhD, the research work must have resulted in a significant original contribution to the field of study; this is not required for an MPhil. You would initially register for an MPhil degree with transfer to PhD after satisfactorily completing an initial period of study if it seems likely that your thesis will contain significant original work.

Students who successfully complete this MPhil or PhD degree will have gained expert knowledge in their chosen research area and the ability to perform research-led activities in a broader context. In addition, students who successfully complete the PhD degree will have gained the ability to identify and solve complex problems arising in their chosen research area, and will have made a substantial original contribution to this area.

Find out more about the research interests of current MPhil/PhD students in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems.

What to do before you apply

Finding a supervisor

    Your research topic

    Potential applicants are welcome to contact academic staff about their research before making a formal application.

    Find out more about the department's research groups and centres and the research activities of individual staff.

    You can also contact the research admissions tutor, Professor George Magoulas, with general enquiries about research activities.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    You can apply, and start studying, at any time during the year, although October is the usual start date.

    Online application

    Computer Science and Information Systems (MPhil / PhD) (Part-time)

    Computer Science and Information Systems (MPhil / PhD) (Full-time)

    Why study this course at Birkbeck?

    • The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck is one of the longest-established computing departments in the UK, having celebrated our 55th anniversary in 2012.
    • Our research dates back to the late 1940s when one of the first electronic computers was developed in the then Computing Laboratory at Birkbeck by Dr Andrew Booth. The department was formally established in 1957 as the Department of Numerical Automation, one of the first computer science departments world-wide.
    • The department provides a stimulating teaching and research environment for both part-time and full-time students.
    • Watch videos of our students discussing their experience of studying and researching at Birkbeck.

    Entry requirements

    A Master's or upper second-class degree in computer science.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


    Part-time home/EU students: £ 2187 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £ 4121 pa
    Part-time overseas students: £ 6050 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 11995 pa

    Payment and Fees Discounts

    Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

    Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

    Research Funding

    Our School attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. Find out more about research funding opportunities at Birkbeck.

    Careers and employability

    Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

    Our research

    Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

    Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

    In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), more than 75% of our research outputs in Computer Science were ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.

    Read about Birkbeck research offering insights and expertise to inform business, contribute to economic success and develop ground-breaking technologies.

    Research resources

    The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck is a world-class centre of expertise in information and knowledge management, intelligent systems and computational intelligence. The department’s research includes major interdisciplinary activities in life sciences informatics, cognition computation and modelling, and technology-enhanced learning. Academic staff serve on numerous journal editorial boards and conference programme committees.

    The department also has major research collaborations with the Institute of Education in the London Knowledge Lab (LKL) and with the Department of Psychological Sciences in the Centre for Cognition, Computation and Modelling (CCCM). The LKL is a multidisciplinary research laboratory exploring how digital technologies and new media are shaping the future of knowledge and learning, whilst the CCCM conducts leading research in connectionist modelling, symbolic modelling and cognitive architectures, mathematical modelling and Bayesian models of cognition.

    Study resources include a course on research methods for computer science and information systems, regular research seminars and extensive computing facilities. As a research student, you will have 24-hour access to servers and networked PCs running a range of language compilers, database, data mining and other specialist software.

    The College library subscribes to the major digital library resources in computer science.

    Read more about our vibrant research culture.

    Research training and support

    You are required to attend a course on research methods in computer science and information systems. Attendance at research seminars is also expected.

    The department provides assistance with funding for you to attend conferences where you are presenting your research.

    Research training and support

    You are required to attend a course on research methods in computer science and information systems. Attendance at research seminars is also expected.

    The department provides assistance with funding for you to attend conferences where you are presenting your research.

    Teaching opportunities

    We advertise teaching opportunity posts on the vacancies page of our website.