Applications are welcome for the 2018/19 session (entry October 2018), normally before 1st July 2018 for admission in October 2018. However, we strongly advise applying earlier, as this will increase your chances in the competition for scholarships and funding. See here for industry sponsored PhD opportunities.

There are approximately 16 places available annually in the CDT programme. We welcome your application, especially if you have a good MSc degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Electrical or Electronic Engineering, Mathematics or some IT-related discipline. Candidates who have a Bachelor’s degree only will not normally be considered. Additionally, applicants need to demonstrate strong research potential. Where appropriate, we may encourage applicants to register first for an MSc in either the Department of Computing or Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and then, upon successful completion of this, to apply for registration for a PhD in the CDT.

Competition is very strong for places, but there are various competitive scholarships available for the four year programme if you do not have funding.  In particular, there are up to 7 full scholarships available for UK students, or EU students satisfying the EPSRC eligibility rule. We have a wide range of funds, and for other EU or non-EU students we will do our best to find an appropriate funding package for every candidate.

A full scholarship provides payment of all fees, a tax-free stipend (currently about  £16553 per year) and support for travel to conferences. PhD students will be offered the opportunity to develop their teaching skills and earn additional money by undertaking a small amount of teaching work for their department.

There are three deadlines for applications:

Application deadline Usual notification date
10th November 2017 31st January 2018
19th January 2018 31st March 2018
23rd March 2018 31st May 2018

Later applications can still be made and will be considered for funding, but the chances may be reduced. This applies especially for overseas candidates or EU candidates who do not satisfy the eligibility rule (see above).

To apply to join the HiPEDS Doctoral Programme you need to make a formal application through Imperial’s centralised application system ( The title of the programme in the admission system is G5UP and its title appears as “4 Year PhD in High Performance, Embedded and Distributed Systems (HiPEDS)“. We look forward to receiving your application. If you have any queries, please contact  hipeds-admissions.

Your application should be accompanied by a 2-3 page compelling research statement. This will be evaluated as part of the application process and is not a commitment to carry out the exact research described. It should incorporate:

  • a general description of the research areas and topics that interest you and any potential supervisors under whom you would like to work
  • your initial ideas on research work towards solving open problems, referring to existing research literature where appropriate
  • any relevant experience and/or publications that can be downloaded

You may contact a prospective PhD supervisor (see Research descriptions) to discuss informally your ideas before submitting an application. But please bear in mind that we will normally make decisions about your application only after you have formally applied and your application has been received and processed by the College and the HiPEDS admissions team.

Further details and guidance (including what is expected in the Research Statement) can be found at Information for prospective Computing PhD applications and

The College has an equal opportunities policy and encourages applications from people with disabilities. You are invited to declare your disability to our HiPEDS Admissions Team in order to discuss early on suitable arrangements for your PhD studies. Please also see the College’s arrangements for people with disabilities at