Frequently Asked Questions


When is the deadline?
The deadlines for September 2021 entry: Non-UK = 29th November 2020; UK =  29thJanuary 2021.  
Early application submission is encouraged but does not guarantee the application being fast-tracked.
Can I email my application materials to you?
We cannot evaluate applications sent over email. Please apply using the instructions below.
How do I apply?
To apply, use the link below.
What start date should I choose?
Please specify a start date of September.
Do I need to name a supervisor?
You are encouraged to list a specific supervisor or supervisors if you know who you want to work with, but this is not required. We will match applications to the most likely supervisors based on the content of your research proposal.
List of Supervisors
I haven't contacted any possible supervisors yet, can I get to communicate now ? If yes, where should I start.

Please look at the individual supervisors' page on the List of Supervisors


What documents do I need in support of my application?

  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV) (which includes your educational history, work experience and any relevant research publications).

  • A degree certificate and academic transcript for each degree you currently hold, or an interim transcript for degrees you are currently studying.
  • If your first language is not English, a language certificate showing evidence of your proficiency in English (see section 12).
  • Two academic references. 
  •  research proposal You may also upload additional supporting documents that you think will help us to assess your application.

Do I need all the above documents before I can submit my application?

If you do not have all these documents to hand when you complete the online application form, you can submit your online application without them and you will be expected to provide them later in the application process.  However, you should note that the Selection Panel cannot consider your application for admission until all the documents noted above (apart from an English language certificate) have been received.  All documents should be official, i.e. signed and/or stamped by the issuing Institution.  If your documents are not in English, certified translations will also be required.

How should I prepare for and approach interviews with potential supervisors?

The main question that both you and your potential supervisor want to answer in interviews is whether you want to work together for four years. Ask your potential supervisor what they are looking for in students, but also ask yourself what you are looking for in a supervisor, and prepare accordingly.
What should I put in the research proposal?
The research proposal is not binding, but will give us a useful impression of your background, interests and ideas. We understand that you may not have written a proposal before, and that it can be difficult to formulate research plans well in advance of carrying out the work, but we encourage you to think through it carefully and make as clear a case as possible. The proposal is very important in assessing your application, and we will be looking at it for evidence that you have an appropriate background knowledge for the topic area and your own ideas about how research on that topic should best be taken forward. If you have not yet decided on a precise area of study, please tell us about areas relevant to the CDT that you find most interesting and why, in as much detail as possible. The proposal should be 2-4 pages. Further guidance is available from the university.
Research Proposal Guidance
What do you look for in strong applicants?
A PhD is a research degree, so we look for applicants with strong research potential, which can be demonstrated in many different ways. Your application should highlight your unique skills, independence, and the ways in which you’ve made the most of the opportunities available to you.
Can I apply to multiple programmes simultaneously?
Yes, however you will need to file separate applications. You are free to use the same proposal if it is relevant to each programme.
Do I need to make a separate application for funding for this programme?
No. When you apply for the CDT in NLP you are automatically applying for a fully funded studentship. However, if you have funding already (eg government or industry sponsorship), you should state this clearly on your application.
Would a Masters programme make me a more eligible applicant for the doctoral programme?
A master’s degree is not required for entry and many students on the programme do not have one.
Will there be any opportunities during the CDT to do a summer internship at an industry research lab?
Many of our students are offered opportunities to do internships at industry research labs; often this is usually arranged directly between the student and lab. We cannot guarantee placements.
School of Informatics PhD FAQs

Please direct inquiries to the CDT admissions team.

Contact the CDT admissions team