How to apply

Instructions on how to apply to our programme.

Applications to the CDT programme for 2021 entry are currently closed. Sign up to our mailing list to get notified of new recruitment rounds.

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Supporting documents

You will need to submit the following documents with your application. Make sure these are obtained in good time as we cannot consider applications without them.

  • Personal statement explaining why you want to be considered for the programme and what you think your major strengths are. Make sure you highlight any unique aspects or experiences that you think are relevant to your application that do not appear in your CV.
  • CV which includes your educational history, work experience and any relevant research publications, and highlights any special achievements.
  • Research proposal (max 2 pages, including references). What you write here is not binding on what you will finally study, but will give us a useful impression of your background, interests and ideas. The aim of the proposal is to show us that you have been thinking about this area of research, and are able to argue that a topic is interesting with reference to current literature. A good proposal answers the following questions: What is the challenge that you are going to address? Why is this important and timely? How do you propose to tackle it (you could include specific technical details here)? What is the current state of the relevant research in this area and what do you propose that is novel? What are the potential societal implications of your proposed research?
  • Keywords. To help us streamline the review of your application, please add at least two keywords to your research proposal, at least one from each of the following lists (you are welcome to add your own as well):

AI / machine learning: statistics, computer vision, image analysis, neural networks, Bayesian inference, dynamical system, experimental design, knowledge representation.

Biomedical and social aspects:  population health, cell biology, genomics, epigenetics, cancer, anti-microbial resistance, brain imaging, societal aspects of AI, study of innovation in society.

  • Degree certificate and transcript for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies, if applicable. If your studies are in progress, you will be asked to upload an interim transcript, otherwise your application cannot be considered.
  • Proof of English language proficiency. If you don’t have an English language certificate yet, we will still consider your application. However if an offer of admission is made, it will be conditional on you providing an English Language certificate which does meets University requirement.
  • 2 reference letters.

You are not required to identify a specific supervisor and name them on your application, but you are welcome to get in touch with potential supervisors informally to discuss your interests and research proposal before applying.

Candidate profile

Applicants are expected to hold a UK 2.1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in computer science, mathematics, physics, biomedical science, engineering or social sciences or a related discipline with relevant technical experience.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate the capacity to undertake masters-level courses in machine learning & artificial intelligence, which requires some programming proficiency, a background in basic statistics, and introductory machine learning (e.g. regression, clustering etc.). Relevant background knowledge for candidates might include statistics courses during your undergraduate studies, online (certified) courses, or specific projects involving data science techniques during your education or work experience. Please give as much detail as possible in your personal statement and be prepared to answer technical questions on your background knowledge at interview.


Our 4-year studentships cover tuition fees, stipend at UKRI level (£15,609 in 2021/22) and an allowance for travel/research costs. Funding is open to UK, EU and international students.

Studentships also include funding for sick leave, maternity/paternity/shared parental leave and disabled students' allowance.

Selection process

Applications will be screened by our academic team, and successful applicants will be invited to attend an interview in late January.

Further information

Any questions?

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