MPhil or PhD or Masters by Research or PhD by Published Work

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Key facts

Start dates

January 2024 / June 2024 / September 2024

Application deadline

It is recommended that you apply at least 6 months in advance to allow adequate time for your application to be processed (in the case of UK/EU applicants no less than 4-6 weeks).



Course length

Full time: 3 years (PhD)

Part time: 5 years (PhD)

Funding status



Research in the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics brings together expertise from a broad spectrum of disciplines. The school has an excellent reputation for research and knowledge transfer.

Our research is structured into two large research centres:

Dependable Systems Engineering

The research groups in this centre are focussed on the reliability and integrity of software from a programming and software engineering perspective. Work includes formal methods for programming, the design of cloud and web based systems and applications in data mining, cyber security, e-health and advanced circuit design.

Intelligent Systems Engineering

The research groups in this centre address the application of computing to a range of intelligent computer systems. There are groups on robotics, computer vision and augmented reality as well as transport and medical systems.

As a research student you will be attached to a research group. You will work alongside experienced researchers and collaborators from across the industry and other academic institutions.

Two people looking at a computer

Degree routes

All students enrol as probationer research students. During the first year you will formally register your research proposal for one of the below routes. 

The degree for which you register will depend on your academic qualifications and research experience. 

Additional details

With our industry links and location in the heart of the Motorsport Valley, Oxford Brookes is a great place to study. Our focus is to provide world class, high quality teaching and applied research.

Our teaching staff have exceptional knowledge and expertise in their fields. They include world-leaders in research on sustainable engineering, materials and joining technology.

The results of the most recent REF (2014) exercise showed that 96% of research in the department is internationally recognised. 57% was judged to be of world leading quality or internationally excellent, compared with 45% in 2008. More specifically, 50% of the impact case studies returned were judged to be internationally excellent, and 72% of the research outputs were judged to be internationally excellent or world leading.

Student looking at a computer

Why Oxford Brookes University?

We offer an outstanding experience for research students with the following benefits:

  • You become a member of the department’s research groups pursuing an ambitious research agenda
  • You will interact with a dynamic research environment and find various opportunities to contribute to wider research, teaching and funding proposals
  • Students benefit from links with the wider faculty
  • 24-hour access to laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art hardware, software and robots
  • A taught research training course that caters for both full- and part-time study
  • A wide variety of optional training courses, student events, lectures and seminars
  • All students are allocated a Director of Studies and at least one other supervisor who they meet with regularly
  • A range of personal support that includes access to a wide range of staff who are available for consultation
  • Students benefit from automatic membership of the Faculty's Doctoral Training Programme


Dr Abusaleh Jabir

University Reader

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Professor Fabio Cuzzolin

Professor of Artificial Intelligence

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Professor Hong Zhu

Professor of Computer Science

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Professor Nigel Crook

Associate Dean: Research and Knowledge Exchange (ADRKE)

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Dr Peter Ball

Reader in Knowledge Transfer in Computing and Electronics

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Professor Rachel Harrison

Professor in Computer Science

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How to apply

Entry requirements

Please see the degree routes section above for specific entry requirements.

You should hold a 1st or Upper Second Class Degree (or recognised equivalent qualification).

Appropriate applications will be considered from outstanding candidates with substantial prior experience at an appropriate level.

International applications

If English is not your first language you will need to provide an IELTS language certificate with an overall score of 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any element).

As a result of very recent changes made by UK Visas & Immigration, please note we no longer regard TOEFL as an acceptable language test for entry to Oxford Brookes. This applies whether you require a Student visa or not. You can find more details on our English language requirements pages.

If you do not meet these requirements you may be able to take our University English as a pre-sessional course.

Application process

  1. check you meet entry requirements as well as the financial requirements of the programme.
  2. explore our research groups and supervisory staff pages to see how your chosen field of study aligns with the research portfolio within the school.
  3. contact postgraduate research tutor Dr Matthias Rolf to discuss your proposed research. You’re welcome to contact academics to help you develop your ideas.
  4. when you have agreed you research project with Tjeerd, he will ask you to prepare and submit a proposal.
  5. If the proposal is acceptable Tjeerd will ask you to make a formal application, or give you advice on how the proposal may be improved.
  6. gather required documents and submit.

Supporting documents

Our MPhil/ PhD programme requires additional supporting documentation to be submitted as part of the application process. Before applying through the Oxford Brookes online application system please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  • research proposal
  • scan of your passport - to confirm your name and date of birth. We will then ensure that any offer letters issued to you correspond with your passport name, this will help when applying for a student visa.
  • IELTS Certificate or equivalent (if required) – no older than two years from the proposed start date of your programme.
  • scan of your final degree certificates already awarded
  • scan of transcripts
  • two references (at least one academic) - your references must be on institutional headed paper and be dated and signed by referee(s). They can be sent directly to the Research Administrator in the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment in a sealed envelope, or emailed. Please note that it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure their referees supply these documents.
  • evidence of funding (if sponsored by an employer or government, you must provide evidence in the form of a recently dated sponsorship letter on official headed paper. If supporting your studies from private funds, you must provide a recently dated bank statement).

We cannot consider your application for admission until all the documents noted have been received, including financial documentation.

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

For International fees the following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

Home fees are set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and are released approximately five months before the start of each academic year.

If you have any questions about fees, get in touch with the Research Degrees Team at

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course