Postgraduate opportunities

The four year PhD in Communications Engineering consists of a one year taught component designed to extend and broaden key skills, followed by a three year solo PhD research project. The PhD programme is suitable for recent graduates of electronics, physics, mathematics or computer science as well as those with significant industrial experience wishing to access new career paths. The PhD in Communications has been designed to with flexibility to cater for students with varied experience and previous knowledge, with advanced modules building on a common core. Why the CDT route?

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Communications works closely with national and international companies to undertake cutting-edge applied and theoretical research, combined with bespoke training in the field of communications to train the next generation of communications engineers to work in industry or academia. The CDT in Communications is dedicated to the provision of training for postgraduate students in a state-of-the-art collaborative research environment.

Communications engineering is recognised as a key discipline that will underpin future economic growth. The UK is a leader in this field and UK industry has a growing demand for high quality researchers and engineers.

The Centre is jointly operated by the Departments of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Mathematics – recognised as international leaders in their fields. Students will be members of a close-knit cohort working with academics and industrial mentors. Industrial partners will also provide access to, and training with, the latest technology.


  • Courses in advanced communication engineering topics to give you breadth and depth of expertise
  • Group and individual research projects
  • Mentoring from industry on the application and context of research
  • Bespoke technical training
  • Enterprise and innovation skills training
  • Transferable skills development opportunities to increase employability
  • A three-year cutting-edge research project

PhD topics are proposed and developed collaboratively by industrial member companies and the academic team, and are selected by students towards the end of the first year. During the first year students undertake a 3-month individual research project which prepares them for their full PhD project.

At the start of the second year students are integrated into specialist research teams with world-leading research profiles and facilities in areas such as wireless communications, networks, RF technologies, vehicular connectivity, mathematics, video and communications, and continue to collaborate with their industrial mentors.


  • Enhanced 4-year studentships* of ~£18,000 per annum living stipend (usually tax free)
  • Payment of all tuition fees*
  • A substantial consumables and travel budget to support additional specialist research training courses, secondments, purchase of specialist equipment and travel to international conferences, seminars and workshops
  • Choice of PhD projects ranging from applied to blue-sky research
  • State-of-the-art research facilities in the centre of the vibrant city of Bristol
  • Opportunities for Uk or overseas secondments to industrial partners and universities
  • Access to a network of industrial partners of the Centre
  • Excellent career prospects on completion of the PhD

  * for eligible students only


Full funding consisting of fees and living expenses, with ~£18,000 p.a. available to the highest quality candidates with home fee status. EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for over three years are also eligible for full funding. A small number of studentships are available to EU citizens who have not been resident in the UK.  Funding will be provided for attendance at conferences and time in industry.

Application Process

Application deadline for September 2019 entry: 30 March 2019

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