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Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Awards available PhD
MSc by research
Duration of programme MSc: one year full-time
PhD: three years full-time;
six years part-time, considered on a case-by-case basis
Number of places Not fixed

Programme overview

The Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering has an international reputation for world-leading research in areas such as mobile and wireless communication systems, microelectronics, electrical energy management, photonics and optical communications, artificial vision and image analysis, and high performance networks. It collaborates with over 30 industrial organisations and has been exceedingly successful in attracting substantial research funding from diverse sources in the UK, Europe and overseas.

The Department has a strong research profile, with 30 academic staff, more than 60 postgraduate research students and 30 full-time research assistants contributing to numerous research projects. The quality of our research is recognised nationally and internationally.

Research groups

Communication Systems and Networks

Modern communication systems and networks play a vitally important role in nearly every aspect of our society. The CSN Group has been at the forefront of world research for more than 25 years and its pioneering work impacts the energy, healthcare, transport, semiconductor and telecommunications sectors. The Group specializes in end-to-end wireless connectivity while focusing on the following activities:

  • Antenna design and fabrication
  • Channel measurement and prediction
  • Information theory and advanced wireless access
  • Broadband wireless (including 4G cellular)
  • Network architectures and cross-layer interaction
  • Gigabit wireless local/personal area networks
  • Computational electromagnetics
  • RF technologies

Electrical Energy Management

The Electrical Energy Management Group researches, designs, builds and tests advanced energy conversion systems containing renewable energy, power electronic and electro-mechanical conversion systems and energy storage elements, in order to optimize efficiency or power/ energy density. The Group places a growing emphasis on the efficient management of electrical energy and focuses its research in two main areas:

  • More-Electric Technologies: modelling, design and optimisation of generators, motors and actuators for application in hybrid-electric vehicles and renewable energy conservation.
  • Low-Power Systems: design and system level modelling of vibration energyharvesting devices and power electronic devices and circuits.
Visual Information Laboratory

Vision science research at Bristol is at the forefront of the study of human and animal vision, artificial vision systems and image analysis. The Group is embodied by the Visual Information Laboratory, which stimulates interdisciplinary research in order to promote future development of this field. The Group's core research areas of coding and transport also include new parametric coding and analysis methods, distributed video coding and image fusion. The Group's activities fall into three main areas:

  • Efficient Algorithms and Architectures
  • Error Resilience and Transport
  • Image and Video Content Analysis

Photonics, the science of light, is underpinning many recent developments in communications, solar power, lighting, data storage, displays and could even lead to a quantum revolution in computing. Optical fibre communications forms the backbone of all land based communications. The Photonics group is pursuing world leading research topics leading to cheaper, faster information and communication technologies, inexpensive sensors to revolutionize healthcare and new methods of harvesting renewable energy. Cutting-edge research focuses on three key areas:

  • Photonic Quantum Information: secure quantum key distribution, photon sources, quantum gates and integrated quantum circuits.
  • Optical Communications: optical transmission and optical switching technologies.
  • Photonic Materials and Devices: low dimensional semiconductor quantum structures, photonic device fabrication and characterisation, nanophotonics, solar cells and sensors.
    • Microelectronics

      The Microelectronics Research Group is a team of world-leading academic experts in computer architecture, design verification, fault tolerance, reconfigurable technologies and high performance computing. The Group brings together researchers from a range of academic disciplines in order to address its primary research theme of 'Energy-Aware Computing' (EACO), with expertise across the entire system stack, from transistors up to software applications.

      High-Performance Networks

      The High-Performance Networks Group (HPNG) specializes in the application of advanced technologies to future communication network infrastructures together with the study of control, node architectures, and technologies best suited for future requirements. The Group has a very strong collaborative profile and interacts with researchers and users in the UK, EU, US, Japan and China. Research areas include:

      • Optical packet, burst and circuit switched networks
      • High speed (ie 160 G) optical systems and networks
      • Architecture on Demand
      • Cloud Computing
      • Active optical network architectures and technologies
      • Programmable and flexible network protocols/algorithms/functionalities

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Entry requirements

An upper second-class degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject.

For information on international equivalent qualifications, please see our International Office website.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

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Key research interests

Communication Systems and Networks

Professor Joe McGeehan (Head of Group), Communication systems engineering.

Dr Simon Armour, Advanced wireless communications.

Dr Mike Barton, Networks and protocols.

Professor Mark Beach, Advanced wireless access.

Professor Ian Craddock, Electromagnetics and antenna design.

Dr Angela Doufexi, Advanced wireless communications.

Dr Geoff Hilton, Antenna design and analysis.

Dr Dritan Kaleshi, Networks and protocols.

Dr Maciej Klemm, Microwave imaging.

Dr Kevin Morris, Efficient radio amplifier and system design.

Professor Andrew Nix, Wireless communications and propagation.

Dr Robert Piechocki, Communications Theory.

Professor Chris Railton, Computational electromagnets.

Dr Paul Warr, Radio frequency enabling technologies.

Electrical Energy Management

Professor Phil Mellor (Head of Group), Electrical machines; power electronics and control

Dr Bill Drury, Energy management; electrical machines and drives.

Dr Dave Drury, Electrical energy management and control.

Dr Duncan Grant, Motion control and energy management.

Dr Neville McNeill, Electrical power conversion.

Dr Bernard Stark, Sustainable energy management.

Dr Xibo Yuan, Electrical energy conversion.

High-performance Computing

Dr Reza Nejabati, Ultra-high-speed networks; future internet; network virtulalization service.

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Optical networks, clous computing and future internet.


Dr Jose Nunez-Yanez, Reconfigurable computing and video coding.

Dr Dinesh Pamunuwa, Microelectronics.


Professor John Rarity (Head of Group), Quantum optics; wavelength scale structures.

Dr Martin Cryan, Photonic crystals and wireless-over-fibre.

Professor Jeremy O'Brien, Quantum information.

Dr Ruth Oulton, Spintronics.

Dr Judy Rorison, Semiconductor materials and devices.

Dr Mark Thompson, Photonic integrated quantum circuits and photonic devices.

Professor Siyuan Yu, Integrated photonic devices and optical communications.

Visual Information

Professor Dave Bull (Head of Group), Image and video compression.

Dr Alin Achim, Statistical image and video processing.

Dr Dimitris Agrafiotis, Video transmission and error resilience.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Image and video processing.

Dr Naim Dahnoun, DSP and video processing.

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Apply online

Application deadline: Not fixed

Circuits inside a mobile phone

International students

IELTS score: 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in the speaking and reading bands and a minimum of 6.5 in the writing and listening bands

Information about eligibility, funding options and studying at Bristol is available for international students.

Fees and funding

2013/14 fees

Full-time: UK/EU £3,900;
overseas £16,500
Fees are quoted per annum and are subject to annual increase

Funding options

The Department has many research council funded positions for UK/EU students. It also has opportunities provided by industrial funding. Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students is available from the Student Funding Office website.

Research Assessment Score

Unit of Assessment 24 applies. See Complete RAE listings for University of Bristol for further details.


The students with whom I share our lab are very friendly and helpful; the administrative staff at the school are patient and supportive. Jonathan


PhD in Electrical Engineering
Graduate School of Engineering
Merchant Venturers Building
Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1UB

Tel: +44 (0) 117 954 5232

Useful further information

Applicant information

What happens after you apply to Bristol?

Shared kitchen in Blenheim Court


Our Accommodation Office helps all postgraduate students find accommodation.

Living in Bristol

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