Computer Science

Find a programme
Run by Faculty of Engineering
Awards available PhD , MSc by research
Programme length MSc by Research: one year full-time;
two years part-time
PhD: three years full-time;
six years part-time
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places Not fixed
Start date Not fixed

Programme overview

The Department of Computer Science is an international centre of excellence and is located in the Merchant Venturers Building in the centre of Bristol along with the Departments of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Engineering Mathematics, bringing together the research in computing, communications, electronics and photonics within the University.

The Bristol region has one of Europe's largest concentrations of high-technology industry. Computers, communications and microelectronics are well represented, alongside digital media, computer games and electronic commerce. The department has close relationships with many of these organisations via collaborative projects, staff secondments and visiting industrial staff.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees

UK/EU
£4,121
Overseas
£18,100

Part time fees

UK/EU
£2,061

Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in Computer Science or a related subject.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Research groups

The Department of Computer Science has a large programme of research supported by industry, the European Union, and UK government research establishments and public corporations. The academic research programme is organised into the following groups:

The Microelectronics group is a collective of researchers who are all interested in the challenges of increasing the scale and the speed of computer systems. Some researchers are tackling the problem of designing microchips with millions of transistors on them, and then ensuring that they will work as expected. They are particularly interested in systems handling sound, graphics and images, in which data needs to be transferred and processed at greater and greater speeds in order to meet the demands of new applications and appliances; other researchers are working on issues in ultra-largescale networked IT systems, involving hundreds of thousands of computers (and users). This area is also home to the Bristol Algorithms Group, who look at various aspects of the theory and practice of algorithms: the goal of their research is both to provide scalable solutions to existing problems and to understand the limits of what is possible; the quantity of data available in digital form continues to increase at an exponential rate, so the need for faster and more accurate algorithms is now more important than ever before.

The Visual Information Laboratory undertakes innovative, collaborative and interdisciplinary research resulting in world leading technology in the areas of computer vision, image and video communications, content analysis and distributed sensor systems. Current research includes: images and video search and retrieval; video tracking; visual SLAM; medical and bio-imaging; machine vision; 3D and multi-view processing; colour science; high dynamic-range imaging, vision and graphics.

Our Cryptography and Information Security group conducts research into cryptography, the underlying hard problems on which it is based and the hardware and software needed to implement secure systems. The group has particular interest in techniques for proving security of cryptographic systems, the efficient implementation of such systems on small computing devices, and the verification of those implementations, including testing their security against physical attacks. We also have an interest in security auditing and computer forensics.

Members of the Intelligent Systems group explore general principles underlying learning and intelligence in artificial and natural systems. An important focus is on machine learning and data mining techniques for systems and software that improve with experience. Other work is on the interface between computer science and the biological sciences, exploiting connections which not only help to make computers more intelligent but also provide a deeper understanding of aspects of human intelligence. We are also working on computational methods for automating significant parts of the scientific method. Our research enables the development of sophisticated systems allowing us to manage and make full use of the vast amounts of digital data that are now available.

Our Interaction and Graphics group explores creative interdisciplinary research topics spanning human-computer interaction, visual and tactile perception, imaging, visualisation and computer-supported collaboration. We design and evaluate novel interfaces to computer systems, including hardware and software components. We are interested in new forms of practical application and device that you can wear or carry with you incorporating sensing mechanisms and imaging techniques. This work will enable us to take advantage of the continuing miniaturisation and increased portability of computing devices. In addition to our experimental work, we conduct a number of projects to investigate novel uses of intelligent devices in the real world.

The newly formed Robotics group leads the Faculty's theoretical and practical robotics research, some of which is based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at Frenchay. Researchers are involved in projects studying human-robot interaction, collective robotics, aerial robotics, neuro-inspired control, haptics, control systems, rehabilitation robotics, soft robotics and biomedical systems.

We are also involved in a number of research centres spanning across different parts of the University. For example, the pioneering Centre for IT and Law looks at the new legal challenges presented by the rapid changes in information technology. It is a cross-disciplinary venture between the University of Bristol Law School and the Department of Computer Science and is supported by a group of international business and legal experts.

Another cross-departmental research centre is the Quantum Computation and Information group, which spans Computer Science, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering and Physics. The group studies all theoretical aspects of quantum information science, including quantum algorithms and computation, as well as quantum optical experiments in conjunction with the Centre for Quantum Photonics.

Careers

A Computer Science PhD can open a variety of doors to a stimulating commercial or academic career. Graduates travel worldwide to become part of new and existing world-class research groups as well as joining highly rewarding careers in a variety of industries.

Staff profiles

Centre for IT and Law

Mr Andrew Charlesworth, (Reader in IT and Law), Cryptography and information security.

Cryptography

Dr Elisabeth Oswald, (Reader in Applied Cryptography), Cryptography and information security.

Dr Dan Page, (Senior Lecturer in Computer Science), Cryptography and information security; languages and architectures.

Professor Nigel Smart, (Professor of Cryptography), Algorithms; cryptography and information security.

Dr Martijn Stam, (Senior Lecturer in Computer Science), Cryptography (hash functions); provable security.

Dr Theo Tryfonas, (Senior Lecturer in Systems Engineering)

Dr Bodgan Warinschi, (Reader in Cryptology), Cryptography and information systems.

Intelligent Systems

Dr Tilo Burghardt, (Lecturer), Animal biometrics; applied vision for behavioural biology; computational phenomics; object detection; species conservation; visual material authentication and physically uncloneable functions; wildlife documentation and ecotourism.

Dr Raphaël Clifford, (Reader in Algorithm Design), Algorithms; lower bounds; pattern matching; string algorithms; theoretical computer science.

Professor Peter Flach, (Professor in Artificial Intelligence), Exabyte informatics; learning from structured data.

Professor Julian Gough, (Professor of Bioinformatics), Bioinformatics.

Dr Steve Gregory, (Senior Lecturer in Computer Science), Complex network analysis.

Dr Conor Houghton, (Senior Lecturer/Reader in Computational Neuroscience), Mathematical and computational neuroscience.

Dr Tim Kovacs, (Senior Lecturer), Evolutionary computation; reinforcement learning.

Dr Ashley Montanaro, (Lecturer), Computational complexity; quantum algorithms; quantum computing.

Dr Oliver Ray, (Lecturer), Scientific theory formation and revision.

Interaction and Graphics

Dr Kirsten Cater, (Senior Lecturer), Graphics; public computing.

Mr Colin Dalton, (Senior Lecturer), Vision.

Professor Mike Fraser, (Professor of Human-Computer Interaction), Mobile and wearable computing; public computing; robotics.

Microelectronics

Professor David Cliff, (Professor in Computer Science), Algorithmic trading; complex adaptive systems; financial markets; large-scale complex IT systems; natural computing, especially evolutionary optimisation.

Dr Kerstin Eder, (Reader in Design Automation and Verification), Design automation and verification.

Professor David May, (Professor in Computer Science), Languages and architectures; mobile and wearable computing; robotics; system design and verification.

Mr Simon McIntosh-Smith, (Reader in High Performance Computing), Advanced computer architectures; energy efficient computing; fault tolerant algorithms and software; heterogeneous and many-core computing; parallel programming models.

Professor Dhiraj Pradhan, (Professor in Computer Science), Design automation and verification.

Dr Chris Preist, (Reader in Sustainability and Computer Science), Sustainable computing systems.

Robotics

Dr Andrew Calway, (Reader in Computer Science), Mobile and wearable computing; robotics; vision.

Dr Neill Campbell, (Reader and Head of Merchant Venturers School), Robotics; vision.

Professor Mike Fraser, (Professor of Human-Computer Interaction), Mobile and wearable computing; public computing; robotics.

Dr Walterio Mayol-Cuevas, (Reader in Robotics, Computer Vision and Mobile Systems), Mobile and wearable computing; robotics; vision.

Professor Majid Mirmehdi, (Professor of Computer Vision), Robotics; vision.

Theory and Algorithms

Dr Raphaël Clifford, (Reader in Algorithm Design), Algorithms; lower bounds; pattern matching; string algorithms; theoretical computer science.

Dr Ashley Montanaro, (Lecturer), Computational complexity; quantum algorithms; quantum computing.

Dr Benjamin Sach, (Lecturer in Computer Science (Theory & Algorithms)), Data streaming; text processing; time and space lower bounds.

Dr He Sun, (Lecturer in Computer Science), Computational geometry; data streaming algorithms; randomized algorithms; spectral graph theory.

Dr Nicolas Wu, (Lecturer in Computer Science), Category theory; functional programming; programming languages.

Visual Information Laboratory

Professor David Bull, (Professor of Signal Processing)

Dr Tilo Burghardt, (Lecturer), Animal biometrics; applied vision for behavioural biology; computational phenomics; object detection; species conservation; visual material authentication and physically uncloneable functions; wildlife documentation and ecotourism.

Dr Andrew Calway, (Reader in Computer Science), Mobile and wearable computing.; robotics; vision.

Dr Neill Campbell, (Reader and Head of Merchant Venturers School), Robotics; vision.

Dr Dima Damen (Aldamen), (Lecturer in Computer Science), Activity recognition; automatic surveillance; computer vision; image processing; object detection; video analysis.

Dr Walterio Mayol-Cuevas, (Reader in Robotics, Computer Vision and Mobile Systems), Mobile and wearable computing.; robotics; vision.

Professor Majid Mirmehdi, (Professor of Computer Vision Head of the Graduate School of Engineering  Engineering faculty Director), Robotics; vision.

How to apply
Application deadline:

Not fixed

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.

Joyce

REF 2014 results

  • 31% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 56% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 12% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 954 5130 Email: fen-pgadmissions@bristol.ac.uk

Postgraduate Admissions
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Bristol BS8 1TR, UK http://www.bristol.ac.uk/engineering/graduate-school/pg-open/index.html http://www.bristol.ac.uk/engineering/departments/computerscience

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