Programme details

Working together as a diverse and multidisciplinary group in purpose-built new laboratories adjacent to Bristol Cathedral, students will work closely with the local NHS, experts in social care, charities and with the CDT’s industry partners that range from start-ups to multi-billion dollar corporations that are household names in computing and healthcare.

Digital Health students looking at a wearable device

The taught first year is specially designed to bridge disciplinary gaps. It will provide you with a unique foundation in the rapidly-moving field of digital health. Students from engineering/computer sciences and technical backgrounds will be introduced to relevant aspects of health; while students from a health-related background will be introduced to coding, data analysis and e-health. You will come together to work on real-world digital health problems, leveraging varied expertise from across the cohort.

Students will have the opportunity to attend workshops and develop potential supervisory relationships with more than 20 external partners in the programme – including charities, community groups, small health start-ups, large technology companies, healthcare delivery organisations (including the NHS in the UK) and multi-national pharmaceutical companies. The Centre partner organisations include Microsoft Research, Arm, Pfizer, Toshiba and AstraZeneca.

Group of students taking part in a practical task

After their first year, our students undertake a three-year research project, supervised by an interdisciplinary team formed from our supervisory network of over 60 academics across four Bristol faculties, and in close collaboration with one or more external partners. These projects make use of expertise and facilities supported by some £30M of digital health research at the University since 2013.

You can see the range of projects that our current students are working on, and their supervisory teams, here.

Details on the programme structure can be found in the programme catalogue.


We have a number of EPSRC-funded studentships available for CDT students, both home and overseas. Funding includes fees, an annual stipend (c. £20k per year in 22/23 and expected to rise in subsequent years) as well as a generous budget for undertaking research. Funding covers the taught year and three years of doctoral research. Application for EPSRC studentships forms part of applying for the course: you don’t need to make a separate application.

The first year was a lot of studying, a lot of lectures and a lot of time spent on campus. It was really good to get this foundation of all the challenges and issues surrounding healthcare. It was good for me to learn about things like anatomy and the science behind health conditions because it gave me a better idea of what I’m actually dealing with rather than just working on the tech side of things.

Marceli Wac, Cohort 1 student, engineering stream

By far the biggest thing I learned in the taught year was the basics of computer programming: I found it really daunting as someone who has zero experience in computer programming at all, but the course has been really beneficial, and I actually ended up really enjoying it.

Joe Matthews, Cohort 1 CDT student, health stream

A lot of my previous study had been quite individual-focused, so debating, discussing ideas and producing something together is quite nice. This taught year is letting us bond as a group, and I’ve learned so much from other cohort members, not just in engineering but also in other parts of health sciences.

Neshika Wijewardhane, Cohort 2 CDT student, health stream

The main thing I’d say I learned in the taught year was qualitative research skills, I’d only been dealing with numbers beforehand, so I’d never done interviews with participants or online ethnographic research, before. There were a lot of group projects which was great, and I really enjoyed them, and with that came some design stuff as well which was all new to me.

Romana Burgess, Cohort 1 CDT student, engineering stream
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