Quantum Engineering

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Run by Faculty of Science Faculty of Engineering
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Start date September 2021

Programme overview

Bristol's Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training offers a unique training and development experience for those wishing to pursue a career in the emerging quantum technologies industry. It supports the understanding of sound fundamental scientific principles and much more.

You will be given the opportunity to put your burgeoning knowledge of science and engineering into practice from the outset. From the first year of study, you will work in a state-of-the-art laboratory environment and asked to undertake both individual and group research projects.

This cohort approach to learning - through peer-to-peer teaching, group lab projects and research challenges - creates an environment that is both stimulating and empowering. It supports the development of leadership skills and the creation of personal support networks, and offers a first-class foundation for developing and completing a PhD project.

The centre's core staff are world-leading scientists and engineers with a proven track record in passing that knowledge and expertise on to others.

This is supplemented by access to a broad technology base, as well as a network of academic and industrial partners across the world with whom students actively collaborate through secondments and attendance at conferences.

Together with training in a variety of complementary skills (eg entrepreneurship, project management), this provides an unrivalled opportunity to learn and understand the foundations of quantum physics and then apply them to real-world situations.

Fees for 2021/22

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

UK: full-time
Overseas (including EU): full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Bench fees: For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (eg training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2021/22

Enhanced EPSRC studentships covering fees and living costs are available to UK/EU students.

Self-funding students are encouraged to apply.

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

Programme structure

Year one

The aim of the first-year training programme is to furnish all students with expertise in the underpinning theory and engineering approaches needed in your research. With access to state-of-the art laboratories and a unique cohort-style approach to learning, you will be immersed in an environment that supports a research focus from the very beginning.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for the first year of the Quantum Engineering CDT programme.

Years two to four

The main outcome from years two to four of this programme will be the completion of a PhD research project, which will be selected by you. You will also be exposed to a wide range of learning experiences including:

  • A core module on enterprise, exploitation and entrepreneurship delivered by our academic and industrial partners. This covers a range of complementary topics such as commercialisation, intellectual property, management, entrepreneurship and enterprise.
  • Cohort learning modules using peer-to-peer teaching skills to further your understanding of key topics: quantum architectures, applications of quantum technologies, quantum chemistry, cryptography and combinatorics.
  • A public outreach activity to support you in promoting awareness of science to a wider audience, offering invaluable experience in public engagement.
  • Industrial secondment at one of our partner organisations to develop an understanding of business practices and processes, offer exposure to new ways of working, and provide access to industry-focused research projects.
  • Academic visits and secondments to support you in building collaborations with academic groups, both in the UK and internationally.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class degree (or international equivalent) in physics, electrical engineering, computer science, maths, chemistry or in other relevant physical sciences.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile E
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

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

Admissions statement

Research groups

See the Quantum Engineering CDT web pages for further information about the centre's areas of research:

  • Quantum computing and simulation
  • Quantum communications
  • Quantum sensing and metrology
  • Underpinning quantum technologies.


Underpinned by world-class research and industrial expertise, our four-year doctoral programme offers a stimulating experience for those seeking academic excellence and a route into the growing quantum technologies industry. Our extensive network of academic and industrial partners provides the opportunity to collaborate on cutting-edge science.

You will also be supported to develop a range of complementary skills including entrepreneurial business skills, knowledge of commercialisation, creative thinking, teamwork, communication skills and project management.

Staff profiles

Dr Jorge Barreto, (Lecturer), light emission; nanoparticles; photodetectors; silicon technologies; ultra-fast optics

Dr Krishna Coimbatore Balram, (Lecturer in Photonic Quantum Engineering), Nanoscale Opto-electro-mechanical devices for information processing and sensing

Professor Noah Linden, (Professor of Theoretical Physics)

Professor David May, (Professor of Computer Science), Computer Architecture; Robotics

Dr Dara McCutcheon, (Lecturer in Quantum Engineering)

Dr Ashley Montanaro, (Reader in Quantum Computation), theory of quantum computing

Professor Ruth Oulton, (Professor of Quantum Photonics), Solid state spin physics and polarization-engineered nanophotonics for quantum technologies

Professor John Rarity, (Professor of Optical Communication Systems), optical communications; photons; quantum gate design

Dr Dondu Sahin, (Lecturer in Quantum Engineering), integrated photonic filters; integrated photonics; single-photon detection; superconducting nanowire single photon detectors

Dr Peter Turner, (Senior Lecturer), Group representation theory; Quantum estimation; Quantum information theory; Quantum optics

How to apply
Application deadline:

Please see the Quantum Engineering website for deadlines. Interviews for a September 2021 start are likely to take place in March 2021.

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch

Lin Burden Postgraduate Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 0025 Email: quantum-engineering@bristol.ac.uk

Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training
Nanoscience and Quantum Information Building
University of Bristol
Tyndall Avenue
Bristol BS8 1FD
School website: School of Physics
Department website: Quantum Engineering CDT

International students

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

Bristol Doctoral College

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

REF 2014 results

Please see full REF 2014 results for the University of Bristol; in particular, the scores for subject areas 9 and 15.

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


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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