MPhil & PhD in Computer Science

  • Length
    3 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time
  • Department

Course overview

Our MPhil/PhD programme in computer science offers you the opportunity to participate fully in the highly interdisciplinary research environment of our department and of the College as a whole.

We aim for all our students to produce innovative ideas and to develop those ideas into fully-fledged research results and software and hardware systems, working within the creative atmosphere of our department.

We currently offer MPhil/PhD supervision in many areas of computing, including:

  • computational creativity
  • computer vision and audition
  • interactions between art, media and technology
  • adaptive hypermedia systems
  • artificial intelligence

We welcome outstanding applications to study and perform research in any aspect of computer science, and strongly encourage you to contact members of staff with overlapping research interests to discuss your research proposal in the first instance; if you are unsure who to talk to, please contact the Postgraduate Tutor listed below with a description of your interests.

We provide you with office space and computer equipment along with access to computer labs and other facilities, in addition to resources and facilities made available by the College and support provided by the Research Office.

The department and the College provide training in research methods and in technical skills; we have a number of regular research meetings and seminars, from formal lectures to more informal workshops and discussion groups, and you are encouraged to present your work to the department at least once a year. There are also opportunities for you to participate in the teaching activities of the department. 

Assessment will be by written thesis (up to 100,000 words) and viva voce.

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Robert Zimmer


Computing at Goldsmiths is ranked 17th in the UK for the quality of our research**


The Department of Computing offers a creative, contemporary and pioneering approach to the discipline.

From developing computers that can compose music and paint pictures, to defining and implementing new social media tools and applications, we aim to invigorate computing and the world around it. 

Learn by doing

We place a great emphasis on creativity, independence and ‘learning by doing’. Students undertake practical work in real-world situations, carrying out projects in ways that mirror industry practice. 

Interdisciplinary approach

We also promote an interdisciplinary approach to the subject: from computational arts to games and entertainment, and from data science to digital journalism. 

Industry experts

You’ll be taught by industry experts – our academics are deeply engaged in current research, with many applying their knowledge and skills to developing cutting-edge technology. And we have close links with industry, too, regularly inviting leading professionals to deliver lectures and talks. 

Find out more about the Department of Computing.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings




"The best thing about Goldsmiths is the people."

"I originally chose Goldsmiths after I had visited the university on an open day - I immediately liked the university and it became my first choice in my UCAS application.

I have enjoyed my time at Goldsmiths studying for the PhD. My supervisor has been brilliant and I have benefited greatly from his broad knowledge. It was difficult at first to find a subject to focus on for my thesis but eventually the topic of my thesis came about naturally during my early research into various areas in software protection.

The best thing about Goldsmiths is the people - I have met many great people and have been taught by many talented lecturers."


"My trajectory at Goldsmiths has been really interesting – from starting with an undergraduate degree through the International Programme, I did a PhD and ended up exhibiting some of the resulting research in the House of Commons!"

"My background is in computing, craftsmanship and journalism, and my artistic interests focus on the inter-connections between artificial intelligence, swarm intelligence, robotics and digital art. 

The multidisciplinary nature of Goldsmiths paved the way for me to pursue the three distinct, yet interconnected, fields of optimisation (empirical and theoretical), arts and philosophy (within the field of visualisation and computational creativity) and biomedical computation (identifying traces of metastasis in bone scans and calcifications mammographs using ants intelligence) which ended up being exhibited at an event in the House of Commons.

When I think of it, it seems like an interesting trajectory that one would start from doing an undergraduate degree through the (via Goldsmiths) which led to a PhD and all the way to exhibiting some of the resulting research in the House of Commons in the Parliament for MPs and politicians.

I won many 'best project' and 'best paper' awards and I owe a significant part of this to Goldsmiths and my supervisors. Along the way, I also supervised a student (in robotic projects) who graduated with First Class Honours and is now in full-time employment in London. I could conformably say that, Goldsmiths and my work there gave me a sense of achievement."

Entry requirements

You should normally have (or expect to be awarded) a taught Masters in a relevant subject area. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 7.0 (including 7.0 in the written test)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you'll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • Contact details of a second referee
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
  • Details of your research proposal

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.

Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body. 

If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.

Research proposals

Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application. 

This should be in the form of a statement of the proposed area of research and should include: 

  • delineation of the research topic
  • why it has been chosen
  • an initial hypothesis (if applicable)
  • a brief list of major secondary sources

When to apply 

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified. 

Selection process 

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Fees & funding

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Find out about our involvement in the Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence, which will see us offering PhD studentships over the next few years.

Find out more about tuition fees.

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