Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina
This programme provides students with core skills and knowledge at the forefront of computing, cybercrime, and digital technology policy. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that doctoral students achieve deep domain-specific expertise, while developing into individuals who can resolve problems using a range of tools and methods, confident in their ability to work effectively with experts from across the socio-technical divide.
Modes and duration
Full time: 4 years
All applicantsOpen: 1 November 2019Close: 15 May 2020
Tuition fees (2020/21)
UK/EU:£5,365 (FT)Overseas:£24,470 (FT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.Location: London, Bloomsbury
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
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It has long been recognised that cybersecurity is a ‘wicked problem’ – one that spills across disciplines, jurisdictions, and borders of all kinds. Our programme breaks with disciplinary tradition to rethink how we develop people equipped to deal with the cybersecurity challenges of the future. To do so, we select students who already recognise these intersections and seek to explore them further. We offer supervision in computing (systems security, cryptography, software security, network security), crime science (cybercrime and policing issues) and in domestic and international policy (digital tech policy, global cybernorms, international peace and security). All of our students will develop a level of expertise in their topic that incorporates the dimensions covered in our CDT and all of our students will leave the CDT with a network of colleagues working in and across these domains.
Supervision within this programme is available in an extensive range or research areas including:
- artificial intelligence (AI)
- applied cryptography
- on-line propaganda / hate speech / fake news
- authentication and verification
- financial technology and cryptocurrencies
- global politics of cybersecurity, cyberwar, cyber norms
- national cyber security strategies
- systems modelling
- security economics
- smart contracts
- distributed systems security
- network security
- the Internet of Things
- security testing
- secure software engineering methodologies
- malware and binary analysis
- watermarking and copyright protection
- cybercrime, child protection, and dark marketplaces
- cyber risk and cyber security policy
- standards and regulation of digital and telecommunications
- connected autonomous vehicles
- gender issues and tech abuse
- hacking and hacktivism
- privacy, censorship, surveillance
- applications to secure communications
- quantum computing, quantum information theory
More information can be found on the department website: Cybersecurity PhD
About this degree
Some projects will call for fieldwork and CDT candidates are able to apply to the Research Training Support Grant for funding to support this. Supervisory teams provide contacts and introductions where needed to help candidates maximise the value of their fieldwork.
All CDT candidates will undertake a placement as part of their programme. Supervisory teams work with candidates and with our industry and policy partners to devise an appropriate placement for each case. These are integrated into the research project to support and enhance it while also offering valuable insights into ‘real world’ cybersecurity problems and work environments.
Your research degree may be subject to an Additional Fee Element (AFE). The AFE (also known as bench fees) is an additional cost, incurred by yourself or your sponsor. It is levied to cover the costs related to consumables, equipment and materials etc. which are not included in the tuition fee. As each research project is unique in nature, the AFE is calculated on a student by student basis and is determined by your academic supervisor.For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
EPSRC studentships available
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
Value:Fees, maintenance and travel (Duration of programme)Eligibility:OverseasCriteria:Based on academic merit
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The UK National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 identifies the “cyber skills shortage” as a systemic issue, with estimates suggesting that by 2022 there will be a shortage of 350K cybersecurity professionals. To help fill this gap, our students will be trained in how to address evolving cybersecurity challenges through multidisciplinary means. By developing a holistic understanding of how technology, policy, industry and law enforcement interact, our students will be equipped for high-level leadership positions that will help to shape the future through secure digital technologies.
Depending on their research agenda, the programme will provide students with core skills and knowledge at the forefront of computing (systems security, cryptography, software security, network security), crime science (cybercrime) and policy (information security management, public policy). Suitable careers will include technology R&D, intelligence and policing, international and domestic public policy, cyber diplomacy and digital infrastructure project implementation.
The CDT is conveniently located in the heart of London and subsequently has strong links with both industry and policy stakeholders. The three partner departments in the CDT between them host the Information Security Group, the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science, the Dawes Centre for Future Crime, the Research Institute for Science of Cyber Security, the Digital Technologies Policy Lab and the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for Cybersecurity of the Internet of Things. All of these offer exceptional networking platforms for the CDT candidates who become part of our research community.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL is one of the UK’s elite Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security and hosts the UK Research Institutes in Science of Cyber Security (RISCS) . The team is led by the Computer Science department, which was the top UK department by research output in the last UK REF. Over 40 members of faculty with internationally recognized expertise across all aspects of cybersecurity run a diverse and ambitious portfolio of projects, working closely with industry and policy partners.
The Annual Crime Survey in 2017 revealed that two-thirds of UK businesses were hit by cyberattacks. According to a Cabinet Office report, the cost of cybercrime to government in 2011 was £2.2Bn, and the cost to individuals, including identity theft, and online fraud was even higher and estimated at £3.1Bn. In order to address this, the Security and Crime Science department hosts the Jill Dando Institute, the Dawes Centre for Future Crime, and a secure data lab.
Acknowledging that technology alone cannot address the challenges of cyber insecurity, the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy focus on improving knowledge exchange between technical and policy stakeholders. Providing advice and support to both industry and government around the world, faculty in STEaPP run a portfolio of funded projects that explore how cybersecurity impacts at the societal level as well as on international peace and security.
Department: Computer Science
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
All applicants15 May 2020
Cyber Security (TIPS at Scale)
|Programme length||Four years full-time|
|Location of programme||Clifton campus|
|Part-time study available||No, full-time only|
|Start date||September 2020|
Within the next few years the number of devices connected to each other and the Internet will outnumber humans by almost 5:1. These connected devices will underpin everything from healthcare to transport to energy and manufacturing. This growth is not just in the number or variety of devices, but also in the ways they communicate and share information with each other, building hyper-connected cyber-physical infrastructures that span most aspects of people’s lives.
In order to maximise the socio-economic benefits from this revolutionary change, we need to address the myriad trust, identity, privacy and security issues raised by such large, interconnected infrastructures. Solutions to many of these issues have previously only been developed and tested on systems orders of magnitude less complex in the hope they would ‘scale up’. However, the rapid development and implementation of hyper-connected infrastructures means that we need to address these challenges at scale since the issues and the complexity only become apparent when all the different elements are in place.
This centre for doctoral training tackles this issue by training a new generation of interdisciplinary research leaders – educating PhD students in both the technical skills needed to study and analyse TIPS-at-scale, while simultaneously studying how to understand the challenges as fundamentally human too. Students will learn from experts from the Universities of Bristol and Bath, from each other as an interdisciplinary cohort, and from experts from industry.
Fees for 2020/21
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:UK/EU: full-time£4,365Overseas: full-time£23,200Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time£9,365
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.
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 2020/21
This CDT programme has funds to support up to ten UK/EU students per year including fees, stipend (£18,000 per year), research and travel expenses. The programme has no internal funding for non-EU students, but any applications received from self-funded international students will be considered.
Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.
During the first year of the programme you will undertake a range of units allowing you time to build knowledge and ignite your curiosity. In addition, there will be opportunities for transferable skills training and participation in public engagement activities leading to your professional development.
Following this first year of structured units you will progress to the research component of the programme. At this stage you will be able to perform your own research at an internationally publishable standard. You will also be able to document and communicate your findings to peers and expert practitioners in the field.
Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for the first year of this programme.
Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of an upper-second class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Cyber security is an interdisciplinary challenge and the CDT focuses on both social and technical aspects of trust, identity, privacy and security in large-scale infrastructures. Applications are welcome from those with a range of disciplinary backgrounds including (but not limited to): computer science, psychology, management, electrical and electronics engineering, civil engineering, criminology and social sciences. Candidates should be willing to work across disciplinary boundaries and inform their research from different disciplinary perspectives.
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:
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
- Cyber Security and Cryptography (Bristol)
- Applied Digital Behaviour Lab (Bath, Management)
- Identities in Social and Digital Contexts (Psychology, Bath)
Graduates will be prepared for a variety of careers all over the globe, including world-leading research. Others could work as consultants or as part of large-scale engineering industries, software development organisations, telecommunication and infrastructure providers.