Applications to Doctoral Programme
What are the entry requirements?
In general, we are looking for real enthusiasm for research in computational modelling,
an excellent academic track record, strong references and a good research statement. In
terms of background and prior experience, we expect our PhD students to have a good first
degree in a relevant numerate discipline (e.g., computer science, maths, engineering, physics,
chemistry, etc.) or equivalent, and to have programming
ability. Applicants are not expected to have formal training in computational modelling, and all students will complete an intensive
programming primer at the beginning of the first year..
So, if you have or expect to obtain a first-class undergraduate degree in a relevant subject area and
you are excited by the prospect of learning how to develop cutting edge computational models, or to address research
challenges in fundamental areas of computational modelling, please
get in touch.
If you do not require funding, a 2.1 degree may be sufficient to be admitted to the programme.
All non-UK applicants need to provide evidence of sufficient
standards of English, typically in the form of an IELTS test
results with a score of 6.5 or more. See English standards for more details.
What is a research statement? Do I need to write one?
A research statement is a short (max 2 page) personal statement
written entirely in your own words, which describes your interests in computer simulation and research. You are not asked to invent past training in computational modelling or in the research domain you are applying for. In
particular, you do not have to claim or demonstrate that you are
already an expert in computational modelling.
We do like to understand what you find exciting about the training programme and how it fits into your past and future education. It would also be useful to learn about your past experience with computer programming and simulation, where available.
A research statement could include: description of real world
challenges that you are inspired by or driven by or interested in
tackling; methods, software, tools and technical
approaches that you are excited by or want to learn more about or
want to apply to interesting problems; fundamental or applied questions that
you are intrigued by or interested in; examples of past projects that got you interested in computational modelling; etc.
Please identify one or more projects from our
list of PhD projects, that you could imagine to take on if your application was successful, and include that information.
How do I apply for a PhD position?
Please see the Apply page for details of the application procedure.
Do I need to identify a PhD project in order to apply?
Ideally, you can identify one or more of our
PhD projects that you would like to carry out. These projects have been put together carefully to make sure they contain significant computational novelty and novelty in the application domain. The listed supervisor is an expert in the field to ensure the project will deliver something new and have impact.
If you cannot identify a project that is attractive to you but you want to
take part in the NGCM programme, please get in touch with us, outlining areas of interest, for example in your research statement). We will advise on or try to create a suitable project for you - however, we are only prepared to run projects in areas where we have experienced supervisors and which are in the remit of the training centre to ensure success of the project, and the best possible support we can provide.
I already have a masters degree in computational modelling. Can I still apply?
Yes. If you accept a place on the programme, you will study for four years, (1st year taught, 3 years research)
but we may tailor the taught component to reflect your prior experience.
Do I need to have an MSc or equivalent qualification before applying for an NGCM PhD position?
This is not a necessary qualification. The NGCM PhD programme includes a year of
taught material which introduces solid foundations
upon which your doctoral research can stand.
When is your next open day?
See our open day page.
I can't make your open day. Can I come and visit you to find out more about studentships?
Yes, please get in touch if you wish to visit us, providing your current CV, research statement and transcript of modules in advance.
When do I need to apply by?
Applications should be made as soon as possible in order to maximise the chance of securing funding.
How much are the tuition fees?
The tuition fees for the NGCM programme are set at the University of Southampton levels:
here ("Research Programmes").
If you obtain an NGCM studentship, this will also cover your tuition fees.
Please see the studentships page for
eligibility and other details.
English is not my first language. Is there an entry requirement on the standard of English?
For details of approved tests and formal entry requirements, please check the following University of
Southampton page. For the NGCM CDT programme, you need an IELTS test result of 6.5 or better overall, and at least 5.5 in every category (Band C).
I am unsure of the grades that I will receive for my undergraduate degree. Is this a problem?
Your offer may be made conditional on obtaining good marks at undergraduate level.
Please apply now stating the marks you have achieved so far.
How should I include my references?
Please provide names and contact details (including email)
of two academics (or employers if you are currently in full-time employment) who know your work well in your application (for example in the CV). We will contact them to request references when considering your application.
How many studentships do you have to offer?
At least 11 per year, via a mixture of fully-funded and industry-funded routes.
Please contact us for advice.
Am I eligible for a studentship?
Please see the Studentships page for eligibility details.
If I am eligible for a studentship, what are my chances of winning one?
We have a limited number of studentships, so there is certainly competition for money. We
also have a limited number of places, so there is competition for places independent of funding
considerations. There are two ways of gaining an advantage in these competitions - be excellent, and apply early.
Update May 2015: there is good availability of studentships for the projects listed
How much does the studentship pay?
Our studentships follow the recommended EPSRC rates. For students starting September 2015, this is just over 14,000 GBP for maintenance per year, and likely to increase slightly every year. The studentship is over 4 years. We will also pay the tution fees for you. Please see the Studentships page for eligibility details.
If I am not eligible for a NGCM studentship, how can I take part in the programme?
If you can provide funds from other sources, you can apply for an academic place in the centre, and use your own money to pay tution fees, CDT-specific training costs and your maintenance costs. We will carefully assess you application to ensure that it is strong enough and that your interests and backgrounds fit with the focus of the CDT. However, you are not competing with other students applying for funding. The minimum academic requirement for submission is a 2:1 degree (or equivalent).
If you have the opportunity to apply for such funds in your home country, please get in touch and we will help in processing your application to us, and help to get the right paperwork in place you need for your funding application at home.
The University offers several
scholarships, including some that are available to international and EU students.
Further advice for international applicants and
a guide to the cost of living in Southampton is also available.
I have been offered a larger stipend for a different PhD elsewhere. Will you match this?
Our current stipend is the EPSRC standard and is not negotiable.
What are the benefits of the four year PhD course?
The EPSRC's aims for the four-year programmes that they launched in 2009 is that they represent
the state of the art in doctoral training. The first year allows you time to explore possible research
topics and to learn valuable skills – in a regular PhD there is much less time to devote to this.
Throughout the programme there are opportunities to engage
with academics from other domains, industry, to develop important transferable
skills and to take part in cohort-wide activities such as the
annual NGCM Summer Academy.
I already have a Masters – can I skip the taught component and make a start with the research straight away?
We are happy to take on students who already have an MSc. However, the PhD programme is four years (1st year taught + 3 years research) for every student. We can tailor the taught year to avoid duplication of topics you may have mastered already.
What is the programming primer?
The programming primer is a short course of about 35 contact hours to provide a common foundation in
programming. We will use Python as the language we teach, and the course will be delivered at the start of the academic year.
What is a secondment?
A secondment involves time spent in an industrial (or perhaps another academic) research lab.
Where closely aligned, the secondment project can contribute directly to your PhD. Alternatively,
it is also possible to 'stop the clock' on your PhD to allow time to be spent on a project that is
independent or protected by different IP arrangement.
Secondments may be available with some of our industrial and commercial partners.
Will I be awarded two qualifications upon completion of the full programme?
No. If you successfully graduate from the 4-year programme, you will be awarded a PhD in Computational Modelling.
Can I enrol for just the taught component to receive a different qualification?
We are not currently offering a one-year MSc programme in
computational modelling, but do let us know if this is something
you are interested in.
Can I enrol on a PhD in NGCM as a part-time student?
Since the taught component is delivered to each cohort as a full-time activity, it is not
currently possible to take the course part-time.
What kind of career would the programme prepare me for?
The PhD programme prepares graduates for a research career in academia or industry.
It also encourages interdisciplinary thinking, and the analytical skills developed during a PhD in computational modelling are relevant to the design, analysis, control, and management of large systems across many domains, from
industrial engineering to ecosystems services, and from IT, to the financial and even entertainment sectors. The
diversity of commercial interests is illustrated by our industrial and governmental partners .
Which industrial and governmental organisations are partnered with the Centre?
A broad range of industrial and academic partners are listed on our partners page.
Where can I find more information about postgraduate study at the University of Southampton?
A large amount of information is collected on the postgraduate study
website, including details of accommodation, fees, funding, and life on campus, and more.
I have other questions - who can I ask?
Please contact the manager in the first instance. See the Contact page for details.