Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Cybersecurity

UCL / EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Cybersecurity

Fully-funded PhD studentships in Cybersecurity

It has become increasingly apparent that the challenges that arise from the integration of emerging technologies into existing social, commercial, legal and political systems will not be resolved by specialists working in isolation. Rather, these complex problems require the efforts of people who can cross disciplinary boundaries, communicate beyond their own fields, and comprehend the context in which others operate. Computer science, information security, encryption, criminology, psychology, international relations, public policy, legal studies, and economics combine to form the ecosystem within which cybersecurity problems and solutions are found but training people to think and work across these boundaries has proven difficult.

The UCL EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Cybersecurity offers a cross-disciplinary four year fully funded PhD programme to develop the next generation of cybersecurity leaders in academia, industry, and government. These will be highly qualified specialists working across disciplines who can pull together research and practice that spills over traditional boundaries.

We are now accepting applications for fully funded places on the interdisciplinary UCL Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Cybersecurity starting in September 2023

UCL is a world-leading centre for information security and our Department of Computer Science was ranked first by research output in the latest UK Research Excellence Framework (REF). UCL is recognized by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and our MSc in Information Security is accredited by GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). UCL Computer Science is the host of the national Research Institute for Sociotechnical Cyber Security. This is an initiative of strategic national importance to the NCSC and is directed by Professor Carr. UCL STEaPP hosts the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity. Professor Johnson (Crime Science) leads the Dawes Centre for Future Crime which contributes a secure data lab to the CDT, certified to hold sensitive criminal evidence. The departments involved hold active research grants worth £17.9M in cybersecurity, funded by the EPSRC, Royal Society, EU H2020, Lloyds Register Foundation and the European Research Council.

Programme Structure

Our Cybersecurity CDT programme involves a specially designed taught first year that is delivered through teaching and guided self-study including peer-supported learning and group work. Taught modules* include four compulsory modules, and one optional module.

  • Information Security Management
  • Cybercrime
  • Analytic Methods for Policy
  • Philosophy, Politics & Economics of Security

Optional modules:

  • Computer Security 1
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Digital Technology and Policy

*please see ucl.ac.uk/cybersecurity-cdt for more information

Years 2 and 3:

Taught disciplinary and multi-disciplinary training will continue in years two and three, with students attending further optional modules. Throughout the programme, shorter training sessions and activities will be used to develop transferable skills, as well as broadening student exposure to world-class research practices, knowledge and skills in cybersecurity. We also encourage our students to carry out an internship within a partner organisation.

Year 4:

Students will receive training on grant writing and/or entrepreneurship and will largely focus on completing their thesis. Students will be encouraged to continue interacting with industry partners as they prepare for graduation and employment.

Entry Requirements

We are seeking recent graduates or mid-career applicants with a strong background in either STEM (e.g., Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Physics) or Arts and Social Sciences (e.g., Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, International Relations, Public Policy, Crime Science, Economics, and Management). Candidates will be trained in research and innovation skills in multidisciplinary facets of cybersecurity, (computing, crime science, management and public policy) and then specialize within a discipline, with experience gained through projects jointly designed with industrial / government / law enforcement partners. The minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent.

PhD Studentships

We currently offer fully funded EPSRC studentships for four years covering:

  • £19,668* tax-free stipend per year (plus enhanced stipend of £2000) (*updated each year set at the UKRI rate)
  • Tuition Fees
  • Generous research training expenses.

We particularly welcome applications from under-represented and minority groups especially those who are under-represented in the field of cybersecurity.

Further information and how to apply

To apply, please visit our website: ucl.ac.uk/cybersecurity-cdt and complete your application online via UCL admissions system.

Deadline for first round of applications: 31st January 2023
Deadline for second round of applications: 14th May 2023

Although we have two admissions cycles listed year to year, we may fill all available funded places in the first round. We do not hold back spaces for the second round – they will only be available if we have not found the right applicants earlier in the year. If you’re interested in joining us, apply early.

For enquiries, please contact CDT Cybersecurity Manager (cybersecuritycdt@ucl.ac.uk)