Postgraduate opportunities


The four year course consists of a one year taught component designed to extend and broaden key skills, followed by a three year solo PhD research project. Training is provided in the form of

Successful applicants will be members of a close-knit team of students. The course has been designed to allow flexibility in assumed previous knowledge, with advanced modules building on a common core. Why the CDT route?

They will be able to choose their PhD research projects from an extensive range of topics ranging from blue-sky to application research. Examples of potential PhD project areas are:

  • Power and spectrum efficient wireless monitoring in hazardous environments
  • Efficient protocols for secure communications in highly dynamic mobile scenarios
  • End-user control and manipulation of the radio environment through novel interfaces
  • Stochastic modelling and optimisation of smart grid power networks
  • Highly agile RF transceivers for cognitive aware communication networks
  • Aligning human and computer communications by increasing the legibility of wireless infrastructures
  • Application of random matrix theory to the optimisation of multi-sensor wireless networks
  • High dynamic range video compression
  • Development and evaluation of new interaction techniques for mobile media
  • Cross layer optimisation for robust multimedia transport
  • Interference alignment to improve the performance of large wireless networks by the development of theoretical algorithms
  • Dynamic visualisation – the paper replacement

PhD background/description

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Communications is the only such CDT in the UK and is dedicated to the provision of training for postgraduate students in a state-of-the-art collaborative research environment which has close interaction with industry. It offers a four-year PhD with a taught programme in year 1 followed by a 3 year specialist PhD research project.

Communications engineering is recognised as a key discipline that will underpin future economic growth. The UK is a leader in this field and UK industry has a growing demand for high quality researchers and engineers. The Centre has been established as a collaboration between the University of Bristol, EPSRC and some 25 UK companies.

Working closely with industry, the Centre addresses diverse challenges ranging from theoretical to applied research.

The first year provides training in the broad area of Communications and covers the skills necessary to enable you to undertake cutting-edge research in your PhD. It comprises:

  • Courses in advanced communication engineering topics with a choice of units
  • Group and individual projects
  • Enterprise training
  • Transferable skills training to increase your employability
  • Engagement with industry to demonstrate the application and context of research

A topic for the PhD will be selected from a wide range of options towards the end of the first year and will normally build on the first year’s individual project. Most projects will be collaborative with industry. The PhD programme will also include a wide range of workshops and short courses in years 2-4 in specialist technical subjects and business skills.

The Centre is jointly operated by the Departments of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics – all recognised as international leaders in their field. Students will be members of a close-knit cohort working closely with academics and industrial mentors. Industrial partners will also provide access to and training with the latest technology.


Full funding consisting of fees and living expenses, with ~£18k pa available to the highest quality candidates with home fee status. EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for over three years are also eligible for full funding. Fees only funding will be available to other EU citizens. Funding will be provided for attendance at conferences and time in industry.

Application Process

Application deadline for September 2018 entry: 20th March 2018.

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