Research course

Computational Statistics and Data Science: COMPASS

University of Bristol · School of Mathematics

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree or master's degree (or international equivalent) in mathematics, statistics, computer science or another highly numerate subject, such as economics, epidemiology or physics.

Months of entry


Course content

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Computational Statistics and Data Science (Compass) is a four-year PhD training programme that addresses the pressing need, in the UK and internationally, for doctoral graduates who are able to combine fluency in both statistical and computational methods. This programme links modern computational statistics to real world problems in science and society.

Compass is hosted by the Institute for Statistical Science in the School of Mathematics and integrated with internal partners from across the University and external partners from industry and government. Our team of PhD supervisors incorporates world-leading statisticians and data scientists, and experts from the Faculties of Health Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences and Law and Life Sciences.

The School of Mathematics is ranked 4th in the UK for Mathematical Sciences research, based on independent analysis of the REF 2021 by Times Higher Education.

Compass involves a specially designed taught first year that is delivered through lectures, workshops, laboratories and guided self-study, and includes peer-supported learning and group work. PhD projects are developed with academic supervisors during the second semester of the first year, before full-time research starts in October of your second year.

PhD topics range from theory and methodology of statistics and data science, to collaborative interdisciplinary projects with experimental scientists, government agencies or industry. We provide excellent facilities at the heart of the University campus in central Bristol, one of the most creative and liveable European cities.

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, to join us.

Information for international students

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Fees and funding

A Compass studentship provides four years of tuition fees at UK student rates, a stipend (£20,062 per year in 2022/23) for living expenses and a travel allowance of £1,000 per year to support research-related activities.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

COMPASS CDT Admissions
+44 (0) 117 455 4039