Research course

Computer Science

University of Exeter · Computing
PhDMPhilMSc by research

Entry requirements

Please contact the School for details.

Months of entry

January, September, April

Course content

As a PhD or MPhil student in Computing, you will join the department of computer science. The department has internationally recognised expertise within areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and hydroinformatics. The department brings together Computer Scientists and Mathematicians working on a variety of modern-day, interdisciplinary topics including problems of knowledge representation, machine learning, optimisation, image and signal processing.

In the area of machine learning, pattern analysis and statistical computation, which incorporates close collaboration with the mathematical sciences, we research a range of techniques for learning from data, including statistical and nature-inspired methods. Current and recent projects in this area have focused around application areas ranging from bio-medical imaging, face and speech recognition to air-traffic control and safety-critical software design. A strong research theme in this area is shape-based computer vision and image processing, particularly for image retrieval and object classification.

Research on optimisation methods focuses on techniques for evolutionary optimisation, particularly multi-objective optimisation. This work is currently being exploited in areas such as hydroinformatics, credit-card fraud detections, mobile phone network turning and bioinformatics problems. Closely related to these is research into biologically inspired algorithms, such as neural networks, swarm intelligence and artificial life, together with applications to bioinformatics.

Artificial intelligence research interests focus on spatial and temporal knowledge representation, with applications to geographical information science, and on the philosophical foundations of artificial intelligence and computer science.

In the area of hydroinformatics we are mainly concerned with the design and multi-objective optimisation of water distribution and related networks using iterative learning algorithms and neural networks; genetic algorithms; water systems. This is supported by EPSRC, EU and British Council contracts. The work involves collaboration with numerous UK and EU universities and industrial companies.

Department specialisms

Machine learning Hydroinformatics. Shape representation Nature-inspired computing Knowledge representation and ontology Optimisation

Information for international students

We warmly welcome international students to all three of our beautiful campuses. At present 4,000 students from over 130 countries contribute to a thriving international community.

Visit our website for details of our academic and English language requirements, along with details of English language support.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website for details
International students
Please see our website for details

The University of Exeter invests significantly in a range of funding opportunities for talented prospective postgraduates. Please visit our website for further details. Here you can search our database for funding opportunities suitable for your area of interest.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months
part time
72-84 months


full time
24-36 months
part time
48-60 months

MSc by research

part time
24-36 months
full time
12-24 months

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0) 1392 723647