The School of Computing at Ulster conducts internationally excellent and world-leading research in, assistive technologies, next generation networks, and semantic analytics, within our two highly active research centres; Artificial Intelligence Research Centre (AIRC) and Pervasive Computing Research Centre (PCRC).
School of Computing has a long history of conducting excellent research. As part of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment, internationally renowned experts independently judged research on computer science and informatics at Ulster University as being in the top 10 of UK Universities in terms of research power. Over 86% of Ulster’s research on computer science is rated as either world leading or internationally excellent. Both research impact and research environment have attained a 100% world-leading and internationally excellent rating, offering unparalleled research facilities and environments. These outstanding results illustrate the positive impact our research makes on global economic sectors and society.
Artificial Intelligence Research Centre (AIRC)
AIRC aims to develop cutting-edge AI theories, algorithms and tools, and to create state of the art AI solutions for practical problems through engagement with stakeholders and users, and alignment with University, local, national and European initiatives.
The main research themes in artificial intelligence are: data engineering; knowledge engineering; semantic analytics (making sense of unstructured data such as image, video, spectra and text); biomedical informatics; and mathematical modelling and optimisation.
Applications include work on multimodal biometrics (including face/palmprint/iris recognition); text and video information retrieval; food authentication; reliable decision support (e.g. medical and transport); soft sensor design; software complexity metrics; text mining to extract argumentation structure and application to document reuse and software defect analysis; remote sensing data analysis and anomaly detection; mathematical and computational modelling of complex systems; and biomedical applications.
Pervasive Computing Research Centre (PCRC)
Research within the PCRC incorporates networked environments (structure and sensors in buildings, clothing and personal devices) and intelligent processing (data mining, pattern recognition, decision support, context prediction, data fusion, and multimodal interaction).
Much of the research focuses on behavioural monitoring (through environmental and biometric sensors) and activity recognition, with application to assistive technologies for smart homes, independent living, and healthcare monitoring and diagnosis.
Research is supported by new laboratory facilities for deployment of sensing technology in connected health care, including body scanner, eye-tracking, and other state-of-the-art devices.
Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study. We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.
In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.
English language requirements
In order to be admitted to research study at Ulster, you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency as part of your application.
Get full details on the requirements for both home and overseas applicants can be found on our English language requirements page.
Careers and opportunities
PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence.
The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015), and while two thirds end up in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the range of skills acquired equips the remainder for employment in a wide range of contexts.
Fees and funding
Details of tuition fees can be found under the fees schedule for the academic year of entry.
To work out for which fees you would be eligible and to find out more information about potential sources of funding, please view the Fees and Funding pages on the Doctoral College website.
We are delighted that you are considering Ulster University for your research studies.
Get full details on the application process and further guidance on how to apply, and what you will need to upload as part of your application.
Once you have identified supervisors, discussed a research proposal and are ready to make an application, please apply using the online application system.
Ulster University welcomes applications from all sections of the community and from persons with disabilities. It is University policy to assess all applications using academic criteria and on the basis of equality of opportunity and you should be assured that reasonable adjustments will be made should you require them.