Centre for Doctoral Training

Two world-leading universities have joined forces to develop the next generation of researchers working on connected electronic and photonic systems that will change the way we live and work.

"If you really want to change the world, then why not study with us"
Prof Cyril Renaud, Programme Director

PhD Evdokia Pilavaki UCL-web.jpg

IMAGE: PhD student Evdokia Pilavaki in the lab.

The Centre

The University of Cambridge and University College London (UCL) have combined their expertise in photonics to establish a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems (CEPS), funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

We train postgraduate students using innovative teaching and learning techniques at two leading higher education institutions. 

We work with over thirty companies and research organisations worldwide who support student projects and contribute to our doctoral training and research programme.

The programme

We offer an advanced four-year programme in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems which combines a one year Master of Research (MRes) followed by a three year doctorate (PhD).

The programme is designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the area of photonics and to develop the advanced skills to enable high quality PhD research.

Read more at: Programme summary

Funded studentships are available for UK residents. 
See the APPLY page for details.

How to apply

The Centre operates a two-stage application process.

Stage 1: Pre-application and interview 
  • Prospective students should submit a Pre-Application form. 
  • We process pre-applications on an ongoing basis from November.
  • Shortlisted candidates are invited to interview, which take place monthly. 
  • Successful candidates are invited to make a full application (stage 2).

Stage 2: Full application
  • Candidates who are successful at Stage 1 are invited to make a full application to either UCL or University of Cambridge.

Closing dates

Applications are now closed for Sept 2020 intake.
Apply for Sept 2021 intake from November.

We accept applications from November for the following academic year.

Competition for places is high so students are advised to submit a pre-application as early as possible for pre-screening (ideally apply before May for September intake).

We may close the application window before the stated deadline if all available places are allocated.

Stage 1: Pre-applications (for interview) close
  • Cambridge: 30 May each year
  • UCL: 30 June each year

Stage 2: Full application (university direct) close
  • Cambridge: 30 June each year
  • UCL: 30 July each year*

*UCL may take formal applications up until 28 August if places are available.

Who should apply

We welcome applications from:

  • UK graduates with a good first degree (1st or 2:1) in a relevant science and/or engineering. 
  • EU and overseas students with equivalent qualifications. 
  • Applicants with relevant qualifications or industry experience who can demonstrate scientific or engineering research capability.

Funding and financial support

UK and EU applicants

Fully funded places (stipend and fees) are available for UK and EU students who meet residency requirements. See the APPLY page for details.

Overseas students

Funding opportunities and scholarships are available to EU and overseas students on the basis of academic achievements and potential. Deadlines and eligibility criteria differ depending on the funder and institution.

Further details:

Funding for OS students - University of Cambridge

Funding for OS students - UCL

Equality and diversity

Both UCL and University of Cambridge are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the recruitment, selection, education and assessment of students. We welcome applicants regardless of age, disability, gender identity, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Further information:

Diversity policy - University of Cambridge 

Diversity policy - UCL