Postgraduate study

Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) offers the opportunity to study for a PhD in areas related to high performance computing, software sustainability and data intensive computing.

Founded in 1990, EPCC is one of the leading supercomputing centres in Europe and a major provider of training in high performance computing. EPCC’s expertise includes advanced research, technology transfer, commercial consultancy and the provision of supercomputer services to academia and business.

EPCC hosts an exceptional collection of high-performance and novel computing facilities including ARCHER, the UK’s primary academic research supercomputer. We also host the UK Research Data Facility, a large data storage and analysis platform for active research data associated with computational science. Other facilities include multicore, Xeon Phi and GPU machines.

EPCC has a team of experienced researchers with a wealth of expertise in the latest technologies.

Our computing research covers: software for future HPC systems, modelling and simulation, performance characterisation and benchmarking, and developing national and international HPC services.

We are working on several Big Data research projects, ranging from earthquake prediction and astronomical data analysis to the development of international data infrastructure for managing today’s immense growth in data generation.

Our software specialists have an impressive portfolio of projects, including many industrial applications. We work at the forefront of the field, for example through our leadership of the UK’s Software Sustainability Institute, ensuring that today’s new software continues to be improved and supported in the future.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDInformatics3 YearsFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

EPCC is home to some of Europe’s most advanced supercomputing systems that enable high-level grid computing, data integration, computer simulation and process optimisation. These include national-level facilities used by researchers on behalf of various UK research funding councils:

  • ARCHER - UK national supercomputing facility provided by RCUK
  • DiRAC - UK national supercomputing facility provided by STFC
  • UK Research Data Facility (UK-RDF) - UK national data facility provided by RCUK

Graduates from EPCC have found rewarding employment in the computing industry, universities and government organisations.

For 2019 entry:

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, typically in an area of informatics, such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science or computer science.

We may also consider a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, in engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics or psychology.

For 2020 entry:

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, typically in an area of informatics, such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science or computer science. You should have experience in computer programming.

We may also consider a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, in engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics or psychology.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section

  • PTE Academic: total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDInformatics3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Informatics Graduate School
  • 6th Floor, Appleton Tower
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LE

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Informatics Graduate School
  • 6th Floor, Appleton Tower
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LE