Software engineering and design

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
February and October January to April
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

Our research in software engineering is concerned with how software is specified and developed in the real world. We have a large, active research group looking at requirement elicitation, analysis and specification, software architectures, and design.

We research software engineering in the human context: we want to understand how professionals develop software effectively, and how software changes over time in response to changing requirements. We research foundations, techniques, processes, and applications, using both formal and informal techniques drawn from mathematics, logic, and the social sciences. This diversity drives stimulating dialogues and cross-fertilisation of ideas.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.

Potential research projects

  • Agile software development
  • Assurance-driven software engineering
  • Automated software engineering
  • Empirical studies of software development
  • End-user software engineering and scientific computing
  • Mobile distributed systems
  • Problem structuring and analysis
  • Professional design practice
  • Requirements engineering
  • Security and privacy
  • Software and engineering design
  • Software architecture
  • Software complexity
  • Software evolution

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £15,698 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £7,849 per year

Some of our research students are funded via EPSRC DTP and the STEM Faculty; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Picture of Agile software development

How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Email: stem-cc-phd

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.