Some frequently asked questions about the CDT in Data Science.
Q: What are the benefits of the CDT in Data Science compared to a conventional PhD?
A: Conventional PhDs in the UK are three years and do not include coursework.
However, the CDT in Data Science is a four year programme, with the first year as an MSc by Research and the following three years as PhD study. The first year of the programme, which combines taught courses and research projects, gives students an advanced background across the breadth of data science, which is designed to help students to make informed decisions when choosing their PhD projects.
The CDT holds a number of events, transferable skills training, seminars, and reading groups for CDT students. This is in addition to the range of events which are offered to PhD students within the School of Informatics.
The CDT also engenders a cohort: the CDT students are trained together, all share the same office in the first year, and attend weekly seminars in their PhD years. CDT students are a group who have the opportunity to work together and share their experiences.
Students on the CDT are also encouraged to take time away from their studies to conduct research at another lab or undertake an internship with one of the programme's industry partners.
Q: How do students chose their PhD topics?
A: Upon successful completion of the MSc by Research, students meet with potential supervisors to discuss potential research areas, and determine a project and supervisor that matches his/her research interests. On this basis, students will write a short proposal describing the intended research, which will be reviewed by a panel of academics with relevant expertise.
Applicants do not need to choose a PhD topic before applying to the CDT in Data Science. Students will be exposed to a range of areas during the course of the MSc by Research year. It is possible, even likely, that students' research interests will change during this time, so students do not choose their PhD topics until after completing the MSc by Research.
Q: Do I need to contact a supervisor before submitting an application?
A: You do not need to contact or identify a PhD supervisor before making an application. However, if you already know about a specific research area or supervisor that is particularly interesting to you, please do note this in your application.
Q: When does the programme start?
A: The programme commences in September each year. Due to the nature of the programme, particularly the first year MSc by Research, it is not possible to start the programme at a different time.
Q: Is it possible to study part-time?
A: It is only possible to undertake study in the CDT in Data Science as a full-time student in Edinburgh.
However, it is possible to take the following programmes part-time:
There may also be other PhD programmes in the School of Informatics where part-time study may be possible.
Q: Is it possible to do a distance learning degree?
A: Participating in the local research environment is a vital educational aspect of the CDT in Data Data Science programme. All CDT students must be based in Edinburgh for both their MSc and PhD research.
The University of Edinburgh does offer an Online Distance Learning (ODL) Postgraduate Programme in Data Science, Technology and Innovation, which is different than the CDT in Data Science.
Q: Is there a separate application to request funding from the CDT in Data Science?
A: A separate application does not need to be made to request funding from the CDT, as this will be assessed from the same application as the academic selection.
All applications will be considered based on academic merit, regardless of the funding available to each applicant.
Q. What does a studentship include?
A: A fully-funded studentship includes all fees, a stipend, and additional funding for research visits, conference travel, computing equipment and other research costs. The stipend is paid based on the EPSRC stipend rates.
Q: Not sure that the CDT in Data Science is right for you? Learn more about the other postgraduate programmes in data science offered by the University of Edinburgh: