Why apply?

Our training programme is unlike any other PhD programme. In addition to the Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD), you will also complete a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in SLT Leadership. This bespoke and unique programme will provide the necessary skills for academic and industrial leadership in the field, based on elements covering core SLT skills, research software engineering (RSE), ethics, innovation, entrepreneurship, management, and societal responsibility.

The SLT CDT offers you the following benefits:

  • Four-year fully-funded studentship covering all fees and an enhanced stipend (£17,000 pa)
  • Generous personal allowance for research-related travel, conference attendance, specialist equipment, etc.
  • A full-time PhD with integrated PGDip incorporating 6 months of foundational SLT training prior to starting your research project
  • Bespoke cohort-based training programme running over the entire four years.
  • Every PhD project underpinned by a real-world application, directly supported by one of over 30 industry partners.
  • Support for internships with our external industrial project partners
  • Supervision from a team of over 20 internationally leading SLT researchers, covering all core areas of modern SLT research, and a broader pool of over 50 academics in cognate disciplines with interests in SLTs and their application
  • Exposure to the cross-disciplinary approaches and co-creation of novel SLT methods and applications with external partners
  • A dedicated CDT workspace within a collaborative and inclusive research environment hosted by the Department of Computer Science
  • Work and live in Sheffield – a cultural centre on the edge of the Peak District National Park which is in the top 10 most affordable UK university cities.

How to apply

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or be expecting to obtain, a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree or masters (ideally distinction) degree in a relevant discipline. Suitable backgrounds are (but not limited to):

  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Regardless of background, you must be able to demonstrate strong mathematical aptitude (minimally to A-Level standard or equivalent) and good experience of programming.

We will also consider applicants with a professional background, so long as they are able to provide evidence of demonstrable academic skills as well as practical experience.

We particularly encourage applications from members of  groups that are underrepresented in technology.

If English is not your first language, you will need to meet our English Language Requirements. We ask for IELTS 7.5 overall, with no less than 7.0 in each component. Equivalent scores in other other English language qualifications are welcome; see the University’s guidance for more information on permitted qualifications.

How to apply

Applications for the September 2021 intake are now closed. We will open applications for the September 2022 intake in Autumn.

If you have any questions about applying please take a look at our FAQ. If you can’t find an answer to your question there, please email us at sltcdt-enquiries@sheffield.ac.uk
Please note we will retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about applying to study at the CDT only. Your contact details will not be used for any other topic, nor passed on to anybody else.


In August 2020, UKRI announced that international students will be eligible for all UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships from the start of the 2021/22 academic year. UKRI limits the proportion of international students appointed each year through individual doctoral training programmes to a maximum of 30 percent of the total. All students will receive a full award, to include a stipend and fees at the home level.

To be classed as a home student, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If you do not meet the criteria above, you will be classed as an International student.

For full eligibility details, please refer to the updated guidance (Oct 2020) in Annex One of the Changes to EU and International Eligibility for UKRI funded studentships from Academic Year 2021/22 onwards document (p4 onwards). Further information from UKCISA is available on fees status for students starting courses from Autumn 2021.

When applying, please indicate in your personal statement whether the criteria above classify you as a home student or an international student.

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