I am looking for advice on applying for a Phd in Software Engineering/ Human-Computer Interaction. I am currently working as a software developer and interested in pursuing an academic career in Computing at university level. I have recently completed a Masters degree in Computing with a Pass last year, however I have a 2:1 undergraduate degree in Graphic Design.

I feel that the subject knowledge I have only gained on my Masters may be less adequate compared to a 3 year undergraduate degree to pursue a Phd. Would my current knowledge and experience be suitable to apply for a Phd in Computing or would it be beneficial to undertake another/ specific course before applying?

1 Answer 1


I am in Psychology and not CS, but what we find is that students with a three year BSc are rarely competitive for a funded PhD and most must do a MSc course first in order to be competitive. We ran a MSc conversion course last year for the first time. These students faired better than undergrads, but not as well as the students on our straight MSc course. A number have continued on to the regular MSc course with the hopes of getting a funded PhD the next year. I think you would probably need a distinction on a conversion course in order to be really competitive for a PhD. That said, you can always apply and see what happens. Some places might offer you a 1+3 type program.

  • Hi, thanks for the reply. If I was to apply for Phd funding, would my proposal be taken into consideration over the grades I've gained?
    – This Name
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 9:36
  • @ThisName it is never that simple. Very few applicants are perfect across the board, so yes, a great proposal can offset average grades.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 17:47

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