MPhil and PhD Research Degrees



Apply now

What Our Students Say:

"I am looking at modelling the vocal tract for speech synthesis purposes, and the experience I gained on the DSP course has been absolutely invaluable, giving me the confidence to get stuck in right away! The department as a whole, and particularly the Audio Lab, is a fantastic place to work, and everyone is very friendly and supportive." Amelia Gully

Read More

Programme Overview

The MPhil and PhD degree programmes enable students to study a chosen area of research with leading researchers in the Department. These degrees are awarded in either Electronic Engineering or Music Technology following the successful submission of a thesis and subsequent oral examination. The MPhil degree is a two-year full-time or four-year part-time programme. The PhD degree is a three year full-time or six year part-time programme.

All PhD and MPhil students are subject to formal reviews of progress. The purpose of formal reviews of progress is to ensure that students are making satisfactory progress with their research project and other elements of their PhD or MPhil programme. In addition, PhD students are required to give a 3 minute presentation in their first year, submit a poster in their second year and present a seminar on their research work to the Department during their third year. The overall intention is to give research students the opportunity to develop both oral and written communications skills which are essential in a modern engineering environment. The progress of all research students is continually guided by a supervisor and a thesis advisory panel.

Students often have the opportunity to present their work at UK and overseas conferences and their work is frequently published in international journals. The department provides a conference travel fund to enable each PhD student to attend an international conference to present their work, during their period of registration with us. Students apply to the fund with their supervisor. (In exceptional circumstances the department reserves the right to change or amend the travel fund arrangements as and when necessary.)

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

Electronic engineering is a wide-ranging subject and enquiries are welcomed from well-qualified graduates and final-year undergraduates in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Music Technology or a closely related subject. Applicants are normally expected to hold (or expected to gain) the equivalent of a 2:1 honours degree or above in a relevant subject. Please contact us if you need any advice on the suitability of your qualifications.

For applicants whose native language is not English, the minimum University English language requirements of IELTS 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each of the four language components) or the equivalent are expected.



All full-time postgraduate research students are allocated a desk space in the department with a new PC (with 2 screens) for the duration of their full-time programme. Dependent on their project, students might also use some of the department's other facilities, including NAMAS-accredited EMC measurement facilities, Clean Room, well-equipped music and media technology suites, anechoic chambers, BioWall, Robot Lab and specialised software for FPGA design.

Staff Research Interests

Staff Research Interests

As part of any application for a research degree you have to name one or more academic staff who could supervise your research. This list gives a brief description of staff research interests, which you can use along with the research group pages and example projects to identify a potential supervisor(s).

Eugene Avrutin, PhD (Ioffe), MIET, MIEEE
Theory and numerical modelling and design of photonic devices and subsystems

Alister Burr, PhD (Bristol), CEng, MIET, MIEEE
Wireless communications; turbo codes; MIMO; wireless network coding new waveforms

David Chesmore, DPhil (York), CEnv, FIAgrE, FRES, FIOA
Computational bioacoustics; automated species identification; instrumentation and precision agriculture

Tim Clarke, MSc (RMCS), MIET
Industrial, flight and bioinspired control; distributed artificial intelligence; cognitive radio

Kanapathippillai Cumanan, PhD (Loughborough), MIEE, MIET
5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT); Physical layer security; secret key generation; cognitive radio networks; relay networks

Helena Daffern, PhD (York)
Singing science and pedagogy; voice and musical performance analysis and perception

John Dawson, DPhil (York), CEng, MIET, MIEEE
Electromagnetic compatibility; modelling and optimisation; wireless sensor networks

Jeremy Everard, PhD (Cambridge), CEng, MIET, MIEEE
RF/microwaves; compact atomic clocks; low phase noise oscillators;ultra-fast opto-electronics

David Grace, DPhil (York), MIET, Senior MIEEE
Cognitive radio; radio resource management; communications from high altitude platforms

David Halliday, PhD (Glasgow)
Computational neuroscience; spiking neural networks; neural signal processing

Atsufumi Hirohata, PhD (Cambridge), Senior MIEEE
Spintronics; nano-scale and quantum magnetism; nanoelectronics

Steven Johnson, DPhil (York)
Molecular and biomolecular electronics; nanoelectronic devices; nanofabrication

Gavin Kearney, PhD (Trinity College Dublin), FHEA, MAES
Spatial audio; music technology; interactive audio systems; audio for virtual reality

Andy Marvin, PhD (Sheffield), FREng, Fellow IEEE
Electromagnetic compatibility; electromagnetic metrology; antennas

Paul Mitchell, PhD (York), MIET, Senior MIEEE
Wireless communications; resource management; terrestrial radio systems; underwater acoustic networks

Shuhei Miyashita, PhD (Zurich)
Micro-millirobotics; selfassembly; self-reconfigurable robotics

Damian Murphy, DPhil (York), FHEA
Virtual acoustic modelling; auralisation; spatial audio; music technology

Adar Pelah, ScMEE, PhD (Cambridge)
Biomedical engineering; virtual environments; human vision and locomotion; 3D displays

Andy Pomfret, PhD (York)
Control system design; distributed artificial intelligence; digital engineering for control

Stuart Porter, DPhil (York), AMIET, MIEEE
Computational electromagnetics; antenna design; RF MEMS bioelectromagnetics

John Robinson, PhD (Essex), FIET, Senior MIEEE
Image and video processing; pattern analysis

Martin Robinson, PhD (Bristol), MIPEM, MInstP
Medical applications of electromagnetic waves; dielectrics; interference; shielding

Stephen Smith, PhD (Kent), CEng, FBCS, MIEEE
Evolutionary computation; medical applications; rich media technologies

Gianluca Tempesti, MSE, PhD (EPFL), MIEEE
Bio-inspired hardware; fault tolerance; adaptive and reconfigurable systems; many-core systems

Jon Timmis, PhD (Wales), PGCHE, Senior MIEEE
Artificial immune systems; computational immunology; swarm robotics; self-healing systems

Martin Trefzer, PhD (Heidelberg), Senior MIEEE
Bio-inspired hardware; fault tolerance; nanodevices; autonomous adaptive systems

Andy Tyrrell, PhD (Aston), CEng, FIET, Senior MIEEE
Evolvable hardware; FPGA/reconfigurable systems; artificial immune systems; microelectronics design

Tony Ward, MBA (OU), CEng, MIET, MIEEE
Engineering education; virtual learning; workforce planning;education and enterprise

Yongbing Xu, PhD (Leeds), MIET, MIoNanotech
Nanotechnology; spintronics; magnetic nanomaterials; nanodevice and nanofabrication

Yuriy Zakharov, PhD (Moscow), Senior MIEEE
Signal processing for communications and acoustics

Research Projects

Research Projects

For details of PhD research projects currently available, please look through our PhD project pages.

Careers & Destinations

Careers and Graduate Destinations

Being a research student in the department isn't just about producing a piece of academic work. It's also about developing skills that will help you succeed in your chosen career whether you choose to stay in academia or move into industry. To find out more visit our Careers and Destinations page and read some of our graduate profiles.

Any questions?

Admissions Enquiries
Helen Smith

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
Prof. Stephen Smith

(+44) 01904 324485