Course of Study
All PhD research students are assigned at least one named supervisor and an advisor, both of whom must be academics in the Information Security Group. The supervisor directs the work and acts as the first line of research and welfare support. The role of the advisor varies, but in all cases the advisor provides a second line of support.
The PhD programme at the Information Security Group is research-based, and as such much of the work will inevitably involve substantial amounts of research and study, both independently and in closely coordination with the supervisor. However students may also be directed to attend some of the advanced courses offered by the university. Successful completion of a PhD research programme is most easily achieved if a student plays an active role in the ISG research community. This involves regularly attending relevant seminar series, workshops and study groups in the ISG. It also involves discussing and presenting work to other students and staff. Where appropriate, students will be expected to attend or present work at seminars, workshops or research meetings off the campus, including international research conferences.
How can I study for a Ph.D.?
A Ph.D. can be studied in one of three different modes:
- Full-time study – A three- to four-year course in which the students work on campus and study for their PhD as a full-time job.
- Part-time study – A four- to seven-year course for committed students who wish to study their PhD alongside a full-time job or similar commitments.
The most common, and practical, mode of pursuing a PhD is to study full-time. Students are expected to attend campus regularly and approach their studies in a manner similar to a full-time research and development job. Students will have regular meetings with their supervisor and access to many different types of seminar series within the department.
Full-time students in their first three years of study are guaranteed desk space and computer facilities in the department, and are expected to contribute fully to the departmental research community.
We welcome applications for part-time study from committed candidates. Part-time study is the default mode for students working for more than fifteen hours per week or with family commitments which preclude full-time study. Part-time students are expected to attend Royal Holloway’s campus on a fairly regular basis and to have regular meetings with their supervisor (either in person or at a distance).
How long does a Ph.D. take?
Applicants are advised that, in line with most other UK universities, there is a maximum registration period of four years for full-time Ph.D. students and seven years for part-time students. Thus, before registering for a PhD degree, students must ensure that sufficient time and funds will be available to complete their thesis within this time period.
How are Ph.D. degrees examined?
Once the research has been successfully completed the student must write and submit a final report in the form of a PhD research thesis. This will be evaluated by at least two experts and the student will be invited to attend an oral examination where they must defend their thesis.
Detailed information about the course of study is available in the ISG Research Postgraduate Handbook.