What are the entry requirements?

In general we are looking for real enthusiasm for undertaking research into sustainability and infrastructure paired with an excellent academic track record. In terms of background and prior experience we expect our PhD students to have a good first class or high 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline.

How do I apply for a PhD position?

First please see our list of available projects HERE and select one that best fits your research interests.  Then read through the information on the application process HERE.

I already have a masters degree can I still apply?

Yes. If you accept a place on the programme, you will study for four years, (1st year taught, 3 years research) but we may tailor the taught component to reflect your prior experience.

Do I need to have an MSc or equivalent qualification before applying for a SIS-CDT PhD position?

This is not a necessary qualification. The SIS PhD programme includes a year of taught material which introduces solid foundations upon which your doctoral research can stand.

Can I come and visit you to find out more about studentships?

Yes, please get in touch if you wish to visit us.  We can arrange a tour of the research facilities and meetings with programme directors and current students.

When do I need to apply by?

Applications should be made as soon as possible in order to maximise the chance of securing a place on your chosen project.  Projects are allocated to the best student on a rolling basis as applications are made.

How much are the tuition fees?

The tuition fees for the SIS programme are set at the University of Southampton levels: details are here (“Research Programmes”).  All EU/UK tuition fees will be covered by the CDT as part of the funding associated with the projects.

English is not my first language. Is there an entry requirement on the standard of English?

For details of approved tests and formal entry requirements, please check the following University of Southampton page.

I am unsure of the grades that I will receive for my undergraduate degree. Is this a problem?

Your offer may be made conditional on obtaining good marks at undergraduate level. Please apply now stating the marks you have achieved so far.

How should I include my references?

You could ask two academics or managers who know your work well to send letters of reference directly to us. Check the Contact page for email and postal addresses. Alternatively, include the details of your referees in your application, and we will contact them directly.

How many studentships do you have to offer?

At least 10 per year, via a mixture of SIS and industry funding. If you have any further questions about this please contact us for advice.

If I am not eligible for a SIS studentship, how can I find funding?

The University offers several scholarships, including some that are available to international and EU students. Further advice for international applicants and a guide to the cost of living in Southampton is also available.

What are the benefits of the four year PhD course?

The EPSRC’s aim for the four-year programmes that they launched in 2009 is that they represent the state of the art in doctoral training. The first year allows you time to explore possible research topics and to learn valuable skills – in a regular PhD there is much less time to devote to this. Throughout the programme there are opportunities to engage with industry, to develop important transferable skills (such as how to interact with the media) and to take part in cohort-wide activities such as overseas placements.  The CDT was also conceived of conducting research within a global context and the taught year allows time for international research projects to be conducted.

What is a secondment?

A secondment involves time spent in an industrial (or perhaps another academic) research facility. Where closely aligned, the secondment project can contribute directly to your PhD. Alternatively, it is also possible to ‘stop the clock’ on your PhD to allow time to be spent on a project that is independent or protected by different IP arrangement. Secondments may be available with some of our industrial and commercial partners.

Will I be awarded two qualifications upon completion of the full programme?

No. If you successfully graduate from the 4-year programme, you will be awarded a PhD in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems.

Can I enrol for just the taught component to receive a different qualification?

We are not currently offering a one-year MSc programme in sustainable infrastructure, but do let us know if this is something you are interested in.

Can I enrol on a PhD in SIS-CDT as a part-time student?

Since the taught component is delivered to each cohort as a full-time activity, it is not currently possible to take the course part-time.


If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact the programme manager via email: cdt-sis@soton.ac.uk