Research opportunities in the School of Computer Science


The School specialises in the areas listed below. Visit the School research pages and School academic staff pages for further details.

Candidates seeking entry onto PhD and other research degrees are encouraged to present research proposals related to these areas of specialism.

Alternatively, candidates may undertake a research degree in a topic specified by the School. Visit the ‘Research Projects’ section for details of these topics.

  • Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents
  • Communication Networks and Protocols
  • Medical Visualization and Simulation
  • Pattern Recognition/Classifiers

Details of the main research themes carried out by staff in the School of Computer Science are detailed below. PhD opportunities are available in all of these areas.

Visualization and Medical Graphics

This is the largest research theme within the School with six academics and five PDRAs. We are a founding member of the Research Institute of Visual Computing (RIVIC), a collaborative amalgamation of visual computing research programmes between the computer science departments in Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities. It was established in 2009 with a grant of £5M from the Welsh Government’s Reconfiguration and Collaboration Fund. The grant proposal was coordinated by Bangor University and we administer the grant on behalf of the partner institutes, and also run the central administration for the institute. The strategic goal of RIVIC is to make Wales an internationally leading country in research related to visual computing. It has brought a significant investment in personnel across Wales, including funding for two academic staff and four PDRAs within the Visualization and Medical Graphics group at Bangor. RIVIC has enabled three visual computing themes to be developed at Bangor to international status:

  • Medical Graphics
  • Visual Analytics
  • Visual Perception

Knowledge Discovery

The knowledge discovery area is comprised of two main subthemes:

  • Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents, AI:IA

Complex system modelling

The goal of this research theme is to use mathematical modelling techniques to enhance multi-disciplinary research into real-time system modelling and security. There are three broad research sub-themes carried out:
  • Complex real-time systems simulation
  • Optical Communications Networks
  • Security and Water-Marking

Research Project Opportunities

Please note the research project opportunities detailed here are NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Candidates wishing to research any of the projects listed in this section should apply as follows:

  • International candidates requiring a pre-sessional English course will be enrolled on a Combined English / Study Skills and Research Course at the University before starting the PhD degree. The research proposal will be developed and written when enrolled on this course.
  • UK nationals or European and International candidates who have already reached the level of English required for entry should present a relevant research proposal when applying for admission.

Alternatively candidates may present a research proposal related to the research expertise & specialisms within the School. Please refer to the 'Apply' section for further details.

Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents, AI:IA


Dr William Teahan

T: +44 (0) 1248 382686 / E:

Dr Llyr Ap-Cenydd

T: +44 (0) 1248 382686 / E:

This research theme addresses theoretical and applied research into artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent autonomous agent systems, with specific focus on evolutionary algorithms, natural language processing and information retrieval. Four PhD and 1 MPhil student completed in the REF period and currently there are 6 PhD students with projects in: Chinese and Arabic Natural Language Processing; information retrieval for peer to peer networks and motion capture data; agent-based modelling for Malaria; and conversational agents for e-learning. We were the first to develop a framework (jGE) for using Grammatical Evolution (GE) to evolve Java programs (this was prior to GEVA being produced by the Dublin GE research group). jGE has been downloaded by researchers from the USA, UK, Netherlands, Poland, Brazil and Colombia. A paper published at IJCAI'11 describes a modification to GE that significantly outperforms other GE and Genetic Programming implementations on standard benchmarking tests.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Complex real-time systems simulation


Dr Saad Mansoor

T: +44 (0) 1248 382716 / E:

Complex real-time systems simulation research with practical application at Europe's largest pump storage facility. Understanding of the complex nature of the plant's dynamics can be gained by hardware-in-the-loop real-time simulations, leading to insights that enhance the plant's performance.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Medical Graphics


Prof. Nigel John

T: +44 (0) 1248 382686/

Dr Ik Soo Lim

T: +44 (0) 1248 382686/ E:

Dr Franck Vidal

T: +44 (0) 1248 382686/ E:

Dr Llyr Ap-Cenydd

T: +44 (0) 1248 382686/

The Bangor team are at the forefront of research developments in the use of virtual environments for medical procedures training and skills acquisition. Through collaborations with colleagues at Imperial College and, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds Universities, we have delivered innovative software combining real time computer graphics, haptics and physiological modelling into clinical areas spanning interventional radiology, radiotherapy treatment planning and neurosurgery. A successful pan-Wales proposal in 2011 established an Advanced Medical Imaging and Visualization Research Unit funded by a £1.2M grant from the Wales National Institute of Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR). The Unit is coordinated at Bangor and employs two PDRAs at each of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities to work directly with NHS hospitals and deliver visual computing solutions to enhance clinical practice.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning

Supervisor: Prof. Ludmila Kuncheva

T: +44 (0) 1248 383661 / E:

The aim of this research theme is to develop internationally leading research on classifier ensembles and their applications, through individual research (a second edition of a monograph is being prepared) and domestic and international collaborations. Encouraged by the results from a recent collaboration with a medical team from Swansea, we seek to expand the applied research of the (virtual) group into other health domains such as ageing, obesity and mental health.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Security and Water-Marking

Supervisor: Dr Ying Weng

T: +44 (0) 1248 382682 / E:

This research is concerned with both theoretical and practical aspects of digital watermarking. Mathematical modelling is used for watermark encryption and video hashing. Several new algorithms have been developed to improve security issues in multimedia processing and analysis.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Visual Analytics

Supervisor:Jonathan Roberts

T: +44 (0) 1248 382725/

Visual Analytics is analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces. This subgroup focuses on the investigation of analytic methods and the development of visual analysis tools that display and interact with large datasets. Building on a strong foundation of research into multiple and multiform views, we are developing a lead in this area. For instance, Bangor was a founding member of the UK Visual Analytics Consortium (UKVAC), which partners academics from Middlesex University (lead), Bangor, Imperial, Oxford and University College London. The UKVAC is working with the support of the US Department of Homeland Security via the US National Visualization and Analytics Center at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington State, and in close collaboration with the UK Home Office.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Visual Perception


Dr Rafal Mantiuk

T: +44 (0) 1248 382698/

Dr Ik Soo Lim

T: +44 (0) 1248 382686/ E:

We have established research into applied visual perception, especially in the context of new display technologies and high dynamic range (HDR) imaging. The sub-group investigates how the knowledge of the human visual system and perception can be incorporated within computer graphics and imaging algorithms. This includes designing and optimization of imaging algorithms that adapt to human visual performance and viewing conditions to deliver the best images given limited resources, such as computation time or display contrast. In 2012, Mantiuk was awarded an EPSRC First Grant to quantify image quality in computer graphics (EP/I006575/1). The grant led to the development of a new comprehensive image quality metric for high dynamic range scenes (HDR-VDP-2, source code released on Open Source basis), and the creation of a quality database for computer graphics artefacts (collaboration with the Max-Planck-Institute for Computer Science, Saarbruecken, Germany). The research outcomes include several high impact publications, including two ACM SIGGRAPH (ACM Transactions on Graphics) and two Eurographics (Computer Graphics Forum) papers, as well as several conference papers.

Please note the research project opportunity detailed here is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study

Entry requirements

For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.

Ask the IEC for assistance...

If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Education Centre on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email

Fees & Scholarships

Please take a look at our Fees & Scholarships pages for details.

How to apply

Step 1 – Select your research topic

You have three options with regards the selection of your research topic;

Option 1

Prepare your Research Proposal, based on the research expertise at the School.

Option 2

Select a research project from the Directory for PhD opportunities (Also available as a PDF document). Enter the name of the project and the name of the supervisor on the application form. The ‘Research Project’ route is delivered in two parts:

  • Part 1: A Combined English / Study Skills and Research Proposal course. This is when you will write a research proposal based on the selected research project. Duration is up to 1 year, dependent on the English language level.
  • Part 2: The PhD programme.

Option 3

Occasionally, the University advertises PhD Studentships. Studentships are funded / sponsored PhD placements which cover tuition fees and sometimes living costs, usually for a period of 3 years. They are offered for specific research projects. Studentships are advertised on the University website and Academic Schools’ websites and there is normally a deadline for submitting applications. The terms and conditions of Studentships vary and may become available at different times of the year.

If you are applying for a Studentship, enter the name of the studentship on the application form

Step 2 – Prepare your documentation

You will need to gather the following documentation to present with your application:

  • Bachelor degree certificate and transcript
  • Masters degree certificate and transcript (if undertaken)
  • English language test certificate (if undertaken)
  • Academic reference / support letter
  • Confirmation of funding / sponsorship (if applicable)
  • Passport
  • Research Proposal (if you are NOT selecting a project from the Directory of PhD opportunities or applying for a Studentship). Click here for guidance about how to write a good research proposal.

Step 3 – Apply Online

International students have two options when applying;

Apply online

Option 1 – Apply online yourself

Option 2 – Apply online with the help of a recruitment agent

  • If you would like help in completing and managing your application you may seek help from one of our authorised representatives or agents. To see a list of our representatives for your country please visit the Country pages.

Application advice

Applications for research degrees differ substantially from applications for taught courses such as Masters degrees. Although the application form is the same, the way in which you approach your application can make all the difference.

Applying for a self-funded or externally-funded Research Degree

As with all of our courses, you can apply to fund yourself through a PhD/MPhil at Bangor, or you may already have sourced external funding (e.g. from your employer or government), and we warmly welcome all expressions of interest in so doing. However, rather than simply filling in an application form, there are a few steps that you can take in order that your application stands a greater chance of being successful.

All PhD/MPhil students require supervision from at least one academic member of staff at the University, and if you are considering a PhD/MPhil, you will already have a good idea of the specific area or theme that you want to research. In order to ascertain that we hold sufficient expertise in your chosen topic to provide supervision, you should first look at our staff pages. This will provide you with a breakdown of each staff member’s area of academic focus.

Once you have found a member of staff whose research interests broadly accord with your own, you should contact them directly with a concise research ‘brief’ that outlines your proposal and ask whether s/he would consider supervising your project. If the academic expresses his/her interest, you may then further discuss your ideas and develop a full PhD/MPhil research proposal.

At this stage, you should formally apply online for the PhD/MPhil programme. You should fill the form out thoroughly, including academic references, your research proposal and the name of the academic member of staff under whose supervision you intend the research to be conducted.

Your research proposal

A good research proposal is essential if you are applying for a PhD or MPhil. The proposal should include:

  1. Overview – give a brief abstract of the subject area you wish to research and include information on the key theoretical, policy or empirical debates that will be addressed.
  2. Planning – you need to demonstrate that you are aware of the research timescales and have a plan in place to conduct your work. You need to demonstrate that the research is manageable in the given time period.
  3. Literature references – you need to show that your planned area of research has not been studied before. Provide references to key articles and texts relevant to your area of study.
  4. Methodology – you need to show that you are aware of the methodological tools available and have identified which ones would be suitable for your research.

When do I Apply?

You can apply at any time of the year.

It is possible to start a PhD degree at any point in the year at most academic Schools, subject to agreement with the supervisor.

We advise that you submit your application in enough time to:

  • organise funding
  • undertake an English course
  • obtain documents such as transcripts and references required for meeting the conditions of the offer
  • apply for a visa
  • make accommodation arrangements

Further information

Admission related queries

If you need any assitance in completing your application, contact the International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email