MPhil or PhD Electronics, Computing or Mathematics*
Why choose this course?
- You'll have the opportunity to exploit and challenge your potential and develop your ideas under the supervision of highly committed, dedicated and qualified experts.
- You'll become confident and a specialist in your area of study and will be equipped for a career in academia, research and development.
- You'll study in state-of-the-art facilities.
- We have a fast-growing research environment and reputation.
- Our friendly research staff are highly regarded internationally.
- Employable Graduates – we’re ranked 15th highest amongst all UK universities and 12th for English institutions with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree: HESA 2016.
Start date: You can enrol between August and May.
Course length: The MPhil is studied over two years. You can study the PhD for three years full time, or six years part time. The new route PhD is studied over four years.
Campus: This course is currently being taught at Kedleston Road site, Derby Campus. From 2017, the course will be taught from the Markeaton Street site, Derby Campus.
College: College of Engineering and Technology
About this course
*Please note that from 1 August 2016, the title for this MPhil or PhD will change to Electronics, Computing and Mathematics.
Research is an important component of academic life. It plays a major role in supporting what we teach to our students and directly helps organisations to solve real world problems.
Our research combines the best of both worlds by having strong connections with the Derbyshire region and active international links such as CERN, Roche Pharmaceuticals and Rolls Royce amongst others. We ensure that our research contributes directly to the development and well-being of the region and the body of knowledge in the scientific community at large.
One of the core aims of the department is to provide research related opportunities for widening participation and through its collaborations and scholarly activities to make an impact and establish an excellent reputation of its applicable research regionally, nationally and internationally.
The Department of Electronics, Computing and Mathematics has a research active, focused, dedicated and committed team of members of staff who are very keen to work with you.
Available research areas for study include:
Electrical and Electronics project areas:
- Renewable Energy and Energy Sustainability
- Embedded System, Smart Systems and the Internet of Things
- Power Electronics
- Sensor Systems
- Control Systems
Entertainment Engineering project areas:
- Live sound reinforcement system design and optimization
- Real-time audio digital signal processing
- Digital Signal Processing for Sound, Music and Multi-media Technology
- Electroacoustic design and analysis
- Acoustic model development and refinement
- Virtual bass synthesis and applications
- Binaural Sound Reproduction & Algorithms
- Surround Microphone Array Technology
- Performance & Live Event Technology and Techniques
- Ambisonic Surround Sound
- 3D Auditory Displays
- 3D Audio for Virtual Reality
Computing project areas:
- Cloud computing, P2P and data grids
- Data Science
- Big Data analytics/streaming analytics
- Complex networks, network architectures and management
- Crowd sourcing, social networks and web data analytics
- Distributed data and collective computational intelligence
- Multi-agents and service oriented computing
- Resource discovery and scheduling in heterogeneous networks
- Semantics, ontologies and conceptual structures
- Situated, context-aware computing and smart environments
- Trust, intrusion detection and network security
- Security and performance in operating systems and the Internet of Things
- Privacy and the use of personal data
- Administrative domains and deontic logic
- Risk and trust within digital forensics
- Visual computing, games and serious games
You can undertake a negotiated programme of research leading to the award of either a Master of Philosophy degree or a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
These higher degrees are awarded in recognition of a successful period of research training normally culminating in the production of a thesis.
There are three routes to a higher degree:
This is designed for graduates who want to gain a strong knowledge and understanding of the subject and then take the discipline forward through an approved programme of original research.
New Route PhD
The route is for recently qualified graduates with good honours degrees who are keen to progress immediately to a research experience in their preparations for a career in which the ability to undertake research will play a key role.
Traditional Route PhD
This route entails a programme of research which normally takes three years of full time study. You can choose to take it part time over a period of up to six years. The traditional route enables capable and qualified individuals to pursue an original research investigation into a chosen topic within a field of enquiry.
You will normally hold a first or second class honours degree, an equivalent qualification or relevant experience.
If your first language is not English we must be satisfied that you have the necessary command of the language to undertake the research investigation. We will require IELTS 7.0, unless you can demonstrate an adequate command of English through the recent successful completion of an award bearing programme from a UK university. If you are an overseas applicant you may be required to complete a course in English as a Foreign Language before being enrolled as a research student.
How to apply
Postgraduate research students can enrol at the University of Derby any time between August and May.
All enrolments are arranged by appointment once your application is successful. Please be aware that it can take between six and twelve weeks to consider a complete application.
Fees and finance
Find out more about fee information for our research degrees.
How you will learn
You will be allocated a Director of Studies and one or two second supervisors who form a 'supervisory team'. As a research student working with your supervisory team, you will encounter many different experiences of working in the ‘real-world’. These experiences are unique to the research you are conducting and the people and organisations that you and your team are working with. All research students find themselves involved in a variety of project roles, whether they have been instigated by your supervisor or alternatively you might have created the project yourself to contribute towards your own research. If you are sponsored by an industrial partner, this will present many work-related opportunities for you to explore.
The processes of research teach students many transferrable skills such as being critical, evaluating and synthesising results, writing technical reports, reporting complex data, communicating outcomes to different audiences, project management and negotiation. All of these skills make great employees, and will ensure that you are work-ready at the end of your research.
As a research student you will become part of the Department of Electronics, Computing and Mathematics. Office accommodation is provided on campus, as is the necessary computing equipment.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.
Careers and employability
If you study for a PhD you can progress in your present job or seek new opportunities in a range of areas such as research and teaching in universities, industrial research centres or publically funded bodies. You can also enter management of industrial companies at a senior level.
What our students say
Developing software to identify individual bottlenose dolphins, Justin Rogowski
Using artificial intelligence to develop a tool for marine conservationists, Justin Rogowski's research into artificial intelligence for his Doctorate has resulted in an important tool for marine conservationists. Justin has developed software to analyse the dorsal fins of bottlenose dolphins, and, working with Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation in Ireland, has mapped unique identifiers for each individual dolphin. During his research, Justin discovered that computer graphics and image processing software can be used to identify each dolphin's dorsal fin and the aspects that make it unique.
Diffuse signal processing in live sound reinforcement, Jonathan Moore (2015 - present)
Live sound reinforcement is plagued by comb-filtering due to the interaction of coherent signals stemming from multiple loudspeakers, resulting in position-dependent listening experiences. This research focuses on developing a practical solution to this problem using what's known as Diffuse Signal Processing (DiSP). DiSP produces decorrelated signals which do not result in severe comb-filtering, thus reducing frequency response variance across a listening area. There are several potential applications of DiSP in live sound, most notably within subwoofer systems, monitor wedges, microphone arrays, loudspeaker crossovers and line arrays. Research is being carried out into developing an appropriate DiSP algorithm. Algorithms are being evaluated with bespoke acoustic modelling software (for objective analysis) and in-depth subjective evaluations. Once a suitable and effective processing option is defined, a prototype will be developed and tested in a controlled environment and later in-situ at live events around the UK and USA.
Spatial sound through tissue conduction, Ian McKenzie
The aim of this project is to develop and evaluate auditory spatial imagery presented through tissue conduction. Surround sound delivered through headphone, where one transducer feeds one receiver (ear) has been around for many years, as has the stimulation of the auditory nerves using bone/tissue conduction (vibrations transmitted through the skull). However, this project has found that by utilising transducers is multiple locations around the head a more flexible and externalised spatial perception can be achieved than is currently possible using headphones, or standard two channel bone conduction headsets alone. This project is investigating the use of bone/tissue conduction 3D audio perception, and also the headset as a tool for monitoring/communication solutions at live events which benefits due to the fact the ears aren’t occluded by the tissue conduction headset, allowing hearing to function normally when worn.
Immersive Spatial audio development for use in Theatre, Alex Vilkaitis
The aim of this project is to investigate the use of 3D sound reproduction techniques in the context of a live event in reality and virtual/augmented reality to ascertain its effectiveness on parameters such as immersion, envelopment and intelligibility. Sound is an integral part of how human beings experience the world. Sound naturally occurs all round us, from different source locations, in different acoustics and in different environments. The way we listen to films, television and music as consumers does not accurately reproduce how we experience sound in the real world. The entertainment industry, including theatre and cinema especially, are trying to bridge the gap between how we experience sound in the 3D world compared to an artificial reproduced 2D environment as is often used in standard PA systems. This project is developing real-time systems to allow for virtual auditory set design and sound reinforcement that allows us to utilise our natural auditory scene analysis to create a more realistic, immersive and intelligible experience. Example 360 Analysis and Auralisation of Derby Theatre using YouTube Spatial https://youtu.be/UplpDBT64x4