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Applying to join our CDT


The CDT admissions process for 2014 is now complete.  Dates in the information below referring to the 2014 cycle have been left for your information; dates for the 2015 cycle will be posted here when available.

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What will the CDT be looking for in applicants?

An outstanding academic record in a relevant technical discipline (for example Physics, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Materials, Chemistry) coupled with a broad outlook and a strong interest in quantum technologies.  We will generally be looking for applicants who will have achieved the equivalent of a good UK Masters (e.g. MSci, MPhys, MEng or MSc) degree by the time they join us.


I have a theoretical undergraduate degree and no prior experience of labs. Am I still suitable for this CDT?

This CDT is recruiting from a broad background so we know that that not all CDT members may have prior labs experience. Lab activities are designed with this in mind. Lab is an essential part of the first year of our programme, because it’s so important in appreciating how quantum technologies actually function – and if you haven’t been in a lab before, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it. In any case, you should be assured that lab marks will be combined with exam marks in each module so you can do very well in the MRes year even you feel that lab kit tends to break as soon as you enter a room. At the PhD stage our consortium contains many theorists who are potential supervisors, so we expect there to be a significant fraction of largely or entirely theoretical projects.


I have an experimentally-based undergraduate degree and no prior experience of theoretical physics. Am I still suitable for this CDT?

This CDT is recruiting from a broad background so we know that that not all CDT members may have prior physics theory experience. Theoretical activities are designed with this in mind. Theory is an essential part of the first year of our programme, because it’s so important in appreciating what quantum technologies are aiming to do, and if you haven’t done physics theory before, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it. In any case, you should be assured that theory marks will be combined with other marks in each module so you can do very well in the MRes year even you feel that theoretical physics gives you a big headache. At the PhD stage our consortium contains many experimentalists who are potential supervisors, so we expect there to be a significant fraction of largely or entirely experimental projects.


How do I apply?

The CDT has its own application process independent to the PhD application procedure offered by individual UCL departments. Applications made directly to UCL departments will not automatically be considered for the CDT. If you wished to be considered for the CDT you must apply via the CDT application form at this link.

You will need to provide:

  • Contact details
  • A short personal statement (2000 characters maximum, less is fine) explaining your reasons for applying for the programme and why you think you would be a suitable candidate.
    • Please include:
      • A brief indication of your most likely research interests (e.g. experiment or theory; physics, engineering, materials for quantum engineering, computer science and algorithms etc.) – this will not be binding on you at the point you come to choose a research project.
      • Details of a research project undertaken as part of your studies (including project title and supervisor), and details of any other relevant research experience you have.
      • Any particular highlights of your academic career so far that may not be apparent from your CV (e.g. courses in which you did particularly well).  Be as specific and quantitative as you can.
      • Specific reasons for your interest in the Delivering Quantum Technologies CDT.
    • Please do not include:
      • Generic statements that tell us nothing about you. For example, we already know that quantum mechanics and quantum technologies are fascinating and exciting, and that UCL is a good place to study. Don’t waste precious space telling us!
  • A Curriculum Vitae (in PDF format – max. 4 megabytes).
  • Transcript of your marks in your undergraduate programme (in PDF format – max. 4 megabytes).
  • Names and contact details of two academic referees.

Where can I find the application form for the CDT?

Follow this link.


What is the process and what are the deadlines for 2014?

Applications must be submitted to us by midnight on the 7 March.  We will let you know if you have been shortlisted for interview within two weeks of that (by 21 March); shortlisted candidates will be called for interview at UCL in the week beginning 31 March.  Offers of places on the MRes will be made shortly after that date.


I really like the sound of this programme but I have an offer from another institution that is pressing me for a response.  What should I do?

If you have a firm offer from another institution for comparable postgraduate study at the time of application, or receive one after you have applied to us, please email us at quantum-cdt-enquiries@ucl.ac.uk us with details of the offer and the deadline you have been given when you apply.  In some cases we may be able to give your application accelerated consideration so as to give you a decision before you have to respond to the other offer.  We will aim to let you know within two weeks whether we will be able to do this.