About Our Doctoral Programme

UCL Centre for Doctoral Training in Delivering Quantum Technologies

Quantum technologies involve the control and manipulation of quantum states to achieve results not possible with classical matter; they promise a transformation of measurement, communication and computation.

The highly-skilled researchers who will be the future leaders in this field must be equipped to function in a complex research and engineering landscape where quantum physics meets cryptography, complexity and information theory, devices, materials, software and hardware engineering. UCL’s Doctoral Programme in Delivering Quantum Technologies brings together a team of almost forty academic experts with key players from commerce and government and a network of international partner institutes to train those research leaders.

What will my path through the centre look like?

timeline_v2This diagram summarises the key elements of the 4-year program.

The first year will be spent in high-level professional training, covering the research skills needed for future quantum technologies from fundamental physics to information sciences and device engineering.

It also includes a group project and a longer individual project performed in one of the centre’s research groups. This training year leads to the award of the Master of Research (MRes) degree.

Students who are successful in the MRes will then move on to a three-year research project with one of the centre’s research groups, leading to the award of a PhD.

More detail on the courses in the training year is available here.

What are the advantages of research training in the centre?

First, the training year provides a broad background in all the disciplines relevant for quantum technologies. We find that very few students emerge from their undergraduate study with this background, and those entering the field of quantum technologies often have to shop around to assemble the research skills they need; the MRes year is designed to provide all of these up-front.

Second, your choice of PhD research project is not made until you have had a chance to learn more about the field and see individual groups and supervisors in action; you don’t have to make a decision based on very limited information at the point you start the programme.

Finally, because you will be trained as part of a cohort of students you will have a supportive network of colleagues around you to help you through the highs and lows of starting out in your research career.

Who are the partner organizations and what are their roles?


The scientific partners of the centre are commercial and government laboratories with strong interests in quantum technologies:

DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory)
D-Wave Systems
Hitachi Cambridge Research Laboratory
Lockheed Martin
NPL (National Physical Laboratory)
Toshiba Research Europe

They will contribute to the general training and also collaborate with UCL supervisors and CDT students on particular research projects.

There are two further partners who have joined the centre specifically to provide training in particular aspects:


DFJ Esprit Venture Capital
Nature Publishing Group

We believe that skills in entrepreneurship and in scientific writing will be essential for future quantum technologists, and that those skills are best learned from the experts.


Finally we have a network of international partners, with whom the centre will exchange students working in areas of common interest:

IQC Waterloo, Canada
CQT Singapore
CQC2T Sydney, Australia
QuPa Paris, France
QSIT Switzerland

How big is the centre?

We aim to admit up to fifteen students per year. There is a pool of around forty potential supervisors at UCL, with additional supervisors in the partner laboratories.

What funding does the centre provide?

UCL’s fees will be fully paid, at the rate applicable to UK/EU students, and additionally a stipend will be paid at the standard UCL rate (currently ~£16,300 per annum) to cover living costs. Funding is initially offered for one year and will be extended for a further three years (i.e. to a total of four years) for students who progress to the research component of the programme.

A limited number of funded places are available for non-EU candidates which will additionally cover the higher fees charged for those students.

We can also consider applications to join the CDT from students who already have funding from other sources, e.g. from external graduate scholarships.

In addition the centre has funding for student conference travel, for placements with partner organizations, and for research expenses.

Who will be directing the centre?

Dr. Dan Browne, (Physics and Astronomy) is the director of the CDT. He is assisted by co-directors, Prof. Sougato Bose (Physics and Astronomy), Dr. Mark Buitelaar (LCN), Prof. John Morton (LCN / Electrical Engineering), Prof. Paul Warburton (LCN / Electrical Engineering).

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