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Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic Integration and Advance Data Storage

Personal Specification

Academic Background


The 4-year PIADS programme provides a range of scientific and research training which bridges physics, chemistry and engineering. As such, our cohort brings together research students from diverse backgrounds including physics, electrical engineering, chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Applicants should have, or hope to have, a 2:1 (or equivalent) in a cognate physical sciences or engineering discipline, such as physics, materials science, electrical engineering, chemistry or chemical engineering. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the suitability of your academic background and encourage you to get in touch by email or phone to Brenda Morris or use the Key Contacts information found to the left of the screen. We can also put you in touch with current students from similar backgrounds who will be happy to share their experiences on the PIADS programme with you.

International Qualifications    

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

Additional Information for International Students   

International students wishing to apply (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required.

*Taken within the last 2 years. For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

Personal Attributes

The PIADS programme gives unique and unparalleled access to academic excellence and state of the art research facilities across the partner institutions of Queen's University Belfast, The University of Glasgow and the Irish Photonic Integration Centre in Cork/Dublin and our wide range of industrial partners. We train PIADS doctoral researchers in photonic integration & advanced data storage technologies and to prepare them to lead and operate at the highest technical levels in cross-geographical distributed environments. Our students spend time at each of the partner institutions, undertake industrial placements, attend national and international conferences and are actively engaged in all aspects of the Centre's activities through the CDT Doctoral Forum and our external engagement and science outreach activities.

Therefore, in addition to the necessary academic background, successful applicants to the PIADS programme will be motivated to take full advantage of these opportunities and will demonstrate a commitment to engaging with staff and students across the PIADS partnership throughout the entire 4-year programme.  

Our procedures will be weighted to ensure that we select candidates who can satisfy both the academic requirements and the personal attributes required. These will be assessed through the written application stage and at the interview stage.  

Queen's University Belfast Crest

University of Glasgow Crest