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Centre for Computer Science and Informatics (CIRC)

Unit(s) of assessment: Computer Science and Informatics

Research theme: Medical Technologies and Advanced Materials

School: School of Science and Technology


The Computing and Informatics Research Centre’s (CIRC) unifying and overarching research vision is ‘Enabling Digital Technology’ and is grounded in high-quality, interdisciplinary work with expertise in advanced computer science topics with links to partners from both academia and industry. The CIRC’s research is delivered by four groups:

  • Interactive Systems (IS) – technologies for the cognitive and physical rehabilitation of users within the real world, and the promotion of their mental wellbeing.
  • Computational Intelligence and Applications (CIA) – research on computationally intelligent methods and techniques to real-world applications targeting enhanced living and society.
  • Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics (CNCR) – research into computational intelligence techniques that takes inspiration and learning from medicine and neuroscience.
  • Network Infrastructures, Computing and Cyber Security (NICCS) – research into network technologies that underpin today's connected world with emphasis on middleware technologies, cloud-based systems, classical and quantum computing, and security and mobile systems.

The CIRC is harnessing Enabling Technologies, such as, machine learning, AI, advanced display technologies (including VR, AR, XR), intelligent sensors, IoT, and robotics to drive advances in health, education and wellbeing. Some notably CIRC advances made in the area of health, education and wellbeing extend to prediction and staging of cancers, physical rehabilitation, mental health, care of the elderly, education through personalised learning systems so that all learners are supported to reach their full potential, and intelligent transportation systems with positive environmental impacts. Our strategy is strongly user-focused, interdisciplinary, informs our future research intentions through the construction of high-spec computing research facilities, and coincides with three NTU strategic research themes.

In the REF2021, 80% of research submitted to the Computer Science and Informatics Unit of Assessment was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of quality. Find out more.

PhD Funding

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We maximise the impact of our research through new major interdisciplinary research facilities spearheaded by the Computing and Informatics Research Centre (CIRC). We also enjoy access to a range of other facilities including:

  • Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Centre (ISTeC) – a £13M computational research facility for project-based work and its application to the real-world.
  • Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF) – a £22M medical research, computing-orientated facility aimed at improving patient care via research collaborations to develop products and materials.
  • Institute of Industrial Digitalisation (IDI) – a £23M research facility focusing on opportunities and challenges connected to Industry 4.0: digitalisation, robotics, Internet of Things, and smart future factories.
  • Smart house – a facility which takes the form of a typical home and instrumented with a wide-ranging collection of sensors to detect and detail all possible movements.