Overview PhD Cooperation – Hochschule Furtwangen & University of Plymout

The Ph.D. co-operation between the faculty of Business Information Systems and the University of Plymouth (UoP) has been well established for a number of years.

Ph.D. candidates obtain supervision in Furtwangen (1st and 2nd supervisor) and in Plymouth (3rd supervisor). The Ph.D. degree, which is equivalent to a German doctoral degree, will be granted by the UoP where the student is formally enrolled. Ph.D. students regularly present and evaluate research results at Ph.D. seminars in Furtwangen.The annual SEIN events (Collaborative Research Symposium on Security, E-learning, Internet and Networking) provide an international platform fort he dissemination of research results. Furthermore the research will be published in journals and international conference proceedings. The Ph.D. program undergoes strict quality assurance.

The University of Plymouth is one of the UK's most prominent and dynamic universities with an educational history dating back to 1862. It is consistently ranged as one of the top three modern universities in the UK, and has over 30,000 students and 3,000 staff members.

The University offers research of national and international excellence, academically rigorous and vocationally strong courses, an outstanding location, and dynamic and innovative approaches to learning.

For more information look at this presentation by Prof Martin Knahl and Prof Mick Fuller.

Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research

The Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research (CSCAN) is an established research group, comprising staff from the School of Computing and Mathematics at Plymouth University.

CSCAN has a proven research pedigree, including both collaborative work with industry and participation in European research initiatives. The work has led to many successful postgraduate projects, as well as numerous publications.


To apply for the PhD program it is recommended to follow the procedure below.

  1. Create an idea related to a research area 
  2. Contact the PhD program coordinator or a HFU academic in the field
  3. Have an interview with the PhD programme coordinator
  4. Further specification of topic and search for an supervisor at HFU
  5. Selection of additional supervisors
  6. Creation or a research proposal (3-5 pages)
  7. Comply to formal enrolement procedure of partner university
Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to take the TOEFL test?

No, this test is waived. However, you will need to go through an interview with the PhD-Programme coordinator, and this interview will be held in English.

What exactly is the procedure to enter the PhD programme?

You make an appointment with one of the PhD-Programme coordinators at our department. In a first conversation, we talk about (a) a topic that you are interested in, (b) a point in time when you want to start, (c) supervisors that you would like to work with and (d) the feasability in general.

After having chosen a topic and a start date, the official part starts: you will need to enrol as a student at our partner University by the time you officially start working in your PhD. 

How often do I need to go to the partner university?

This is really up to you and also depends on the working relationship with the supervisors. All students should stay in close contact with their three supervisors, and particularly the 1st Supervisor. Details will be discussed prior to your starting date and can be arranged individually.

Is the degree from HFU or from the partner university?

Your PhD degree will be awarded by the University of Plymouth.

Besides doing my research, do I need to take postgraduate classes?

We hold PhD seminars for the PhD students in Furtwangen regularly. There is no formal requirment for attending additional courses. However additional training or classes can be selected and undertaken individually.