Computer Science: Fully Funded EPSRC DTP PhD Scholarship: Computational Law of Autonomous Vehicles (RS165)

Closing date: 4 January 2023

Key Information

Funding providers: EPSRC DTP Studentship

Subject areas: Computer Science

Project start date: 

  • April 2023 (Enrolment open from mid–March)

Project supervisors: 

  • (Primary): Dr Adam Wyner, Department of Computer Science
  • (Secondary): Professor Ulrich Berger, Department of Computer Science

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Computer Science

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

As discussed in The Law Commission’s report, the behaviour of autonomous vehicles (AVs) must abide by legislation and regulation such as the Highway Code. The challenges of computational law are to integrate: logical formalisations of the law, rules and actions in a programming language, and representations accessible in natural language. For example, how to manage violations of a law such as "Automobiles may not mount the pavement''? The overall aim is to build into an operating system the soft constraints of the law rather than have hard constraints or post hoc, external adjudication. In the last 3 years, there has been academic progress to integrate the law (The Law Commission's consultation) with Artificial Intelligence (logic, normative and non-monotonic reasoning, computational linguistics, and logic programming in constraint Answer Set Programming). The PhD will progress state-of-the-art approaches and tools to carry out fundamental research on computational law for AVs on questions related to: vagueness/open-textured terms, conflicting information, exceptions, events/causation, and natural language translations of the logic or system reports. The work is relevant to government and service industries of insurance and legal. Links to and integration with data science will also be explored.


Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level in Computer Science, Mathematics or a closely related discipline, or an appropriate master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University). See - Country-specific Information for European Applicants 2019 and Country-specific Information for International Applicants 2020.

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 6.0 in each individual component) or Swansea recognised equivalent. Details on the Swansea University English Language entry policy can be found here.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations. 

NB: If you are holding a non-UK degree, please see Swansea University degree comparisons to find out if you meet the eligibility. 

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £17,668.

Additional research expenses will also be available. 

How to Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select Computer Science / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / April

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  2. Start year – please select 2023
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS165 - PhD Comp Sci'

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via email):

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Monitoring Form (online form)
  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)

For enquiries, please contact Dr Adam Wyner ( 

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please not that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.