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PhD Computer Engineering

Background information

Computer engineering is a discipline that embodies the science and technology of design, construction, implementation, and maintenance of software and hardware components of modern computing systems, computer-controlled equipment, and networks of intelligent devices.

Computer engineers play a critical role in the industrial development of nations. They work in most industries, including the computer, automobile, aerospace, telecommunications, power production, manufacturing, defense, and electronics industries. They are involved in the design of high-tech devices ranging from tiny microelectronic integrated-circuit chips, to powerful systems that utilize those chips and efficient telecommunication systems that interconnect those systems. Furthermore, a wide array of complex technological systems, such as power generation and distribution systems and modern processing and manufacturing plants, rely on computer systems developed and designed by computer engineers.

Technological advances and innovation continue to drive computer engineering. There is now a convergence of several established technologies (such as multimedia, computer, and networking technologies) resulting in widespread and ready access to information on an enormous scale. This convergence of technologies and the associated innovation lie at the heart of economic development and the future of many developing economies like Ghana. Over the years, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, through the Department of Computer Engineering has contributed immensely towards the technological human resource of the nation through the production of highly skilled undergraduates in Computer Engineering.

However, there is need for the country to produce the critical mass of graduates who are capable of supporting the industrial growth agenda through research and development. It is against this background that the Department of Computer Engineering is introducing this Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering (PhD Computer Engineering) programme to produce highly skilled computer engineering postgraduates who are capable of supporting the economy through innovative research and development.

The PhD Computer Engineering programme prepares students for careers in research or academia with a potential focus on Multifunctional Integrated Circuits and Systems (MICs), Networks, Distributed Systems and Security (NeDSyS), Robotics and Embedded Systems for Critical Applications (RESCA), Intelligent Energy Systems (InES) and Enterprise Software Architecture (ESA). These focus areas have been chosen for their strategic role in the industrialization agenda of the country.

The proposed four-year programme consists of taught and research components. During the first year of the programme, students undertake taught courses designed to provide the necessary technical competency for advanced research in the second year. The taught courses are designed to provide the necessary depth and breadth in the knowledge areas required of computer engineering postgraduates. There are several elective courses which provide students the opportunity to shape their technical competency towards their desired focus area or career path. The research component of the programme provides three years for graduate students to pursue research in any of the focus areas, which culminates in the production of a thesis.


Aims and Objectives

The main aim of the PhD Computer Engineering programme is to develop highly skilled research professionals who have an innovative disposition, the confidence and abilities to assume leadership roles in technology, business and the community. The educational objectives of the PhD Computer Engineering programme are to produce graduates who have the following attributes:

  1. Technical skills :

    are technically competent to solve complex problems in computer engineering

    and can adapt effectively in a fast changing environment

  2. Critical thinking :

    are able to critically think, analyse and make decisions that give due

    consideration to global issues in business, ethics, society and the environment

  3. Leadership, team building :

    are able to communicate effectively, act with integrity, and have the inter-

    personal skills needed to engage in, lead, and nurture diverse teams

  4. Attitude :

    are committed to lifelong learning, resourceful and embrace global challenges and opportunities to make a positive impact in society.


Students’ admission, progression and graduation

Students’ admission requirement

  1. Either First Class or Second Class (Upper Division) Hons. B.Sc. degree or its equivalent in Computer Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering or any field of specialization relevant to the programme from a recognized University or

  2. A good Master’s degree (MPhil or MSc) in Computer Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering or any field of specialization relevant to the programme from a recognized University, with a CWA of at least 60

  3. Candidates who do not he meet the requirements in (i) or (ii) above may be accepted subject to passing an interview. Such candidates may be required to take some recommended courses to make up for deficiencies which may be identified as a result of their background.

  4. Candidates from non-Anglophone countries must have an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language (TOEFL or British Council, IELTS) with above average score or be available to attend a three (3) months English language course at KNUST.


Students’ graduation requirement

  1. Minimum credits: 35

  2. Pass all required courses

  3. Minimum CWA: 55

  4. Completion and successful defense of thesis.

  5. Satisfy all other requirements of School of Graduate Studies, KNUST



Graduates upon completion are likely to gain employment in the telecommunication, software development, information security, industrial automation and power sectors of the economy. Because of the research focus of the programme, they can also work in tertiary institutions, consulting, research and development (R&D) firms.


  1. Applicants (International) must apply online. International applicants who are admitted will be required to pay an application fee of USD 200.00 before registration.
  2. Candidates should proceed to online admissions website: KNUST Application Portal and begin the application process.
  3. Once the process has been completed, candidates MUST PRINT OUT 2 COPIES of the completed application form from the portal and submit them (by post) to the School of Graduate Studies together with all relevant documents (Photocopies of Certificates, Recommendation Letters, and Transcript for those attending KNUST for the first time) to the following address:

The Secretary

School of Graduate Studies