Project code



School of Computing

Start dates

October, February and April

Application deadline

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the school of computing and will be supervised by Dr Gelayol Golcarenarenji, Dr Farzad Arabikhan, Dr Alexander Gegov and Dr Rahim Taheri.

The work on this project could involve:

  • Design and prototype a novel portable, robust cost-effective fruit disease detection system using UAVs 
  • Using integration of CNN and transformers to further increase the accuracy of the developed model.
  • Develop the proposed algorithm on low-powered computers (e.g., Jetson AGX Orin)


Agricultural production growth is highly impacted by plant diseases and thereby resulting in high prices on fruits and vegetables. To reduce the detrimental effect of diseases on costs, it is essential to detect fruit diseases at early stages. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are promising technologies within a myriad of application scenarios. However, adverse conditions, such as varying altitude, small objects, changing illumination and moving platform, impose challenges for high-performance. Real-time fruit disease detection with UAV is important as collecting real-time data, such as images, assists the farmers to take early actions. Very few works in literature have focused on real-time robust cost-effective fruit disease detection. Hence, the aim of this project is to design and develop a novel real-time portable cost-effective vision-based fruit disease detection system with high-accuracy from UAV imagery.


Visit the research subject area page for fees and funding information for this project.

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (conditions apply).

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a PhD or MPhil include an upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.


You should have computer programming knowledge using R or Python.


How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Gelayol Golcarenarenji ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Computing PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code: COMP6361025