Postgraduate research in digital and creative technologies
Ready to start your research career? Explore our postgraduate research degrees in digital and creative technologies
If you're ready to take your expertise in Digital and Creative Technologies into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the perfect place to realise your ambitions.
As a postgraduate researcher, you'll access the latest equipment and techniques in our studios and labs to drive technological advances in areas such as animation, visual effects (VFX), cross reality (XR), User Experience (UX), computer and video games, visual computing, and music technology.
Our previous postgraduate candidates have worked on projects including developing award-winning CGI films, creating ultra-realistic and immersive entertainment using virtual and augmented reality, developing ways to use digital technology to protect heritage sites, and improving the monitoring of Parkinson's disease and facial palsy – and you could work on similar projects.
Find out about our PhD, MPhil, and PhD by Publication opportunities in Digital and Creative Technologies below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.
Digital & Creative Technologies PhDs and MPhils
Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Digital and Creative Technologies, or submit your own research idea.
PhD and MPhil projects
There are currently no funded PhD projects available in this area – for more information on funding your own research project, visit our pages on funding your research degree.
- A flexible framework for unlocking potential in big data pipelines through machine learning and visualisation
- Better Understanding Anxiety Triggers of Autistic Individuals in Everyday Scenarios through Immersive Environments and Psychophysiological Principles.
- Enhancing Forensic Science Education and Skills Training with Immersive and Interactive Technologies
- Realtime 3D Facial Animation.
- Software Design and Development as an Intrinsic Part of the Compositional Process (Music/Sound)
Submit your own idea
If you already have a research idea, find a supervisor whose research interests match yours by searching our Find a PhD Supervisor page. Once you've identified someone suitable, contact them to discuss your idea.
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6–12 months after registering with us.
For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.
Duration, fees and funding
What do my tuition fees cover?
If you're self-funding your PhD, you'll pay tuition fees to the University to cover course and university costs.
Your tuition fees cover:
- The cost of your postgraduate research programme* at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, and examinations
- Bespoke training, professional development courses, networking, and research support through The Graduate School
- Research seminars and workshops (university-wide and faculty-specific)
- A contribution to funding to attend a conference or development activity in your research field
- Tailor-made weekly and monthly events, including weekly, themed experienced researcher-led talks and workshops
- Helping you become part of our thriving research community, including Research and Innovation services where 77% of our research is world leading and internationally excellent in REF 2021
- Your graduation ceremony
- Viva examination and administration costs
- The facilities and equipment you need to complete your studies, such as computer rooms, access to laptops, the Library, and laboratories
- Access to resources including electronic journals, alternative guide to funding, and thousands of hours of educational videos on LinkedIn Learning
- University support services including academic, financial, careers and wellbeing support and personal tutors
- Membership of the Students' Union (giving you the right to vote in elections, join clubs and societies, and get free independent advice)
- Access to software such as Microsoft Office, SPSS and Adobe Creative Suite (this includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Premiere Pro)
*Please note that some research programmes may come with additional bench fees.
How long will my research degree take?
- MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
- PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
- PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time
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.
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan (UK/EU students only).
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan (UK/EU students only).
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD, or MPhil include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may 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.
Exemptions apply to those applicants who have studied in the UK, and to applicants with a degree whose medium of instruction is English
Support and facilities
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
You'll access facilities for practical and creative development in production methods. You can use study areas for creative practice and academic study, dedicated computer suites with the latest software, including Virtual Reality development laboratory, Games development laboratories and Motion Capture studio. The Faculty is also home to digital printing facilities, a printmaking workshop, photographic facilities, digital fabric printing and laser cutting.
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity. Students may also develop subject specific skills in areas such as games development, computer graphics imagery (CGI), human computer interaction analysis, virtual reality (VR) development or music and sound production.
After researching with us, our successful postgraduate research candidates have gone on to impressive positions in a variety of fields – from academic careers in the UK, Europe, USA and South East Asia, to roles within independent games development, software development, graphics hardware development, and research management.
Apply for a research degree in Digital and Creative Technologies by completing our online form.
Digital User Experience
We're exploring the changing relationship between users and technology to develop new and better experiences for users.
We're investigating the impact and application of digital technology in the cultural and heritage sectors to improve visitor experiences and conserve cultural and historical sites.
Animation and CGI
We're creating ground-breaking, award-winning CGI films, and investigating how film production can be used in education.
Cross Reality Applications
We're exploring how virtual reality (VR) can improve patient's physical and psychological rehabilitation, and developing VR simulations for a range healthcare applications.
Computer Games Design And Technology
We're examining the theory, psychology and development of video games and contributing to the design, development and release of games.
We're analysing body and facial motion and cognitive signals to develop machine understanding of visual environments, through 3D reconstruction and modelling.