The School of Engineering and Digital Arts offers research-led degrees in a wide range of research disciplines, related to Electronic, Communications, Control and Information Engineering, in a highly stimulating academic environment. The School enjoys an international reputation for its work and prides itself in allowing students the freedom to realise their maximum potential.
As well as offering excellent research facilities and equipment, the School allows students the opportunity to participate in regular research seminars and workshops and offers students the possibility of attending international conferences in order to present their work. As a research student in the School, you will become a member of one of our thriving research groups.
Kent student Shabnam talks about her PhD in Electronic Engineering.
About the School of Engineering and Digital Arts
Established over 40 years ago, the School has developed a top-quality teaching and research base, receiving excellent ratings in both research and teaching assessments.
We undertake high-quality research that has had significant national and international impact, and our spread of expertise allows us to respond rapidly to new developments.
As a postgraduate student in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, you receive support through individual supervision, specialised seminars and colloquia, usually with external speakers.
We offer a range of financial support options, including:
- Postgraduate Scholarship for International students: £4,000 one off payment to overseas applicants based on outstanding merit
- Postgraduate Scholarship for UK and EU students: £1,000 one off payment to UK and EU applicants based on outstanding merit
Our 30 academic staff and over 130 postgraduate students and research staff provide an ideal focus to effectively support a high level of research activity. There is a thriving student population studying for postgraduate degrees in a friendly and supportive teaching and research environment.
We have research funding from the Research Councils UK, European research programmes, a number of industrial and commercial companies and government agencies including the Ministry of Defence. Our Electronic Systems Design Centre and Digital Media Hub provide training and consultancy for a wide range of companies. Many of our research projects are collaborative, and we have well-developed links with institutions worldwide.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts was ranked 21st in the UK for research intensity.
An impressive 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.
We have developed our programmes with a number of industrial organisations, which means that successful students are in a strong position to build a long-term career in this important discipline. You develop the skills and capabilities that employers are looking for, including problem solving, independent thought, report-writing, time management, leadership skills, team-working and good communication.
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2015 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.
Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we offer many opportunities for you to gain worthwhile experience and develop the specific skills and aptitudes that employers value.
The School is well equipped with a wide range of laboratory and computing facilities and software packages for teaching and research support. There is a variety of hardware and software for image acquisition and processing, as well as extensive multimedia computing resources. The School has facilities for designing embedded systems using programmable logic and ASIC technology, supported by CAD tools and development software from international companies, including Cadence™, Xilinx™, Synopsys™, Altera™, National Instruments® and Mentor Graphics™. The SMT laboratory can be used for prototyping and small-volume PCB manufacture. A well-equipped instrumentation research laboratory is also available.
Students studying communications have access to commercial and in-house software tools for designing microwave, RF, optoelectronics and antenna systems (such as ADS™, CST™, HFSS™) and subsequent testing with network and spectrum analysers up to 110 GHz, an on-wafer prober, and high-quality anechoic chambers.
Students interested in Information Security and Biometrics have access to state-of-the-art biometrics equipment, which can be used for studying the characteristics of the different biometric modalities introduced during the course.
As a postgraduate student, you are part of a thriving research community and receive support through a wide-ranging programme of individual supervision, specialised research seminars, general skills training programmes, and general departmental colloquia, usually with external speakers. We encourage you to attend and present your work at major conferences, as well as taking part in our internal conference and seminar programmes.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: IEEE Transactions; IET Journals; Electronics Letters; Applied Physics; Computers in Human Behaviour.
Researcher Development Programme
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.
A 2.2 or honours degree or MSc with Merit or above in a computing, multimedia and digital arts or a related design subject.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
English language entry requirements
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Need help with English?
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
The Communication Group’s activities cover system and component technologies from microwave to terahertz frequencies. These include photonics, antennae and wireless components for a broad range of communication systems. The Group has extensive software research tools together with antenna anechoic chambers, network and spectrum analysers to millimetre wave frequencies and optical signal generation, processing and measurement facilities. Current research themes include:
- photonic components
- networks/wireless systems
- microwave and millimetre-wave systems
- antenna systems
- radio-over-fibre systems
- electromagnetic bandgaps and metamaterials
- frequency selective surfaces
Research projects available within the Communications Research Group are available to view here.
The Intelligent Interactions group has interests in all aspects of information engineering and human-machine interactions. It was formed in 2014 by the merger of the Image and Information Research Group and the Digital Media Research Group.
The group has an international reputation for its work in a number of key application areas. These include: image processing and vision, pattern recognition, interaction design, social, ubiquitous and mobile computing with a range of applications in security and biometrics, healthcare, e-learning, computer games, digital film and animation.
- Social and Affective Computing
- Assistive Robotics and Human-Robot Interaction
- Brain-Computer Interfaces
- Mobile, Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing
- Sensor Networks and Data Analytics
- Biometric and Forensic Technologies
Behaviour Models for Security
- Distributed Systems Security (Cloud Computing, Internet of Things)
- Advanced Pattern Recognition (medical imaging, document and handwriting recognition, animal biometrics)
- Computer Animation, Game Design and Game Technologies
- Virtual and Augmented Reality
- Digital Arts, Virtual Narratives
Research projects available within the Intelligent Interactions Research Group are available to view here.
Instrumentation and Control
The Instrumentation and Control Research Group works in two complementary research themes – Instrumentation and Control. The Group has made considerable endeavours to solve challenging measurement, monitoring and control problems through applied research programmes with support from a range of funding bodies and industry. The group has established long term partnerships with the power generation, manufacturing and healthcare industries.
The group’s expertise lies primarily in process sensors, intelligent instrumentation, smart condition monitoring, digital image processing, data fusion, data modelling, and robust control and estimation. Since 2010 the group has published more than 100 research papers in leading journals and over 150 refereed conference papers in the field of instrumentation and control. In addition to a well equipped Instrumentation Laboratory on Kent Campus, the group has regular access to industrial-scale test facilities, full-scale power plants, hospitals and clinics.
Research projects available within the Instrumentation and Control Research Group are available to view here.
Staff research interests
Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Professor John Batchelor: Professor of Antenna Technology
Design and modelling of multi-band antennas for personal, on-body and mobile communication systems; passive RFID tagging/sensing and skin mounted transfer tattoo tags; reduced-size frequency selective structures (FSS and EBG) for incorporation into smart buildings for control of radio spectrum.View Profile
Professor Farzin Deravi: Professor in Information Engineering, Head of School
Pattern recognition; information fusion; computer vision; image processing: image coding; fractals and self-similarity; biometrics; bio-signals; assistive technologies.View Profile
Dr Christos Efstratiou: Lecturer in Ubiquitous Computing
Ubiquitous computing, mobile computing, social computing, Internet of Things, wireless sensor networks.View Profile
Professor Steven Gao: Professor of RF/Microwave Engineering
Space antennas; smart antennas; microwave circuit and systems.View Profile
Professor Nathan Gomes: Professor of Optical Fibre Communications
Optical-microwave interactions, especially fibreradio networks; optoelectronic devices and optical networks.View Profile
Dr Richard Guest: Reader in Biometric Systems Engineering, Deputy Head of School
Image processing; biometrics technologies including usability, cybermetric linkages and standardisation; automated analysis of handwritten data; document processing.View Profile
Dr Sanaul Hoque: Lecturer in Secure Systems Engineering
Computer vision; OCR; biometrics; security and encryption; multi-expert fusion and document modelling.View Profile
Dr Md Moinul Hossain: Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Research interests include mainly 2D/3D Combustion Diagnostics, Tomographic Techniques, Optical Instrumentation Systems Design and Fabrication, 3D Visualisation, Simulation and Modelling, Digital Signal/Image Processing and Direct Solid-oxide Fuel Cells.View Profile
Professor Gareth Howells: Professor of Secure Electronic Systems
Biometric security and pattern classification techniques especially deriving encryption keys from operating characteristics of electronic circuits and systems.View Profile
Stephen Kelly: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Medical electronics, including: electrocardiology; speech assessment; telemedicine and computerbased assessment of clinical conditions.View Profile
Dr Peter Lee: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Embedded systems; programmable architectures; high-speed signal processing; VLSI/ASIC design; neural networks; optical sensor systems and applications; image processing using VLSI.View Profile
Dr Gang Lu: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Instrumentation
Advanced combustion instrumentation; visionbased instrumentation systems; digital image processing; condition monitoring.View Profile
Dr Gianluca Marcelli: Lecturer in Engineering
The understanding of complex systems, in particular, biological and financial systems; using mathematical modelling such as molecular simulation, Brownian dynamics and network theory.View Profile
Mr Robert Oven: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Modelling of ion implantation processes and ion diffusion into glass for integrated optic applications.View Profile
Dr Benito Sanz-Izquierdo: Lecturer in Electronic Systems
Antennas and microwaves.View Profile
Dr Konstantinos Sirlantzis: Senior Lecturer in Intelligent Systems
Pattern recognition; multiple classifier systems; artificial intelligence techniques; neural networks, genetic algorithms, and other biologically inspired computing paradigms; image processing; multimodal biometric models; handwriting recognition; numerical stochastic optimisation algorithms; nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory; Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods for sensor data fusion.View Profile
Professor Mohammed Sobhy: Professor Emeritus of Electronics
Analysis and applications of nonlinear electronic systems.View Profile
Dr Les Walczowski: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
The development of dynamic web applications, mobile applications and e-learning technology.View Profile
Winston Waller: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Design for test; analogue and digital VLSI design; medical applications of VLSI and low power voltage circuit design.View Profile
Dr Chao Wang: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Systems
Optical communications; microwave photonics; biophotonics.View Profile
Professor Jiangzhou Wang: Professor of Telecommunications
Modulation; coding; MIMO; mobile communications; wireless sensor networks.View Profile
Dr Xinggang Yan: Senior Lecturer in Control Engineering
Nonlinear control; sliding mode control; decentralised control; fault detection and isolation.View Profile
Professor Yong Yan: Professor of Electronic Instrumentation; Director of Research
Sensors; instrumentation; measurement; condition monitoring; digital signal processing; digital image processing; applications of artificial intelligence.View Profile
Dr Paul Young: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering
Design and modelling of microwave and millimetrewave devices and antennas, especially substrate integrated waveguides and smart antennas.View Profile
Dr Huiling Zhu: Reader in Communications
Wireless communications and networking especially OFDMA; radio resource allocation; distributed antenna systems; wireless relay networks; user-centric networks; cooperative communications.View Profile
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for Home/EU PG Research programmes have not yet been set by the Research Councils UK. This is ordinarily announced in March.
General additional costs
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
- University and external funds
- Scholarships specific to the academic school delivering this programme.
Kent Engineering and Digital Arts Postgraduate Scholarships
A one off payment for UK, EU and International applicants who meet the criteria set by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts. The scholarship is available across all postgraduate taught and research programmes in the School.
This programme attracts many applications from Chevening scholars. Chevening is the UK Government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders, and Kent is a Chevening partner.
For details of the funding available, see our Chevening Scholarships page.