Image representing Digital Arts (by Research)

Digital Arts (by Research) - MSc

2019

The School conducts high-quality significant national and international research and offers excellent opportunities for graduate studies, successfully combining modern engineering and technology with the exciting field of digital media. The Intelligent Interaction group has interests in many areas of interactive multimedia, digital film, 3D visualisation and animation.

2019

Overview

Our one year MSc by Research in Digital Arts is an internationally recognised advanced postgraduate research degree, providing an ideal foundation for advanced skills and knowledge. Traditional MSc degrees primarily contain taught modules, whilst an MSc by Research is heavily research or practice-based and you learn through hands-on projects. 

Whereas a taught Masters develops expertise in existing subject knowledge, an MSc by Research places more emphasis on research and practical expertise and is project-based, rather than module-based. An MSc by Research can focus on individual research skills, providing a strong foundation to build on for students considering a doctoral degree (PhD).  Alternatively, our MSc by Research can be done via a practice-based approach, which is more oriented toward the industry.  It is well structured with clearly defined tasks to be completed, which will eventually lead to the final dissertation.  

There is particular strength in web design and development, including e-commerce, e-learning, e-health; and the group has substantial experience in interaction design (e.g. usability and accessibility), social computing (e.g. social networking, computer mediated communication), mobile technology (e.g. smart wearable devices, immersive technologies (e.g. virtual and augmented reality) and video games. In the area of time-based media, the group has substantial interest in digital film capture and editing, and manipulation on to fully animated 3D modelling techniques as used in games and feature films.

Example topics for MSc by Research in Digital Arts

  • Design of Virtual Reality Experience for Cultural Heritage Sites
  • Investigation of Digital Sculpture Creation for People with Dementia
  • Display and Performance of Creative Media in Public Space
  • Video Game Sensing for Cognitive Function Assessment

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.

The School undertakes high-quality research that has had significant national and international impact, and our spread of expertise allows us to respond rapidly to new developments. 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.

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:

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.

National ratings

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.

Course structure

Our MSc by Research can be undertaken as an External Research Degree (i.e. remotely), or via traditional physical attendance at our Canterbury campus. 

Students taking our MSc by Research do not undertake credit-bearing taught modules and there are no written examinations. Instead, you will be assigned a supervisor who is a leading expert in their field.  You are expected to attend a bi-weekly supervision lasting up to 1 hour via online tools such as Skype or Google Hangout for those choosing to undertake the MSc by Research degree through the online option.  In these meetings, you will present your progress to your supervisor.  Tasks and deadlines will be set accordingly to your schedule.  

Tasks may include writing a report section, a prototype design, and an experimental set-up.  Typically, we would expect a formal submission of your completed task every two months.  Submissions are delivered via Kent's online learning system called Moodle. 

The degree therefore allows you the flexibility to shape your own career path (either in research or in industry) in an area of particular interest to you, whilst also enabling you to develop extensive subject expertise and independent research or practical skills over an extended period. 

Generally, our MSc by Research in Digital Arts can be broken into the following parts:

Part I: Project definition and review of state-of-the-arts 

Part II: Project planning and Methodologies

Part III: Practical work (research and development, experiments, etc)

Part IV: Reporting   

The MSc by Research in Digital Arts culminates in the submission of a written research dissertation which must be "defended" in an oral viva voce examination. 


Careers

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.

Study support

Access to online resources/facilities 

You will have access to all the library and e-resources online, just like other Kent students on campus. These include IEEE, ACM journals, online books/magazines, high power computing clusters for data analysis. If your project requires access to our physical labs, it is possible to arrange a short visit (1-2 months) to perform experiments. However, projects can be defined to be performed remotely without access to physical facilities.

Postgraduate resources

Research students in Digital Media work in a dedicated, state-of-the-art studio, equipped with leading-edge MACs and PC workstations, running industry standard software. There is also a photographic studio and a production studio with green screen and motion capture facilities. 

Support

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.

Entry requirements

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, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account. 

International students

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.

Research areas

Intelligent Interactions

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

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.

Dr Jim Ang: Senior Lecturer in Multimedia/Digital Systems

Human computer interaction; usability and playability design; computer game studies and interactive narrative; social computing and sociability design; virtual worlds; online communities and computer-mediated communication.

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Ania Bobrowicz: Senior Lecturer in Digital Arts

Human-computer interaction; computer-mediated communication; feminism and art history.

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Mr David Byers Brown: Senior Lecturer

Animation; digital visual effects; directing.

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Dr Christos Efstratiou: Lecturer in Ubiquitous Computing

Ubiquitous computing, mobile computing, social computing, Internet of Things, wireless sensor networks.

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Dr Les Walczowski: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering

The development of dynamic web applications, mobile applications and e-learning technology.

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Dr Rocio von Jungenfeld: Lecturer in Digital Media

The use of media in the production of creative outputs with focus on contemporary media art, portability, interactive and mediated environments, participation in public space, perception and media projections.

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Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Digital Arts - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £4327 £19000
Part-time £2164 £9500

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

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.

For further information and to make an application, see the scholarship for UK and EU students or the scholarship for international students.

Chevening scholarships

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.