Digital Arts (by Research) - MSc
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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.
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
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, you receive support through individual supervision, specialised seminars and colloquia, usually with external speakers. We also offer a range of financial support options.
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. Many of our research projects are collaborative, and we have well-developed links with institutions worldwide.
A 2.2 or higher 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 relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
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.
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 to be examined by one internal examiner and one external examiner. An oral viva voce is held at the discretion of the examiners.
The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:
- Home full-time £4712
- EU full-time £18000
- International full-time £18000
- Home part-time £2356
- EU part-time £9000
- International part-time £9000
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your fee status
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
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.
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.
We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.Search scholarships
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 94% of our Engineering research was classified as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The School of Engineering is undergoing a £3 million redevelopment and modernisation of its engineering and design facilities due for completion in July 2020. This includes an engineering workshop and fabrication facilities, a dedicated makerspace for innovation, collaboration and the development of practical skills, a virtual reality suite, production studio (including photography, video and green screen facilities) and a large teaching and design studio. These changes will deliver modern and advanced teaching and research facilities supporting all Engineering, Design and Digital Arts subjects.
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.
If you would like to study as an external research student (i.e. remotely), please contact email@example.com to discuss your application.
Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.
Apply for entry to:
United Kingdom/EU enquiries
MSc at Canterbury
T: +44 (0)1227 768896
T: +44 (0)1227 827535
International student enquiries
T: +44 (0)1227 823254