Research course

Digital Media Arts

University of Surrey · Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a good honours degree and usually a MA in a relevant Arts subject or appropriate professional experience.

Candidates submitting proposals that include practice-based research will be required to provide evidence of appropriate experience and expertise.

Months of entry

January, April, July

Course content

On our vibrant and expanding Digital Media Arts PhD programme, we embrace subjects that include: film, animation, visual effects, computational arts, video games, immersive media, digital acting, mediatised theatre, motion graphics, movement interfaces, performance capture, machine vision and interactive cinema. This provides you with an opportunity to undertake profound and meaningful practice-based and theoretical postgraduate research in these fields, where creativity and technology collide.

Your skills and talents as a media practitioner, alongside intellectual curiosity, collaborative spirit, technical proficiency and sense of adventure, all come into play as you make use of the state-of-the-art facilities, great work spaces and dedicated multi-disciplinary supervision. You will also benefit from our extensive connections to the creative industries through our wide-range of partners within film production companies, animation houses, VFX facilities and studios. locally, nationally and globally.

Our Guildford location is a short train journey from central London and a town which is home to some of the most well-regarded games developers, immersive media producers and web design agencies, including:

  • Supermassive
  • MediaMolecule
  • Electronic Arts
  • Figment Productions
  • BlueGFX
  • Criterion

and many others.

We regularly enjoy visits and engagements with the London production and VFX community, which includes:

  • Framestore
  • Moving Picture Company
  • Blue Zoo
  • Nexus
  • Milk VFX
  • KeyFrame Studios

and many more.

We also maintain close links with the British Film Institute, BAFTA, Animation UK, Visual Effects Society, SIGGRAPH London, UKIE and plenty of other industry networks crucial for you to connect with.

On campus, we share a building and closely collaborate on a daily basis with the prestigious Guildford School of Acting. We also work closely with colleagues from Surrey’s Engineering programmes and have found touchpoints in nearly every other department Surrey has to offer. In addition to this, we are actively building relationships with other institutions close at hand and around the world, as we have found that collaboration and sharing is the only way forward for our precious arts, culture and technology communities.

Surrey’s multi-disciplinary Doctoral College will cater to your academic and institutional needs and is a great way of linking you with fellow postgraduate researchers from Surrey’s wide variety of other disciplines.

This is a programme which will take you beyond the bounds of mere study. You will undertake your own ground-breaking artistic practice into exciting and emerging fields such as virtual production, digital performance, pervasive filmmaking, contemporary animation, immersive audio-visual, experiential installation, digital art, creative computing and AI-based media production. We will also help you develop your contextual and theoretical knowledge in these and related fields. As a contemporary media practitioner and theorist, you will be fully encouraged to engage with topical research on current artistic and media practices, diversities, accessibilities and cultural impacts.

We will also facilitate training in the latest tools and technologies to assist your creative development and enable you to create profound and impactful outputs.

If you have a proposal which you feel may match our supervision capabilities and expertise, or you are interested in the general areas we cover, please get in touch with us for an informal discussion by contacting in the first instance.

Research support

The professional development of postgraduate researchers is supported by the Doctoral College, which provides training in essential skills through its Researcher Development Programme of workshops, mentoring and coaching. A dedicated postgraduate Careers and Employability team will help you prepare for a successful career after the completion of your PhD.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

+44 (0)1483 682 222