Centre for Digital Entertainment

Bournemouth University

Centre for Digital Entertainment

The ESPRC doctoral training Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE) is seeking candidates of academic excellence to undertake fully-funded research in computer games, animation, visual effects, and other topics in the graphics/vision area. Candidates may register at the University of Bath or at Bournemouth University.

This programme offers all you need for a research career in the games, visual effects or computer animation industries, as well as the medical, defence, cultural and other sectors.

These four-year doctoral studentships provide:

  • In the first year, an annual tax-free stipend of £16,277 (EPSRC EngD 2018/19 rate)
  • Once your placement commences, you could also receive up to £4,000 per annum, provided the company has entered into a contractual agreement to provide an appropriate contribution to the university.
  • Tuition fees, worth approximately £5,000 per annum
  • Generous funding of around £10,000 for conferences and equipment plus additional training and cohort activities.

We offer a unique programme starting with a fully-structured taught first year.  During this time the Centre for Digital Entertainment – Bournemouth University (BU), draws upon the excellence, knowledge and experience of the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA).

Established in 1989, the NCCA is a centre of excellence in computer visualisation and animation. In 2012, the NCCA won the prestigious Queens Anniversary Award for Higher Education due to its excellent research and education achievements. CDE Academic supervisors are usually from the NCCA, however we also use Academics from other departments of BU, depending on the area of your research.


During the first year of the EngD, you will normally be based at Bournemouth University and undertake some units from the MSc Computer Animation and Visual Effects course and other relevant sources. Possible units include Animation Software Engineering, CGI Techniques, CGI Tools, Simulation and Rendering. You will also receive training and attend workshops on Research Skills, namely Literature Review, Research Methodology and Ethics.

Bournemouth University is at the heart of the largest non-industrial conurbation in Europe. It is in a wonderful location sandwiched between the UK’s newest national park, best beaches and largest natural harbour. Bournemouth is also reported to have the ‘fastest growing digital economy in the UK’ (Tech Nation Report 2015).

You will then join the research team of one of our cutting-edge companies for three years, to research towards their next-generation projects. You will learn a great deal about the industry and emerge with a CV that no conventional research student can match.


Our students are always looking for new things to get involved with. They take part in games jams, summer schools and international conferences, recently including group trips to USA, Paris, Hong Kong, Australia and Toronto. Students can pitch their ideas to leading computer games, animation and visual effects companies and be trained in starting their own company.

Our current students are in companies such as BBC R&D, Electronic Arts, Sony Entertainment, Disney, Double Negative Visual Effects, Ninja Theory, Natural Motion, and organisations from other sectors which require digital technology expertise such as BMT Defence Services, Emteq, TotalSim, Cityscape, Plymouth Marine Labs, National Trust, National Museums Liverpool and Imperial War Museums.


All applications are assessed on both your research potential and academic excellence.

You will need a strong first degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Physics or related subjects. Excellent technical ability and programming skills are essential.

You must be a citizen of the UK/European Union; or be able to prove you have "indefinite leave to remain" in the UK.

Applications are currently open for September 2018.  Please ensure you apply by 19th March 2018 if you wish to be considered within the next round of interviews, due to take place week commencing 26th March 2018.

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Key information

CDE Promo v3