Innovative Media Technology PhD

Key information

Full-time - 4 years

Start dates

October 2022
January 2023
April 2023

Part-time - 8 years

Start dates

October 2022
January 2023
April 2023

Why choose this programme

Our Innovative Media Technology PhD programme explores research into the technologies of motion picture, television and streaming medias. Our research aims to engage with and advance the state-of-the-art technologies in both human perceptions of video quality and applications of computer vision and artificial intelligence. Our academics have cutting-edge expertise in multimedia transmission and quality, computer vision and artificial intelligence. We often collaborate with other research centres within the University, including: Previous collaborations have also led to standardisation activities. Our pioneering research facilities include: High-performance GPU compute and capture computing capabilities.
  • The Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP)
  • The Centre for Creative Arts Technologies (C-CATS)
  • The Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR)
  • Externally with industry and other research groups including BBC Research and Development and Adobe Research.
  • A broadcast-standard multi-camera TV studio 

What you will study

Our Innovative Media Technology PhD will prepare you for success at each stage of your project. The structure is designed to provide intensive graduate preparation for a future career and is suitable for either part-time or full-time candidates.  

The normal length of study leading to a PhD is three years full-time (or around 33 months to 48 months). Part-time PhD study normally takes six years (45 months to 96 months).  Completion of the programme requires submission of a thesis and an oral viva with external examiners. 

You’ll begin your project with a thorough review of academic literature in relevant areas, which will lead to a critical/analytical report. The conclusions to this report will suggest an appropriate next step, which will normally be some sort of experimental study, designed to test a hypothesis you have formulated from your literature review.

You’ll be encouraged to collaborate with researchers at universities, research establishments and industries around the world. We offer a friendly environment that nurtures openness and collaboration. You’ll also be encouraged to present your research at well-renowned national and international conferences to gain experience and establish networks with leading researchers.


Your final assessment will be based on the presentation of your research in a written thesis, which will be discussed in a viva examination with at least two examiners. You have the option of preparing your thesis as a monograph (one large volume in chapter form) or in publication format (including chapters written for publication), subject to the approval of your supervisors.

You’ll be allocated two Surrey-based academic supervisors, in addition to any external collaborative supervisors. Your principal supervisor will be an expert in your area of research, and they’ll be monitoring your research progress on a regular basis. Your supervisors will help you define the initial objective and scope of your research, and to refine these as your project evolves. They’ll direct you to resources to help you learn the necessary experimental, theoretical or computing skills you need, and they’ll be able to advise you on how to complete your PhD and your thesis.

Research themes

Our research themes include:

  • Multimedia transmission
  • Algorithms for visual media quality
  • Methodologies for human perception of visual media quality, including its application in other fields such as medical imaging and teleoperated driving
  • Computer vision
  • Creative arts machine learning
  • Human activity recognition and human pose understanding.

Our academic staff

See a full list of all our academic staff within the Department of Music and Media. 

Research facilities

PhD students have access to office space, computers and a range of research tools and resources, from transcription equipment to data analysis software.

You’ll have access to a state-of-the-art broadcast-standard, multi-camera TV studio, with multiple Ultra-HD cameras and opportunities to collaborate with companies specialising in video production. You also have access to GPU servers to enable real time capture and processing of images and video for machine learning.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower second plus a good masters degree (distinction normally required).

International entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Selection process

Selection is based on applicants meeting the expected entry requirements, assessment of application, successful interview and suitable references where required.

Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.


Start date: October 2022


UK £4,596

Overseas £18,100


UK £2,298

Overseas £9,100

Start date: January 2023


UK £4,596

Overseas £18,100


UK £2,298

Overseas £9,100

Start date: April 2023


UK £4,596

Overseas £18,100


UK £2,298

Overseas £9,100

For fees payable in 2022/23, these will increase by 4 per cent, rounded up to the nearest £100 for subsequent years of study. Any start date other than October will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).

Overseas students applying for 2022 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4% rounded up to the nearest £100.

View a complete list of all fees for our research programmes.

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.



A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.

How to apply

If you are applying for a studentship to work on a particular project, you should enter the details of the specific project that you wish to apply for rather than your own research proposal.

More information on the application process.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees. The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

University of Surrey Admissions
Contact Admissions Team

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH