Innovative Media Technology PhD
Why choose this programme
Our Innovative Media Technology PhD programme explores research into the technologies of motion picture, television and streaming media. 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:
- Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP)
- Centre for Creative Arts Technologies (C-CATS)
- Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR).
We also work externally with industry and other research groups including BBC Research and Development and Adobe Research.
We belong to TECHNE, an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded doctoral training partnership, which provides access to comprehensive academic and professional training programmes, as well as the possibility of funding for your studies.
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 to four years full-time . Part-time PhD study normally takes six to eight years.
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 an 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.
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.
In your final two years of your PhD, you will be entirely dedicated to independent research, leading to a PhD dissertation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We have doubled the facilities space in the Department of Music and Media. Our Performing Arts Technology Studios have been upgraded and complemented by a £1.7m investment in state-of-the-art production and media suites.
All studios, edit rooms and acoustic rooms in the new space are linked by a new Dante digital audio network, providing audio interconnection between each room, plus video interconnects for flexible configurations of the recording spaces and studios.
Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper second-class (2:1) UK degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower-second (2:2) UK degree plus a good UK masters degree - distinction normally required (or equivalent overseas qualification).
International entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.
These are the English language qualifications and levels that we can 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.
Applicants are advised to contact potential supervisors before they submit an application via the website. Please refer to section two of our application guidance.
Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.
Selection is based on applicants:
- Meeting the expected entry requirements
- Being shortlisted through the application screening process
- Completing a successful interview
- Providing suitable references.
Start date: April 2024
Start date: July 2024
Start date: October 2024
- To be confirmed
- To be confirmed
Start date: January 2025
- To be confirmed
- To be confirmed
- Annual fees will increase by 4% for each year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100 (subject to legal requirements).
- Any start date other than September 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).
View the list of fees for all postgraduate research courses.
There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey.
A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.
If you are applying for a studentship to work on a particular project, please provide details of the project instead of a research proposal.
Read our application guidance for further information on applying.
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
We provide these terms and conditions in two stages:
- First when we make an offer.
- Second when students accept their offer and register to study with us (registration terms and conditions will vary depending on your course and academic year).
View our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2023/24 academic year, as a guide on what to expect.
This online prospectus has been published in advance of the academic year to which it applies.
Whilst we have done everything possible to ensure this information is accurate, some changes may happen between publishing and the start of the course.
It is important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.