Uni offers doctorates in special effects and computer animation

Postgraduate students will be working with top industry experts developing special effects for films and creating cutting-edge computer games animation at a new Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE) based at the Universities of Bath and Bournemouth.

The Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE) is a new and unique collaboration between the universities and a host of industry partners across the computer animation, games and visual effects industries.

The CDE has been awarded £6.3 million initial funding from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to fund 50 doctoral studentships in digital entertainment beginning in October and spread over eight years.

The CDE's purpose is to train the next generation of leaders in the computer animation, games and digital effects industries by offering a unique doctoral program that places researchers directly in companies to work on real projects. Under academic supervision students' work will form the basis of an Engineering or Professional Doctorate.

Professor Phil Willis, Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath said: "This high-level of EPSRC investment offers a wonderful opportunity to put leading-edge researchers into our national and world-class companies in the digital media sector.

"This is exactly the right time to put skills investment in place, ready for the economic recovery. The complementary skills of Bournemouth University and the University of Bath, and the demonstrated willingness of both universities to work closely with industrial partners, maximises the value we can deliver to our partner companies."

Dave Walsh, Managing Director of Frontier said: "This is an excellent programme which will benefit our industry significantly. Currently there is a big need for high calibre technical people and the proposed Centre will address this shortage effectively."

Andy Lomas, Head of Computer Graphics at Framestore CFC added: "I believe that in the UK we are missing out on the type of close connections between academic research and the animation and visual effects industry that happen in North America. The proposed Doctoral Centre could have very significant impact in addressing this gap."

The program lasts four years with 75 per cent of students' time being based in a company working on real projects with support by access to options from a suite of Master's programs from both universities. The taught program will be negotiated by the student, academic supervisors and the host company allowing bespoke tailoring to particular research needs.

Bournemouth University is recognised worldwide as providing one of the best digital arts degree courses with alumni obtaining prestigious posts at Frontier, DreamWorks and many other world leading companies.

Doctoral studentships are fully funded providing fees, a tax-free stipend and dedicated funding for international conferences.

For more information for applicants or information for companies please see the CDE website or email cde@cs.bath.ac.uk.

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