MSc
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Starts September 2017

Computing with Digital Media

Create digital content, implement it in an interactive environment and distribute it over diverse networks.

You’ll learn to build:

  • web-based distributed multimedia applications
  • computer-generated animations
  • interactive virtual environments.

Throughout the course, we emphasise the need to adopt a human-centred approach.

The course is supported by the Media Technology Laboratory, which provides:

  • state-of-the-art digital facilities
  • software development tools
  • multimedia content creation tools
  • studio facilities and professional video-editing systems.

The Laboratory enables you to undertake practical work assignments using facilities that you would find in the modern digital media industry.

Key facts

  • We were ranked as one of the top UK universities for research in computing in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), all aspects of our research environment were classified as either world leading or internationally excellent.
  • Our courses are designed for those who want to develop a career in the IT industry, research or academia.
  • You’ll work in an intellectually stimulating environment with research ranging from computer science to digital media to e-business.

How will I study?

You will study a number of core modules and options. In the summer term, you will undertake a supervised dissertation, usually based on a multimedia programming project.

Assessment is through:

  • coursework and essays
  • unseen examinations
  • software and programming projects
  • a 12,000-word dissertation.

MSc project

You’ll complete a substantial MSc project, which is often practical as well as theoretical. The project exposes you to issues of:

  • project management
  • resourcing
  • planning and scheduling
  • documentation and communication
  • critical awareness and creative thinking.

You are encouraged to seek a project with a commercial or industrial flavour. Finding an industrial sponsor or host is fine, though you will still need an academic supervisor.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to study this course full time or part time. Find the modules for the full-time course below. 

For details about the part-time course structure, contact us at enquiries@enginf.sussex.ac.uk

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • 3D Animation

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      This is an advanced module in 3D animation. It includes computer graphics fundamentals for character and object animation, such as transformations, tweening, mesh descriptions and character rigging. You will look at industry standard software for modeling, rendering and animating geometry.

    • 3D Modelling and Rendering

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      You will be introduced to computer graphics modelling and rendering, including computer graphics fundamentals such as basic 3D geometry transformation, mesh descriptions, shading and lighting. You will also cover industry standard software for modelling and rendering geometry.

    • Human-Computer Interaction

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      Human–computer interaction (HCI) is concerned with designing, evaluating and deploying usable, effective and enjoyable technologies in a range of contexts. The aim of this module is to give an introduction to the key areas, approaches and developments in the field. Topics include:

      • principles of design
      • methods for evaluating interfaces with or without user involvement
      • techniques for prototyping and implementing graphical user interfaces.

      Ultimately you will be reflective practitioners, able to understand the 'tools' that you have in your user-centred design toolkit and to think constructively and analytically about the best uses, limitations and implications of using these tools to design and evaluate interactive technologies.

    • Computing with Digital Media Project

      60 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      Individual project based on the production of a significant piece of interactive digital media software.

      The project dissertation is your chance to produce an interactive digital media application in the specific area in which you wish to specialise. The expectation is that you will submit a dissertation substantially based on a working software program in the domain of digital media. This provides a very broad subject base and includes 3D and 2D graphics, animation, image processing, sound processing, web-based applications, tutorial applications, etc. The only specific regulation for the MSc CDM dissertation is that it should be substantially based on a working computer program.

      There will be no formal lectures to attend. The teaching methods used will simply be weekly individual/small group meetings to discuss progress.

      The Masters Project should be viewed as the culmination of the degree - it gives you a chance to demonstrate all you have learned and produce a key portfolio piece for your future employment. It will be the most demanding part of the postgraduate degree.

      It is very different from most other modules. Although you will be supervised, your are on your own to a large extent. The onus is on you to define the problem boundaries, to investigate possible solutions, and to present the results verbally, in writing, and to demonstrate them in action.

      The results of the project will be submitted in two parts: a final report and the code for the system built.

    • Interactive 3D Programming

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module will cover the fundamentals of using high-level development languages to produce interactive 3D graphics. It will include all stages of 3D game development and interactive 3D code production.

    • Mobile 3D Applications

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      Through laboratory-based tuition and utilising Study Direct-based online teaching and learning materials (including slides, video, audio, demonstrations), this module will explore how 3D can be integrated into mobile web-based applications.

      Technologies covered include but are not limited to:

      • 3D modelling methods for real-time rendering and associated authoring packages (e.g. 3ds Max)
      • implementation of efficient navigation and interaction methods
      • responsive web design applied to the implementation of mobile web-based 3D applications.

      The main focus of this module is to gain practical experience on 3D modelling and programming (e.g. 3ds Max, X3D/VRML, X3DOM, HTML, CSS3, XML, JavaScript (and associated frameworks and libraries), AJAX, JSON, PHP and SQLite) to build a web mobile 3D application (an interactive 3D application that will render across desktop, tablet and mobile devices based on an MVC design pattern).

      Example web mobile 3D applications may include: a virtual museum, product configurator, vehicle visualisation, burglary simulation, or a simple web game.

    • Multimedia Design and Applications

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      You will examine how modern computing systems manage, deliver and present multimedia such as audio, video, and interactive grapics. Topics that you will study include:

      • information coding
      • multimedia hardware
      • networked multimedia
      • ergonomics
      • interface design
      • multimedia applications.

    Options

    Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

    • Advanced Software Engineering

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you study modern approaches to large-scale software production.

      You start by reviewing the key concepts in the whole life-cycle of a software product, such as:

      • requirement analysis
      • software architecture and design
      • implementation
      • quality assurance
      • maintenance activities.

      Following this review, you investigate modern software engineering technology, such as:

      • version control
      • build automation
      • testing
      • logical approaches to specification
      • verification of programs and domain-specific languages.

      As part of this module, you undertake team-based coursework, which involves the production of a significant software system.

    • Object Oriented Programming

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      You will be introduced to object-oriented programming, and in particular to understanding, writing, modifying, debugging and assessing the design quality of simple Java applications.

      You do not need any previous programming experience to take this module, as it is suitable for absolute beginners.

    • Live Video Production

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module explores the tools and techniques used in live video production, and the tools and techniques for producing pre-recorded packages for integration in to live programming.

    • Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module emphasises learner-centred approaches to the design of educational and training systems. The module content will reflect current developments in learning theory, skill development, information representation and how individuals differ in terms of learning style. There is a practical component, which will relate theories of learning and knowledge representation to design and evaluation.

      You will explore the history of educational systems, as well as issues relating to:

      • intelligent tutoring systems
      • computer-based training
      • simulation and modelling environments
      • programming languages for learners
      • virtual reality in education and training
      • training agents
      • computer-supported collaborative learning.

Entry requirements

A lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree or above. This course is for applicants intending to deepen their understanding of technical digital media. It is suited to those with a previous degree in computer science, mathematics or the natural sciences. Applicants with media degrees who can demonstrate practical computing knowledge will also be considered. Mature applicants with relevant experience will also be considered.

English language requirements

Standard level (IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Pre-Masters in Computing

Need to boost your academic skills for your taught course? Find out more about our Pre-Masters in Computing.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa


Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

Home: £9,250 per year

EU: £9,250 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £9,250 per year

Overseas: £18,750 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor's Masters Scholarship

Jan Metzger Scholarship for MSc in Intelligent and Adaptive Systems (2017)

£6,000 fee waiver for the MSc in Intelligent and Adaptive Systems.

Application deadline:

31 July 2017

Find out more about the Jan Metzger Scholarship for MSc in Intelligent and Adaptive Systems

Pegge Scholarship for MSc in Intelligent and Adaptive Systems (2017)

The £3,000 Pegge Scholarship is awarded annually to postgraduate students taking the MSc in Intelligent and Adaptive Systems.

Application deadline:

31 July 2017

Find out more about the Pegge Scholarship for MSc in Intelligent and Adaptive Systems

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Faculty

Research in the Department of Informatics is split into four groups. 

  • Cognitive Language Processing Systems

    The research of this group addresses the science and engineering of complex systems for cognitively demanding, and data- and language-intensive domains, including the integration of methods from cognitive science, natural language engineering and machine learning.

    Prof John Carroll
    Professor of Computational Linguistics
    J.A.Carroll@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Computational Linguistics, Computational/Corpus Linguistics, Machine Learning (AI), Medical Informatics, Natural Language Processing

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    Prof Peter Cheng
    Professor of Cognitive Sciences
    P.C.H.Cheng@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Cognitive Science, Human computer interaction, Knowledge visualisation / information visualisation / visual analystics, Tactile graphics - cognitive science of, User-authentication - cognitive biometric

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    Dr Bill Keller
    Senior Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence
    billk@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Computational Linguistics, Computational/Corpus Linguistics, Linguistics, Machine Learning (AI), Natural Language Processing, Probabilistic Methods, Semantics And Pragmatics

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    Dr Novi Quadrianto
    Senior Lecturer in Machine Learning
    N.Quadrianto@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Bayesian Methods, Computer Vision - Machine Learning, Ethical Machine Learning, Kernel Methods, Machine Learning (AI), Optimisation (AI), Probabilistic Methods, Time Series

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    Prof David Weir
    Professor Of Computer Science
    D.J.Weir@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Computational Linguistics, Data Science, Natural Language Processing

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    Dr Sharon Wood
    Senior Lecturer in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence
    S.Wood@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Modelling, Cognitive Science

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  • Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems (EASy)

    The EASy group has been internationally prominent since it was established in the early 1990s. It is concerned with the interfaces between the biological and computational sciences, particularly with reference to furthering understanding of brains and minds.

    Dr Luc Berthouze
    Reader in Informatics
    L.Berthouze@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Biomedical Signal Processing, Computational Neuroscience, Developmental Robotics, EEG, EMG, Motor Control, Network Theory and Complexity, Neuronal network, Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos

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    Prof Maggie Boden
    Research Professor of Cognitive Science
    M.A.Boden@sussex.ac.uk

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    Dr Christopher Buckley
    Lecturer In Neural Computation
    C.L.Buckley@sussex.ac.uk

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    Dr Ron Chrisley
    Reader in Philosophy
    R.L.Chrisley@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Artificial Intelligence, Cognition, Cognitive Science, Consciousness, Language & Philosophical Logic, Logic, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Mind, Philosophy of Science & Mathematics, & Mathematical Logic, Robotics

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    Prof Phil Husbands
    Research Professor Of Artificial Intelligence
    P.Husbands@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Adaptive Systems, Artificial Intelligence, artificial life, Bio-inspired Neural Computing, Bio-inspired Robotics, Complex System Design, Computational Neuroscience, Digital Art & Design, Evolutionary Computation, evolutionary robotics, History of Science/Medicine/Technology, Machine Learning (AI), Mobile Robots, Nervous system, Optimisation Problems, Systems neuroscience

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    Prof Thomas Nowotny
    Professor Of Informatics
    T.Nowotny@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Biomimetics, Chemical Sensing, Computational Neuroscience, Dynamic Clamp, Electronic Nose, GPU Computing, High Performance Computing, Insects, Ion channels, Machine Learning (AI), Neural networks, New Computing Paradigms, Olfaction, Robotics, Systems neuroscience

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    Dr Andy Philippides
    Reader in Informatics
    andrewop@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: computational biology, Computational Neuroscience, Computer Vision & Image Processing - Pattern Recognition, Evolutionary Computation, insect navigation, navigation, Robotics

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    Prof Anil Seth
    Professor of Cognitive & Computational Neuroscience
    A.K.Seth@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience, Consciousness, EEG, Neuroimaging, neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, Psychology, Time Series, Virtual Reality

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    Dr Chris Thornton
    Lecturer in Computing Science
    C.Thornton@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Information Theory, Predictive Processing, Theoretical Cognitive Science

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    Dr Sharon Wood
    Senior Lecturer in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence
    S.Wood@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Modelling, Cognitive Science

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  • Foundations of Software Systems

    This group is interested in the theory and practice of future computation and communication. We:

    • build mathematical theories of computation
    • design and evaluate distributed applications and services
    • model and analyse data representing system configurations, social networks, trust and provenance.

    Dr Martin Berger
    Lecturer in Foundations Of Computation
    M.F.Berger@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Automata Theory, Compiler Theory, Compilers, Computer Systems Security, Concurrency, Cryptography, Domain Specific Languages, Formal Methods, Formal Verification, Foundations of computation, Functional Programming, Just-In-Time Compilers, Logic, Logic for Computer Science, Meta-Programming, Network Security, Programming Languages, Programming Languages - Concurrent, Programming Languages - Distributed, Proof Assistants, Proof Theory, Semantics of Programming Languages, Software Engineering, Software Specification, Software Verification, Theorem Provers

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    Dr Ian Mackie
    Reader
    I.Mackie@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Visual programming languages

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    Dr George Parisis
    Lecturer
    G.A.Parisis@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Data Centre Networking and Storage, Information-Centric Networking, Network Management, Opportunistic, Delay-Tolerant Networking, Software-Defined Networking and Software Verification

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    Dr Bernhard Reus
    Senior Lecturer in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence
    bernhard@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Computational Complexity, Computer science, Foundations of computation, Software Verification

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    Dr Peter Schrammel
    Lecturer in Computer Science
    P.Schrammel@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Abstract Interpretation, Abstraction, Embedded systems, Formal Verification, Hardware/Software Co-verification, Model Checking (Computing), Model-driven Software Eng, Real-time Software Systems, Satisfiability Modulo Theories, Software Engineering, Software Evolution, Software Quality, Software Safety, Software Security, Software Testing, Software Verification, Static Analysis

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    Prof Ian Wakeman
    Professor of Software Systems
    I.J.Wakeman@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Communications networks, Datacenter Networking and Storage, delay tolerant networks, Distributed computing, Mobile Computing

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  • Interactive Systems

    This group is concerned with the interfaces between humans and digital technology. We investigate interaction in the broadest sense, and consider it in relation to both traditional desktop-based technology and also more recent digital technologies – including mobile, immersive, ubiquitous and pervasive computing.

    Dr Natalia Beloff
    Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering
    N.Beloff@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Big Data Analytics, Business models for Digital innovation, E-Business Models, Internet of things, Medical Informatics, Numerical Analysis, Remote Sensing & Earth Observation

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    Dr Judith Good
    Reader in Informatics
    J.Good@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Game Based Learning, Game Creation for Learning, Learning, Learning Programming, Mobile Computing, Multimedia, Simulations for Learning, technology for autism

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    Dr Kate Howland
    Lecturer In Interaction Design
    K.L.Howland@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: End-user programming, Game Based Learning, Game Creation for Learning, Human computer interaction, Interaction design, Novice programming, Participatory Design, Technology Enhanced Learning

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    Prof Ann Light
    Professor of Design & Creative Technology
    Ann.Light@sussex.ac.uk

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    Dr Paul Newbury
    Senior Lecturer In Multimedia Systems
    P.Newbury@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Technology Enhanced Learning, Virtual Prototyping

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    Dr Marianna Obrist
    Reader in Interaction Design
    M.Obrist@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Interaction design

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    Dr Phil Watten
    Media Technology Manager
    P.L.Watten@sussex.ac.uk

    View profile

    Dr Martin White
    Reader in Computer Science
    M.White@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: 3D Reconstructions, Blockchain Applications, Digital Heritage, Healthy Living Applications

    View profile

Careers

Graduate destinations

92% of students from the School of Engineering and Informatics were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent Informatics students have gone on to jobs including:

  • games lab manager, Ubisoft
  • front end developer, Brandwatch
  • UX designer, American Express.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Our students are highly employable, with 95% of recent graduates’ job roles being at professional or managerial level.

Brighton is home to hundreds of digital media companies. Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers – based in Brighton and further afield – in:

  • digital media
  • web development
  • games programming
  • e-learning production
  • 3D modelling.

Our MSc is also an ideal entry point for PhD research in the field of digital media.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

I work as a backend developer – graduating with a great Masters certainly helped me grab this opportunity. Brighton has many thriving tech companies, providing great future opportunities.”Athanasios Irodotou
Developer
Brandwatch