AIR building, Falmouth University
Photo Credit: AIR Building, Falmouth University

Falmouth University

For the 2018/19 doctoral studentship competition, Falmouth University invites applications to undertake practice-led research that focuses on any area of digital design, digital media or digital arts and aligns to one or more of our ten research programmes listed below.


Digital Creativity

Overview: Games are inherently cross-disciplinary and highly adaptable. New technologies provide constant impetus for innovation in terms of adaptation, game and interface design, storytelling forms and transmedial modes, as well as in terms of both consumer and more general behavioural change. Because of their ability to feedback on a player’s input, games have led profound change in contemporary media design. This programme formulates and evaluates new patterns and pipelines for designing games and other forms of digital media that detonate the potential of these new technologies, both inside and outside of entertainment culture.


Research Questions

  • How can games innovate and disrupt established patterns and markets?
  • How can games take advantage of new technologies such as VR, AR, MR and 5G?
  • How can we apply game structures outside of the creative/entertainment industries?
  • How can games be used to innovate in the creative industries more generally?
  • How can games be used to enhance engagement within the Heritage sector?


Creative Industries Futures


Overview: As the fastest growing sector in the UK economy, and as a sector that has significant potential benefit when combined with other sectors (the ‘creative bridge’), the creative industries have significant potential and demand for innovation. This programme considers the future of the creative industries, investigating new and emergent contexts and market opportunities.


Research Question:

  • What is the future direction of the creative industries?
  • How do we best identify emergent opportunities in the creative industries?
  • What new tools, products, services and art forms are ripe for development within the creative industries?
  • What educational models are required to encourage innovation in the creative industries?


Design for Mental Health


Overview: Mental health is increasingly shown to affect disproportionally the old and the young, presenting a set of key yet diverse challenges for contemporary society. This programme will develop innovative, design-led approaches to tackle mental health issues across a range of ages, drawing from digital technologies, language, visual design and interaction design.


Research Questions:

  • How can stigmas around mental health be overturned?
  • How can online and digital applications be used to support people with mental health problems?
  • What symbolic, representational and tangible forms do we need to help people to articulate and recognise their mental health needs?
  • How can digital design support mental health care workers?
  • What are the effects of loss and isolation on mental health and what design-led approaches can help to manager their effects?

Digital Entrepreneurship & Financial Innovation


Overview: This programme is focused on establishing innovative methods for developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and to encourage a spirit of enterprise amongst students and staff throughout the University. Using our substantial creative assets, and working with a wide range of industry partners, this programme will explore the role of existing and emerging digital technologies in creating economic and social value.  Building upon Falmouth’s Launchpad programme, we now have a major living lab, within which to observe the entrepreneurial journey from idea generation to growth.   All of our research takes place within one of the most economically and socially challenged regions in the UK, where new models for business entrepreneurship and innovation are essential.


Research Questions:

  • How can new models of incubation produce successful high-growth start-ups?
  • What models of incubation produce greatest innovation?
  • How can we build creative bridges to high growth markets?
  • How to foster the digital entrepreneur?
  • How to build a Tech-cluster in an economically challenged region?
  • What new business models will be required for the future economy?


Inequality & Storytelling


Overview: Inequalities present wide-ranging challenges to contemporary society, whether they are economic, socio-demographic, or cultural. Storytelling reaches across communities, providing structure, meaning and purpose, and serves to engage audiences, and grow understanding of issues and their ramifications. The programme is inherently cross-disciplinary and able to serve entrepreneurial and sociocultural ends, with purchase in traditional and digital media.


Research Questions:

  • How can storytelling methods be leveraged to address challenges of inequality and diversity?
  • How can different art forms be used to communicate stories of inequality?
  • How can storytelling be used to highlight and engage people with issues arising from inequality, or issues associated with marginal communities?
  • How can storytelling reach across communities to address issues of sociocultural disintegration?
  • How can storytelling be used as a diagnostic tool and means of problem solving?


Innovation in Rural Environments


Overview: The detrimental effect of human activity on the environment is regarded by many as a core challenge of our age. This issue is particularly profound in rural environments that often have low GDP/investment potential. This programme is grounded in the need to create new alliances and influence cultural policy by generating creative and imaginative engagement with heritage and the environment.

Research Questions:

  • How do environmental challenges in rural locations compare to those of urban environments?
  • How can creativity generate sustainable solutions and raise awareness of the impact of non-sustainability?
  • How can different artforms be used to raise awareness of environmental challenges?
  • How can design methods be leveraged to tackle climate change?
  • How can agri-tech benefit from engagement with the creative industries?




Overview: The Metamakers Institute undertakes computational creativity research with the aim of handing over creative endeavour to software, which then becomes our creative collaborator. The programme demonstrates the creative potential of software, with software systems that are built initially for experimental research, but can be commercialised. The programme aims to stimulate economic development through research, public engagement and commercialisation activities.


Research Questions

  • How can software become more creative and responsive?
  • Can humans and computers work together creatively?
  • How can computational creativity enable wider participation with digital creativity?
  • How can computational creativity aid rapid prototyping?


Multigenerational Living & Learning


Overview: Communities are often segregated according to age. In the context of an adult social care system that is under unprecedented pressure, new models of living and learning are ripe for exploration. This programme will investigate multigenerational living and care models, technologies for adult social care, and multigenerational learning opportunities.


Research Questions:

  • How might multigenerational living help to alleviate the pressures on social care expenditure and quality?
  • How might multigenerational communities live, learn and create together, in order to counteract social disintegration
  • How might technology enable and enrich a 21st century multigenerational care environment?


Technology-Enabled Health & Wellbeing


Overview: Falmouth is currently leading the e-health work package in the South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Technology. Drawing from this learning, this programme will investigate applications of technology into the health and social care sectors, and the role technology can play in healthy living and wellbeing.


Research Questions

  • How can technologies be used more effectively in health, social care and physical wellbeing?
  • How can economic challenges associated with health and care delivery be reduced through the use of technology?
  • How can satellite technologies be leveraged to enable other technologies in health and social care?




Overview: Drawing from expertise developed through projects such as Online Orchestra, Vconect and University of the Village, this programme will consider the role of telematics in enabling access to education, remote participation in the arts, remote consultation with G.P.s, and the co-production of new art forms.


Research Questions

  • How can telematic technologies be optimised for sector-specific applications?
  • What is the most effective way of handling network latency in different contexts?
  • How can telematics be used to stimulate new collaborations and art forms?
  • How can telematics be deployed in healthcare, and what needs to change to enable this?



Falmouth’s external partnerships specific to 3D3 projects include:

  • Salix Games
  • National Trust / National Trust Publishing
  • BBC
  • Visit Cornwall
  • DM Orthotics
  • BBC R&D
  • Cornwall Music Education Hub
  • Arnolfini Bristol