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School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

PhD Studentship in Game Artificial Intelligence

Application closing date: 31/01/2021
Start date: September 2021
Research group: IGGI

Duration: 4 years
Funding available

IGGI invites applications for up to 12 studentships available for 2021/22 entry (starting September 2021) at the University of York or Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL). Studentships fund full fees plus a tax-free living stipend, for our 4-year programme.

We also welcome self-funded applications throughout the year. All accepted IGGI students start at the beginning of the academic year in September.

Admissions Workshop

On November 26, we held a workshop for students interested in applying to IGGI this year. No worries if you missed it. All important information is on this page. In addition, you can read:

Who Should Apply

We are seeking diverse and motivated candidates to join our 70 current PhD students conducting interdisciplinary research in areas such as:

  • Using machine learning (ML) and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to create interesting, fun, believable game agents
  • Augmented creativity tools that support game designers and developers, e.g. procedural content generation, AI-assisted game design and testing
  • Understanding player experience, games user research, and game analytics
  • Game audio and music
  • Interaction, user experience, and learning design for games
  • Using games and gamification to support wellbeing, learning, or social change
  • Using Esports and other game data to study human behaviour and psychology
  • Using game AI to improve real-world decision making

IGGI students are a diverse group, and admission decisions are made on the basis of your potential to do good work and make a positive impact through games research. We especially welcome applications from female and minority ethnic candidates as well as other groups that are under-represented in games research and industry.

Why Apply to IGGI

IGGI brings together more than 60 researchers in games and related fields working on creating positive impact on and through games; that’s 60 amazing researchers that you can draw on as supervisors.

You will receive focused skills training in game design, games research methods, game development, game AI, responsible innovation, and engaging users and the public with your work. In addition, you will have access to training in a wide range of topics such as HCI, graphics, audio, psychology, or AI.

You will have opportunities to collaborate with other students and researchers, make games, and share your work through

  • the annual IGGI Game Jam, a 48 hour game development challenge as part of the Global Game Jam, enhancing your skills in game design, development, and teamwork;
  • the annual IGGI Conference, showcasing student research alongside industry and academic speakers;
  • research seminars, board game evenings, or workshops run by students.

IGGI will give you the opportunity to work directly with industry and social partner organisations. Placements, research exchanges, and other forms of knowledge exchange will give you the possibility to make a direct positive impact, experience the games industry first hand, and collaborate with researchers and practitioners. Previous and current IGGI students have worked with partner organisations such as Sony Interactive Entertainment, Bossa Studios, Google, Bloomberg, PROWLER.io, Media Molecule, BT, Splash Damage, Microsoft Research, and Sue Ryder.

Who is Eligible to Apply

UK, EU, and international students are eligible to apply and receive a stipend and tuition based on EPSRC rules. We will update this page with information as soon as it is released by the government. International students will need to apply for a Tier 4 visa.

Applicants normally hold a masters degree enabling them to do games research in their chosen research area (e.g. computer science, HCI, psychology, game design and development), although we do accept exceptional candidates with a fitting undergraduate degree. We also expect applicants to bring the requisite basic technical skills to succeed in our training modules in game design and development. Prior practical experience in making games is not required but a definite plus.


The closing date for the applications is 31st January 2021.


Follow the link to find out more information about IGGI and the application process:  https://iggi.org.uk/apply