To Design a Prototype Room Scale VR Experience to Assess Feasibility, Routes to Market and Value Proposition in Setting Up a Multiplayer Artistic VR Venue (Play Room)

Qualification: MPhil

Departments: School of Engineering School of Informatics

Application deadline: Open until filled

Start date: As soon as possible (by the end of March 2019 at the latest)


This project is a fully-funded one-year industrial MPhil in which you will undertake applied research and development on behalf of a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in Leicester and Leicestershire.


Dr Mateusz Bocian (Department of Engineering; Director of the Biomechanics and Immersive Technology Laboratory)

Dr Yi Hong (Department of Informatics)

Collaborative partner

Metro Boulot Dodo (MBD) Ltd., the partner in this exciting twelve-month R&D project, is an award winning arts-related company. In the last twenty years, the company has created a number of immersive theatre experiences and trails, and is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. The MPhil student will support the company in deepening the integration of programming within their projects, pushing areas of social gaming, haptics, as well as in person tracking and hand/object tracking. The business proposition proposes multiple pay-to-play social experiences within a single venue.

Project description

Project reference: LIH116

Through this R&D project, MBD Ltd. is seeking programming support from an MPhil placement in order to implement the following aspects of the experience:

  • Networked social aspects
  • Audience tracking to enable multiple users to inhabit the same virtual world
  • Hand/object tracking for interaction with real-world props

As a programmer, you will work in a games engine (Unreal), using inbuilt programming nodes and also creating bespoke programming blocks to sit within our specific project. You will work alongside MBD’s artwork and animation team. Your input over the duration of this twelve-month project can be divided into five different stages:

  • Induction and design requirements
  • Prototyping
  • Testing and updating 1
  • Testing and updating 2
  • Dissertation write-Up



  • The University of Leicester pays a monthly stipend of £1,166.67 in arrears to the student, totalling £14,000. The funding will be strictly limited to twelve months.
  • The SME pays the University’s one-year full-time MPhil fees upfront before the project starts.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements


  • You should have a Bachelor's degree in Informatics, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, or a related subject, with at least a UK 2:1.
  • University English language requirements apply.

Required skills

  • Experience in programming in C# or related environments and algorithm development.
  • Interest in electronics and the latest visualisation and motion capture technology.
  • Research and network development skills.
  • Ability to build strong working relationships with core stakeholders (academics, sponsoring SME).
  • Business engagement/development skills and aptitude.
  • Effective English oral and written communication skills.
  • A self-starter who is able to work as part of a team.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Dr Mateusz Bocian

Leicester Innovation Hub enquiries

Jenny Hollis

How to apply

How to apply

To apply please use the Apply button at the bottom of the page.

  • In the funding section of the application, please select 'Studentship' and in the dropdown menu, select 'ERDF MPhil project'.
  • In the 'Personal Statement' section, please indicate clearly why you are interested in undertaking this research project and why you are the best candidate to help deliver the project objectives.
  • In the 'Research Proposal Section' please state: 'Applying for MPhil Project Ref: LIH116 no proposal required'.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview with the academics and the sponsoring SME. Interviews are expected to be held within 14 days of the application deadline. 



To qualify for fully-funded support from the SME, you and the University of Leicester academics must fulfil all ERDF and University MPhil degree eligibility criteria.

You must:

  • Be a UK or EU (European Union) national.
  • Have graduated within the last 3 years in a related discipline.
  • Adhere to project confidentiality.
  • Assign any arising IP from the project at the outset.
  • Base your MPhil degree thesis on the research outcomes of the project.
  • Work closely with the SME company to undertake the research project.
  • Deliver monthly progress reports and a comprehensive project report to the University and sponsoring SME in addition to the MPhil thesis.

Each SME project will be delivered by one full-time MPhil student over one year; the MPhil project will have a research focus and will be supervised by two University of Leicester academics (one day a week each; academics are required to complete timesheets).