Kernow Computes

This Research & Innovation Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Kernow Computes! Improving the Readiness of Young People for Careers in Cornwall's Technology Industry.

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

The Pedagogy Futures research programme, based at Falmouth University in Cornwall, invites applications for a three-year full-time Doctoral studentship. This project will contribute research into secondary-level computing education, with a focus on pedagogy for novices and the way young people are prepared for careers in the technology sector at schools and colleges.

The UK's technology sector is growing at a considerable rate, representing opportunities for young people to secure meaningful and creative careers. However, there's a widely reported and persistent skills gap (see Livingstone & Hope, 2011), with the most recent TechNation (2018) report citing that "access to talent" remains the most significant challenge facing local industry in Cornwall. Overcoming this challenge will require a better understanding of the talent pipeline, the different pathways into the industry, methods for facilitating the learning of relevant knowledge and skills, and of what industry needs. Using the findings from the Georgia Computes! (2014) project as a conceptual model, this research proposes to explore this pipeline and take a design thinking approach to improving its efficacy---notably, drawing industry practice and education together to envisage and implement novel approaches to preparing young people for careers in the technology sector.

This research will help provide an evidence-led approach to computing education in secondary-level settings and pave the way for a more efficient talent pipeline. It is anticipated that initial proposals adopt a holistic perspective with a phase of the research to explore the problem-space before committing to a specific response (e.g., e-learning tools, teacher training programmes, knowledge exchange, etc.); though, allusion to potential avenues informed by contemporary pedagogic evidence-informed practices is anticipated and encouraged.

This research will appeal to graduates seeking to develop skills and expertise spanning education and technology. Applicants will need to have the technical skills sufficient to develop software and to leverage data analysis methods as well as good contextual understanding of the computing discipline. Though, the programme itself will provide access to a range of contemporary software tools as well as training in both qualitative and quantitative research methods needed to deliver the project, as well as entrepreneurial skills mentoring and incubation opportunities to commercialise intellectual properties emerging from the research.

The successful candidate can expect to develop their own dissertation topic within the wider remit of the project. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Imaginative and viable preliminary ideas for research into this subject area;
  • An appreciation of the nature of PhD study and of both independent and collaborative research
  • Clear motivation for undertaking PhD study in Falmouth in this subject area
  • Evidence that you have, or can develop, the skills required to start the proposed research

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline alongside a postgraduate degree and/or relevant experience in a cognate area.

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the following Research & Innovation programme and department:

ProgrammePedagogy Futures
DepartmentGames Academy

As successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and one or more of our Research & Innovation programmes, we recommend that you review details of the programme aligned to this brief before you complete the application process.

Project brief lead

Dr Michael Scott profile image
Dr Michael Scott profile image

Project Brief Supervisor: Dr Michael Scott

Dr Michael Scott is the Head of Computing and Associate Professor of Computer Science Education at Falmouth University, leading Falmouth's first-ever BSc(Hons) courses in Computing for Games and Immersive Computing as well as convening innovative distance-learning MA courses related to Digital Creativity.

Find out more

How to apply

Apply for a Research MPhil or PhD

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief. ​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process click the button below.

Apply for Research Degree
MA Graphic Design students chatting around a table


Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr Michael Scott.


Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.


T01326 255831

Additional resources

Two women and a man seated at a desk with a laptop and print outs
Falmouth staff at table

Fund your Research Degree

See the options available to help you fund your research degree.

Fund your Research Degree
Students sat around a table in the AIR building
Students sat around table in AIR

Falmouth Doctoral Studentships

You can apply for a fully-funded Falmouth Doctoral Studentship as part of your research degree appli...

Falmouth Doctoral Studentships
Research & Innovation
R&I Homepage Lead

Research & Innovation

By stepping beyond disciplinary lines, harnessing creativity and working with communities, we delive...

Research & Innovation
News_Make a Difference in Research: Workshop Success
Impact Training Workshop October 2013. Image courtesy of CommsConsult.

Doctoral Project Briefs

We invite MPhil and PhD project proposals that respond to a doctoral project brief.

Doctoral Project Briefs