PhD in Digital Games DevelopmentInnovative and pioneering project in Portugal that brings together two institutions with a strong tradition in game development and in the areas of innovation, technology and creativity.
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PhD in Digital Games Development

Nowadays, Digital Games have roles that transcend the playful and entertainment aspects and have been gaining increasing relevance in society. Digital game-based solutions are today fundamental working tools in simulation and training, and used in areas as diverse as the economy, environmental protection and health.

The great evolution in the use of Artificial Intelligence in digital games has transformed them into complex simulation systems, ideal for strategic analysis at the level of environmental, financial and even political ecosystems. At the same time, the constant search for ultra-realistic graphics has been expanding the horizons of Computer Graphics more and more.

Start dateSeptember
Duration4 years

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Why the PhD in Digital Games Development?

Research Unit
  • The students of this PhD integrate an immersive research environment, through their association with the research centers of the two institutions, UNIDCOM / IADE and 2Ai / IPCA.
  • They also have the opportunity to be in constant contact and collaboration with national and international researchers who work directly or indirectly with applied research in the field of video games.
Accompaniment to Research Projects
  • Students will have the opportunity to participate in multiple events, such as international scientific conferences and public exhibitions of the research projects developed.
  • It is worth mentioning the External Monitoring Committee, which meets annually to discuss and advise on the main strategic lines of the program and to monitor the research projects of students and teachers.

Innovative Project

The PhD in Digital Game Development offered by IADE - Faculdade de Design, Tecnologias e Comunicação da Universidade Europeia in association with IPCA - Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e Ave is an innovative project, pioneer in Portugal which brings together two institutions with a strong tradition in game development and in the areas of innovation, technology and creativity.

Study plan

Consult the structure of the curricular plan

Game Development and Interactive Media286
Immersion in Research Project I286
Optional I*
*Advanced Artificial Intelligence for Games and Interactive Applications286
*Computer Graphics for Creative Applications283
Emerging Technologies for Games and Interactive Media286
Immersion in Research Project II286
Research Methodologies286
Optional II*
*Machine Learning for Digital Games and Interactive Environments286
*AR Virtual and Mixed Reality for Creative Applications286
Optional III**
**Sound Design for Games286
**Interaction Design in Creative Technologies286
Note: Optional Curricular Units will be selected by the Coordination.
Dissertation / Project 2830
Dissertation 8460
Dissertation 8460


Career opportunities

  • Researchers in the areas of Digital Games
  • Higher education teachers with an emphasis on video games
  • Highly qualified video game industry professionals

Programme intended for

Holders of a master’s degree or legal equivalent: Those wishing to progress in their professional careers.

Professionals and students wishing to explore new technologies:

  • Want to explore new technologies in computer science, particularly in the areas of artificial intelligence, computer graphics, virtual and augmented reality, and digital games.
  • Want to broaden their areas of knowledge and intervention by investigating technology-based scientific solutions.


Candidates interested in joining IADE can apply throughout the year. The application process is limited by existing vacancies and the suitability of the candidate's profile to the study cycle of interest.

To start the admission process, the candidate must follow these 3 steps.

Certification and accreditation

Approved by A3ES on 06/05/2021

Self-evaluation report for the PhD in Digital Games Development .

Registration R/A-Cr 181/2021/AL01, of 06/04/2023 (DGES).

Order no. 5026/2023 , of 27 April 2023, II series, no. 82 DR