FREE Virtual Study Fair | 1 - 2 March | REGISTER NOW FREE Virtual Study Fair | 1 - 2 March | REGISTER NOW

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof M Zecca, Dr A Maiorani  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Kinesemiotics is the study of motivated movement informed by Linguistics, Engineering, and Computer Science. The foundation of Kinesemiotics relies on effective data collection of sensor information relating to dance performance, the development of a suitable linguistic Functional Grammar model for Dance (FGD) from which to understand dance discourse, and the development of software to analyse, store and visualise such data through that model.

The heritage of dance and ballet is carried and transmitted by both practitioners and audiences; however, for all parties we are restricted to two primary sources of data: paper based notations (Labanotation, Benesh, etc), accessible only to a restricted elite of notators; video recording, with issues with perspective, resolution, accuracy, interactivity, and lacks any link to further semantic information relating to the performance in question.

An initial collaboration with the English National Ballet showed the potential benefits and applications of sensor-based notation systems, particularly for classical ballet. Such an approach also opens up the potential for novel interaction mechanisms with the data generated, including the exploitation of virtual reality technology and considerable advancements in the modelling of a theory of movement based communication with great applicative potential.

The main objective of this project is to develop a software which interfaces with a motion capture sensor suit, coupled to a commercial grade gaming engine for data manipulation and augmentation with additional semantic data based on the FGD. The PhD will be working in research labs and will be able to access to equipment resources as appropriate.


Primary supervisor: Professor Massimiliano Zecca

Secondary supervisor: Dr Arianna Maiorani

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in robotics, mechatronics, biomedical engineering, or a related subject. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: computer science, human-robot interaction, linguistics or language analysis.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Find out more about research degree funding

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select ‘Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’. Please quote reference number: UF-MZ-2022

Apply now

Funding Notes

UK fee - £4,596 full-time degree per annum
International fee - £25,100 full-time degree per annum
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs