Design (MA by Research / MRES / PhD)

Art exhibition

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Park, Cheltenham

Contribute to the advancement of your profession and develop your own academic skills through an in-depth research project in a unique area that interests you.

We are dedicated to PaR (Practice as Research) and Design Thinking principles that move the work of the designer from the 20th Century artisan who responds to stimulus into the 21st Century design creative where your actions are at the centre of cultural change. The academic rigour required of you offers time and space to make research connections that allow you to explore new concepts and meanings in design. The need for design to offer experimentation within environmental, social and sustainable futures in the subject and your discipline are the key to doctoral study.

We understand that your research may change as you make new connections and as relevant modes of thought and action become important to you throughout the course of your research. We work with you as you find the appropriate practice for pursuing your research and related form for consolidating and disseminating your findings.

You will be encouraged to take your work outside the immediate context of the School and University. To travel to interview or meet with key figures from the sector you wish to find employment in or attend networking events relevant to your career aspirations.

It is hoped that during your studies you will dedicate time and effort to developing your network of contacts and aim to present your work in public and academic spaces as your work evolves.

Research Areas

Staff specialisms include:

  • Practice as Research
  • Sustainable technology
  • Professional practice and landscape urbanism
  • The relationship between music and landscape; alternative methods of representation, sound as a component of landscape, augmented aurality and digital tools for sound representation
  • Biophilic Design for improving health and well-being
  • Illustration; digital and traditional
  • The theory and practice of illustration in advertising and design
  • Representational drawing and painting techniques
  • The Atelier system
  • Colour Theory

Study style


Entry requirements

  • MA by Research/MRes: at least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area
  • PhD: a master’s degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic - candidates who do not possess a master’s degree that includes research methods training at an advanced level are required to complete research methods training
  • All applicants will be interviewed to ascertain experience, aptitude and current level of innovation, creativity and critical thinking. The interview will also be an opportunity to identify an appropriate supervisory team
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other component) or equivalent


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

Profile image of Shelley Campbell

Student Focus

Shelley Campbell

My supervisors have provided invaluable leadership to carry me through my PhD, not with praise and cajoling remarks, but instead, through honest evaluation and their confidence that I have the wherewithal to carry out the work. I feel completely supported and part of a community.

Don Parker

Staff Profile

Dr. Don Parker

Academic Subject Leader for Design

"Don has studied and worked in graphic design, illustration, advertising, marketing and communications and has worked internationally as a designer and educator. His doctorate on advertising and consumer behaviour theory, drew conceptually and directly on advertising practice in its investigation of the effects on advertisers and consumers at the same time. He is currently looking to support PhD candidates researching into graphic design, advertising, marketing and communications with an emphasis on PAR (Practice as Research) in Design."


art and design show
Opportunity and time to explore innovative research practice through original, critical works. You have the choice to work on your own design, or with staff on international and external projects in collaborative research in our ongoing practice-based projects.
students talking
Benefit from personal support with renowned artists, photographers, and design professionals offering expert supervision.
art and design exhibition
We are dedicated to PaR (practice as research) and design thinking principles that move the work of the designer from the 20th-century artisan who responds to stimulus into the 21st-century design creative where your actions are at the centre of cultural change.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses

Call +44 (0)3330 141414