Photography (MA by Research / MRES / PhD)

hanging up a picture on the wall

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Centre for Art and Photography, Cheltenham

A PhD in Photography offers you the opportunity to explore innovative practice as research through the production of an original body of work.

You will develop your practice from a coherent research process, demonstrate a critical appreciation of the context of production and siting, draw upon and extend existing literature and practices, and show that the research makes an original contribution to knowledge.

Alternatively, a PhD in Photography can be wholly historical or theoretical, conforming to the conventions of a traditional written theses.

For some candidates PhD research enables them to progress their career by enabling their research to develop, and by establishing their research capabilities and credentials. The final resulting work can be submitted for publication or exhibition to appropriate contexts. For others, the PhD represents an opportunity to commit to a passion or interest that is both personally meaningful, and results in a high-level qualification. PhD supervision offers opportunities for networking, discussing and resolving the siting of the new knowledge/body of work, and also results in the candidates achieving a set of higher skills which can be applied to a wide range of contexts.

Researchers have the opportunity to study, discuss or exhibit their work, engaging with colleagues from a range of areas via seminars, symposia and conferences both on-line and off-line: or travelling to meet with key figures from the area you wish to immerse yourself in.

Our staff work in transdisciplinary supervisory teams with external experts to ensure that your research is supported at the highest level.

Research Areas:

Our current research community offers supervision in areas such as;‘Intuition, expertise and judgement in the capture and assessment of photographic images’. Bob Ryan Supervisors: Prof. Barry Davies, Dr Julia Peck

‘Indecisive Moments: an exploration of the photograph in relation to the temporal dimension of liminality’. Caroline Silverwood-Taylor Supervisors: Nat Goodden, Richard Salkeld

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.

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."


centre of art and photography
Presenting conference papers, participating in seminars, public exhibitions and other forms of critical exchange, as part of the research process are all opportunities support by the school.
Setting up an exhibition
Opportunity to challenge your own practice and ideas in a community of practitioners and academics with a deep commitment to discourse and exchange around their subject and field(s) of knowledge.
Student taking a photograph
Benefit from personal support with renowned artists, photographers, and design professionals offering expert supervision.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses

Call +44 (0)3330 141414