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Postgraduate research



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What is Art PhD?

An art research degree isn’t a continuation of studio practice or a residency, but instead asks you to place your work in relation to the work of other practitioners in a contemporary and historical context. Originality can consist of different combinations of existing knowledge, as a means of demonstrating original practice.

Typically we’ll help you to focus and refine detailed aspects of your practice – aspects which may or may not have previously been associated with fine art. We’ll encourage you to more critically explore the thoughts and actions of others, as well as your own imperatives as a practising artist.

You’ll write a thesis in parallel with the practice-based research, demonstrating an original contribution to knowledge. We’ll help you focus on the appropriate practice for pursuing your research, and refine appropriate forms of discourse and dissemination.

Research areas

You’ll be supported by staff whose specialisms include:

  • art and biblical interpretation
  • Ethiopian artistic and architectural heritage
  • curatorial practice
  • socially engaged practice
  • curation in a community context
  • contemporary painting
  • Modernism re-explored in contemporary fine art practice
  • agendas around art and wellbeing
  • concrete poetry
  • artists’ publishing
  • contemporary drawing practice and pedagogy
  • sculpture
  • and the extended field in relation to performance and video.

This research contributes to the research priority area Being Human: Past, Present and Future and Creative Practice as Research.

Get Art PhD course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

    • MA or MSc 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

Course modules


Fees and costs

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Fee (UK)
per year
Fee (international)
per year
Oct 2021 Distance Learning £5,000 £10,000
Oct 2021 Hardwick, Cheltenham £5,000 £10,000
Feb 2022 Distance Learning £5,000 £10,000
Feb 2022 Hardwick, Cheltenham £5,000 £10,000
Oct 2022 Distance Learning
Oct 2022 Hardwick, Cheltenham
Feb 2023 Distance Learning
Feb 2023 Hardwick, Cheltenham

Industry links

By developing your ideas within your supervisory team, and external connections made through your research, you’ll put forward your completed research project and take the first steps in expanding your connections with a larger artistic and academic community.

Develop your ideas

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.

Students on the Illustration course smiling whilst looking at a mobile phone in the Illustration studio

Present your research

The School of Arts can help you with opportunities to present conference papers and participate in seminars, public exhibitions and other forms of critical exchange – all as part of your research process.

Art canvas on easel with paintbrushes in pot

Join our community

You’ll benefit from personal support with renowned Artists, Photographers, and design professionals offering expert supervision.

Photography student in a dark studio with lighting on a product

"I feel completely supported and part of a community"

“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.”

Shelley Campbell, research student

woman leaning against brick wall

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