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Postgraduate research



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What is Photography PhD?

A photography research degree offers you the opportunity to explore innovative practice as research through the production of an original body of work. You’ll develop your practice from a coherent research process – demonstrating a critical appreciation of the context of production and siting. You’ll draw upon and extend existing literature and practices, and you’ll 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.

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.

Research areas

Our current research community offers supervision in areas such as:

  • Intuition, expertise and judgement in the capture and assessment of photographic images
    Researcher Bob Ryan, Supervisors Prof. Barry Davies, Dr Julia Peck
  • Indecisive Moments: an exploration of the photograph in relation to the temporal dimension of liminality
    Researcher Caroline Silverwood-Taylor, Supervisors Nat Goodden, Richard Salkeld

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

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

Entry requirements

    • We actively encourage applications from students from a range of diverse backgrounds who demonstrate appropriate research experience and achievement

    • 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 £3,333 £6,667
Oct 2021 Park, Cheltenham £3,333 £6,667
Feb 2022 Distance Learning £3,333 £6,667
Feb 2022 Park, Cheltenham £3,333 £6,667
Oct 2022 Distance Learning
Oct 2022 Park, Cheltenham
Feb 2023 Distance Learning
Feb 2023 Park, Cheltenham

Industry links

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

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.

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.

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.

Smiling student sitting at a table

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

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