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Postgraduate research

Photography PhD

University of Gloucestershire

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.

PhD research enables photographers to progress their career by enabling their practice to develop, especially through the production of a large body of coherent work. PhD researchers also establish 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 opportunities 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 photography area you wish to immerse yourself in. All research students have access to the amazing facilities and equipment at Hardwick Campus and are encouraged to make use of them in the production of their work.

Research areas

Areas of expertise:

  • Landscape Photography
  • Photography and ecology
  • Documentary photography
  • Photojournalism

Students who have completed their research include:

  • Intuition, expertise and judgement in the capture and assessment of photographic images including digital photos and imaging
    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.

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Entry requirements

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

    • 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.

    • Please provide a copy of your research proposal. This should be 1,000 words (excluding references and appendices) following the structure outlined in this research proposal guide.

      Please note; we’re unable to process applications without a proposal for the School’s consideration. Not supplying one will delay the processing of applications.

Fees and costs

Start date Course code Fee (UK)
Fee per year
Fee (international)
Fee per year
October 2024 £3,400 £8,525
February 2025 £3,400 £8,525
October 2025 TBC TBC
February 2026 TBC TBC

Ready to apply?

Can't see your research area listed?

With research submitted in each of our research areas judged to be internationally excellent according to the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF2021), our research supervisors have a broad range of specialisms across a diverse range of subjects.

Get in touch to find out how we can support your research interests by emailing admissions@glos.ac.uk.

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 Creatives 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.

Join our community

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

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