Art (MA by Research / MRes / PhD)

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Full-Time or Part-Time


Centre for Art and Photography, Cheltenham

An art research degree is not a continuation of studio practice or a residency, but instead asks you to place your work in relation to that 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 enable you to focus and refine detailed aspects of your practice that you locate very specifically in a range of knowledge fields that may or may not previously have been associated with fine art. It encourages you to explore more critically – and make connections with and between – the thoughts and actions of others, and your own imperatives as a practising artist.  

Through developing dialogues and exchanges within your supervisory team, and external connections made as part of your research, you will then be able to put forward your completed research project and take the first steps in expanding your connections with a larger artistic and academic community. Research students are encouraged to present conference papers, participate in seminars, public exhibitions and other forms of critical exchange, as part of the research process.

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

Research Areas

Staff 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.

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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.

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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.

Lady talking
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
Man talking
Presenting conference papers, participating in seminars, public exhibitions and other forms of critical exchange, as part of the research process are all opportunities supported by the school
Group looking at art
Benefit from personal support with renowned artists, photographers, and design professionals offering expert supervision

School of Arts

Our School of Arts provides specialist studios with the latest industry technology so you can develop your creative talent. You will collaborate with other artists and designers and be inspired by practising professionals to refine your own authentic voice.

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