PhD in Art

An art research degree offers you the opportunity to explore your innovative practice as research through the production of an original body of work and to place your work in relation to the work of other practitioners in a contemporary and historical context. You’ll draw upon and extend existing knowledge and practices, and you’ll show that the research makes an original contribution to knowledge.

Typically, we’ll help you to focus and refine detailed aspects of your practice as a research process – aspects which may or may not have previously been associated with art practice or other exploratory and creative forms of research. We’ll encourage you to more critically examine the thoughts and actions of others, as well as your own imperatives as a practising artist and/or art researcher.

You’ll develop a thesis in parallel with practice-based research, and we’ll help you focus on appropriate developments of your practice for pursuing your as research and work with you to refine appropriate forms of discourse and dissemination.

Alternatively, a PhD in Art can be wholly historical or theoretical, conforming to the conventions of traditional written theses. For some candidates, PhD research enables them to progress their career by establishing their research capabilities and credentials in an academic context. For others, the opportunity to examine practices in depth, to make a rigorous and original contribution to knowledge, can be an end in itself. For all those who commit to the PhD process, it represents an opportunity to rigorously examine a passion or interest that is both personally meaningful, and results in a high-level qualification concluding through the viva process in detailed peer review.

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 online and offline: or travelling to meet with key figures from the area you wish to immerse yourself in.

Research areas

You’ll be supported by staff whose specialisms include:

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

For more details please see here

Entry Requirements

  • A master’s degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic


This programme is self-funded

University of Gloucestershire Campus

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