Research ( full-time, part-time)
January, April, September
MPhil: Full-time, from 1 to 3 years. Part-time, from 2 to 4 years.
PhD via progression from MPhil, including that period: Full-time, from 2.5 to 5 years. Part-time, from 3.5 to 6 years.
PhD: Full-time, from 2 to 4 years. Part-time, from 3 to 6 years.
For further guidance on the duration of Research Degrees please refer to the Research Degrees Regulations.
Distance-learning supervision available on this course.
This course is located in the Cambridge School of Art. Find out more about our research.
Explore your research interests in art and design - from computer games art, to illustration and photography - supported by the expertise of our staff, on our PhD programme in Cambridge.
Find out more about studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.
Informed by your particular discipline, you’ll critically contextualise your work, clarifying both theoretical and practical research-based enquiries, and producing distinctive contributions to the research field.
You’ll be allocated two supervisors, with additional staff members available if necessary. Our supervisors are experienced in most areas of art and design, including: creative practices that crossover between art and design, graphic design and typography; interior design (with a special interest in the role of light); design and identity; and fashion and psychology.
At Cambridge School of Art, you’ll be part of a vibrant and growing community of researchers at PhD level. We have various research forums that accentuate the discursive and interdisciplinary nature of research, such as our close links with our University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, and local and national arts institutions and practitioners.
All your subject-specific studies will be enhanced and supported by our University-wide training sessions, where you’ll gain important research expertise in areas like ethics, presentations, intellectual property and digital scholarship.
Distance-learning supervision is available on this course.
You’ll be supervised and supported by staff who have published and exhibited nationally and internationally. Our staff’s expertise includes:
Will Hill: type, lettering and the use of visual language in a wide range of contexts across the applied and the fine arts, including work on vernacular lettering in eastern Europe, the design of experimental display typefaces and research on revivals and historic references in type design.
Jon Melton: categorising and contextualising of display and ornamented types of the nineteenth century; eighteenth- and nineteenth-century applied arts, furniture, interiors and architecture.
Tim Kobin: the relationship between narrative and design.
Wendy Moody: fashion design, visualisation and art with neuroscience, psychology, consumer behaviour, retail and psychology.
Mark Hart: the interplay between mathematics, technology and materials, principally concentrating on 3D construction.
Tina Burton: artistic practice that incorporates physical technology, interactive installations, 2D game design (particularly for children), and theories of new media practice.
At Cambridge School of Art, we combine the traditions of our past with the possibilities afforded by the latest technologies.
Using our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond, we nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking to empower the makers and creators of the future.
Our academics excel at both practice and theory, making a real impact in their chosen fields, whether they are curating exhibitions, designing book covers or photographing communities in Africa. They are also regularly published in catalogues, books, journals and conference papers, their research classed as being of ‘international standing’, with some elements ‘world-leading’, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.
You’ll have the chance to work in our printmaking and sculpture workshops, photography dark rooms, life drawing studio, and computer suites for video production and digital imaging. You’ll also have access to four Mac suites with Adobe Creative Suite software, plus high-quality 27-inch monitors, as well as the University of Cambridge Library, our own campus library, Ruskin Gallery (our professional digital art gallery that shows touring exhibitions of international standing as well as student work), and local art galleries like Kettle's Yard.
In some cases extra costs known as bench fees will be charged for a postgraduate research degree. These are to cover additional/exceptional costs directly related to a specific research project.
Some examples of these costs are (the list is not exhaustive): equipment hire, access costs to specialist equipment/workshops, volunteer expenses, specialist tissue/cell culture, specialist reagents or materials, specialist software, access to specialist databases, data collection costs, specialist media, recording or digital storage needs.
We charge bench fees in bands. They may apply for every year of your course. These bands are the same for full- and part-time students.
If you have to pay bench fees this will be made clear at your interview, and stated in your offer letter.
For 2021/22 the bench fee bands are:
Initial registration: £1,300
Full registration: £4,000
Part time: £1,000
Full time: £1,800
Anglia Ruskin's academic excellence was recognised in 2014, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Twelve areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on economies, societies, the environment and culture in all corners of the globe.
We’ll provide you with many opportunities for career development and training, and encourage you to get involved with external activities like exhibiting, curating, conference organisation and giving papers.
In conjunction with University research support, you can request specific support for writing-up, conference papers, general research methods and other research skills if you need it.
If you're interested in finding out more about research study opportunities in this area, please email email@example.com
MPhil or PhD with progression from MPhil: You’ll need a Bachelor degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area.
PhD: You’ll need a Master degree or equivalent in a related subject area.
Please note we consider candidates for PhD with progression from MPhil in the first instance. If you want to be considered for direct entry to the PhD route then this can be discussed at interview if you are shortlisted. Please note you’ll also need to provide academic justification for this request.
If English is not your first language, you'll require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent test). If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.
Studying during COVID-19
Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face access to research resources in limited circumstances where access can be justified under movement restrictions. Visit our restrictions page for details. All assessments and supervision are currently conducted online.
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and related Government guidance, your research programme will be framed, wherever possible, to be conducted away from campus and in line with movement restrictions. For some types of research attendance on campus will be essential for some activities, and these activities will need to be undertaken in a COVID-19 safe manner in line with our risk management procedures.
In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place within the UK due to the pandemic, we may need all of our researchers to work online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.
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