Research ( full-time, part-time)
January 2018, April 2018, September 2018
MPhil: 1-3 years (full-time), 2-4 years (part-time).
PhD via progression from MPhil, including that period: 2-5 years (full-time), 3-6 years (part-time).
PhD: 2-5 years (full-time), 3-6 years (part-time).
Distance-learning supervision available on this course.
This course is located in the Cambridge School of Art. Find out more about our research.
Our PhD research programmes will allow you to explore your own interests in the area of graphic design and typography, supported by the expertise of our staff.
Informed by your particular discipline, you’ll frame your research within the context of current critical debates, examining modern production and dissemination methods used both nationally and internationally. Your research can be practice-led and conducted primarily through design projects.
You’ll be allocated two supervisors, with additional staff members available if necessary. Our supervisors are experienced in most areas of graphic design and typography, with a focus on type design and type history.
At Cambridge School of Art, you’ll be part of a vibrant and growing community of researchers working in many different fields. We provide various research forums that accentuate the interdisciplinary nature of our research, including the Typographic Research Group, and have strong links with many professional organisations, including Atypi, Typographic Research Initiative, Typecon (USA) and various critical and professional journals. You’ll have the chance to participate in publications, exhibitions and conferences, gaining valuable research experience and contributing to Cambridge School of Art’s critical culture.
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.
You’ll be supervised and supported by staff who have recognised expertise in both professional practice and research of graphic design and typography, at national and international level. Our staff include:
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.
Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.
Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.
We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.
Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.
We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.
You’ll have the chance to work in our industry-standard Mac suites, outstanding printmaking, letterpress, and 3D workshops, as well as access to the University of Cambridge Library, our own campus library and Ruskin Gallery, our professional digital art gallery, which shows touring exhibitions of international standing as well as student work.
Our Faculty has a dedicated PhD room, where our doctoral students can all meet up to work and take an active part in our postgraduate student community.
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 conference organisation and giving papers. You might also be able to take on teaching responsibilities in Cambridge School of Art, or organise research events such as conferences and seminars.
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.
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 most candidates for PhD with progression from MPhil. If you want to apply for direct entry to the PhD route, you’ll also need to provide academic justification for this with your application.
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.
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