Research ( full-time, part-time)
January 2019, 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 research degree will allow you to explore your own interests in the area of fine art, supported by the expertise of our staff at Cambridge School of Art.
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 contemporary fine art, including recent issues in painting and the expanded field of contemporary practice; objects, installation and the virtual; interdisciplinary work with sound and video; performance art practices and their relationship to liveness and documentation; the interdisciplinary nature of printmaking; and landscape, mapping and ambulatory practices.
At Cambridge School of Art, you’ll be part of a vibrant and growing community of researchers at PhD level. We provide various research forums that accentuate the discursive and interdisciplinary nature of research, including the Fine Art Research Unit (FARU), which holds regular seminars and informal presentations for postgraduate and research students, and the StoryLab Research Institute.
At our FARU sessions you can present your work-in-progress, as well as hearing staff-led papers and engaging in discussions on our current research and related topics. You’ll benefit from our strong links with institutions in the UK and abroad, including Kettle's Yard, Cambridge Arts Picturehouse and the Cambridgeshire Film Consortium; Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Camberwell College of Arts and Central St Martins in London; ERBA Valence and ENSA Bourges, France. You’ll also have access to many exhibition and conference opportunities.
You’ll be supervised and supported by staff who have published and exhibited nationally and internationally. Our publications include: La Peinure Presque Abstraite (Arles, 2009); Rob Holyhead Paintings (Riding House, 2009), Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music (2009); Reconstructing the Old House catalogue (2009); and Environmental Apocalypse in Science and Art (Routledge, 2013). Our exhibitions include Rob Holyhead, Karsten Schubert, London; David Ryan in De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (2010); 'Crossing Abstraction', Kunstraum Bethianen, Berlin (2009); and Benet Spencer in Reconstructing the Old House, Nunnery Gallery, London (2009).
Our staff’s expertise includes:
Veronique Chance: photography, video and print media and intermedial/performative approaches to these, through shared language and the deployment of technology.
David Ryan: abstraction and indeterminacy in painting and music; the relationship of sound and image in recent video work.
Dr Nina Lübbren: nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century art, art and the fantastic, Bollywood cinema, visual narratives.
Martin Salisbury: children's book illustration, painting for exhibition, the study of theory and practice in illustration.
Will Hill: typography and graphic design, use of visual language, design of experimental display typefaces and revivals and historic references in type design.
Paul Marris: film, narrative and sociological and interpretative methodologies.
Benet Spencer: contemporary attitudes in painting; relation of painting to architectural practices.
Robert Holyhead: recent abstract painting; relationship of painting to exhibition practices and installation.
Dr Sergio Fava: art and science intersections, environmental art, qualitative research methods, relations between visual culture and religion.
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 printmaking and sculpture workshops, photography dark rooms, life drawing studio, and computer suites for video production and digital imaging, as well as four Mac suites with Adobe Creative Suite software and high-quality 27-inch monitors.
You’ll also have access to the world-famous University of Cambridge Library as well as our own campus library resources, and local art galleries like Kettle's Yard. And you’ll be able to use our Faculty’s PhD room, where all our doctoral students can meet up to work and take an active part in our postgraduate student community.
The UK, EU & International 2018/19 Bench fees will range between £1000 to £7000.
Initial registration: £1100
Full registration: £3500
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.
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.
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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