Research ( full-time, part-time)
January, April 2019, September
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.
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. At Cambridge School of Art, we combine the traditions of our past with the possibilities afforded by the latest technologies.
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 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.
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.
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 for a place. If have to pay bench fees this will be stated in your offer letter.
For 2018/19 the bench fee bands are:
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 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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