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How we help you

Whether you have a clear research direction or just some emerging ideas, we can help you shape, strengthen and refine a PhD proposal.

We generally offer feedback on your proposal and can meet with you to discuss the first draft if desired. We have many areas of expertise and specialism, and can support research in other areas as well. We also encourage practice-based PhDs.

Our areas of expertise and specialism

Key areas of focus include:

  • exhibition practice
  • curation
  • publication projects
  • critical art writing
  • experimental film and video
  • performance

These are all underpinned by an emphasis on digital technologies as a format for the production, dispersion and interpretation of art.

Other specialisms include:

  • post-colonialism
  • de-colonisation
  • artist films
  • performance and subjectivity
  • theories of labour
  • feminism
  • radical art pedagogy.
While many students develop research proposals whose outcome will be a fully written thesis, we also support research that incorporates elements of art practice combined with critical reflection.
Get in touch with the School so we can help you develop your proposal. Find out how to apply for a PhD

PhD in Practice in Curating with Zurich University of the Arts

In partnership with Zurich University of the Arts, we have developed a practice-based doctoral programme, the PhD in Practice in Curating. 

This programme allows you to explore curating as a practice that is deeply involved in politics of display, politics of site, politics of translation and regimes of visibility. As well as writing a thesis, you will be assessed on practical research outputs such as exhibitions.

Learn more about the PhD in Practice in Curating

PhD supervision

Through the expert PhD supervision we offer, we seek to ensure that the time you spend with us as a doctoral student is as rewarding as possible.
Our academic staff are leaders in their areas of research and many have extensive experience as art practitioners.
Find out more about our staff and the areas of postgraduate research that they supervise

Our research

The School makes a distinctive contribution to knowledge through practice-led, theoretical and art historical modes of enquiry.
Our doctoral students, academic researchers, research fellows and post-doctoral research assistants work on art research and knowledge transfer with everyday relevance.
Learn more about our research areas, and current and past projects

Types of doctoral degree

Student using tablet while drinking tea in a cafe
You can choose a PhD by Thesis or PhD by Published Works. 

Part-time study

Smiling student sitting in a library with a notebook and a stack of books
Our Department offers both part-time and full-time PhDs, so you can choose a mode of study that suits your circumstances. 

PhD by Distance

Student sitting outside a cafe with a laptop and a cup of coffee
Our PhD by Distance programme allows you to benefit from the expertise of a Reading-based supervisor, while conducting your research in a different location.