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Life in the Department

When you join the Department, you'll become part of a vibrant community of doctoral research that is continually pushing the boundaries of knowledge and striving for excellence. 

You'll have many opportunities to mix with other PhD students, meet expert researchers, and build your skills as you work on your doctoral studies.

Professor discussing material with PhD student while teaching collections based workshop
Mature student working in typeface design workshop

"I will remember my visits to the Department as an enriching personal and academic experience. 

I enjoyed a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and had interesting discussions with members of the staff. 

I was always welcomed to attend lectures either by the staff or other visitors at the Department." 

Niki Sioki, mature, part-time student, now Assistant Professor at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus


Boost your learning

Design lecturer pointing to detail on slide on large projector screen

You can widen your experience, enhance your expertise and develop as a researcher during your studies. 

Doctoral students are welcome to attend talks by visiting speakers in the Department – specialists in design research, practice and teaching – and join workshops, demonstrations and hands-on sessions by contributors to our study days and summer school. 

We offer support and development through the University's Doctoral and Researcher College programme of research training and our partnership with the Design Star Centre for Doctoral Training.

There are also opportunities for you to teach at undergraduate level.

Work spaces and facilities

Lettering printing blocks in historic type designs, part of the Typography collections

The Department offers a dedicated shared work space for students, alongside studios, meeting rooms, and a Reading Room featuring a wide range of specialist design books, journals and other publications that complement our collections and archives.  

We also have an equipped display space where students and staff co-curate research-led exhibitions, and a printing workshop for letterpress, lithography, and engraving where students explore and test historic print techniques and typographic practices.

Presenting your research

Academic delivering a lecture to a large audience of students

We support you to raise your profile among academic audiences through publishing, and by presenting your work at conferences and meetings, and symposia, seminars and other events organised by the Department. 

We also encourage our students to reach wider non-academic audiences through exhibitions and social media.

Collaborations and partnerships

Life-size cut outs of illustrated characters holding information on drug-resistant infection in a pharmacy setting

Building collaborations and partnerships can be hugely beneficial in connecting your research to audiences and users outside of academia. 

We have research-based links with the health and education sectors, charities and UK government agencies, and with publishers, libraries, museums and galleries. 

These links enable students to connect and collaborate with partners, apply their research ideas first-hand in real-world situations, and gain valuable insights. 

Find out more about our connections