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Art and Design Research MA/MPhil/PhD MA

About the course

Art and design research at DMU is organised into three clusters: Design and New Product Development; Fine Art Practices; and Photographic Studies and Creative Imaging. Theoretical and practice-based research is interrelated, with research in art and design history and theory interwoven into research in each of the clusters. Much of our research exists at the boundaries between these clusters and may draw upon one or more of the categories. We welcome enquiries that embrace such interdisciplinary approaches.

Key facts

Duration: MA one year full-time, two years part-time, MPhil two years full-time, four years part-time, PhD three years full-time, six years part-time

Location: Fletcher Building

Entry and admission criteria

MPhil and MA/MSc by Research
A first degree normally equivalent to a First or 2:1 British honours degree in a relevant discipline. MPhil/PhD

A first degree normally equivalent to a First or 2:1 British honours degree or master’s degree (for direct entry to PhD) preferably obtained within the last five years in a discipline relevant to the research study.

Teaching and assessment

A research degree in art and design can be undertaken either as a creative practice-based course or as a course involving the production of a thesis. You are normally registered for an MPhil with transfer possibility to PhD. In certain cases, direct registration for PhD is possible. We provide MPhil/PhD students with one first supervisor and up to two second supervisors. 

Full-time research degree students are expected to undertake at least 35 hours a week of study throughout the year. Part-time students are expected to undertake 12 hours per week. This will include meeting regularly with your supervisor, as set out in the Code of Practice for Research Degree Students. 

We offer highly regarded training for all research students. On enrolment you will be asked to assess your training needs in liaison with your supervisor(s), and you will be informed which compulsory training components you need to take as part of your registration. The Research Training Programme, which complements the specific training you will receive for your research project, helps to broaden your understanding of research methodology, ethics and data analysis, and develop more generic skills management. Some of these courses, which are relevant to all research students, are obligatory but there are also a number of optional courses which may benefit you, such as advanced statistical analysis using specific software or Enterprise in Research. This training programme is a particular strength of the research courses at DMU and has been complemented by external review bodies such as the Quality Assurance Agency.

On the completion of your studies, the results of your research will normally be presented for assessment as a written thesis (approximately 80,000 words in English) or, for creative/practical work, in the form of appropriate electronic media, a live performance, an exhibition or an installation plus a smaller thesis.

Industry links and professional accreditation


A large proportion of our lecturers are active practitioners and specialists in their field, including for example, working as architects, choreographers, composers, interior designers, journalists, new product developers, public relations consultants.

This ensures that you will learn real world skills that are in touch with the commercial sector, the latest technologies and current thinking.

Our creative staff also work as authors, composers, performers, freelance designers, practising fine artists and photographers who exhibit or perform internationally.

Other lecturers are involved in world class research and consultancy which enhances the quality of our teaching. Current projects range from digital media and holography to textile materials, fine art sculpture and the built environment, film and Hollywood to Women's TV History.

Our expertise in innovation has led us to advise regional businesses on developing new products. We are currently leading an initiative in resource efficient design for the retail supply chain. We also conduct consultancy and training for a number of clients including George at Asda, Oxford Instruments and Halfords and our major expertise in knowledge transfer and exchange offers benefits to a range of industrial partners.

Other members of our staff have connections with media organisations such as Amanda Blue independent award winning television producer 'Prescott the Class System and Me', 'World's Oldest Mother', Supernanny, 'Big School lottery' 'Young Black Farmers'

We also have partnerships and collaborations with the city's creative and cultural centres. These include Phoenix Square, The Curve Theatre and Leicester Comedy Festival    

De Montfort University is highly rated by employers and offers excellent links with industry, the creative and cultural world, and the professions.


Fees and funding

We have yet to set our fees and funding options for 2016/17 entry

Additional costs

Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources and research environment, including the Kimberlin Library, specialist workshops and studios, and a wide range of research seminars and training. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional research costs, which will vary depending on the nature of your research. You are encouraged to consider these as you develop your research proposal, and to discuss what they may be with your supervisor



Learn more about postgraduate funding and finance



The Fletcher Building, home to art and design courses, has excellent facilities that support a range of art and design disciplines. These include suites of high performance multimedia equipment, including design studios with CAD software. Prototyping workshops allow you to develop your ideas into models. Photography studios include digital and traditional cameras, a digital imaging lab and darkroom, DV camcorders and digital editing suites. A range of individual study areas, studios and workshops allow development of artistic ideas.

There is also a materials shop, where you can buy all the art and design equipment you will need for your course for very reasonable prices.


How to apply

For all MA/MPhil/PhD degrees you should apply via a University Application form.

Visit the Graduate School Office website for more information.


Contact details


For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form
UK Study enquiries: 0116 250 6070
International study enquiries: +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70


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