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Research (MPhil/PhD)

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Research (MPhil/PhD)

We offer research programmes, leading to an MPhil or PhD in and across the areas of art, design, architecture, media and performance. Research degrees can be awarded for theoretical or practice-based subjects.

Research Degree Overview

A research degree entails a programme of self-directed independent study with the support of an experienced supervisory team.

Research degrees are doctoral level awards which are the highest level of academic degree.

A PhD is awarded following successful completion of a research project and thesis which offers a significant new contribution to knowledge in the chosen subject area.

An MPhil is a postgraduate research master's degree that is awarded following completion of a research project and thesis.

AUB’s research degrees are awarded in partnership with University of the Arts London.

Length of study

Please note, students who need a visa to study in the UK must study full-time.

Qualification Study Type Duration



2-4 years



3-8 years



15 months - 3 years



2-6 years

How to apply


The minimum entry requirement is an upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent from a recognised higher education institution.

However, you'll normally be expected to have a Master’s level qualification in an appropriate subject. A Master’s is considered to be a particularly valuable preparation for the academic and intellectual demands of an MPhil or PhD.

In some instances, applicants without the minimum academic requirement may be considered for a place if they can demonstrate appropriate alternative qualifications, relevant professional experience, or previous research and an understanding of research methodologies appropriate to their proposed programme of study.

Applicants should be aware that meeting our minimum entry requirements does not guarantee entry. This is only one of the factors taken into account when we make our decision.

Many other factors are also important, such as the availability of suitable supervisors and resources; suitability for research degree study at AUB; relevant experience; and references.

The quality of your research is the most important element of your application.

English language

If English isn't your first language, you'll need to meet our English language entry requirements by providing one of the following:

  • A recent AUB approved English Language Test (ELT) - such as IELTS 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and with no other component score lower than 6.0, or an equivalent test score

Your qualification needs to have been awarded no more than two years prior to your enrolment date.

You can apply before you receive your English Language Test or MA certificate. If you're offered a place, you'll need to show your qualification before enrolment.

Requirements for distance learning overseas online applicants:

In addition to meeting the standard academic and language eligibility requirements, applicants to the distance learning overseas online mode need to demonstrate that they:

  • Can successfully conduct their research with the resources available to them at their distance learning place of study;
  • Have access to appropriate IT facilities, so that they can engage in supervision and training from their distance learning place of study:
  • Have the necessary time, commitment, and appropriate attitude toward distance learning online study

Students on this mode do not hold a Student Visa so cannot enter the UK for the purpose of study or access AUB physical resources or buildings. Distance Learning Students have access to online resources available to all PGR students.

Using the guidelines in the downloads button, draft a research proposal. Your research proposal is the most critical component of your research degree application. It will form the basis for discussion at your interview, and if your application is successful your proposal will also be used as the starting point for the Registration process, so do take your time with this.

You can submit your proposal for initial consideration to the research office or +441202 363334. The research office is also happy to answer any questions or provide an initial discussion about your MPhil/PhD topic and/ or application.

The next deadline for entry to commence study in September 2024 is 30 May 2024.

Please apply via our online Application Portal.

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