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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

PhD

Full-time

2-4 years

PhD

Part-time

3-8 years

MPhil

Full-time

15 months - 3 years

MPhil

Part-time

2-6 years

How to apply

Qualifications

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 is not 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 2 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 researchoffice@aub.ac.uk 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.

Postgraduate Research degree – full-time/part-time

Postgraduate Research degree (distance learning) – full-time/part-time

The deadline for applications commencing October 2022 is 30 May 2023. Applications must be submitted through the online application portal. There is one deadline for applications and applications are normally only processed after the deadline. It may take a few weeks for your application to be assessed by AUB.

Although we welcome applications for study towards a research degree throughout the year, we have one point of entry, in the autumn, at the start of each academic year.

Selected applicants will be invited to attend a formal interview to discuss their proposal.

Applicant interviews may be held in person or conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams or similar platform.

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Short courses

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Portfolio preparation

Portfolio Guidelines

Portfolios should show examples of your work – both finished and work in progress – that demonstrate your interests and skills