Our Courses

MPhil/PhD Research Degrees

If you aspire to know your subject in greater depth or make a significant academic contribution, a research degree could be the answer.

Research degrees are awarded in recognition of significant contributions to knowledge and scholarship produced through the development of original research through supervised, self-directed study.

Research Degree supervision is offered within or across both theoretical and practice-based programmes in art, design, architecture, media, performance and creative pedagogy where Arts University Bournemouth can provide appropriately qualified supervision. We particularly welcome applications aligned to our research groups including animation; creative pedagogies; fashion and textiles; and plastics in art and design.

The deadline for applications is 1 June 2018 for entry in September 2018.

You are encouraged to contact the Research Office or +44 1202 363334 for an initial discussion before making an application.

Course Outline

The MPhil / PhD Award at Arts University Bournemouth is validated by the University of the Arts London (UAL).

The format of study for a research degree (MPhil/PhD) is very different from a taught degree. As a research student you will engage in a programme of independent research and/or practice based work. Following discussion with the Director of Studies you will be assigned one, or sometimes two, second supervisors with whom you will plan your programme of research and with whom you will have regular tutorials to support your study throughout your time as a student.

Your research may combine the practice, theory and /or history of your specialist area and you will be guided in your study to define clearly and persuasively what is original and innovative about your chosen topic and how best to present and disseminate your arguments and findings, whether this is substantially a written thesis or via a combination of practice (for example, exhibition, installation) and text-based critique. Because of the individual nature of your study, your requirements (for example, for studio space or other specialist resources) will be discussed with your supervisor.

Students will register for full/part-time study, in the first instance for MPhil qualification and, following successful upgrade through Confirmation, for PhD.

As well as tutorials with your supervisors, you will participate in a programme of research methods training. In your first year of registration, there will be three separate weeks attendance in London at the University of the Arts London Research Network (RNUAL). This will be complemented by a separate programme to be attended regularly at AUB. Workshops will be provided, for example, on preparing a research proposal, presentation skills and writing skills.

The MPhil degree is awarded in recognition of a systematic, well documented and well argued study which demonstrates a degree of originality and critical awareness. It should also demonstrate a distinct contribution to scholarship. It is an award in its own right or, alternatively, it may be undertaken as preparation for a PhD.

The PhD is awarded in recognition of a significant contribution to knowledge and understanding. The thesis should contain material which is worthy of publication or public presentation. The doctorate must represent a more substantial individual achievement and demonstrate recognisably greater depth than an MPhil.

Duration of study

Full-time

  • PhD: 3 years (Maximum length 4 years)
  • MPhil: 2 years (Maximum length 3 years)

Part-time

  • PhD: 5 years (Maximum length 8 years)
  • MPhil: 3 years (Maximum length 6 years)