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MRes Arts

The MRes Arts (Master of Research) is a qualification specifically aimed at makers, designers and thinkers who wish to undertake an independent, critical and creative study within and across the disciplines offered by the university.

Course Information

Our MRes Arts programme aims to develop your research skills and provide a good preparation for doctoral study.

We provide an opportunity for individuals from a range of creative and academic backgrounds to gain a critical appreciation of maker cultures to advance innovative research practices in the arts.

The MRes Arts offers a unique foundation for innovative research in the arts, media, performance, design and architecture. It asks you to engage in a socially and ethically responsible research practice where making, in its varied manifestations across the arts, occupies a central part of the research approach. You will be encouraged to develop new ways of looking, reading and understanding our interaction with things, the environment and each other. You will follow a programme of study which combines practical and theoretical approaches to making and maker cultures, emphasising the knowledge and skills needed for doctoral study.

You will be supported in developing your own disciplinary, or cross-disciplinary research area by engaging with the diverse expertise across the Arts University Bournemouth. You will develop mastery in the theories, methods and practices of research through independent study and a taught programme of lectures, seminars and workshops offered by researchers and professionals working in the field.

Central to the course is your Independent Research Project, which is developed from your initial proposal submitted as part of your application. The Independent Research Project will combine documentation of practical work, critical reflection and contextualisation into an integrated thesis of 15,000-20,000 words.

On completion of the course, you will have gained intellectual, technical and professional skills which will allow you to conduct high-quality research. This will prepare you for further study at doctoral level (PhD) or as part of research-led projects in the creative and cultural industries.

As part of the course you will:

  • Create and take part in current critical practice and debate at the forefront of your discipline.
  • Gain skills in research, analysis, conceptualisation, argumentation, presentation and complex problem-solving.
  • Develop confidence for PhD study.
  • Develop the necessary competence for initiating and managing advanced research projects in the creative and cultural industries.

The course comprises of three units of study:

  • Research Practices in the Arts: an introduction to practical and theoretical approaches to research (60 credits).
  • Independent Research Project 1: independent exploration of your research question through experimentation, case study or pilot study, to test your methodological approach (60 credits).
  • Independent Research Project 2: synthesis of your research findings and presentation of your investigation (60 credits).

Dr. Willem de Bruijn

Willem de Bruijn is the course leader for MRes Arts. Willem studied architecture at Delft University of Technology and KTH Stockholm...

Emma Shercliff Headshot

Dr. Emma Shercliff

Emma worked as a freelance fashion textile designer in Paris prior to returning to the UK to pursue an academic career...

The MRes Arts offers a great opportunity for anyone working in the arts to develop advanced research skills, either in preparation for PhD study or any other ambitious research project within the arts sector.

Dr. Emma Shercliff, Course Leader

How to apply

To apply, you’ll need to complete an application form on our online application portal. You’re required to include a project proposal which outlines your specific area of interest and your focus for investigation, as well as a personal statement which explains your motivation for applying for this programme of study, and any relevant experience or skills. We can only accept candidates with projects which are aligned to our staff expertise. If you have any queries about the course, please contact one of the course tutors: Dr Emma Shercliff or Dr Willem de Bruijn.

We aim to interview all applicants who demonstrate the potential to succeed on the course. Interviews are used to assess whether you have the necessary skills and capabilities and whether this programme is appropriate to your interests and aspirations.

For those who want to do research at the forefront of their discipline and look beyond their discipline to share knowledge and ideas, the MRes Arts provides a unique platform for discussion and debate across the arts, design, media, performance and architecture.

Dr. Willem de Bruijn, Course Leader
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