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Art and Design Research Degrees

Learn about the course below
October 2023
January 2024
See Fees and Funding tab for details

Create lasting solutions to real-world problems with ground-breaking research, utilising the expertise and facilities at our School of Art and Design.

Why study an Art and Design Research Degree at Middlesex University?

As a research student at Middlesex you will be in a working atmosphere where creative practice and creative thinking is encouraged and will be working with and learning from high profile academics in curating, fine art, communication arts, architecture and design. You will have opportunities to gain work experience in curating, lecturing, events organisation and publishing with a range of organisations including the ICA, National Maritime Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Bloomsbury Publishing and Tate

Course highlights

  • A programme of University wide training, regular training events with the School of Media and Performing Arts, tailor made school research seminars and dedicated subject specific reading groups
  • Support to attend conferences to present papers
  • Access to workshops
  • Base room in the new Grove
  • Your own new laptop for the course of your studies
  • Building with tea and coffee making facilities, lockers, PCs, telephones
  • A vibrant group of over 40 research students who provide a supportive peer group

What will you study on an Art and Design Research degree?

We offer the following research degrees:

MA by Research

We offer an MA by Research, which involves writing and researching a thesis. You'll need knowledge and understanding of existing research or scholarship in a chosen field – and its clear presentation in a dissertation. The taught elements of this course are integral to the degree and your progression will be dependent on satisfactory progress.

This programme is offered full-time or part-time

You can study this degree in one of two ways:

  • Wholly by thesis (30,000 words max)
  • Partly in non-written form (15,000 words max)

MPhil and PhD

The difference between an MPhil and PhD, in essence, relates to the contribution you make to existing knowledge on the research topic that you've selected. A PhD contributes new knowledge beyond what's currently available. An MPhil contributes new understanding of existing knowledge, by way of a critical review or evaluation.

The taught elements of this course are integral to the degree and your progression will be dependent on satisfactory progress.

This programme is offered full-time or part-time

The MPhil/PhD programme allows for two routes:

  • Text-based research project  - the figures are 40,000 and 80,000 maximum
  • Mixed mode, visual research/textual research project - you'll need an appropriate presentation of visual research and a text of up to 20,000 words (MPhil) or 40,000 (PhD).

Please note that all of our PhD students initially enrol on an MPhil and then transfer to a PhD degree.

If you have any further questions regarding the MPhil and PhD programmes in the  Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, please contact Professor Vida Midgelow.

ArtsM and ArtsD

We offer an ArtsM and ArtsD qualification, designed for practitioners of advanced standing to allow them to create a piece of work at the cutting edge of practice – with a text of up to 10,000 words for ArtsM level and 20,000 words for Arts D level.

This is a validated programme and research training is integral to the programme.

This course is usually completed part-time.

PhD by Public Works

The Doctor of Philosophy by Public Works, which allows a researcher who has made a significant contribution to knowledge through their own work to gain recognition by means of the award of PhD.

This course is offered full-time and part-time but is usually completed part-time.

You may need research methods or other training to write your context statement.

How is an Art and Design Research Degree taught?

Academic support and guidance is constantly available, whether you work individually or as part of a team. There are regular research tutorials, plus seminars and meetings with research students, staff and guest speakers.

Expert supervision

Two supervisors are allocated to each research student. Projects sometimes have three supervisors – particularly if they're interdisciplinary or joint visual/textual projects.

Your supervisors will act as personal tutors, helping you to clarify your initial objectives, structure your research and develop supplementary skills. They also advise on subject reading, relevant taught courses, research seminars and workshops.

There may be a choice of supervisors but this will be discussed with you before you enrol. It's important that both you and the School are happy about the supervisory arrangements – and that we feel we are able to supervise the research as well as it can be.

We won't accept a project if we don't feel that we have the appropriate expertise to offer in that area and we may have to turn down projects if the appropriate supervisors are fully committed with existing students.

The student/supervisor relationship is important, and normally discussions are necessary between you and the intended supervisors before the proposals are finally accepted – or otherwise.

Find out more about the research interests and areas of expertise our supervisors.

Collaborations with external partners

If you're working in partnership with an external organisation, you may be jointly supervised by academics from Middlesex University and the collaborating partner.

Where collaboration is involved, you should ensure that from the outset the responsibilities for provision of fees, equipment and any other resources are fully understood and accepted by the partners.

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We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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