Studying a creative research degree at UCA means joining a vibrant and progressive top ten research community with a wealth of specialist resources for creative research and practice.

Joining us for your creative PhD will give you an unparalleled opportunity to delve into an area of research that is relevant to your ambitions and aspirations.

You'll be part of our imaginative, supportive research community at our UCA Doctoral College, where you'll have a regular base to design your own studies, explore your chosen field, make academic connections and develop unique and impressive doctoral work.

For details on our Vice-Chancellor Studentships, click here.

The Application Portal for our PhD intake in September 2024 is now OPEN. It will close on 10 April 2024. Please note that the application requires you to upload a 2-minute video presenting your proposal, and a writing sample (details and instructions are on the application form).

at UCA

A PhD is an advanced postgraduate qualification where you plan and complete your own focused investigation into a subject you have chosen and produce a piece of original research that contributes new knowledge to the research community.

A PhD is the highest-level academic qualification, and undertaking a PhD equips you be an independent researcher, ready to take your place in your field in academia or in the many jobs where research skills are important.

At the UCA Doctoral College, students undertake PhDs in a variety of creative subjects, from advancing the potential of the photobook, to exploring the relationship between dance and drawing.

Before making the decision to do a PhD, it is important to understand the nature of this programme and how this differs from Masters’-level study.

Find out more on

As a research student at UCA, you have the option of writing a full (80-100,000 word) thesis, or to undertake a thesis of 40-50,000 words combined with creative practice.

You can choose to study either full-time or part-time, however part-time study is not available to international students.

The pathway to PhD begins with enrolment in our Masters by Research degree, which includes an intensive taught course in October that is on site, the successful completion of which results in progression onto our doctoral programme (a further two years plus optional writing up year).

Throughout your studies, you will be supervised by the school who have experience in your area of your research. Your supervisors will not ‘teach’ you, but will act in a mentoring role, providing feedback and encouragement and helping you to develop the research required for a PhD qualification. Please look through our website to see the extensive collections and facilities that you can access during your studies.

Many students collaborate with their supervisors and the wider UCA research community, both during and after their studies.

View our Research Staff Profiles

UCA is a creative university with a range of specialisms. Your study could focus on any of the disciplines, including:

  • Animation
  • Architecture
  • Business for the Creative Industries
  • Computer Arts and Visual Effects
  • Crafts
  • Fashion
  • Film, Television and Media
  • Fine Art and Digital Art
  • Games and Creative Technology
  • Graphic Design and Illustration
  • Interior, Product and Spatial Design
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Photography
  • Visual Communications
  • The history and theory of art, design, architecture, visual culture and material culture

If you have a proposal and are not sure whether we have expertise in this, please get in touch with our office: