How to apply for a research degree

Applying for a research degree is a process which involves discussion and consideration, it's much more than filling in the form.

Once you have looked at our research areas, and have a sense of how your project would fit in to our work here, we suggest you contact  the School’s Research Tutors for a discussion before applying.

As part of the application process, candidates are required to submit a research proposal with a maximum of 1000 words (Masters by Research) or 1000-2000 words (PhD). Assessors of research degree proposals pay particular attention to their relevance and feasibility.

Therefore, please make sure that these aspects of your proposal are explained well:

  • Make sure your proposed topic falls into the research areas covered by staff working in the School of Creative Arts.
  • Make sure the proposal is sufficiently narrow and has well specified boundaries. Broadly written proposals with vague research aims and fuzzy frameworks do not usually work well. Try to highlight the most recent secondary sources and other key material that have shaped your research. Think too about the research questions you are likely to pose - these should broadly relate to your secondary sources. We expect these to evolve as your research unfolds but it helps to be clear about the main thrust of your research early on.
  • If your proposed research project includes an element of your practice, make sure you clearly outline what the practice is likely to be and its likely role in the research.
  • PhD proposals should also outline the potential original contribution(s) of the proposed research to academic knowledge and its significance for non-academic parties (e.g. other practitioners, businesses, economy, society or public policy).
  • Finally, the style of presentation in the proposal should conform to the standards of academic writing. Where appropriate, provide appropriate citations in the text of the proposal and a bibliography of key texts at the end. Proof-read your proposal carefully before submitting it.

Read more about how to write a research proposal.