MPhil Fine Art and Design

Study Mode Full-time
Year of Entry 2024/25
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Fine Art and Design

Full-time Art and design

Conduct a period of intensive, supervised study where you will critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic and demonstrate an understanding of suitable research methods.

Everything you need to know...

  • Pound sign

    What is the fee?

    Home: £4,786 per year
    International/EU: £17,205 per year

  • Time

    How long will I study?

    2 Years

  • Location

    Where will I study?

    City Campus

  • Date

    When do I start?

    October 2024
    February 2025
    May 2025

Course summary

  • Undertake Masters level research on a programme specialising in practice-led approaches, with outstanding student satisfaction ratings
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to become an effective researcher
  • Study within the exciting research environment of the Art, Design and Media Research Centre, Lab4Living or Design Futures


Deliver a programme of research with guidance from experienced supervisors and practitioners in fine art, design, or film & media production, with research interests in health and wellbeing, physical and digital making, and social and political challenges.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associates can enrol for an MPhil based on the project developed with the host company.

Creative UK membership

We are members of Creative UK, which means our art and design students are also members until they graduate. With 10,000 members in its network, Creative UK represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries, advocating on the issues that matter the most to creative communities.

Top 10 in the UK

We're top 10 in the UK for research impact in art and design (Research Excellence Framework 2021)

View our students' work

View our gallery of student work and learn more about the exciting projects they've been working on this year.

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How you learn

All our courses are designed around a set of key principles based on engaging you with the world, collaborating with others, challenging you to think in new ways, and providing you with a supportive environment in which you can thrive.

90% of our research in Art & Design was assessed as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in REF2021.  SHU is in the top 10 of UK universities for research impact in art and design.

You will work with a supervisory team with expertise in your research area who help you to define and plan your research project, agree associated training requirements, and provide direction while supporting you to develop as a researcher.  You will join a dynamic community of postgraduate researchers and have opportunities to share your work at SHU and beyond. 

You learn through:

  • independent study
  • project supervision
  • active research, making and exhibition (as appropriate)
  • practice-led research workshops and live projects
  • researcher development training events
  • presenting your research at conferences and seminars
  • participation in lively debate and discussion with your peers
  • writing and defending an MPhil practice-led thesis 

You will receive training on professional standards in research practice, including ethics and project management, and how to enhance your personal effectiveness as a researcher.  You will explore how to disseminate your research and establish an academic profile.  You will present at the Culture & Creativity Research Institute (CCRI) interdisciplinary conferences on the themes of research METHOD and research IMPACT, which provide a platform for focussed discussion on research process and practice and questions of application, audience, and impact. 

Your learning is supported by access to:

  • a dedicated Postgraduate Research Tutor for Fine Art, Design & Media practice, and PGR administration team
  • a library research support team and 24-hour access to library facilities
  • SHU Academic Skills Centre with sessions specifically for doctoral researchers
  • the University English Scheme for international students
  • a programme of support for doctoral student wellbeing

Look at the Art & Design Department's Instagram to see what innovations and creations our students have been working on.

Applied learning

Networking opportunities

Throughout your course you will have opportunities to interact with academics and specialists in your field.  Funds are available for you to present your work in professional academic settings at international and national conferences and/or in public exhibition and we will encourage you to seek opportunities to engage different audiences with your research.   All our research students make a vital contribution to the intellectual life of the University from the earliest stages of their research.

The Art, Design and Media Research Centre hosts stimulating seminar series featuring established academics and practitioners in the field, such as the highly regarded Transmission and Gravity, and international conferences such as Design for Health

CCRI is a partner in the AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Heritage.

SHU doctoral students are supported to enter the national ‘3-minute thesis’ competition

SHU art and design students are members of Creative UK. With 10,000 members, Creative UK represents, champions, and supports the UK’s creative industries, advocating on the issues that matter the most to creative communities

Live projects

Research in this area offers critical insights on cultural and political issues and explores specific social contexts.  Some projects are developed in collaboration with respected national and international organisations.  Recent partners include Sheffield Museums, S1 Artspace, Site Gallery, Bishops House, The Foundling Museum, The William Morris Gallery, the V&A, Freetown Christiania, the British Museum and English Heritage.

Future careers

An MPhil in fine art and design can help you prepare for a career in:

  • design
  • fine art practice
  • curation
  • design management
  • making or manufacturing
  • company-employed design
  • independent design practice
  • education
  • retail/marketing
  • design research
  • art research
  • academia

Previous graduates of this course have gone on to become professional practitioners, to work for international design companies and consultancies, and to gain PhD scholarships.

Where will I study?

You study at City Campus through a structured mix of lectures, seminars and practical sessions as well as access to digital and online resources to support your learning.

City Campus

City Campus is located in the heart of Sheffield, within minutes of the train and bus stations.

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City Campus map

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S1 1WB

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Adsetts library

Adsetts Library is located on our City Campus. It's open 24 hours a day, every day.

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Equipment and facilities

The university has exceptional fine art, design and media practice facilities, equipment and technical support, and screening facilities at 'The Void' film lecture theatre, which boasts cinema-standard 4K digital projection and two 40-year-old Westrex 7000 35mm projectors.  Research students have access to studio and exhibition space at S1 Artspace.

Two libraries provide 24-hour access, and a dedicated library research support team offer expert advice and training on all aspects of information and publishing.

Postgraduate researchers in the Culture and Creativity Research Institute have dedicated office space to work in, which we also use to host our community writing sessions.

We’ve invested over £100m in new facilities in the last five years, to help you study how and when you want. This means 24-hour libraries and study spaces designed by our student.

Entry requirements

All students

Please contact the relevant research area or centre to enquire about the entry requirements for this MPhil. Where English is not your first language, you must also show evidence of English language ability.

All applicants must submit a completed postgraduate application form including a 1500 word research proposal.

You are encouraged to find out more about our staff and their current research to inform the development of your research proposal and to ensure it aligns with our research themes. Find out more about the University’s research areas and staff or search for members of staff by keyword.

Additional information for EU/International students

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

For details of English language entry requirements (IELTS), please see the information for 'All students'.

Fees and funding

Home students

Our tuition fee for UK postgraduate research students starting full-time study in 2024/25 is £4,786 per year. An additional bench fee may also be charged for this course, depending on the nature of your project and requirements for specialist facilities. Information on whether a bench fee is chargeable can be provided by the relevant Research Institute, and will be confirmed in your offer letter.

If you are studying an undergraduate course, postgraduate pre-registration course or postgraduate research course over more than one academic year then your tuition fees may increase in subsequent years in line with Government regulations or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) published fees. More information can be found in our terms and conditions under student fees regulations.

International students

Our tuition fee for International/EU postgraduate research students starting full-time study in 2024/25 is £17,205 per year. There will be a final writing up fee of £500. An additional bench fee may also be charged for this course, depending on the nature of your project and requirements for specialist facilities. Information on whether a bench fee is chargeable can be provided by the relevant Research Institute, and will be confirmed in your offer letter.

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Doctoral student loans

Up to £25,700 available to help you while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.

Doctoral student loans

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs for Art and design courses (PDF, 400KB)

Legal information

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.


How do I apply?

Contact the relevant Research Institute through the doctoral school contacts' page

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Why not come to our next open day? Open days are the perfect place to talk to staff and students, visit our campuses and get all the information you need. Alternatively, feel free to ask us a question.

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Why choose us?

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We are Gold rated in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for the outstanding quality of our teaching and student outcomes

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We guarantee to find you an affordable place to live that’s close to campus and comes with all bills included

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95% of our UK graduates are in work or further study 15 months after graduating (2020/21 Graduate Outcomes Survey)

Where next?

Find out more about Sheffield Hallam's postgraduate opportunities and community.

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Information for international students

Information for international students including entry requirements by country and funding.

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