Everything you need to know...
International/EU: £14,460 per year
- Undertake doctoral research in an approved fine art and design topic.
- Join the vibrant research community in the Culture & Creativity Research Institute (CCRI).
- Benefit from excellent supervision, resources, training, industry links, partners and research culture.
This PhD course allows you to undertake research in a specific art and design context. You'll join a dynamic and respected research community – 81% of our research in Art & Design was deemed world-leading or internationally excellent in the UK’s most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014). In 2018 our institute received sector-leading student satisfaction in the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey.
Creative Industries Federation (CIF) membership
We are members of the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), which means our art and design students are members as well until they graduate. With 10,000 members in its network, the CIF represents champions and supports the UK’s creative industries, advocating on the issues that matter the most to creative communities.
View our students' work
View our gallery of student work and learn more about the exciting projects they've been working on this year.
How you learn
Your supervisory team will include a director of studies and one or more second supervisors with expertise in your research area. Much of your work will be carried out independently – so you’ll need plenty of initiative, motivation and commitment to succeed. Your supervisors will help you define your research programme, agree associated training requirements and direction, and encourage you to develop as an independent researcher.
You learn through
- supervised study
- independent research
- workshops and seminars
- mentoring sessions
Take a look at the department's Instagram to see what innovations and creations our students have been working on.
Course leaders and tutors
We recognise that research students arrive with a diversity of skills and experience – so we provide flexible training and development opportunities, covering a range of research-related skills. These include transferable skills, research ethics & integrity (mandatory), data management and career planning.
Your development needs will be identified and agreed with your supervisory team at the start of your degree and reviewed as appropriate. We particularly welcome research proposals examining the role of art and design in heritage sites, assessing contemporary materiality, addressing real-world issues and exploring specific social contexts.
Projects often involve 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 and Sheffield Hospitals Trust.
You’ll be part of the university's community of researchers, with opportunities to attend or contribute to a range of disciplines, college and university-wide presentations, training sessions and conferences.
This course prepares you for a career in
- fine art practice
- design management
- making or manufacturing
- company-employed design
- independent design practice
- design research
- art research
Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work for international design companies and consultancies, in museums research, as research assistants, and in leadership, lectureship and research positions at other universities.
Where will I study?
You study at City Campus through a structured mix of online lessons and face-to-face teaching with access to digital and online resources to support your learning.
City Campus is located in the heart of Sheffield, within minutes of the train and bus stations.
Adsetts Library is located on our City Campus. It's open 24 hours a day, every day.Learn more
Equipment and facilities
On this course you work with exceptional art and design facilities.
All applicants should hold a strong undergraduate degree (2.1 or above) and/or a relevant masters qualification (or expectation of the same).
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. Before submitting your proposal, please contact the member(s) of staff listed against the relevant research theme.
Applicants are required to give a short 10–15 minute presentation followed by an interview. Interview panel members will include the head of research degrees for the relevant research area or centre, a local postgraduate research tutor and a prospective director of studies.
Where English is not your first language, you must show evidence of English language ability to the following (or equivalent) minimum level of proficiency: an IELTS score of 7.0, with 7.0 in all components (or equivalent). Please note that your test score must be current, i.e. within the last two years.
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. You can also watch a video guide on how to apply.
For details of English language entry requirements (IELTS), please see the information for 'All students'.
Fees and funding
Our tuition fee for UK postgraduate research students will be aligned to the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) fees which have not yet been confirmed for 2021/22. For an indication of the tuition fees, please view the 2020/21 course page.
† 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.
Our tuition fee for International/EU postgraduate research students starting full-time study in 2021/22 is £14,460 per year. There will be a final writing up fee of £500.
Doctoral student loans
Up to £25,700 available to help you while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.
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)
Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.
Responsible for this course?
Find out how you can update the information on this page.