MRes Art and Design

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Start date(s)

September 2019

Tuition fees 19/20
Home (full-time, per year): £5,100
International (full-time, per year): £13,950

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

International admissions

+44(0)151 904 6499

Got a question? Fill out our form

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About this course

This MRes in Art and Design from LJMU develops your research ideas, methods and skills.

  • Develop your research and creative output in state-of-the-art workspaces 
  • Benefit from direct links with organisations such as TATE Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial and FACT
  • Work, network and collaborate to enhance your career opportunities
  • Study in the modern, purpose-built and RIBA award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building
  • Prepare for progression to PhD study

The Liverpool School of Art and Design provides the freedom of a truly cross-disciplinary environment, fully equipped with the experts and facilities that will enable you to take a project from conception to its final, intended outcome.

The programme provides a valuable foundation for progression to PhD, while helping you develop skills in research, analysis, conceptualisation and argument, which are highly prized in many areas of employment. The course also offers the full range of research training demanded by the AHRC for doctoral research grants.

Our dynamic, professional and experienced staff excel in innovative and exciting research, which, in turn, contributes to the course's contemporary teaching and learning methods. Our working relationships with Merseyside 


arts organisations and employers also frequently benefit academic, personal and career development.

This programme allows the exploration and critical appraisal of individually negotiated Art and Design research projects. You will explore subject-specific research practices, with an ultimate view to interpreting these concepts, methodologies and debates in your own final art and design project.

Applying a range of historical, contemporary and critical processes, you will produce a rich and original piece of work using a specialist, descriptive and interpretative vocabulary.

Art in Sci

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to use your own)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)

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  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Bursaries and study awards

The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers students across all taught postgraduate programmes opportunities to apply for scholarships aimed at broadening student knowledge and experience.

The Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy scholarships consist of a number of £1,000 awards and are open to full-time and part-time home and international students who wish to study for a postgraduate qualification in art and design with LJMU. Part-time applicants can only apply once over the two years of their course.

To be considered for the scholarship, you must submit a 500 word letter to after being formally offered a place on a Masters programme in the School of Art and Design. The deadline for application for 2019 entry is Friday 14 June 2019.

Please ensure you include your name, contact details, the full title of the course you have applied to study on and 500 words stating why you should be awarded the scholarship, the benefits it will bring to your studies and any exceptional circumstances you face in studying for a postgraduate qualification. Further information for international students about finance, fees and scholarships can be found here.

The School's main travel bursary for existing students, The Susan Cotton Travel Awards, consists of three European Awards of £1,600 and two International Awards of £2,300. The awards are intended to help you undertake significant domestic or international travel in support of your work and personal development. The awards aren't necessarily about academic study, instead they focus on the spirit of travel and adventure. Previous winners of the bursary have travelled to a tropical island to experience life at its most basic, cycled the length of the Danube, spent a month in Morocco and inter-railed through Europe. Deadline for entry to the travel awards are Monday 14 January 2019.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Our Art and Design graduates are people who confidently make their own creative decisions in both research and practice.

On successful completion of the programme you will be eligible to apply for PhD direct without undergoing the normal MPhil registration and subsequent transfer application to PhD. You will also be ready to embark on, or continue developing, your career as a practicing artist, designer, researcher, teacher or academic, writer or curator.

Previous graduates have gone on to work with: universities nationally and internationally, the Arts Council England, the British Council, Tate Liverpool, NML’s World Museum, Liverpool’s Biennial, FACT, Bluecoat and Homotopia to name but a few.

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"The most valuable part of the course was that it helped me to research more effectively and progress my study, and having access to Colin Fallows and his depth of knowledge and experience has been invaluable."
Naomi McAllister, MRes graduate

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core Modules

Research and Practice 1
30 credits

This module is shared by all students studying on taught postgraduate programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design and allows you to collaborate across programmes.

  • A series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and visits will introduce you to current and emerging practice in relation to a diverse range of historical, theoretical and critical principles
  • Guest lecturers will expose you to areas of collaboration
  • Seminars and tutorials will require you to share, discuss and evaluate your ideas and practice with others

Research Proposition and Development 1: Report
30 credits

This module offers the support of a practical and critical environment within which you can develop the skills necessary to critically evaluate your research. Drawing on the expertise of established researchers in Art and Design, it offers the subject-specific tools for an exploration and critical appraisal of theoretical and practice-led research. It:

  • helps you to identify and explore broad critical debates relating to Art and Design research
  • helps you to extend awareness and analysis of research practices
  • enables you to critically examine a range of advanced research methodologies

Research Proposition and Development 2: Symposium
30 credits

This module offers subject-specific tools for an exploration and critical appraisal of theoretical and practice-led research in Art and Design. It:

  • offers a practical and critical environment within which you can develop the skills necessary to critically evaluate their research
  • identifies and explores broad critical debates relating to Art and Design research
  • extends awareness and analysis of research practices
  • critically examines a range of advanced research methodologies

Research Project
60 credits

This module assesses the feasibility of a proposed research project via a literature review, including an investigation of primary and secondary source material. It:

  • allows you to establish parameters of research, to set terminal dates and define terms
  • enables you to formulate an appropriate methodology through critique and application of appropriate research
  • enables you to complete an advanced research project to deadline

Collaborative Practice
30 credits

You will have the opportunity to work closely with internal partners within the School of Art and Design, the wider LJMU academic community or external partners in the UK and internationally. Through key partnerships you will engage with a range of collaborative projects which challenge the notion of the interdisciplinary practice within the context of contemporary art and design and which enable you to propose, plan, organise, publish and promote your work within the context of an external body.

  • Guest lecturers will expose you to areas of collaboration
  • This module is shared by all students studying on taught postgraduate programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design and allows you to collaborate across programmes


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

The MRes Art and Design is not a teaching intensive programme, with modules spread out across each semester. You will be expected to be self-organised and highly motivated, particularly when it comes to investigating source materials for your research project and the school-wide Collaborative Practice module.

Teaching methods

Under the guidance of specialist supervision, and amongst a diverse community of fellow researchers, your work will include the opportunity to present a Symposium at Tate Liverpool and will culminate in the MRes thesis. This final assessment and celebration will provide you with experience of real-world research processes. This will include an academic Q&A and new opportunities to connect with professionals in this heavily networked arts sector.

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Applied learning

Our working relationships with Merseyside arts organisations and employers frequently benefit academic, personal and career development.

Person sat using laptop


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

This programme is assessed using coursework. You will have to produce: seminar presentations, conference presentations, group coursework, reflective methodologies, reports, practical projects, evaluations, exhibition proposals, research bids, case study analysis and a dissertation with approved practical work. In most modules more than one piece of assessment is required.

The final research project includes the opportunity for you, where appropriate, to curate your own exhibition, produce a practical portfolio or exhibition and submit a body of creative work.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Colin Fallows

Colin Fallows

Programme Leader 

Colin Fallows is Professor of Sound and Visual Arts at the Liverpool School of Art and Design Liverpool John Moores University. Professor Fallows’ research explores crossovers between sound and the visual arts, frequently investigating the conditions and potentialities of listening. As artist and curator, Colin has produced soundworks for live ensemble performance, recordings, exhibition, installation, radio and the Internet. His artistic and curatorial projects have featured in numerous international festivals, galleries and museums. He has been instrumental in the acquisition of several world-class archives of popular culture/counterculture held at Liverpool John Moores University. As curator and research consultant to these archives, he has researched and curated materials in a variety of contexts for large-scale exhibitions in galleries and museums across nine countries.

Postgraduate study in the Liverpool School of Art and Design is committed to giving a voice to those with a passion for uncovering new and established configurations of form.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The programme is based in the Liverpool School of Art and Design's John Lennon Art and Design Building, a purpose-built facility in the Mount Pleasant Campus, which brings together the varied disciplines studied at the School. You will have access to four research labs focused on the following themes: contemporary art; 3D digital art and applications in the real world; the uses of art and cultural enrichment; exhibitions and curatorship and design discourse and practice.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

You will need:

  • a first-class degree in a visual arts-related subject (other degrees will be considered)

Additional information:

  • MRes Art and Design offers people from a range of backgrounds an avenue into research that includes: students with a first degree but with no training in research methods, employees in the cultural industries who seek a formal training in relevant research techniques, and international students. The Masters programme is open to full-time, home and overseas students.
  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson : 58-64 (minimum 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
  • RPL is accepted on this programme

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

Applicants must complete the online application and provide evidence of previous qualifications.

We also require a personal statement and a clearly written research proposal. The research proposal should be approximately 1000 words.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.