About your course
Discover excellent postgraduate research opportunities at the LJMU Liverpool School of Art and Design where practice-led research enables you to articulate your own practice and explore contemporary developments.
- Study full or part time
- Join a School known for its internationally-acclaimed research
- Explore the availability of research scholarships
- Enjoy expert supervision and researcher training
- Benefit from excellent facilities and great industry connections
The Art and Design Research Centre encourages researchers to explore questions that have direct relevance to our lives and those of our broader community.
Introduction to the School
Liverpool School of Art and Design is organised around strong disciplinary cultures, within a dynamic environment that supports interaction and debate between staff and students within and across subject areas.
Our programmes are geared towards combining teaching and work-related learning with practical knowledge, enabling you to succeed in your chosen career. Teaching is individually tailored to each student and involves lectures, seminars, tutorials, studio supervisions and workshops.
Why study this course at LJMU?
The Liverpool School of Art and Design conducts internationally important research which informs student learning.
In the 2014 REF, 85% of research submitted by Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory at LJMU was recognised internationally or considered internationally excellent. This research helps ensure our learning is positioned at the leading edge of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to study alongside leading experts.
Research is organised thematically to bring disciplines together and exploit their methods, addressing issues with broader cultural significance. All of our staff, including Readers and Professors, are involved in the day-to-day delivery of our programmes.
Our specialist areas include:
- Contemporary Art and Design Practice
- International Art
- Sound and the Visual Arts
- Art History
- Curatorial Practice
- Art and Creative Technologies
- Environmental Art
- Contemporary Printmaking
- Urban Architecture
We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary methodologies.
Programme outline and structure
Your programme route will depend on your qualifications and experience. Most students complete their PhD via progression from MPhil.
You can study for an MPhil full time over one or two years or part time over two to four years. Progressing from an MPhil (and including MPhil registration), you can study for a PhD full time over 33 to 48 months or part time over 45 to 84 months. If you are taking a direct route PhD, you can study full time over two to three years or part time over three to six years.
The University offers a comprehensive induction programme and a varied programme of generic skills training opportunities.
You will be allocated up to three supervisors (including a Director of Studies) who will work with you during your research.
Throughout your studies, you will also have the support of LJMU’s Graduate School which offers expert advice and guidance to those enrolled on MPhil and PhD programmes.
What you will study on this degree
Specific research-related training needs are identified on an individual basis.
You can study topics such as:
- Advanced Presentation Skills
- Applying for Ethical Approval
- How to be an Effective Researcher
- Poster Presentation/Design
- Postgraduate Employability Skills
- Project Management
- Writing Skills including Creative Planning for Writing your Thesis
- Surviving the Viva
- Speed Reading
How will I be assessed?
Following the completion of your research, the final examination of your MPhil and PhD will be via thesis and oral examination.
You can progress from MPhil to PhD, via a written and oral assessment in Year 2 (full time students) or Year 3 (part time students).
The PhD requires:
- competence in conducting an independent enquiry
- competence in the use of appropriate research methods and techniques
- you to be at the forefront of understanding your specialist topic
- an original, personal contribution to the understanding of a problem, the advancement of knowledge or the generation of new ideas
Staff research interests
The Liverpool School of Art and Design is at the forefront of developments in the field.
We have significant research expertise in: the History of Art, Exhibition Studies, Curatorial Practice and Theory, Architecture (especially Urbanism and Place Making), Fine Art Practice and Theory (especially Sonic Arts, Installation, Socially Engaged Practices, Printmaking and New Technologies), Art and Design Pedagogy and Graphic Design and Illustration (especially Digital Typography and Graphic Authorship).
To review staff research areas, click here.
Entry requirements (Home)
If you are applying for an MPhil or an MPhil/PhD you should normally have, or be expecting to obtain, a first or upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant subject.
If you are applying for a PhD direct you must:
- have a Masters degree with a research dissertation in a relevant subject
- have had research training directly related to the PhD project
If you have qualifications other than those above, your application will be considered individually on merit. Appropriate research and previous experience will be taken into account.
- Complete and submit your application using this online form
- You will receive an acknowledgement
- Your application will be considered by the Admissions Tutor
- We will take up your academic references
- You may need to provide further information or attend an interview
- You will be informed if your application has been successful and will find out about any conditions of acceptance
Entry requirements (International)
Besides standard qualifications, international students must also have an IELTS score of at least 6.5 (or equivalent). Please check specific requirements with your School before applying.
Due to Visa restrictions, international students may only study in the UK on a full time basis. However, you may be able to undertake a part time research degree in your home country and travel to LJMU for campus-based research for a short period each year. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details.
To obtain a Tier 4 Visa for full time study in the UK, you will need to show evidence that the money to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your Visa application. For more details, see our international website.
6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)
58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.
Securing funding can be one of the main hurdles you face when considering postgraduate research. However, help is available. LJMU has a team of fees and funding experts who can offer advice based on your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also wish to contact the Liverpool School of Art and Design direct about locally available funding opportunities.
Studying for a postgraduate research degree enhances your employability in a number of ways.
Studying for a postgraduate research degree enhances your employability in a number of ways.
As well as enabling you to focus on your specific areas of interest and expand your subject knowledge ready for employment in your chosen sector, a postgraduate research qualification enables you to take charge of your career path by demonstrating your contribution to an area of knowledge. It enhances your self-confidence and showcases your ability to work independently and ‘go it alone’.
According to a report by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), more than a quarter of graduates felt that their employment prospects were increased by their PG qualification. And when it comes to earnings, those with a postgrad qualification have been shown to earn an average of 24% more than those who leave education with an undergraduate degree.
Some postgraduate research students are already in full time employment when they begin their studies, whilst others are recent graduates looking to extend their research capabilities and subject expertise.
A good proportion of our students return to their existing roles with enhanced career prospects, others move on to further study or take up teaching roles in universities and other educational establishments.
International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.
Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.
Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.
Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.
These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.
You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international
Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:
- new international applicants
- current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
- LJMU international alumni
English for Postgraduate courses bursary
A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.
This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.
The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where 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.
Further guidance on programme changes