Postgraduate study

Art

Awards: PhD, MPhil

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Art

In the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) School of Art we provide a highly dynamic and supportive research environment for our large and diverse graduate community. Our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary research environment, which attracts postgraduate students and researchers across the fields of art, design, music, architecture, landscape architecture and history of art.

Research in this environment is further informed by collaborative exchanges with other areas in the University’s College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, as well as the wider University (such as the School of Informatics in the College of Science & Engineering).

Our current areas of expertise include: art, critical and experimental writing, art education, artist-run initiatives and DIY culture, art and anthropology, contemporary art theory and practice, cultural landscapes, drawing, expanded painting, independent and self-publishing, intermedia art, moving image, printmaking, painting, photography, psychophysical sound creation, public art, sculpture, sound, video art, and visual and material cultures.

All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors. Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required. On occasion more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.

Students will benefit from studio-based learning in ECA's historic Lauriston Place campus, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college.

The art college experience is complemented by the University's extensive range of student support facilities, its libraries, student societies, and student accommodation.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent. Any appropriate professional experience will also be considered.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

For detailed information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Additional programme costs (APCs) are used by programmes in Edinburgh College of Art to cover associated costs such as: basic consumables; equipment purchase, hire and maintenance; computing hardware and software; field trip and excursion expenses; and programme specific events. More detail will be available in programme handbooks.

  • Postgraduate Advisor, Dr Susannah Thompson
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5909
  • Email: s.thompson@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

Research degrees are based on independent study determined by proposals for research projects submitted by candidates. For research proposal guidance please see:

Such projects can be fully theoretical, however, when appropriate, applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that challenge and expand traditional approaches to research in creative practice and design, via innovative theoretical and/or practice-led methodologies.

If you wish to undertake research which involves practice, please also provide a portfolio with examples of your previous practical work.

We welcome applications from candidates with professional qualifications and/or professional experience who believe that they would specifically benefit from undertaking MPhil or PhD research in the area of Art, in an environment that both supports and explores the dialogue between artistic practice and academic research.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Advisor, Dr Susannah Thompson
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5909
  • Email: s.thompson@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE