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Apply for a Research Degree

Research degrees are awarded in recognition of significant contributions to knowledge and scholarship produced through the development of original research through supervised, self-directed study.

Embarking upon and completing a research degree is a significant personal achievement, often working at the forefront of understanding, developing new ways of making or interpreting; challenging existing boundaries of knowledge and clearly articulating and presenting findings resulting from this challenge.

Norwich University of the Arts welcomes proposals for research degree study across a wide spectrum of arts, design, architecture and media areas. Our range of subject specialists and experienced supervisors currently oversee the work of research students in the following areas of practice and theory:

  • Curation and interpretation
  • Animation and Games
  • Film, moving image and sound
  • Drawing, painting and sculpture
  • Art and design history
  • Illustration
  • Graphics and typography
  • Conceptual art, surrealism and concrete poetry
  • Fashion and Textiles
  • Creative education

Artists and designers occupy a unique position in the field of doctoral research, frequently investigating topics from a practitioner perspective; our research students tend to be experienced, highly informed and skilled, with the ability to voice new approaches and ways of understanding the intellectual, emotional, cultural, social and political interaction of creative practice and theory.

Practice-based research, and research focused on the interpretation of practice, are both centred on the exploration of knowledge through the investigation of concepts, products and processes. Our research students are important members of our research community, actively contributing to, for example, the development of our Research Themes, and work with academic staff who are internationally renowned for their research and creative practice. Research degrees at the University are offered in partnership with the University of the Arts London, creating opportunities for collaborative research between the two institutions. Our research degrees are supported by regular seminars and training events held in Norwich and London, extensive specialist and technical resources, and a year-round programme of exhibitions.

From 2015 we are also introducing an annual University-funded fees-only bursary for exceptional postgraduate research students linked to the University Research Themes. If you would like further information about the bursary and how to apply, please contact the Research Office by email: research@nua.ac.uk.

How to Apply

Our normal minimum entry requirement is an upper second class honours degree in a relevant discipline. However, an MA in an appropriate subject is considered to be a particularly valuable preparation for a research degree. Applicants not meeting either of these criteria will also be considered if they can demonstrate alternative relevant qualifications, professional experience and an understanding of research methodologies appropriate to their proposed programme of study.

We welcome applications for study towards a research degree throughout the year. Applicants should complete the University’s Preliminary Application to Study for a Research Degree form in the first instance. Your application should be accompanied by a 1,000 word proposal, which provides a detailed overview of your proposed research.

Please refer to the PGR Application Guidance and Process for further details of the University’s application process.

International Applicants

All international (non-European Economic Area – EEA) applicants need to apply for an Adult (General) Student Visa under Tier 4 of the Points Based System (PBS) of immigration to the UK as we do not offer distance learning programmes. International applications are normally only considered for entry as full-time students.

Fees and Finance

For information on Research Degree fees for home, EU and international students visit Fees and Finance.


Jaygo Bloom

NUA Research Online

Visit NUA’s online research archive which provides public access to a digital snapshot of the research, enterprise and practice generated by research-active staff and postgraduate students.


Research Degree Supervisors

Find out more about the staff currently supervising research at Norwich University of the Arts.


Academic Staff Profiles

All academic staff at NUA are practising artists, designers, media makers and academics. Read their profiles to find out more about their research and practice.

Work with us

We welcome enquiries about applied and collaborative research activities and opportunities. If you are interested in working with us, or if you would like further information about our research environment, please contact:

email research@nua.ac.uk