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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.

Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) is a specialist arts, design, architecture and media Higher Education Institution, which has established an excellent reputation for teaching, learning, scholarship, research and knowledge exchange. 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.

NUA welcomes proposals for research degree study across a wide spectrum of arts, design and media areas. The University’s range of subject specialists and experienced supervisors oversee the work of research students in the following areas of practice and theory, all of which contribute to the development of the University’s three identified Research Themes:

  • Curation and interpretation
  • Animation and Games
  • Film, Moving Image and Sound
  • Drawing, Painting and Sculpture
  • Conceptual Art, Surrealism and Concrete Poetry
  • Art, Design and Cultural History
  • Graphics and Typography
  • Illustration
  • Fashion and Textiles: Analogue and Digital
  • Art and Design Education and Pedagogies
  • Art and Design Policy

Artists and designers occupy a unique position in the field of doctoral research, frequently investigating topics from a practitioner perspective; our research students are 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, 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.

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.

Applicants should be aware that meeting the University’s minimum entry requirements does not guarantee entry. This is only one of the factors taken into account when the University makes its decision. Many other factors are also important, such as suitability for research study at NUA; relevant experience; references; and the availability of suitable supervisors and resources.

Although we welcome applications for study towards a research degree throughout the year, please note that the University has one point of entry at the start of each academic year.

Applicants should submit a Preliminary Application to Study for a Research Degree, in which you will provide details of your qualifications, employment history, research experience, outputs, two academic references and a 1,000-word outline of your proposed programme of research. We may also require examples of your work in an appropriate format, if relevant to your proposed research. Further guidance on the application and consideration process, and writing a preliminary proposal, can be found in the document titled ‘PGR Application Guidance and Process’ located below.

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.

If English is not your first language you will be required to demonstrate evidence of having met the University’s English language entry requirements, please refer to the ‘PGR Application Guidance and Process’ document located below for further details on what these are.

If you apply to NUA and are offered a place on a course, you will need to pay a deposit of £2,000 to secure your place.

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