Fine Art, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (book IELTS)


Informed by your particular discipline, you’ll critically contextualise your work, clarifying both theoretical and practical research-based enquiries, and producing distinctive contributions to the research field.

You’ll be allocated two supervisors, with additional staff members available if necessary. Our supervisors are experienced in most areas of contemporary fine art, including recent issues in painting and the expanded field of contemporary practice; objects, installation and the virtual; interdisciplinary work with sound and video; performance art practices and their relationship to liveness and documentation; the interdisciplinary nature of printmaking; and landscape, mapping and ambulatory practices.


Officially accredited and/or recognized by the Privy Council, Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is a large (uniRank enrollment range: 15,000-19,999 students) coeducational higher education institution. Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as pre-bachelor degrees (i.e. certificates, diplomas, associate or foundation degrees), bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 24 months
    • Average part-time duration 36 months
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration description

      MPhil: 1-3 years (full-time), 2-4 years (part-time). PhD via progression from MPhil, including that period: 2-5 years (full-time), 3-6 years (part-time). PhD: 2-5 years (full-time), 3-6 years (part-time).

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

At Cambridge School of Art, you’ll be part of a vibrant and growing community of researchers at PhD level. We provide various research forums that accentuate the discursive and interdisciplinary nature of research, including the Fine Art Research Unit(FARU), which holds regular seminars and informal presentations for postgraduate and research students, and the Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE).

At our FARU sessions you can present your work-in-progress, as well as hearing staff-led papers and engaging in discussions on our current research and related topics. You’ll benefit from our strong links with institutions in the UK and abroad, including Kettle's Yard, Cambridge Arts Picturehouse and the Cambridgeshire Film Consortium; Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Camberwell College of Arts and Central St Martins in London; ERBA Valence and ENSA Bourges, France. You’ll also have access to many exhibition and conference opportunities.


You’ll be supervised and supported by staff who have published and exhibited nationally and internationally. Our publications include: La Peinure Presque Abstraite (Arles, 2009);Rob Holyhead Paintings (Riding House, 2009), Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music (2009); Reconstructing the Old House catalogue (2009); andEnvironmental Apocalypse in Science and Art (Routledge, 2013). Our exhibitions include Rob Holyhead, Karsten Schubert, London; David Ryan in De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (2010); 'Crossing Abstraction', Kunstraum Bethianen, Berlin (2009); and Benet Spencer in Reconstructing the Old House, Nunnery Gallery, London (2009).

Our staff’s expertise includes:

David Ryan: abstraction and indeterminacy in painting and music; the relationship of sound and image in recent video work.

Martin Salisbury: children's book illustration, painting for exhibition, the study of theory and practice in illustration.

Will Hill: typography and graphic design, use of visual language, design of experimental display typefaces and revivals and historic references in type design.

Paul Marris: film, narrative and sociological and interpretative methodologies.

Benet Spencer: contemporary attitudes in painting; relation of painting to architectural practices.

Robert Holyhead: recent abstract painting; relationship of painting to exhibition practices and installation.

Dr Sergio Fava: art and science intersections, environmental art, qualitative research methods, relations between visual culture and religion.

Dr Nina Lübbren: nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century art, art and the fantastic, Bollywood cinema, visual narratives.

Veronique Chance: photography, video and print media and intermedial/performative approaches to these, through shared language and the deployment of technology.

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

MPhil: You’ll need a Bachelor degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area.

PhD: You’ll need a Master degree or equivalent in a related subject area.

Please note we consider most candidates for PhD with progression from MPhil. If you want to apply for direct entry to the PhD route, you’ll also need to provide academic justification for this with your application.

If English is not your first language, you'll require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent test). If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    11900 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 11900 GBP per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    4195 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4195 GBP per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year, part time)

  • £2,098


For advice on funding and scholarships please visit our finance pages for postgraduate students and researchers. Where available, the ARU jobs search lists research positions/scholarships.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.