Ph. D. On Campus

Practice-Based Design

Heriot-Watt University

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The School actively supports practice-based Practice-Based Design course at Heriot-Watt University as a route whereby working designers can develop their own creative visions, techniques and methods through rigorous research.


The Practice-Based Design course at Heriot-Watt University by practice is a common mode of research in the area of art and design and has grown enormously over the past decade. This involves the exploration of a subject of enquiry through practical work accompanied by a related text. The relative weight of these elements varies for each project. The word 'related' may be interpreted in various ways, but a clear structural and Intellectual link must be established between the two aspects of the project.

Additional information

The practice-based component of the MPhil / PhD is expected to conform to the stipulations attached to all forms of research. The Arts and Humanities Research Council, a major funder of postgraduate research students, defines a research project as meeting the following requirements:

  • It must define a series of research questions that will be addressed, or problems that will be explored in the course of the research. It must also define its objectives in terms of answering these questions or reporting on the results of the research project.
  • It must specify a research context for the questions to be addressed or problems to be explored, showing what particular contribution the research will make to the advancement of knowledge and understanding in the area concerned. It must specify why it is important that these particular questions should be answered or problems explored; what other research is being or has been conducted in this area; and what particular contribution this project will make to the advancement of creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in this area.
  • It must specify the research methods for addressing and answering the research questions or problems. It should also explain the rationale for the chosen methods and why they provide the most appropriate means by which to answer the research questions.

Programme Structure

We welcome applications that fit into the School’s research themes:

  • Archive
  • Colour Science and Technology
  • Design Innovation
  • Drawing
  • Educational Innovation
  • Fashion
  • Knit Design and Manufacture
  • Textile Design and Clothing Manufacture
  • Textile Science And Technology

Key information

Start dates & application deadlines


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

Students can research any project that fits into our research themes. We support research in a wide range of textile, fashion and design-related disciplines in areas.

The following are examples of our current postgraduate research projects. This is not an exhaustive list, so please contact us to discuss what other projects we can offer:

  • Developing nano-textiles and nano-textile products
  • Optimisation of dyeing processes and surface characteristics for Lyocell fabrics
  • Developing and design of SMART textiles
  • Designing solar powered SMART garments
  • Designing/developing chromic materials, technologies and application methods
  • Digital inkjet printing and ink formulation for textiles

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Edinburgh

725 - 1167 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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.

Fresh content

Updated in the last 6 months

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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Practice-Based Design
Heriot-Watt University


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