Interdisciplinary Creative Practices - MSc by Research


This exciting and innovative programme combines research and practice leading you to explore the boundaries of multi-disciplinary creativity. As a student on this programme, you will respond to emerging practices across the creative arts, humanities and physical and social sciences. You will learn how to combine theoretical, philosophical and experimental approaches to creativity across media, and will discover new tools to challenge existing disciplinary definitions and contemporary art practices. Throughout this programme you will work both collaboratively and individually, and benefit from studying with other students in subject specialisms from across the rich and diverse courses offered within ECA and the wider University.

If you have some experience in the creative arts and you are seeking to engage with other disciplines as a means to expand and challenge your practice, this programme is for you. Similarly, if you have studied another discipline, but now wish to situate your working practices and intellectual focus within the context of creative practice, this programme is for you too. Yet, to be able to benefit from this programme, you must always have a keen interest in interdisciplinary research.

Leading to a major project

Each semester you will work on a combination of academic and creative projects, leading you towards the development of a major individual creative project. This project will enable you to engage creatively and critically with the ideas, issues and processes you have developed during the programme. You will be expected to submit a speculative proposal about this project as part of your application for a place to study.

When you graduate, you will have developed the ability to present, contextualise and articulate your research and creative work.

Past student projects

Students who have attended this programme so far come from diverse backgrounds such as fine art, photography, computer programming, design, political science, business, law, and architecture. Work exhibited in previous years degree shows includes: a multimedia installation about gender issues in language; glass-based work exploring shadow as art object; a prototype for computer game environments which are an integral part of the narrative of the game; drawing as creative form of animal welfare activism; photographic work exploring visual persuasion informed by representations of Jungian archetypes; a photo-sculptural installation engaging with an ontology of ‘matter’ in the photographic medium; an installation of still images and short film narrating tensions between value and art in the Edinburgh small business marketplace; and design ideas for products bringing digital experience to everyday tangible objects.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • Join an interdisciplinary group: You will benefit from working in a truly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment across the arts, social and physical sciences.
  • Working across disciplines: The skills you develop will not only enable you to work across a range of disciplines, but will expand and challenge your practice within your core discipline.
  • Work at the highest professional level: When you graduate you will have the skills necessary to work under your own direction on ambitious projects that are intellectually, creatively and technically demanding.
  • Preparing for PhD: Over the course of the programme, you will develop a substantial body of creative work and research, all of which is ideal preparation for further study at PhD level, should you choose to pursue further academic study.
  • Access leading researchers: You will work in a research-led environment and will become fully involved in the activities of interdisciplinary research groups across ECA and the entire University, such as EdNeuro-ECA Collaborative. Working alongside researchers who form an established interdisciplinary community, you will have excellent opportunities to engage fully with research methods and research-led learning.

Student work


Members of staff who have supervised students on this programme so far include: Dr Sophia Lycouris, Dr Susanne Ramsenthaler, Deborah Jackson, and Prof Richard Ribchester.

Supervisors can be approached across ECA and the entire University according to the needs of each student’s research project.


Everything you need to know about finding perfect student accommodation.

Resources for History of Art, Art, Architecture and Landscape Architecture students.

An amalgamation of the University's extensive art collection and ECA’s collection of prints, drawings, paintings and sculpture.

A fully operational, entirely student-run 90-seat theatre housed in a neo-gothic church.

Get information, advice and guidance about your career options.

Carving and mould-making facilities, a ceramics kiln, and casting amenities for bronze and aluminium.

The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh’s historic collections.

Work spaces are available across the University. ECA's computers include software tailored to the disciplines studied here.

At the heart of the Evolution House Learning and Research Zone, the ECA Library provides an innovative environment for learning, teaching and research resources in art and design.

ECAfé provides a full catering service to all staff, students and visitors to Edinburgh College of Art.

Edinburgh Global's mission is to encourage internationalisation, enhance the student experience, create and develop partnerships.

EUSA represent the student voice. They provide services, run events, and facilitate student societies.

Information and guidance on financial matters for all students of the University of Edinburgh.

A Georgian garden that doubles as a venue for performances in the centre of the city.

The primary collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and research material.

The workshop facilities include band saws, pillar drills, sanders and wire-cutters.

This model workshop is equipped for constructing architectural models in a wide variety of materials.

By day, a café, bar and study space, and by night a club venue. Potterrow’s dome is also home to the Advice Place and the Potter Shop.

Includes a screen-printing room, relief room, lithography room, process room, intaglio room, and caseroom.

The neo-classical Sculpture Court in the ECA Main Building is home to the many pieces from the Edinburgh Cast Collection, and is regularly used for student exhibitions.

Caters to a diverse range of users from occasional exercisers to international athletes.

Offering counselling services for students, workshops, consultation and training for staff.

Supporting students with dyslexia, mental health issues and students on the autistic spectrum, as well as those who have physical and sensory impairments.

Talbot Rice Gallery is the public art Gallery for the University of Edinburgh.

Home to six distinctive bars, Teviot is the oldest purpose built students' union in the world.

A hub for the University Societies and setting regular live music, comedy, spoken word and poetry nights.

A bar at the Lauriston Campus which hosts regular events including club nights and gigs.

Woodworking tools and machinery include laser cutters, a vacuum former, and a 3D scanner and printer.

Scholarships & bursaries

Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate study at Edinburgh College of Art. (£15,000)

News & events

Announcing the return of our public series of talks by leading national and international artists and thinkers.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086