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A group of people in a clearing surrounded by shrubs and bushes. One person is picking a leaf from one of the shrubs. Courtesy of David Maroto and Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw


Art - PhD/MPhil



2 - 6 years
Full-time; Part-time


Postgraduate research in the School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art is internationally renowned, interdisciplinary and publicly engaged. Our research creates, embodies and responds to new registers of contemporary art and culture, whilst rearticulating processes and practices associated with established artistic media.  

We are an intellectually vibrant, ambitious and supportive community where research produced by staff and students – both individually and collectively – is disseminated nationally and internationally. Collaboration, experimentation and outward facing distributive actions are central to this; we understand our research to constitute cultural impact within and beyond the University. We lead scholarly inquiry into artistic practice in relation to the full range of academic disciplines and professional contexts available within one of the world’s leading research universities.  

Our MPhil and PhD candidates are supported by bespoke supervisory arrangements made across the University of Edinburgh and supported by training run by the Institute of Academic Development. Our membership of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities allows us to arrange cross-institutional supervision with our partners in the consortium, ensuring expert supervision and guidance for interdisciplinary projects.  


Graduates with a MPhil or PhD in Art have career opportunities as academics concentrating on teaching and research, or research-only roles. They are also equipped for research and other roles within the industry, depending on the focus of their research, and how effectively they have taken advantage of the several non-academic links offered by the University with non-academic institutions, such as galleries, museums, and private companies. 

How to apply and entry requirements

We operate a gathered field approach to PhD/MPhil applications, followed by an interview process for shortlisted applications.

If you'd like to study on a postgraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through EUCLID, the University's online application system. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to:

  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about study modes, start dates and fees
  • find out if, and how, you need to submit a portfolio, showreel or research proposal
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance.

Preparing your application

Common to all research programmes are a set of research aims, a research context, a research process and a research product/outcome. The research proposal should include reference to all of these elements. All applicants for postgraduate research programmes must submit a research proposal.

Portfolios or writing samples are also required for some research degrees.

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Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0)131 651 5740

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