A minimum of a second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Months of entry
Why take this course
Building upon the rich tradition of art and design education which has existed in Portsmouth since 1870, the School of Art and Design emphasises the relationship between practice and research in a cultural context. Any issue of wider concern in society and culture can be taken as a starting point for research. Art and Design researchers deal with image making, visual communication, and design problem solving whether that is through actively experimenting (practice-led research) or analysing and articulating these images or visual processes.
Art and Design research transcends disciplines, and can apply a wide range of research skills and methods to a variety of issues. What research projects tend to have in common at Portsmouth, is social awareness, and the paradigm of positioning practice based work critically in a social, cultural and historical context.
Supervisors come from both practice and theory backgrounds. We are therefore well positioned to support a variety of research programmes and we offer PhD by practice as an option. We encourage qualitative or practice-led research, utilising appropriate research skills such as: historical research, semiotic analysis, user research, action research, iterative process and reflective practice.
Art & Science:Developing art and design practice through scientific and historical knowledge; critical engagement with science and technology; applying artistic skills and methods to scientific tasks or public engagement with science; the role of science in contemporary and historical visual culture.
Sensory perception / Haptics: Design considerations particularly taking into account aspects related to the senses and their meaning, e.g. the relationship of vision and touch or the semantics of colour.
Culture & Cognition: Research into the brain as a cultural object; distributed cognition and material/visual culture; other ways of understanding the world relating to semiotics, epistemology, perception and aesthetics.
Embodied Interface Design: Research includes investigating affordances and metaphors in full body and/or multi-sensory interaction, exploring a new design space.
Visual Culture: Research interests include: transcultural contemporary art; the social and design history of cinemas; the 1960s in cultural memory; contemporary Hollywood cinema; history of the circus; history of collecting and commemoration; curating as research.
Typographic Design: Our research focuses on tracing the history of the craft of typography and understanding and developing its potential today.
Design Epistemology / Design Process: Seeking to develop a systematic investigation of how designers think, know and make. This is in particular relation to analogue (drawing/sketching) and digital skills (appropriation/remediation)
Information Design / Data Visualisation: Making sense of data through hierarchical aesthetic relationships and ordering. It also includes applying user-centred parameters to turn information into meaningful knowledge.
Illustration and Social Awareness: Using image making as a critical tool to widen understanding of issues in contemporary society.
Artists’ Book, Zines & Independent Publishing: Exploring traditional print and emergent online platforms in their potential to publish uncensored, raw and dynamic content.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support we provide in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service - Purple Door - can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities.
The Graduate School Development Programme offers a series of dedicated workshops on career planning, specifically for research degree students. You will also have access to consultations with careers advisers or online support. This service is available for five years after graduation.
Fees and funding
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Admissions Team
- +44 (0)23 9284 5566