Art; Contemporary Arts; Design; Film (Thesis only); Music; Theatre Studies; Visual Arts.
LICA offers postgraduate students the opportunity to undertake research in any of the above disciplines within one of the most vibrant and supportive interdisciplinary postgraduate communities in the UK. Your research can either be practice-based or it can lead to an academic written thesis. The relationship between theory and practice, whilst approached in different ways, forms the central theme that links and shapes the Institute's research priorities and orientation.
In the UK government's recent Research Assessment Exercise, our joint (Art, Design, Music, Theatre, Film and New Media) multi-disciplinary submission (to the Art and Design sub-panel of Panel O) scored a high grade point average of 3.1 with 80% of its research classed as world (4*) or internationally (3*) leading. This score places Art and Design in the top 3 in its sector and Theatre Studies and Music, and Film and New Media among the top 5 in their respective sectors.
You have a choice. You can follow a more traditional programme of research assessed by thesis only. This means that you'll work towards the submission of an 80,000 word thesis. Alternatively you can undertake practice-based research integrating your own creative practice with theoretical or historical work. The beauty of our system is that we're flexible enough to get the right balance between the two for you.
The split between practical and written work will be decided by you and your supervisory team and ratified by a Learning Agreement when you commence your studies. The split can be in favour of your practice, potentially up to 80%, with 20% given to a written thesis of 16K words, or in favour of written work/reflection with an aspect of practice, i.e. 20/80 in favour of reflection, in which case you would produce a more contained practical project and a 60-70K word thesis or equivalent. Of course, any split between these two extremes is also possible.
Students embarking on doctoral research are, in the first instance, registered as 'probationary PhD students' and, subject to satisfactory progress, are later upgraded to full PhD candidates.
We are justifiably proud of the quality of support and research training that we offer all our postgraduate students. In addition to regular one-to-one tutorials with your primary supervisor and more occasional tutorials with a secondary supervisor, you'll also receive research training in the use of electronic bibliographic resources and software, and audiovisual material; contemporary aesthetics; and practical and analytical methods of research and interpretation. Our research students also participate in the Research Training Programme of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences which is geared towards providing generic research skills to support your research throughout your time at Lancaster . Students taking the doctoral programme are often, but not definitely, invited to teach first years on the undergraduate degrees.
Please note that if English is not your first language you are required to obtain an English language qualification that demonstrates ability to communicate in English across all four language skills listening, reading, writing and speaking. Details of the English Language requirements can be found on our How to Apply page.
The scheme will appeal to:
PhD: Design, 2008
"When I talked to staff I was impressed by their interdisciplinary approach to research. My decision to come to Lancaster was made!"
"Lancaster is about the ability and willingness to work across academic disciplines, a friendly atmosphere, and interconnection between critical and creative practices."
PhD: Design, 2011
"The supervisors in ImaginationLancaster deliver high quality of supervision that helps me to go beyond my typical ways of thinking and doing. Librarians, college staff, porters are very friendly and helpful."
PhD: Design, 2010
"I very much appreciate and am fascinated by the infinite support and care that all the staff at Lancaster University provides."
PhD: Film, 2012
"The opportunity to do film related modules as well as the option to broaden out and learn from other departments has been one of my favourite aspects of studying at Lancaster."
PhD: Music, 2008
"At LICA I had the opportunity to work closely with two excellent supervisors, which was very important to succeed in achieving my PhD."
PhD: Film, 2011
"I studied elsewhere for my M.A. but I chose Lancaster University for my PhD because the tutors immediately engaged with my project and were able to bring to it the intellectual rigour and professional support I needed for it to develop."
"Lancaster University has provided me, as a mature student, with flexible but intellectually rigorous supervision as well as a stimulating wider research culture."
"As a part-time PhD student, Lancaster University has provided me with the high quality of supervision I hoped for and many opportunities to take part in its research culture."