Research Degrees

  • Ella Whateley, Passing: Coming to Compline (detail), 2015. Photograph: Brenton McGeachie

  • Cathy Franzi, 62 Orchids: Black Mountain (detail), 2015

  • Jacob England, Lay, 2014 (detail)

  • Elisabeth Bodey, Small Songs No.3 (detail), 2013. Photograph: Matthew Stanton

  • Liz Coats

    Liz Coats, Organica #3 (detail), 2010, acrylic media on board, 74 x 76cm. Photography: Heike Qualitz
  • Kate M Murphy (aka Ellis Hutch) Morning 2012 digital image

  • Jay Kochel - Jugum Trumpet (detail)

  • Christopher Robertson

Higher degree research programs involve a 2 to 4 year full-time extended research project resulting in either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Art History, Art Theory, Design or Visual Arts. Part-time study is available.

Coursework is a compulsory component of the programs that equates to approximately one semester. Two coursework courses cover visual arts research methods and writing about practice, while a further two deal with important aspects of research training, such as proposal and report writing, literature and artefact reviews, fieldwork and ethics.

Each degree is undertaken primarily as either a practice-led research project or as a written research project.

Practice-led research project in design or visual arts

Students construct a project under the supervision of a panel whose expertise encompasses studio practice, art theory and art history.

The practice-led research project is accompanied by a 14,000 word exegesis for the MPhil and a 28,000 word exegesis for the PhD.

Research project in art history or art theory

Students develop a project under the supervision of a panel primarily located within the Centre for Art History and Art Theory. The research interests of the Centre’s staff can be found at

In the MPhil program students complete a thesis up to 60,000 words and in the PhD program a thesis up to 100,000 words.


Valerie Kirk - Head of Textiles and Higher Degree Research Convenor

Anne Masters - School Administrator (Higher Degree Research)

Updated:  20 February 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications