Higher Degrees by Research (MPhil and PhD)

Students may apply for enrolment in Higher Degrees by Research (MPhil and PhD) in Visual Arts, Design, and Art History and Curatorship.  Higher Degrees by Research are expected to result in an original contribution to knowledge within the chosen discipline. The School’s HDR offerings are part of programs offered by the Research School of Humanities and the Arts within the College of Arts and Social Sciences. Both full-time and part-time study options are considered.

Higher Degrees by Research students at the School of Art & Design work under close supervision of academic staff in their discipline area. PhD candidates at the School are able to present their work as a Thesis in Standard Format (as a dissertation up to 100,000 words) or as Thesis by Creative Works. A Thesis by Creative Works comprises studio research outcomes and a written exegesis (30,000 words or more) that are presented together as a coherent contribution to knowledge. Subject to the nature of the research project, the School of Art and Design supports hybrid options where a combination of studio research and a dissertation of up to 60,000 words constitutes the thesis. Curatorial research and outcomes that culminate in original contributions to knowledge are also supported. MPhil candidates for Thesis by Standard Format submit a shorter dissertation (up to 60,000 words), and commensurately smaller bodies of studio research and exegesis for Thesis by Creative Works.

Higher Degrees by Research offer students the opportunity to undertake detailed investigation on a substantial project amid a vibrant and supportive research community. With supervisory support, students are able to work within and beyond traditional methods researching visual art, design innovation, and art historical and curatorial scholarship. Higher Degrees by Research are governed by ANU policies ensuring transparent, equitable and accountable conduct of research.

In addition to domestic and international scholarships, HDR candidates at the School of Art & Design are eligible to apply for fieldwork and conference funding, as well as grants towards the cost of materials. Students are required to complete 12 units of coursework (two standard 9000-level courses in areas relevant to their research) and are given the opportunity to participate in regular seminars and workshops on campus. Researchers have opportunities to participate in Canberra’s arts networks across national cultural institutions, and University, city and territory-specific arts organisations, in addition to artist-run spaces and commercial galleries.

How to apply

Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the ANU webpage Domestic and International Applications - ANU Postgraduate Research which provides general information applicable to all applicants and guidance on how to prepare an application. Further information on applications to the School’s programs is available under PhD and MPhil applications in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences:

Doctor of Philosophy, RSHA

Master of Philosophy, RSHA

The School of Art & Design’s HDR Convenor is Associate Professor Chaitanya Sambrani email: hdrconvenor.soa@anu.edu.au

Updated:  10 March 2023/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications