Research Degrees


Welcome to Research Degrees at Cardiff School of Art and Design (CSAD).

If you are thinking about studying for a research degree you have made the first step on a rich and rewarding intellectual journey. A research degree will transform you, it will reshape your understanding of the world and of yourself. It is an exciting and challenging prospect and we will do everything we can to support you on that journey. Cardiff School of Art & Design is an excellent place to be a research student. We have a highly supportive creative research culture which is both vibrant and rich. This is evidenced by the range of research groups operating within disciplinary, multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary fields. We actively collaborate where we can with academic, cultural and industrial partners as we engage with leading edge technologies and ideas in our studies and research in engineering, material arts, fine arts, and the histories theories and philosophies of art and design. CSAD’s research students generate new knowledge and have an impact in the UK and around the world. Research students in CSAD have published research and exhibited with implications for society and its many cultures, for industry and commerce and in individual lives and communities in the UK and around the world.

More information about research at the Cardiff School of Art & Design, can be found here.

We have a range of options to help you as you start your research journey. CSAD provides opportunities to undertake full or part-time supervised research that leads to the awards of Master of Research (MRes), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Professional Doctorate.


The CSAD MRes is a taught Masters programme that is designed for students who want to prepare for doctoral level research in Art & Design. If you are not sure about your research or do not feel quite ready, it might be useful to think about applying for the MRes first. This extra year (full-time) can save you time on your research degree and can also help you to find a place to study if CSAD cannot provide the expertise you need.

Information about the MRes can be found here

If you are ready to go into doctoral study there are two options of doctoral award available to you. They are of similar status and rigour although somewhat different in their approach and mode of study.


A CSAD PhD is achieved through a sustained piece of supervised original investigative research leading to a thesis which can be theoretical or practice-based.

Professional Doctorate

A CSAD Professional Doctorate is a higher degree programme specifically structured to support change within professional practice and/or within an organisation.

When preparing your application, it is important you identify which supervisor or supervisors you would like to work with, and consider how your proposal relates to their subject interests. Please contact the supervisor(s) before applying to discuss your proposal. You can find help to prepare your application in the sidebar to the left.

A list of CSAD’s Research Groups can be found here.

 A list of CSAD supervisors with links to their staff profile page can be found here.

 When you are ready to apply simply follow this link here.

Good Luck
Dr Stephen Thompson
Academic Lead of Graduate Studies : Cardiff School of Art & Design