Practice-led PhD

It is important to distinguish practice-led applicants from the outset to ensure that candidates (and their supervisors) are aware of the arrangements for practice-led candidatures.

Key Characteristics of Practice-led Awards

The practice-led format is available only for PhD and MPhil research degrees

The practice-led PhD is only offered by the following schools:

  • School of English
  • School of Media and Communication
  • School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies
  • School of Music
  • School of Performance & Cultural Industries
  • School of Design

The Candidature

  • The requirements for the award are set down in an approved University Protocol for practice-led research degree candidatures and these are specific to the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (AHC)
  • The Faculty of AHC is responsible for arranging a number of training sessions for practice-led research, which are available to practice-led Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) 
  • It is not possible for PGRs who have already passed the transfer on a non-practice-led PhD  to change to a practice-led research degree. 

The Transfer

  • At transfer stage, the candidate and School are required to clarify that the research project is still defined as practice-led. 
  • A practice element should be a mandatory submission requirement at transfer assessment, which is indicative of the practice. This could be a contained performance, small installation or concept to demonstrate practice. The PGR must be required to demonstrate the ability to link practice with the written analysis.
  • It is important to identify at transfer stage if the candidate intends to  include live performance or practice as part of the final submission and, if this will take place prior to submission of the written element, to facilitate arrangements for the early appointment of examiners
  • In addition to the usual requirements for transfer, a practice-led candidate must set out what he/she expects to include for assessment as the final submission. This must meet the regulations for alternative submissions as set out in the Ordinances. 

The Thesis/Final Submission and Viva

  • Where it is considered to be part of the final submission, examiners are normally expected to view live practice. However, all practice for assessment must be recorded in an appropriate format as a permanent record (see 4.4 below). 
  • The ‘Practice-led Research Degree Exam Entry Form’ must be completed and returned to Postgraduate Research and Operations a minimum of 3 months prior to the date of the first live practice