Home Menu


Fine Art MPhil/PhD

Focusing on fine art research, we aim to help fulfil students’ aspirations as practising artists and writers. We place emphasis on interdisciplinary connections, and students network regularly with doctoral students across UCL and the London Arts & Humanities Partnership, gaining experience relevant to their careers as professional artists, writers, academics and researchers.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£4,770 (FT) £2,385 (PT)
£17,190 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application dates

There are two applications deadlines. The first deadline is 2 November 2015. Students wishing to make an application for a LAHP or UCL Scholarship should apply before this deadline.

The second application deadline is 29 February 2016. Both application deadlines are for entry in September 2016.
Fees note: All fees quoted are for new students only for 2016 entry. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase by approximately 3-5%.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or its overseas equivalent and will normally be expected to have studied to UK Master’s level, or its overseas equivalent, in either fine art or in art history/theoretical studies.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


In addition to the subject disciplines of painting, sculpture and fine art media, PhD students relate to the wider Slade research themes through their supervisory teams. Current themes include: Performance; Bronze Lab; Materials Research; Land Art and the Culture of Landscape; Pain and the Image; SCEMFA, Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art (SCEMFA); Word and Image; Transcultural Art.

Research areas

The UCL Slade School offers a choice between the following three options within the PhD programme:
  • Practice-led: a thesis of studio practice and a written report of 15,000–40,000 words
  • Practice-related: a written thesis of 60,000–80,000 words with studio practice
  • Written thesis only 80,000–100,000 words
Our focus is on subject areas with the UCL Slade School (painting, sculpture and fine art media) and on interdisciplinary research between fine art and other disciplines. Students are encouraged to explore a diversity of research outputs including the visual and verbal, exhibitions, events, performances, collaborations, publications and conferences and to share their work with research institutions and the wider public at both national and international level.


The UCL Slade School is part of the AHRC-funded London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP). As well as funding for studentships and shared doctoral training, this opens up additional opportunities for interdisciplinary supervision for students across these three leading research institutions. For further information, please see the LAHP website.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Euan Uglow Memorial Scholarship

£666.66/yr (3 years)
UK, EU, Overseas students

Herbert Seaborn Memorial Scholarship

£1,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

Jean Spencer Bursary

Up to £500 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on financial need

Malcolm Hughes Bursary

Up to £500 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students

Nancy Balfour Trust Scholarship

£2,500 over duration (Duration of programme)
UK, EU, Overseas students

Slade Bursary

UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on financial need

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


Students graduating from the UCL Slade School doctoral research programme have, in the last three years, gone on to establish international careers as professional artists, progressed to academic careers nationally and internationally and have established profiles in a range of related fields including art writing and criticism, and curating in galleries, museums and project spaces.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Postdoctoral Early Career Research Fellow, UCL
  • Artist and Lecturer, University of Pretoria
  • Head of Fine Art, Ozafin Akademija likovnih umjetnosti, Zagreb
  • Artist, Curator and Lecturer, Nanyang and Lassalle College of the Arts, Singapore
  • Artistic Engagement Director, C-Lab
  • Senior Lecturer, University of the Arts London


The UCL Slade School doctoral programme aims to develop students' individual potential and most graduates go on to become professional artists, receiving important public and private commissions, gaining gallery representation, winning major prizes and international artist residencies, as well as developing new artist-led initiatives worldwide. Others have taken on roles in related careers including curating, museum and gallery management, teaching and many other crucial roles within the creative industries both in the UK and overseas. News and achievements of alumni including recent graduates are detailed on the UCL Slade School website.


Final-year PhD students take part in the UCL Slade School Graduate Degree Shows, which are very well attended by gallerists, curators, critics and art collectors and provide an excellent public exhibition forum for graduates to showcase their work. Partnerships outside of UCL include: Junction: A North London Cultural Consortium, comprising the Slade, Camden Arts Centre, Central Saint Martins, UAL, Cubitt, The Place, UCLH Arts, and the Wellcome Collection. We are also a member of EARN, the European Art Research Network of Fine Art doctoral programmes

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Slade School provides excellent workshop and research facilities. Primary supervisors are drawn from school staff, all of whom are practising artists or scholars in the history and theory of art, with national and international profiles. Secondary supervision is also available from renowned scholars and specialist throughout UCL, including the sciences where appropriate.

MPhil/PhD students have strong links to taught programmes at the UCL Slade School. Students also have access to the school-wide lecture and visiting artists programme and can attend MA/MFA studio seminars with the painting, sculpture and fine art media areas.

We offer postgraduate teaching assistantships on BA and BFA programmes for PhD students. Teaching assistantships are supported by training and mentoring.

Student / staff ratios › 45 staff including 1 postdocs › 102 taught students › 25 research students

Department: Slade School of Fine Art

Degree reviews

Staff review

"Through teaching, I am concerned with the ways in which the contemporary painter considers, believes or understands that knowledge of methods and materials is relevant to the creative process."

Ms Jo Volley

Fine Art MPhil/PhD, Fine Art MA, Fine Art MFA
Senior Lecturer
Alumni review

"The emphasis UCL places on interdisciplinary and the opportunities offered to pursue an inter-disciplinary approach made it the right place for me, and it hashugely enriched my work. Additionally, as my work involved collaboration with a medical pain specialist, its links with UCLH were crucial. In my current role I continue to develop these ideas by setting up workshops for medical and art students to attend together as both groups have much they can learn from and give to each other."

Deborah Padfield

Fine Art MPhil/PhD (2013)

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

There are two applications deadlines. The first deadline is 2 November 2015. Students wishing to make an application for a LAHP or UCL Scholarship should apply before this deadline.

The second application deadline is 29 February 2016. Both application deadlines are for entry in September 2016.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact Information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

Life and learning

At UCL we're proud of our pioneering history, our distinguished present and our exciting future. UCL is a great place to be a student.

  • World-leading reputation
  • Extensive connections that benefit your study and career
  • The best and brightest staff and students from over 150 countries
Find out more