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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 and Humanities Partnership, gaining experience relevant to their careers as professional artists, writers, academics and researchers.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2018/19)

£5,060 (FT) £2,530 (PT)
£19,580 (FT) £9,850 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Close: 26 February 2018

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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: Advanced

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:


The Slade School of Fine Art at UCL, is one of the UK's leading university departments for research in fine art. It approaches research as the practice of art - reflections upon that practice through methods that are experimental, imaginative and diverse. All studio staff are practising artists actively involved in research as well as teaching with a broad and diverse range of interests and expertise. Doctoral researchers benefit from the Slade's central London location and proximity to other research institutions. Practice-led students in full-time attendance are allocated studio space and all students have access to a project space and workshop facilities.

Research areas

The Slade School of Fine Art 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 research themes within the Slade School 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 across UCL and the wider public at both national and international level.

More information can be found on the department website: Fine Art MPhil/PhD


The UCL Slade School is part of the AHRC-funded London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP). As well as funding for studentships for UK and EU students, this opens up additional opportunities for interdisciplinary supervision for students across these four leading research institutions. For further information, please see the LAHP website. Slade students may also be nominated for UCL's Graduate Research Scholarship.

Each year, the Slade offers several Jean Spencer and Malcolm Hughes Bursaries. These awards of up to £500.00 enable students to further their research by funding travel and participation in projects and conferences.  Awards are made on a competitive basis.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Students graduating from the UCL Slade School doctoral research programme have, in the last three years, gone on to further their research through postdoctoral research, 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.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Lecturer in Fine Art, University of Pretoria
  • Self-Employed Film Director
  • Early Career Researcher, UCL
  • Research Fellow, Leeds College of Art


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, education and many other 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

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

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 specialists across faculties of UCL and LAHP institutions (King's College London, and the School of Advanced Studies, University of London).

Students also have access to the Slade-wide lecture and visiting artists programme and research groups across UCL, including the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), plus doctoral events organised by LAHP institutions.

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

Department: Slade School of Fine Art

Student / staff numbers › 49 staff
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Slade School of Fine Art
79% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

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
Student review

"I enjoyed studying in London and interacting with a number of creative professionals from various cultural backgrounds."

Hyoun Young Jung

Fine Art PhD
Student review

"There has been a strong sense of a PhD community. Conversations and projects with my peers have shaped my project in unexpected ways. The support of this group has been very valuable. Access to resources like the Woburn Square Research Centre is invaluable to the development of research through practice."

Anna Bunting-Branch

Fine Art PhD

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

All applicants
26 February 2018

There are two applications deadlines. The first deadline is 30 October 2017. Students wishing to make an application for a LAHP or UCL Scholarship should apply before this deadline.

The second application deadline is 26 February 2018. Both application deadlines are for entry in September 2018.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact information

Page last modified on 16 November 2017 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing



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