UCL Anthropology


Practice-related Doctoral Research in Anthropology

The possibility now exists for practice-related anthropology MPhil/PhDs. This is a specific track within our MPhil/PhD programme.

To undertake a practice-led PhD, you need to be a practitioner in a specific domain (for example, a film-maker, artist, designer or craftsperson). You need to have developed the relevant set of skills in advance of commencing the doctoral research, and to have a proven track record which shows you can deliver the relevant PhD outputs. The academic and intellectual relevance of the practice to anthropology must be clear and considered. 

There are two possible tracks, practice-led or practice-related: 

  • Practice-led Dissertations combine 1. a substantial studio or creative portfolio of practice, and 2. a written thesis of 15-40,000 words.
  • Practice-related Dissertations combine 1. a written element of 60-80,000 words, and 2. a significant studio or creative portfolio of practice.

In both tracks, the written and studio elements are expected to form a whole package together, which provides an original contribution to anthropological knowledge. The studio and written elements are each necessary to the whole contribution. In other words, the studio element is not merely illustrative, but constitutive, of the contribution; and the written element is more than simply a commentary on the studio work.

Applicants for the practice-related track will specify a preference for studio-led or studio-related dissertation, but it is possible to switch trajectory for the upgrade proposal, when progressing from MPhil to full PhD.