Vice-Chancellor’s PhD Studentships

About UCA

UCA is the UK’s highest-ranked creative university (Guardian/Complete University Guides 2021), offering courses in Architecture, Art, Crafts, Design, Fashion, Film, Performing Arts and Creative Business across Surrey, Kent, and overseas. 

We support our students to forge their own path and use their creativity to make a difference. Right now, they’re making the creative industries more inclusive and sustainablechanging perspectives, and winning awards – from Golden Globes to Pulitzers.  

Research at UCA

With a vibrant and progressive research community and a wealth of specialist

resources for creative research and practice, UCA offers the ideal environment

to explore your chosen field and develop unique and impressive doctoral work.

We are a top-ten research community for Art & Design, and the second largest provider of creative education in Europe. In REF 2014, 93% of our research was internationally recognised for quality, and 64% was judged to be world-leading or internationally significant. In our research centres (including the Crafts Study Centre, the International Textiles Research Centre, and the Centre for Sustainable Design), 90% of research produced impacts that were rated world-leading or internationally significant.

Our PhD Studentships

We are currently seeking exceptional applicants to our MPhil/ PhD programme, and have a number of Vice Chancellor’s PhD Studentships on offer for Home, EU or International candidates looking to pursue practice-based or thesis-only research projects. The package includes a fee waiver for three years’ full-time study, and a stipend of £15,285 each year for three years (or equivalent for part time study for Home students). The studentships recognise excellence in research and are highly competitive and limited in number.  Applicants whose application passes an initial review will be invited to interview. Applicants who are successful at interview and offered a place can then be put forward for consideration for the Vice Chancellor’s Studentship awards. There is no separate application for the Studentship. Studentship decisions are based on the strength of the research proposal, performance at interview and the University’s research priorities. All applicants wishing to be considered for a Vice-Chancellor’s Studentship or other funding must apply by 17th June 2023.

Our subjects

To apply, you will need to submit a research proposal that is focused in one of our specialist areas (or spans several of them). For 2022/23 entry we are particularly interested in applications in the following areas:

  • Fashion and Textiles: contemporary textiles, textiles emerging from traditional practice, textiles as spatial intervention, textiles as expressions of cultural specificity, cloth, memory and experience, public and private dress, fashion heritage, fashion and class, gender, race and age, thrift, subcultures, materiality and temporality in fashion, experiential retailing, the branded environment, consumer culture and the history of shopping, fashion technology and electronic textiles.
  • Visual Communication: the politics of visual communication and design, graphic design and typography, contemporary political theory and design, experimental design, design and race, queer theory, principles of design, archives and design, design history and theory.
  • Architecture: activist practices, alternative organizations, architectural education and critical pedagogy, critical spatial practice, ecologies and climate change, ethics, gender, race and class analysis and methodologies, isovist analysis, spatial mapping, architectural history and theory, architectural discourse and media.

We will also consider applications in any of our specialist areas. These are: crafts, fine art, photography, visual communication and design, fashion and textiles, music, film, media and performing arts, video games, animation, architecture, critical theory, business for the creative industries and sustainability.

How to apply

To see our entry requirements, register your interest or apply, please visit

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