the programme at the gradcam
The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media delivers a new paradigm for PhD training and research in the creative arts and media, combining critical intellectual enquiry and creative practice. The domain designation "creative arts and media" refers to a broad spectrum of creative practice including design practice, practice across the arts, creative media content and service development, and the technical, critical, theoretical and historical underpinnings of these disciplines/practices. The school welcomes engagement from a wide variety of practitioners and researchers and it will flexibly construct core learning experiences to take adavantage of the specific disciplinary mix of the researchers recruited.
The structured programme comprises lectures, seminars, crits (work-in-progress presentations), workshops, and a range of other research development and dissemination activities.
In the first year of study, PhD researchers at the Graduate School will be typically required to:
- Attend a one-day a week core programme of specialist lectures, seminars, and workshops over two 12 week semesters.
- Participate in an intensive three day induction process at the start of the period of study.
- Audit/attend a postgraduate module (minimum 5 credits) relevant to their research area, at one of the partner institutions.
- Attend regular meetings with their supervisor(s).
- Pursue a programme of specialist training and competency-building defined in consultation with the supervisor(s) and Graduate School team.
- Produce a contextualisation statement detailing the critical context of their research project (e.g. literature review, description of state-of-the-art.)
- Produce a detailed research implementation plan mapping out key milestones for the remaining period of studies.
- Make several work-in-progress presentations to their larger peer group.
- Deliver a presentation at an international conference (or equivalent).
- Publish, exhibit or otherwise publicly present a preliminary account of their research work.
- Establish a working relationship with a key stakeholder(s) in the research project undertaken.
- Work in collaboration with a thematic research group to develop dissemination initiatives in respect of the relevant research theme. (These may include, but are not restricted to, public events, exhibitions, undergraduate learning resources, seminars and publications.)
In the second year of study, PhD researchers at the Graduate School will be typically required to:
- Attend a half-day a week programme of specialist lectures, seminars, and workshops over two 12 week semesters.
- Participate in a customised placement process developed in consultation with the Graduate School team.
- Participate in a peer-mentoring pilot project.
- Attend regular supervisor meetings.
- Pursue a programme of specialist training and competency-building defined in consultation with the Graduate School team.
years 3 and 4
In the final years of study, PhD researchers at the Graduate School will be typically required to:
- Attend a fortnightly seminar programme - (typically five per semester).
- Continue participation in a peer-mentoring pilot project.
- Attend regular supervisor meetings.
- Attend a small number of short master-class workshops specifically co-ordinated by the Graduate School in response to the research projects active in the School.
- Generate the final major research output that will be presented for the Doctoral exam.
The objective of the programme is to promote cross-disciplinary dialogues and interdisciplinary collaborations by aligning activities within a thematic framework. The framework adopted is not solely focussed on questions of disciplinary specialisation but rather seeks to establish creative interaction across discipline boundaries by integrating discipline expertise across a broad thematic focus. Within this broad domain four interdisciplinary research themes will form the first phase of the School’s educational vision:
- Design Theme: recognizes the growing aesthetic and
economic potential of design studies internationally, emphasizes user-centred
design methodologies in the development of products, environments and
communications-media, including affective factors in design, product
and industrial design, interfaces and services.
- Cultural Participation: focuses on theoretical and
practical approaches to understanding and evaluating audiences and widening
access, including the application of speculative and empirical models
of audience and participation in creative arts and media practices,
relationships between audience development and sustainable cultural
practice models. This thematic will also allow for a wide range of working
methods: from the solo practitioner investigating the conditions of
production, performance, dissemination, exhibition and reception of
their own arts practice to the team-based investigation of collective
cultural production, performance, dissemination, exhibition and reception.
This thematic also allows for theoretical work and field work enquiring
into a variety of issues including the construction of public(s) for,
and by, cultural practices; the conditions of cultural co-production;
access; curation; mediation; and critique.
- Critical Pedagogies and Creative Practices: focuses
on extending our understanding of how people acquire and develop visual
and media literacy, including the public and private sphere, and in
educational environments, such as curriculum, and teaching and learning.
This thematic will also allow for a wide range of approaches and practices
ranging from practitioner-centered case-study enquiries to theoretical
and critical work investigating the construction of public culture;
authorship; critical cultural literacies; creative agency and cultural
innovation; and with respect to hegemonic cultural practices and modes
- Visual and Material Culture: focuses on understanding
patterns of cultural and technological change and its impact on cultural,
creative and everyday artefacts, including contextualising, interpreting
and enabling contemporary innovations and inventions, and how people
engage with/use artefacts in everyday life. This thematic allows for
theoretical and practical work including for example - but not limited
to - curatorial research, archival studies and hermeneutic or critically
Given the broad range of these thematic strands, intending applicants are advised to discuss their specific research topic in advance with the proposed supervisor and the interim Dean with a view to locating their research work in relation to the thematic strands. The School is researcher-centered and thus seeks to creatively respond to the research needs and interests of the various stakeholders and the specific disciplinary specialisms. A key strategy for realising this thematic integration will be the construction of a common core research development course through interdisciplinary collaboration. This will be realised within a modular framework that benefits from inter-institutional expertise and specialisation giving researchers access to key learning within a given discipline.
Frequently asked questions about funded study
Core and associate researcher opportunities