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Studio Art - Research

PhD in Studio Art students receive training in studio and other research methods and complete a research project based on a key research question. Students are expected to:

•Identify a field of study and a research question within it;

•Pursue a defined key research question through studio research;

•Investigate cognate studio research undertaken by others internationally;

•Explore the theoretical and historical dimensions of the enquiry through scholarship;

•Collaborate with others, as appropriate, to extend the range of the enquiry;

•Produce a body of work that embodies or represents a new contribution to understanding, in response to the key research question;

•Write an account of the contribution to understanding that includes a reflective analysis of the theoretical and historical context of the research, a critical review of the process of the research, and a brief summary of the project and its outcomes;

•Successfully defend the outcomes of the research in a viva voce examination.

Supervision is undertaken by committee comprising of your main supervisor and faculty from Burren College of Art, the National a University of Ireland, Galway, and external experts as appropriate.

Programmes of Enquiry

We welcome proposals for studio based PhDs in the following aspects of art practice:

•Drawing and painting as processes of enquiry;

•Creative methods and methodology in art;

•Public, site-specific, social and relational aspects of art;

•Performance, video and live art;

•Feminism in art;

•Interdisciplinary art research that promotes collaboration across academic boundaries, with potentially any college or school of NUI, Galway.

This list indicates our main areas of expertise, and applicants may also propose research projects outside these criteria, while recognizing that no art school is likely to have the expertise to supervise every good quality proposal.

Entry requirements

PHD in Studio Art

•Applicants for the PhD in Studio Art should have a masters degree in fine art (MFA). Applicants with an MFA degree may apply directly for the PhD programme.

•Applicants who do not have an MFA may apply for the MFA with the possibility of progression to PhD.

•To apply for the MFA applicants must hold a Bachelors degree with Honours in Fine Art (First class or 2:1, or a GPA of 3.50 or above).

•Enrolled MFA students have two options at the end of Year One: •Research for three more years leading to the award of the PhD

•Research for one more year leading to the award of the MFA


The PhD can be taken as a Full-Time, Part-Time, or Hybrid (Part-Time with Full-Time Periods of Study) Programme:

Full-Time Programme (4 years)
Each student has their own dedicated studio space at BCA and use of other college facilities including the library and labs for 12 months each year. Students also have use of the NUI Galway library and student facilities;

Part-Time Programme (6 years)
Part Time students are required to have their own studio space away from BCA and to attend BCA for supervision sessions and group events. Supervision also takes place via Skype and by email;

Hybrid (Part-Time with Full-Time Periods of Study) Programme
Students register as Part-Time and undertake a combination of Part and Full-Time study. The maximum duration is 6 years, which can be reduced to a minimum of 4 years by taking periods of Full-Time study. Students are required to have their own studio away from BCA when in Part-Time mode and to attend BCA for supervision sessions and group events. Supervision also takes place via Skype and by email. Students are provided with dedicated studio space at BCA when in Full-Time mode.

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