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PhD Opportunities in Art, Media Arts and Design


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 Funded PhD Programme (Students Worldwide)

About the Programme

Applications are invited for Graduate Teaching Assistant PhD scholarships in all aspects of art, media arts and design, commencing 1st October 2021.

About the PhD programme

Research in the Art, Design and Media Research Centre (ADMRC) is ranked in the top two modern universities and eighth among all UK universities, with 81% rated as internationally excellent and 42% world leading in REF2014. We employ critical and imaginative art, media and design strategies to investigate and problematise social and cultural norms, generating research that is outward-looking and influential. 

We welcome applications in any area related to:

·      Creative Practices in Health and Wellbeing

·      Social, Cultural and Philosophical Narratives

·      Physical and Digital Making (Theory and Practice)

We are particularly interested to receive applications on these themes:

Decolonising Archives through Art and Design Inquiry

Archives and archival heritage practices can distil powerful and problematic narratives, establishing authorised accounts of historic periods. We encourage proposals that use art and design practice to examine how colonial practices are constructed through archives, as well as offering forms that restructure and re-imagine.

Frugal Making 

The ready adoption of emerging decentralised production technologies and the crucial requirement for net-zero sustainability are generating paradigm shifts in established design, fabrication, distribution and consumption models. We invite research proposals from all design disciplines to explore forward-facing strategies for change in design practice and education.

Empathy & Risk

This theme explores the potential for arts practice to inform, challenge and influence policy development in global contexts, asserting that artists’ perspectives have an important role to play in the framing of international, national and institutional responses to threat, crisis and conflict. We welcome proposals that practically explore this in specific contexts.

PhD Study in Art, Design & Media Practice at SHU

You will join a vibrant PhD programme which, since 2017, has returned sector leading scores in the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey. Our research study environment draws together an art school emphasis on practice, studio models of self-organising, interdisciplinary and University-level training, and innovative postgraduate research conferences on the topics of research METHOD and research IMPACT.  

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

GTA scholarships provide an opportunity to combine PhD study with professional development to gain practical experience in learning, teaching and assessment in Higher Education. You will be able to work towards Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and as part of your training will be expected to support teaching related activities in the Art and Design Department or the Department of Media Arts & Communication up to a maximum of 180 hours per academic year. For more information please visit Sheffield Hallam University PhD scholarships


• An annual maintenance stipend at standard UKRI national minimum doctoral stipend rates: £15,609 per annum for 2021/22 full-time study; £7,805 per annum for part-time study.

For more information visit: Tuition fees for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals

How to apply

We strongly recommend that you contact a prospective supervisor to discuss your research ideas before submitting an application. Potential supervisors can be found through the department and research centre websites linked above or by contacting us for advice. You will need to submit a research proposal outlining the central questions, current knowledge on your topic and context for the enquiry and supply a CV including exhibitions/presentations and online links to practice documentation.

Where English is not your first language you will need to submit evidence of English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent).  

Sheffield Hallam welcomes applications from all candidates irrespective of age, pregnancy and maternity, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or belief, or marital or civil partnership status.

For academic enquiries or advice please contact:

Dr Becky Shaw, Postgraduate Research Tutor for Art, Media Arts and Design

For more information about how to apply and an application form please visit

For general enquires please contact the Cultural & Creativity Research Institute Postgraduate Research Team

Submit your application to Closing date for applications is 23:30pm on 1st June 2021.


Selection process

Interviews will take place week commencing the 5th July 2021 by videoconference. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to deliver a 10 minute presentation on their research proposal followed by an interview.

Funding Notes

Scholarships are available to Home and International students for 3.5 years of full-time or 6 years of part-time funding to include: • University tuition fees at Home levels. If you are required to pay tuition fees at the International rate you will be expected to fund the difference between the Home and International fees.
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