Our postgraduate taught degrees at the School of Arts and Cultures will allow you to extend and build on your subject knowledge beyond an undergraduate level, while helping you specialise further in your field of academic study. The taught courses, along with the expert guidance of our academics, will help to nurture your practical, professional and intellectual skills no matter what your chosen discipline.
Our Master's courses typically last 12 months if studied full time and 24 months if taken on a part-time basis, however our Fine Art MFA course is a full-time two-year degree. Completing one of our postgraduate taught degrees at Newcastle will lead to Master's certification, although some of our Media, Culture, Heritage courses have the option for postgraduate diploma, and Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies has the option of an MPrac.
The School of Arts and Cultures has a vibrant community of approximately 110 postgraduate researchers. We provide a stimulating research environment for discipline-based and cross-disciplinary postgraduate research projects, and welcome applicants keen to pursue interdisciplinary and international research.
Our postgraduate researchers have the choice to pursue either a solely text-based or a creative arts practice-based programme of research. Typically a PhD-by-thesis leads to the submission of a text-based thesis of approximately 80,000-100,000 words. The PhD-by-creative arts practice varies from project to project: the final submission is a combination of a creative arts practice outputs and a written piece of work that contextualises the creative practice.
We offer opportunities for postgraduate research at Master’s (MLitt, MPhil, MMus) and Doctoral level (PhD). Typically our Master’s level research programmes last 12 months (full-time study) or 24 months (part-time study), while our Doctoral-level research programmes last up to 4 years (full-time study) and up to 7 years (part-time study).
All our research programmes are primarily delivered in our Newcastle city centre campus, however if appropriate and agreed, our PhD and MPhil programmes can be delivered through remote supervision with supporting visits to Newcastle.
As a postgraduate researcher you will work closely with your supervisory team of at least two research-active academic staff, and will be supported by an innovative Research Training Programme offered by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. You will also have many opportunities to meet with your peers and academic staff from across the School in research seminars, training sessions and events.
The School of Arts and Cultures runs a very successful scheme of teaching training scholarships for our doctoral researchers who wish to develop their teaching skills and pursue future careers in academia.
The annual teaching training scholarships are available for the School’s doctoral researchers in their second year of candidature and above on a competitive basis. They combine teaching opportunities in a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes in the School with teaching skills workshops offered by the Learning and Teaching Development Services.
Doctoral researchers in this programme are supported to apply for the Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
The School welcomes PhD researchers enrolled in other universities to spend research time in the Newcastle city centre campus. The maximum length for visiting students is 12 months.
PhD students from other universities apply to come to Newcastle because they are:
- Planning fieldwork in the North East of England
- Looking to access particular library resources
- Looking to work with one of our leading academics
Students who have stayed with us have found the visit a rewarding experience. It is a stimulating and enjoyable working environment in which to further doctoral research.
How to apply
In the first instance you should contact the appropriate member of staff to discuss opportunities to work with them. If you're not sure about who might be best to support your research, contact the School's Postgraduate Research Administrator.
Once we have agreed to your visit in principle, all visiting students must register as occasional students and apply online. You will not receive an award or credit from Newcastle University for your studies.
Fees and funding
The University charges a fee for Occasional Research Students and any other students not studying modules.
On paying these fees, you will have access to:
- An introductory meeting with an appropriate member of academic staff
- A monthly meeting to discuss and review work-in-progress with the same member of academic staff
- Access to a hot-desk space
- Access to computing facilities
- Access to Newcastle University library; attend School seminars and other research events, as appropriate
- An opportunity to attend MA and Faculty research training sessions, in agreement with the degree programme director
Funding opportunities for postgraduate research study are advertised throughout the year. The full details of the funding opportunities available at Newcastle University - including those for international students - are available on the postgraduate website.
The School welcomes outstanding doctoral candidates to the following annual scholarship schemes for UK and EU applicants:
- The Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership - funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- The Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership - funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC)
The School works closely with cultural and industrial partners to supervise collaborative doctoral research projects. Current doctoral researchers in the School carry out research with partners such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tyne & Wear Museums and Archives, funded by the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards, Collaborative Doctoral Partnership and National Productivity Investment Fund studentship schemes.