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Art and Design (MRes)

The Master by Research programme offers research students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate mastery in the theory, methodologies, and practices of research within a Faculty of Arts environment.

The MRes Programme will be delivered through a combination of lectures and specialist supervision. Students will conduct a significant body of independent research, which facilitates creative thinking and development in a sustained way, leading to the production of an innovative body of research. The MRes is aimed at any student wishing to engage in creative research, as well as an element of creative practice, and offers an alternative to MA or MPhil study.

The programme will enhance students' ability to manage complex research projects through an in-depth investigation into an Art and Design-related area identified by the student. The MRes will also offer an invaluable springboard to study for a doctoral degree. 
The MRes draws on specialisms and expertise already present within the Faculty of Art and Design, enabling students to engage with staff whose reputation in both research and practice is of international standing. The programme is further supported through visiting lecturers and cultural industry professionals. 

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Tuition Fees 2022/23:
Home: £7,800
Overseas: £15,000

Five reasons to study this course

  1. Swansea College of Art is a centre of excellence for art and design-based learning and research. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) categorised 95.8% of our research as being of world renown or recognised as internationally excellent. This research culture feeds into our postgraduate teaching and student culture; it creates a vibrant and current context for postgraduate learning.
  2. The MRes is aimed at any student wishing to engage in a period of philosophical inquiry, with the opportunity to include an element of creative practice, and offers a dynamic alternative to MA or MPhil study. The Master by Research programme is delivered through a combination of structured learning, comprising lectures and seminars that facilitate critical thinking, and a period of independent research.
  3. Master by Research students is supported by a highly committed and professional team of lecturers and technical demonstrators, who together, create a diverse, supportive learning environment. Our broad range of practical workshop facilities includes glass, metal, wood, ceramics and digital printing, laser and water-jet cutting.
  4. We offer full and part-time modes of study with the taught aspects of the programme delivered primarily on Thursdays and Fridays.
  5. Swansea College of Art has many industry links with organisations such as the Glynn Vivian and Mission Galleries, Elysium and G39. We draw on expertise from visiting lecturers and Professors of Practice such as Karen MacKinnon, director of the internationally renowned Artes Mundi, Mark Eley of global fashion and design company Eley Kishimoto and John Wood, Emeritus Professor of Design at Goldsmiths University of London.

What you will learn

Course Overview

The Masters by Research will offer research students the opportunity to develop methods and methodologies for the integration of theory and practice within the Faculty of Art and Design at Swansea College of Art.

Within the first semester, there is a cluster of three 20-credit modules which comprise the taught element of this programme.

The first semester’s learning experience will widen the student’s creative potential, engender dialogues across critical practices and encourage exploration and experimentation with a range of research methods, strategies and practices available across diverse art and design disciplines.

The second semester captures this creative potential with the development and completion of a focused, supervised research project.

Module Topics

Semester 1 Full-Time / Year 1 Part-Time

The Thought Experiment

The Thought Experiment is a 20-credit module, conducted at the beginning of the Masters programme in Art & Design, to provide an opportunity to discover research methods pertinent to the acquisition of experiential – as opposed to cognitive – knowledge, in a light-hearted but serious introduction to the programme.

Coexistent Perspectives

The Coexistent Perspectives 20-credit module combines an introduction to complex theoretical and philosophical ideas with independent academic research.

Research Methods and Communication

The Research Methods and Communication 20-credit module comprises formal lectures, seminars and tutorials, providing a structured workflow pattern to design information. The students will be expected to develop individual strategies in response to their personal philosophy and project direction necessary to drive their research activities.

Semester 2 Full-Time / Year 2 Part-Time

Research Through Practice (OR) Dissertation

The Research Through Practice (OR) Dissertation 120-credit module will offer students the opportunity to undertake an extended research project upon a topic of their own choice in consultation with both the subject tutor and the Programme Director.  


A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which contribute to both formative and summative assessment. These formative and summative assessments include:

  • Individual Tutorials
  • Group Tutorials and Seminars
  • Informal and Formal Presentations
  • Exhibitions
  • Written Assignments

Our Facilities

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Entry Criteria

We normally require an undergraduate 2.1. However, we also consider candidates with relevant experience and aim to interview all applicants.

Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources which, in most cases, is sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.

However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs in the extension of their personal practice. Examples include purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining optional study trips, and paying for printing. 

Depending on distance and duration, optional study visits can vary in cost from approximately £10 to visit local galleries and exhibitions, to £200 plus for overseas or longer UK study visits. These costs cover such things as transport and entry to venues and accommodation. There are normally reduced rates for our students.

Related Courses
Bursary / Scholarship Information

In addition to our University Accommodation at Llys Glas, Swansea also benefits from a number of private student halls, all within a short walk, including:

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