MRes Art and Design

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The MRes Art and Design will offer early career research students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate mastery in the theory, methods and practice of research within an Art and Design environment. The course will provide early career researchers with the intellectual, technical and professional tools with which to complete high quality research projects within the cultural and creative industry. 

Key Facts

Course Length:
3 Semesters
Start Date: September

Swansea College of Art
Contact Name:
Professor Catrin Webster
Contact Email:

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The MRes will be delivered through a combination of structured learning comprising of lectures and master classes. You will conduct a significant body of independent research which will facilitate theoretical thinking and creative development in a sustained way leading to the production of a considered and involved body of research. The programme will enhance your ability to manage complex research projects through an indepth independent investigation into an art and design related area identified by you.

The MRes will be staffed by experts across many specialisms in art and design, many of whom have international reputations in research in art and design. In addition, the course is supported through visiting lectures and external cultural industry bodies. 

During the first semester The Thought Experiment randomises and radicalises approaches, providing an ‘experimental space’ to explore the boundaries of your current medium-specific practice by finding creative solutions to a research question stimulated by ‘new’ modes of thinking.  This is supported by contemporary theoretical discourses focused through the Coexistent Perspectives module, which introduces a broad range of key theoretical concerns and how they can impact and converse with practice. Both the Thought Experiment and Coexistent Perspectives modules underpin the Research Methods and Communication module which explores both practice based and theoretical approaches to research methods. These three modules compliment each other and promote creative thinking, rigorous academic research and will give you the confidence to carry forward an independent research project into part two of the programme.

The culmination of the first semester is a ‘supervised research project’ that is carried into the second and third semester’s. Within part two of the programme (2nd and 3rd semesters) you will be given the option to choose either a Research Through Practice project or a 30,000 word Dissertation.  The Research Through Practice option includes a 15,000 word dissertation which is informed and supported by a significant body of practice based work. You will be able to work on a topic of your own choice informed by part one of the programme in agreement with your tutor and Programme Director.  

Part 1:

  • The Thought Experiment - 20 credits
  • Coexistent Perspectives - 20 credits
  • Research Methods and Communication- 20 credits

Part 2: 

  • Research Through Practice (OR) -120 credits
  • Dissertation-120 credits
  • The normal minimum entry requirement for applicants for the degree of Master by Research is a second class honours degree relevant to the programme awarded by a UK or other recognised University or higher education institution, or by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA);
  • All applicants whose native language is not English must provide evidence of competence in English Language sufficient for research study, and after admission to the University may be required to take additional instruction in English Language;