Doctoral Research

PhD Study

Postgraduate research at LICA is supervised by internationally renowned, interdisciplinary and disciplinary specific staff, from design, film, fine art, architecture, and theatre. Our research creates, examines and responds to new thinking in the arts and design sphere with a number of PhD’s creating publicly engaged, vibrant and ambitious work.

Postgraduate students participate in sites of rigorous experimentation and are encouraged to develop research through processes of making, thinking, writing, analysis and speculative study.

As an interdisciplinary Arts Institute we encourage PhDs to reach out to different researchers in our community and develop mentors to support them throughout the development of their postgraduate career.

We also have established relationships across the North West of England with a variety of Art and Design organisations allowing us to support the development of residency programs or in house work experience, ensuring expert skills development for future careers in the Arts and Design.

Finally, LICA has three incredibly strong research collectives: Imagination, Cultures, and Practices. PhD students are encouraged to become members of these research hubs which create spaces and opportunities for collaboration on projects, funded research and campus based research activities.

Our PhD Supervisors

The supervisory interests of our staff spread across and between the disciplines of Architecture, Art, Film, Design, and Theatre. We welcome research proposals from applicants who are hoping to undertake theoretical research or research that involves practical artistic practice.

The academics who are willing to supervise PhD projects can vary due to a range of factors, such as current staff workloads and changes in departmental staffing.


Tab Content: Faculty Scholarships

The deadline for applications to the FASS Faculty Doctoral Scholarships for entry in 2022/23 has now passed. Details of next year's awards (should they be available) will be visible here once they are confirmed.

Tab Content: University Scholarships

To help with study and living costs, Lancaster University offers postgraduates a range of scholarships, studentships and bursaries. Full details of the alumni scholarship and other university-funded opportunities can be found on the Lancaster University funding page.

Tab Content: Other

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Doctoral Training Partnership Studentships

In association with the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP), each year Lancaster University invites applications from outstanding candidates for AHRC Doctoral Studentships. The NWCDTP expects to make approximately fifty awards across the whole range of arts and humanities subjects. A small number of these are likely to be for Master's study by candidates who show exceptional potential for doctoral research.

For further information please see the AHRC Studentships page.

University Funding Opportunities

There are a number of full and partial bursaries offered by Lancaster University. Details of all such funding opportunities are available on the Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages and in a searchable database on the Student Services website.

UK Students

Information about funding opportunities for UK students, including Professional and Career Development Loans and Government Funding, is available from the Student and Education Services website.

International Students

A number of funding opportunities are available for international students through the British Council and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Lancaster Arts

One of the unique aspects about studying the arts at Lancaster is the professional arts organisation, Lancaster Arts. As a contemporary arts student you will be able to see, hear, and experience a diverse range of contemporary exhibitions and performances.

How to Apply

Online applications can be made via the postgraduate application portal which provides full details of what you need to include with your application. These will usually include:

  • transcripts of previous higher education (college/university) degrees or other courses that you have completed/for which you are currently studying. Note that, for transcripts in languages other than English, a certified English translation will be required.
  • 2 references, at least one must be an academic reference.
  • for those for whom English is not their first language, copies of English language test results.

Once your application has been received by the Postgraduate Admissions Office it will be checked to ensure all required documents have been submitted and it will then be passed on to the Department for consideration. You may be contacted by the Postgraduate Admissions Office or the Department to discuss your application further.

Additional Requirements by Scheme

  • In addition to the above requirements, we require a PhD Proposal Form. Once completed, please upload your proposal form to your online application.
  • Practice-based Research applicants are also required to submit a portfolio.


If you are applying for a Practice-based Research PhD you will need to submit a portfolio with your application.

What can I submit as a portfolio? The preferred submission would be an uploaded document to your application, for example, a pdf or a small music or video file. If it is not possible to upload your portfolio then we will accept the following formats:

  • DVD in a readable format
  • CD in a readable format
  • Book/bound portfolio (paperback or hardback)
  • A link to an online video site (such as YouTube) if the video quality is very good

What we will not accept as a portfolio:

  • A link to an online video site (such as YouTube) if the video quality is poor/average
  • A poor quality submission that does not allow the Department to clearly see/hear a demonstration of your practical work.

Personal Statement Guidance

Applicants are required to complete a Personal Statement (minimum 100 words) as part of the application process. Please use the following guidance on how to complete the Personal Statement in your own words:

  • Why did you choose Lancaster University and the course you are applying for?
  • What makes you a suitable candidate for the course you are applying for?
  • What can you contribute to the course?
  • What benefits do you expect to gain from the course?
  • How is the course related to your academic and/or career development?

Deadline for your application

The deadline for applications is 31 August for UK/EU applicants and 31 July for Overseas applicants. However, if you are applying for funding you will need to apply at least 6 weeks before the funding body's deadline.

For more information on University run visit days please see Postgraduate Open Days.


For information on tuition fees please see Postgraduate Fees and Funding. Tuition fees usually increase annually and fees for the next academic year are announced in the Spring.

When you apply, you will need to indicate your likely source of financial support during your studies. You should therefore investigate possible sources of finance as soon as you can.


Applications for accommodation open in the Spring. Students who have accepted a place on a course will receive an email inviting them to create an account and then apply for accommodation. You must have confirmed your place with the University before you can make an application.

For more information on Postgraduate accommodation please visit the Lancaster University Accommodation Website.

For course enquiries, please contact:

LICA Postgraduate Coordinator

LICA Building

Lancaster University



United Kingdom


For admissions enquiries, please contact:

Postgraduate Admissions

Lancaster University



United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1524 592032