The Contemporary Arts PhD at Lancaster offers you an opportunity to undertake research across a wide variety of contemporary arts topics and disciplines, in the interdisciplinary environment of Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts (LICA). As a PhD student you will normally be supervised by a team of two supervisors who will ensure that you receive focused critical feedback and encouragement throughout the programme. In many cases the supervisors will be based in different disciplines within the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), or in a different department within the university in order to ensure that you have the most appropriate supervisory team for your chosen project.
You can take your Contemporary Arts PhD at Lancaster either in the traditional format of a written thesis, or as a project that combines the written thesis with creative practical work. Many of our academic staff are engaged with practice-based research in the fields of art, film, theatre, design and architecture, and we have a dedicated team of technicians to support you as well as workshops, editing suites and technical resources for our students.
As a PhD student based in LICA and part of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), you will be part of a multidisciplinary community of research students, able to participate in seminars, reading groups, conferences, and research training courses. We also offer opportunities to study for a certificate in higher education teaching.
We encourage you to contact the LICA postgraduate coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or any relevant member of the LICA staff team to discuss your ideas for PhD research.
Master’s Degree: Master’s degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline
Undergraduate Degree: 2:1 (Hons) degree (UK or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline
We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.
If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.
As part of your application you will also need to provide
- A PhD Proposal form, which you can find on the Departmental website. You will need to upload your completed proposal form to your online application.
Practice based Research applicants are also required to submit a portfolio
English Language Requirements
We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.
We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.
If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.
Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email email@example.com
Fees and Funding
The tuition fee for students with UK fee status is set in line with the standard fee stipend provided by the UK Research Councils. The fee stipend for 2024/25 has not yet been set. For reference, the fee stipend for 2023/24 was full-time £4,712 and part-time £2,356.
The international fee for new entrants in 2024/25 is full-time £21,082 and part-time £10,541.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2023, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2024 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Application fees and tuition fee deposits
For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.
For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.
Fees in subsequent years
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.
Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.