Practice-based PhD FAQ
For general FAQ’s click here
There are many reasons one might wish to advance her studies. Doctoral work is an opportunity to gain another level of expertise, to dive deeper into the questions that drive your artistic practice, to locate this practice in one or more appropriate contexts (relevant theories, ideas, agenda, historical and contemporary art practices). Depending on the specificities of the project, trans-disciplinary contributions to knowledge are also a real (and growing) possibility. It’s a very exciting time for us.
In the US at the moment (2012) the MFA is still considered a terminal degree. Other countries do not make much of a distinction between master’s degrees. The practice-based PhD has existed in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand since the early 1980′s and Continental Europe is catching up. In the US, a studio PhD will distinguish you in a pool of 300 job applicants, less so in the UK.
If you do not have a studio or curatorial-based practice it doesn’t make sense to switch but if you are one of those PhD students that went to an Art History program because there was no other way to do a PhD it might make a lot of sense. The practice-based PhD at Transart is for working artists that wish to tightly integrate research and artistic endeavour, people that have questions that they have been trying to answer in their artistic practice and with artistic means. Undertaking a PhD provides a reflective context in which those questions can be unpacked, examined and answered in a rigorous fashion.
Basically, in your first year (on the MPhil) you develop a project in which your creative practice is the research, in the two following years you carry it out, reflect and integrate your findings into your artistic practice, then wrap it all up in a thesis that can take on any form you and your advisors can agree upon.
In your first year you participate fully in the Transart residency and can choose from a range of workshops and seminars with changing topics each summer. On the PhD project your first advisor (director of studies) will come from Transart, your second advisor from Plymouth University, a third can be added if needed.
Application deadline and tuition can always be found in admissions
No. The MPhil is a necessary stage and can not be omitted. As a degree it is an “exit award” when for some reason someone does not continue with their project beyond the first 18 months. The MPhil will only be awarded for a substantially developed proposal.
Transart goes with the most inclusive list as published by the AMS here
Teaching opportunities are very limited as Transart does not have an undergraduate program and the MFA Creative Practice is based on individual projects with a small taught portion. Proposals are welcome and can be submitted here: xxx. A faculty committee reviews all proposals and selects a few for new input every summer.
Transart will find the right advisor for your project. This is the first step after a formal application. A specific person may or may not be available for your PhD project. The Insitute will contact your choice and a few other faculty once there is a formal proposal from you.
Due to the number of applications we receive we’re not able to comment on pre-existing partial drafts or other research you may have undertaken, although the fact that you do have this in place is likely to prove very useful as your project progresses. The focus of the MPhil/PhD application process at Ti is very much centred on the proposal, accordingly we’re only able to consider applications and proposals which meet the specific criteria specified here: http://www.transart.org/phd-admissions/
An accepted proposal allows the student to skip the second year of the MFA and go straight to the MPhil/PhD track. The time to completion varies but is 3 years at the absolute minimum.
Yes, tuition is currently (2012) $11,500 per semester. The current amount can always be found here:
The tuition for the write-up year is $3,250 per semester. No other fees are charged.
The Institute will offer a 10% discount for annual payments of full tuition in advance.
The minimum to get by with for the three weeks Berlin is around $1,500, $500 for the week in New York, less if you can stay with someone.
We too have met a number of practice-based PhD graduates that are in the limbo you describe and they are most often not so involved in art making any more. That said, we also have a number of PhD graduates who teach on our Faculty who are very much committed to their creative practices! Transart’s focus is as always on a creative practice. As an institute interested in alternative pedagogy, our goal is to make a program where this practice does not get lost. We’re very interested in the interaction between theory and practice, of course, but in our eyes the practice must always come first. For us, it’s important that the relationship between the two stays lively and balanced at all times. In the US Transart is the first to offer a studio-based PhD and we see this as an opportunity to go beyond the established British path, though with British institutional academic support and experience.
Thanks for your interest in the Transart PhD program. Most students at Transart have work obligations, often in higher education, so this should not be a problem.