Creative PhD Program




Transart Institute began offering a low-residency Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in 2012. The degree is only offered for creative work. 

Current research clusters include: Memory, Forgetting, Trauma and the Archive; International Diaspora and Post-Colonialism; Role of Art in Peace, Mediation, Performance Activism; Liminality, Space/Place, Temporary Architecture; Foreignness, Otherness and the Uncanny; Creative Fiction and Experimental Non-fiction; Language/Image: Art and Social Technologies; Gender; and Cultural Engagement through Food.

The international makeup of students and faculty at Transart fosters exchange across cultural boundaries, faculty and students come from a wide range of academic and artistic backgrounds as well as geographic locations due to the Institute’s utopian nature. Transartists converge for the summer residencies in Berlin from areas as diverse as Italy, New Zealand, Pakistan, Iceland, Haiti, Croatia, Ethiopia, Canada, the UK and the US.

Summer residencies take place in cooperation with arts organizations in Europe. Winter residencies take place in New York at various arts initiatives and galleries. Student summer exhibitions and performances are reviewed, critiqued and curated by established international curators and artists. Additionally, students participate in PhD symposia, seminars and elected topic-driven workshops, screenings, cultural excursions, talks, lectures and other events including the biennial Transartfest.What else will a PhD do for me?

A Creative PhD will put you at the top of the stack in competitive academic situations and helps you stand out in a pool of grant applicants.

Course of Studies

The PhD at Transart is a three year full time degree program with an average work commitment of 30 hours per week, accredited by the University of Plymouth, UK. The degree is offered exclusively for practice-based research (creative work) which includes a written component forming a thesis in the most open sense of the word.

The course of studies at Transart Institute aims to create a space for students of all disciplines to interact with a wide range of artists, scientists, theorists, media practitioners and visionaries.

Students investigate their work independently outside of residencies, wherever they live and work, in both a cultural and creative context with the support of up to three advisors, coming from both Transart and Plymouth University. A bi-weekly critique and discussion group of Transart researchers meeting virtually through the year by skype augments the advisement process and enlivens the Transart post-doctoral community. Residencies offer exchange with a range of approximately fifty other emerging and mid-career artists participating in the MFA program or refreshing their practice in the Guest Artist Residency Program, academically, creatively and socially, with new professional opportunities and long term relationships forming. 


Practice-based Research

The a-disciplinary model at Transart Institute is designed to enrich artists’ praxis; foster change; facilitate a connection between group and personal work; provide the means for contextualizing work in the wider world; and develop interaction strategies with audiences. PhD research is expected to contribute significantly to the current creative cultural dialogue through informed, published, exhibited or performed work and documentation thereof.


The PhD builds on the achievements of student’s Masters level work, by developing a creative project of significant and relevant practice-based research which represents an original contribution to the field of art and culture. The specifics of each practice-based PhD project are particular to the goals and interests of the candidate. The thesis will show systematic study, independence, critical competence, originality and will be capable of publication, exhibition, performance, etc. in whole or in part. It will include a record of the ‘practice’ element and will also serve to contextualize the practice intellectually while clearly demonstrating its contribution to knowledge.

Begin your application here.