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

Transart is particularly interested in supporting research in the following areas: Memory, Forgetting, Trauma and the Archive; Creative Fiction and Experimental Non-Fiction; Language/Image; Software Studies, Tactical Media and Network Cultures; International Diaspora and Post-Colonialism; Role of Art in Peace, Mediation, Performance Activism; Liminality, Space/Place, Temporary Architecture; Foreignness, Otherness and the Uncanny; and Cultural Engagement through Food. Research at Transart Institute is situated within the wider discursive context of ‘artistic research’, and aims to actively contribute to current discussions about what constitutes research through creative practice. Current PhD candidates research projects can be viewed here

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: highlight your commitment and advanced research skills when seeking competitive grant applications and academic opportunities; put you at the top of the stack in competitive academic situations; and help you stand out in a pool of grant applicants.

Course of Studies

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 Plymouth University, UK. The degree is offered exclusively for artistic research (creative practice) 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 dynamic transdisciplinary context for students to interact with a wide range of artists, scientists, technologists, cultural theorists, media practitioners and visionaries.

 Wherever they live and work, students conduct independent research outside of residencies in both traditional academic and creative practice contexts with the support of up to three advisors, drawn from both Transart Institute and Plymouth University. Regular critique and discussion groups meet virtually throughout the year (e.g. using Skype) and support a strong and critical international Transart research community. In addition, residencies offer exchange with a range of approximately fifty other emerging and mid-career artists participating in the MFA program or refreshing their practice through the Guest Artist Residency Program.


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 previous work by developing significant artistic research which represents an original contribution to the field of art and culture. The specifics of each creative practice PhD project are particular to the goals and interests of the candidate. The thesis will demonstrate systematic study, independence, critical competence, originality, and will be worthy of publication, exhibition, performance, in whole or part. The thesis—taking written and non-written form—allows artist-researchers to establish their epistemic claims.