Loughborough Doctoral College

10. Practice based research degrees

Guidance for candidates submitting a PhD with a substantial creative practical component.

  1. A research degree submission with a practice element is designed to accommodate the idea that not all knowledge is best represented and communicated in written form. It will enable innovative practices of research and representation in doctoral work.
  2. Subject to the agreement of the appropriate academic School, a candidate for the award of the degree of PhD or MPhil may submit a project on a single research topic that has two elements:
    1. a written thesis and
    2. a substantial practical component. The practical work may take the form of creative output appropriate to the field of study, for example, artefacts, film, performance, photography. The research outcomes must form a coherent whole. Research proposals and the resources required to undertake the research shall be subject to careful review with the candidate at the outset of the research.
  3. The general principles for any submission for a higher degree should apply. Accordingly, Examiners will assess all submissions in accordance with the criteria for the award of an MPhil or PhD set out in paragraphs 27 and 28 of the Code of Practice.
  4. The written element of the submission is expected to be normally 40,000 words in length. Both written and practical elements together should address the research question, the methodology adopted, the critical and theoretical framework for the research and demonstrate original research, analytical skill and rigour. The specific model adopted for submission will refer to School guidelines and be subject to careful review.
  5. This mode of submission would normally be appropriate in the School of Design and the School of the Arts, English and Drama. It may also be appropriate in other subject areas. In all cases, however, the practical work must have been undertaken as part of the registered research programme.
  6. The written and practical elements of the submission shall be submitted for examination in accordance with Regulation XXVI. Examiners will normally be required to attend a presentation in an appropriate form. Such presentations should normally be arranged to coincide with the oral examination or be made available in a recorded format at the oral examination.
  7. A permanent record of the practical element of the thesis shall be deposited with the written thesis in the University Library. This record may consist of photographs, DVD or other audio-visual material. Examiners may require amendments or revisions to the written or practical element of the submission. In cases where the Examiners require amendments to the practical element of the submission, they should first be satisfied that their concerns cannot be addressed through amendments to the written element of the submission. Where this is not possible Examiners should consider whether an additional practical arrangement could be used to address any concerns rather than revise the original practical element.