Creative Arts

Qualification(s) available: PhD

Entry requirements
3 years
6 years
Start date
1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October
UK fee
To be confirmed
International fee
Creative Arts


Creative Arts is a thriving research community with a proven record for both creative and scholarly outputs of international excellence in the fields of the arts.

Based within the School of Design and Creative Arts, Loughborough University Creative Arts comprises the disciplines of drama, fine art, graphic communication, illustration and textiles, with additional expertise in animation, photography, creative writing and art history.

Our research takes place both through individual scholarship and in collaboration with UK and global research partners. We investigate new directions in both the creation and the analysis of a wide range of cultural forms. Our PhD programme allows for either a text-based research project, or for a practice-based one.

We are committed to knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange projects and use our research strengths to form links with the creative industries. This has developed an entrepreneurial side to our activities and fostered a range of productive and effective knowledge transfer partnerships.

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Why you should choose us

Where you'll study

Our extensive range of first-class facilities are designed to help students undertake their research successfully. These include newly refurbished study areas, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, a theatre, music rooms and dedicated spaces for seminars and research activities.

Our six Creative Hubs are designed to give you access to the widest possible range of tools and equipment in order to support your practical work. Each hub is staffed by technical tutors whose enthusiasm, skills and experience play a vital role in enabling you to develop and realise your ideas. The hubs are: Creative Digital Technology and Photography; Print, Stitch and Dye Textiles; Fine Metal, Wood and Woven/Constructed Textiles; Painting and Printmaking; Stone, Heavy Metalwork and Ceramics; and Performance and Rehearsal Spaces, Costumes, Sets and Props.

Our research

By joining one of our postgraduate research areas, you will have the opportunity to be part of a vibrant, enthusiastic and forward-thinking community, where academics and students work closely together to research the latest advancements and discoveries in the creative arts.

Animation Academy

The Animation Academy is a centre for animation research, scholarship, practice and exhibition, embracing tradition and progress, education and industry, art and commerce. It is dedicated to excellence at a national and international level in all of its activities.

Arts in the Public Sphere

This research group aims to explore the historical and contemporary relationship between the artist as producer to a variety of public spheres. It investigates how contemporary social groups understand matters of 'public interest' and assesses how the idea of the 'common good' is approached and represented in the arts and humanities.

Drawing and Visualisation (TRACEY)

Since its inception in 1998, the Drawing and Visualisation research group's key aim has been to explore and examine drawing and visualisation research processes physically, cognitively and critically.

Genders and Identities

The Genders and Identities group is a multidisciplinary research theme that spreads across schools, mainly between Creative Arts, and Social Sciences and Humanities. We take an inclusive, intersectional approach to (cultural) politics, including those of gender, sex, class, race and ethnicity.

Politicized Practice

The Politicized Practice research group starts from a shared question rather than a specific disciplinary context, asking, how can contemporary art contribute to social and political change?

Sculpture Research Group

The Sculpture Research Group unites nationally and internationally important scholars and practitioners with interests in sculpture and three-dimensional objects, including architecture, from the Middle Ages to the contemporary. We have received major awards from RCUK, the Henry Moore Foundation, the Paul Mellon Foundation and the Leverhulme foundation, and have won international commissions in the UK, Canada and China. We study some of the greatest ever sculptors and work with some of the most important of the present day. Our interests include 3D scanning and CAD design and we have pioneered the use of 3D and CAD re-creation for national and international heritage projects.

Storytelling Academy

The Storytelling Academy brings together our extensive research activity in applied storytelling, including performative and digital forms of storytelling. We have been engaged in over 20 projects throughout the UK, Europe, India, Kenya, Uganda, Colombia and the USA, funded through the UK Research Councils, the British Academy and the European Commission. Our work is interdisciplinary and collaborative in nature, focusing on how storytelling is a democratising practice that can help bring new voices and knowledge into public conversations. This includes around major global challenges in the areas of environment, health, education and social justice.

Textile Design

The Textile Design research group is committed to understanding and progressing textile design research and practice. This includes through both traditional and practice-led approaches, particularly within collaborative and interdisciplinary working contexts.

Theatre and Performance

The Theatre and Performance research group is concerned with research into all forms of performance, both historical and contemporary. Our research-active staff are currently involved in a variety of projects, both discipline-based and inter/multidisciplinary.

Your development

Creative Arts doctoral researchers will have the support of two supervisors - both may come from Creative Arts, or if appropriate, supervisors from this area may co-supervise with staff from other parts of the university. The Director of Doctoral Programmes can provide additional guidance and pastoral support, as can other academic staff as appropriate.

You will join a lively community of researchers and staff, becoming an integral part of the school’s research culture. Conference and symposia attendance is encouraged and these activities are partially supported by a dedicated fund, open to all doctoral researchers.

PhD students also enjoy close interaction and collaboration with academic staff - pre-eminent researchers who are well regarded within their respective fields and active in research, publishing and academia.

You are expected to complete 30 days of dedicated transferable skills training during your registered period of study. For part-time students, the annual requirement is halved. Training sessions that contribute to your total requirement are run by the University's Professional Development unit. Training is also offered by the Creative Arts department and the university's Doctoral College. Other options are through self-guided study or by attendance at training sessions organised by nationally-recognised bodies, such as UK-Grad. You need to keep a record of these training days and present it in your annual Student Self Report that is read by a panel to monitor your progression.

Your future career

A PhD will give you the opportunity to develop new and highly sought after skills which can set you up for a range of careers.

It is a chance to make a novel contribution to knowledge, to become a world expert in a particular field and it can open a range of doors with different employers. You will also enhance your interpersonal skills, such as networking and relationship building, which will be invaluable in your future career.

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a related subject.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Fees and funding

UK fee

Full-time degree per annum
To be confirmed

International fee

Full-time degree per annum

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

Find out more about research degree funding

How to apply

We welcome applications in any of the areas listed on this page and encourage prospective students to explore the research activity of our staff and to contact appropriate staff directly for advice before submitting an application.

Extended proposals and an interview are necessary before applicants are finally accepted. Applicants will normally be asked to supply a written proposal of 2,000 words outlining their projected research, and (in the case of practice-based proposals) images of work or other appropriate documentation. Further information on preparing your proposal can be found here.

Apply now