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PhD and MPhil degrees

University of the Arts London offers both theoretical and practice-based research programmes, leading to an MPhil or PhD awarded in any subject area where the University can provide appropriately qualified supervision.

We also offer a range of options for visiting students, as well as MPhil and PhD awards for a Research Degree by Published Work.

There are currently over 250 research degree students at UAL who benefit from full access to cross-College resources, interdisciplinary dialogue, and research student training via Research Network UAL (RNUAL). This offers a comprehensive programme of support and training to enhance their studies and future research careers.

Length of study


  • PhD: minimum 2 years; maximum 4 years
  • MPhil: minimum 15 months; maximum 3 years


  • PhD: minimum 3 years; maximum 8 years
  • MPhil: minimum 2 years; maximum 6 years

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirement is an upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent from a recognised higher education institution.

However, a Master's degree in an appropriate subject is considered to be a particularly valuable preparation for the academic and intellectual demands of an MPhil or PhD.

In some instances, applicants without the minimum academic requirement may be considered for a place if they can demonstrate appropriate alternative qualifications, relevant professional experience, or previous research.

English language

If English is not your first language, you will need to meet our English language requirements by providing one of the following:

  • A recent UAL-approved English Language Test (ELT) - such as IELTS 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and with no other component score lower than 6.0, or an equivalent test score;
  • Recent MA degree (Distinction only) in a majority English-speaking country;
  • Successful completion of UAL's Presessional Academic English Programme.

Your qualification needs to have been awarded no more than 2 years prior to your enrolment date.

You can apply before you receive your English Language Test or MA certificate. If you're offered a place, you will need to show your qualification before enrolment.

Depending on your level of English as demonstrated through your application form and interview, we will inform you whether we would require a new IELTS result before you can begin your PhD studies.

Please note that we can no longer accept TOEFL test results for this purpose.

Tuition fees

Tuition fee status (Home/EU or International) is determined by your residency history as well as your visa status and nationality; we will let you know what your tuition fee status will be after your application has been assessed.

Please be aware that tuition fees are payable each academic year, and are subject to change each academic year in line with inflation.


  • Visiting Students £1,560 (per 3 months)


  • Home/EU full-time £5,450
  • Home/EU part-time £2,725
  • International full-time (new) £19,930
  • Writing-up fee* £855 (payable in 4 instalments)
  • Visiting Students £1,610 (per 3 months)
  • Research Degree by Published Work (Home/EU) £5,450
  • Research Degree by Published Work (International) £19,930
  • Research Degree by Published Work (UAL staff) £1,640

Please note

The writing-up fee is valid for 12 months. Writing-up is up to 12 months before submission. The writing-up fee is valid for this period (requirement to pay instalments ceases on submission of PhD)

International students who enrolled in 2018/19 or earlier will continue to pay the same fee that they paid in the first year of their enrolment on their research degree at UAL.

Students who enrolled in 2017/18 or earlier will continue to pay the £240 Writing-up fee.