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Research 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.

UAL also offers a range of fully funded studentships for research degree students.

Length of study

The minimum and maximum durations for a research degree at UAL are as follows:

  • 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 and tuition fees

The normal minimum entry requirement for a place on the Research Degrees Programme at UAL is an upper second class honours (2:1) degree of a British university or recognised institution of higher education, or an equivalent qualification from an institution outside of the UK.

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 as outlined above may be considered for a place on the Research Degrees Programme if they can demonstrate appropriate alternative qualifications, relevant professional experience, or previous research.

If English is not your first language, you will normally need to demonstrate that you are suitably proficient in English before we can enrol you.  You can do this by providing evidence of one of the following:

  • A recent UAL-approved English Language Test (ELT) score which meets the University's requirements for the Research Degrees Programme: either an IELTS minimum overall test result score of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and with no other component score lower than 6.0, or an equivalent test score;
  • Recent completion of an MA level course of study (Distinction only) in a majority English-speaking country;
  • Successful completion of UAL's Presessional Academic English Programme.

By 'recent' we mean that your English Language Test score or MA level qualification needs to have been awarded no more than two years prior to the date that you would first enrol in the Research Degrees Programme at UAL. We cannot normally accept evidence that is older than this.

You may submit an application for a place on the Research Degrees Programme before you have obtained your IELTS or equivalent test score, or before you have received your MA certificate, but if you are offered a place then you would need to provide evidence of having satisfied this condition before we can enrol you.

Each applicant is assessed on an individual basis and if you are offered a place on the Research Degrees Programme, then depending on your level of English language proficiency 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.

Learn more about our English Language Requirements.

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)

To be confirmed

  • Research Degree by Published Work (Home/EU) TBC
  • Research Degree by Published Work (International) TBC
  • Research Degree by Published Work (UAL staff) TBC

*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)

Please note:

  • 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.