- Identify a field of study and a research question within it;
- Pursue a defined key research question through studio research;
- Investigate cognate studio research undertaken by others internationally;
- Explore the theoretical and historical dimensions of the enquiry through scholarship;
- Collaborate with others, as appropriate, to extend the range of the enquiry;
- Produce a body of work that embodies or represents a new contribution to understanding, in response to the key research question;
- Write an account of the contribution to understanding that includes a reflective analysis of the theoretical and historical context of the research, a critical review of the process of the research, and a brief summary of the project and its outcomes;
- Successfully defend the outcomes of the research in a viva voce examination and exhibition.
Programmes of Enquiry
We welcome proposals for studio based PhDs in the following aspects of art practice:
- Drawing and painting as processes of enquiry;
- Creative methods and methodology in art;
- Public, site-specific, social and relational aspects of art;
- Performance, video and live art;
- Art and Ecology;
- Feminism in art;
- Interdisciplinary art research that promotes collaboration across academic boundaries, with potentially any college or school of NUI, Galway.
A proposal for a research project should outline the field of enquiry and the key research question, together with an indication of the research methods envisaged. We welcome informal enquiries in advance of a formal application, and we will assist shortlisted applicants to develop their proposals.
• Conor McGrady, Dean of Academic Affairs
• Dr. Áine Phillips, Head of Sculpture
• Dr. Eileen Hutton, Lecturer in Art & Ecology
• Dr. Ruby Wallis, Lecturer in Photography
Other members of BCA faculty may be available to PhD students by arrangement. A supervision team may also include faculty from NUI Galway or another university as appropriate.
The frequency of supervision meetings with supervisors will normally be as follows:
Full Time Students
Meetings with the primary supervisor take place bi-weekly in semester time and monthly in the summer for Full-Time students. Meetings with internal co-supervisors take place once per month in semester time, with one additional meeting during the summer. Meetings with external supervisors take place once per semester.
Breaks for vacations in the summer will take place by agreement between the student and their supervisor.
Part Time Students
Meetings with the primary supervisor take place monthly throughout the academic year and the summer, with one summer month off for vacation, agreed between the student and their supervisor. Meetings with internal co-supervisors take place bi-monthly throughout the full calendar year. Meetings with external supervisors take place once per semester.
Hybrid Mode Students
The frequency for Hybrid students will follow from these norms pro-rata.
Other Meeting Requirements
Students meet with their supervisors as a group once per semester for mid-year review. Meetings for Full-Time students will be in person at Burren College of Art. Those for Part-Time students will either be in person or online at Burren College of Art, supported by email communication.
Each student meets with a Graduate Research Committee that does not include their supervisors once a year to monitor progress and to report to the university accordingly. These meetings take place at Burren College of Art or online, as need be.
Supervisors have discretion to vary the frequency of all meetings as appropriate.
There are two types of assessment: annually by the Graduate Research Committee to determine eligibility for progression; and the final examination at the end of the programme of research by at least one External and one Internal Examiner, to examine the outcome of the project.
The final examination comprises:
- the submission of a body of work that embodies the contribution to knowledge and understanding, normally by exhibition;
- a written reflective analysis of the theoretical and historical context of the research subject to a maximum word count of 20,000 words and a minimum of 10,000 words;
- a written critical review of the process of the research subject to a maximum word count of 20,000 words and a minimum of 10,000 words;
- a 500 word summary of the contribution to knowledge and understanding together with documentation of the work;
- a viva voce examination.
All elements of the examination must be passed. The submission is examined with reference to the initial aims of the research project.
Student ProgressionIf a student fails to meet the criteria for progressing at the annual GRC review meeting the GRC may recommend:
• continuation with further review necessary;
• leaving the PhD programme.
Please note that In the event of a failure to progress, or a voluntary withdrawal from the program, tuition is non refundable.
Transferring to the MPhil (Fine Art)If enrolled on the PhD (Studio Art), a student may transfer to the MPhil (Fine Art) at any point during their period of study. This option is available to PhD students who may be unable to complete the full requirements of the PhD programme or need to exit the programme early due to personal or other extenuating circumstances.
In situations, where a student’s Graduate Research Committee recommends transfer to another programme, the MPhil provides an opportunity to consolidate the student’s research and allow them to acquire an advanced research degree.
Students who transfer to the MPhil (Fine Art) from the PhD (Studio Art) will be required to consolidate their research project, documentation and written thesis in a form that meets the requirements of the MPhil programme (please see the assessment criteria for the MPhil Fine Art).
The PhD is awarded by the National University of Ireland, Galway within the regulations and terms for the PhD degree and subject to the guidelines and protocols of the University, as published in the General Calendar of the University, and other sources as may be in place from time to time.