Research in the School of Design is driven by three priorities: User-First Design, Design Sustainability, and Contemporary Practices in Art and Design. A vital model for PhD education in the School of Design is offered by TFE, an academy/industry partnership funded through the European FP7 programme, through which several PhD students work with a Principal Investigator in delivering a major research project.
PhD through Practice in Design
The PhD through practice entails a practitioner producing a body of work within a critically reflective frame of enquiry with the intention of extending and innovating an area of design practice.
In the PhD programme through Design - whether working as part of a research cluster or on an individual programme of enquiry – students demonstrate advanced research ability in the discovery and development of new knowledge and skills, delivering findings at the frontiers of knowledge and application. The key issue in a PhD is that the student will make a significant contribution to the field of enquiry. It is an ambitious programme of study whether pursued through practical work or written thesis. PhD study normally requires a minimum of three years full-time study (but may require longer, given the high level of achievement required).
The final submission for a doctoral award in Design will normally entail a combined submission of:
- A body of practical work
- A written text of 20,000 to 40,000 words.
The PhD programme at NCAD is a structured programme involving significant interdisciplinary and discipline specific input in the early stages of the research project, and active engagement with a community of researchers within and beyond NCAD.
- The NCAD’s training, supervision and support processes for PhD candidates include:
- Regular, dynamic student-led interdisciplinary PhD research seminars
- Access to international PhD networks and exchange programmes
- Supervised access to internal and external experts in the relevant field
- Annual national PhD conferences in art and design
- Public symposia and conferences in PhD research areas
- Cross-institutional collaboration involving multidisciplinary research teams
- Training in appropriate research methods.
Applicants for a PhD through Practice in Design are encouraged to identify members of college staff they would wish to work with as supervisor(s) to offer guidance in developing their research proposal.