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:

  1. A body of practical work
  2. 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.