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Fine Art

Professional Doctorate in Creative Arts (DCA)

Research degrees at The Graduate School Right Arrow

Turn your arts skills and knowledge into a high level qualification

This exciting new doctoral programme at Leeds Beckett University is aimed at both practicing artists and professionals working in the arts field. Whether you are a painter or a filmmaker, a gallery curator or working in community arts, you can study in a flexible way which suits your working life. Under the supervision of our expert staff you can develop either a practice-based project or a traditional written thesis which build on your professional practice.

Join us on a path of discovery and contribute your knowledge and talent to research in the arts. Have your skills acknowledged by a doctoral qualification, producing work of value to you, to your employer, and to the wider community.

Entrance date

Our programme starts each year in October.

Mode of study

Your first year will be based around conveniently-timed workshops and classes, supported by group tutorials. These will enable you to develop and strengthen your research project. In the subsequent three years you will supported by a research supervisory team at one-to-one meetings through to submission.

The doctorate can be achieved via a traditional written thesis or via a practice route where a portfolio of creative work is supported by a shorter written exegesis.

Research proposal

Candidates will need to submit a 1,000 word research proposal alongside the standard doctoral application form. This will detail the area they will be investigating and should include a title, purpose of the project, references to relevant existing literature or other creative work, methodology, and proposed outcomes.

Please contact us to discuss your applications prior to your submission and we will assist you in developing it.

Areas covered

  • Film
  • Fine art
  • Dance
  • Graphic design and illustration
  • Fashion
  • Performing Arts
  • Music performance, composition and production 

Entry Requirements

For successful entry candidates will normally be required to provide evidence of the following:

  • Qualifications – Undergraduate degree plus postgraduate qualification (ideally MA/MSc)
  • Work Experience – A minimum of three years applied experience working within the arts or as an independent artist
  • Non-English speaking countries - An overall IELTS score of 7 with no individual sub-score below 6.5.


Fees are £4,500 per annum for four years.

Overseas applicants should contact researchadmissions@leedsbeckett.ac.uk - telephone: +44 (0)113 812 5385 before applying.

Who to contact if you have a question

For further information or to discuss an application contact Prof. Rob Shail Till R.Shail@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or Dr Lewis Paul L.Paul@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

The Graduate School: For all enquiries regarding the application process, please contact researchadmissions@leedsbeckett.ac.uk  telephone: +44 (0)113 812 5385

Further information on Leeds Beckett research degrees can be found at The Graduate School website.

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