Doctoral Training Programmes - Art, Design and Humanities

These innovative programmes provide subject-specific research training, placement and teaching opportunities, and a range of skills which will enhance your employability in the academic world and in the broader creative economy. Although they are aligned with particular subject areas and disciplines, the Doctoral Training Programmes (DTP) are interdisciplinary in orientation, and should help you realise the potential for creative collaboration inherent in your research projects.

Practice-based Research

DMU pioneered practice-based PhDs in the 1970s and has developed a significant programme of such degrees ever since. This flexible programme is intended for students whose research involves designing or making things or staging performances or events. If you intend to involve or include an artefact or significant documentation of artefacts, performances or events in your submission, you will benefit from the programme. The definition of an artefact is very broad, ranging from an object such as a painting or telephone, to an abstract entity such as a novel or a computer program, or a transient entity such as a performance. 

Typical subjects covered by this DTP include dance, fine art, performing arts and product design.

This DTP is an important part of an initiative to enhance your practice based experience, the quality of work and the community environment. It will provide training in the theory of practice based research,appropriate methodologies and forms of documentation, and share examples of successful practice based research projects. 

Opportunities for student placements with partner organisations in the creative industries will also be available.

Download Practice-Based Research DTP brochure

Theory and Practice of Design and Innovation

This flexible programme is intended to provide training support for those undertaking PhD study in and around all areas of design. The programme has been brought together by academics in the subjects of product, furniture, interior, fashion, digital and craft based design, and by experts in design trends. Additional input and support has also been provided from specialists in media, engineering and sustainability. 

Across all these disciplines, the programme provides training in both the theoretical and the practical sides of design. On the theoretical side it will cover research on the history, current conduct and future trajectory of design and innovation. On the practical side it will typically cover the development of medical devices, digitally manufactured products, apparel, sports footwear, craft items, retail interiors, etc.

This DTP builds on DMU’s lengthy tradition of industry facing research; a tradition that is currently manifested in The Design Unit (New Product Development, Retail Lab and Usability Lab), and in the School of Fashion and Textiles. In both areas, our design research has had significant international impact. 

The DTP in design and innovation works in collaboration with: 

  • The Leicester Media School in accessing modules proposed for its practice based DTP 
  • The Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) for the development of a specific design module relating to design for sustainability 
  • The School of Engineering for the development of specific design modules relating to design for digital manufacture, and to design and industry

Download Theory and Practice of Design and Innovation DTP brochure

Textual History and Culture in the Digital Age

This programme provides specialist training and support for students undertaking PhD research in any area involving the critical and historical study of texts, such as English literature, history or media. It has a particular focus on the ways in which the digitisation of our textual heritage is changing both the production and consumption of writing, and our methods of research into it.

There is also an emphasis on the role of new media in transforming our understanding of text, and the development of new theoretical paradigms for the analysis of such material. The DTP has been developed in conjunction with the DTP in Visual History and Visual Methods, and shares a number of modules in common with it.

This DTP has two distinct strands. The first, designed primarily for those undertaking research in English or history, includes training in research methodology for text-based disciplines, archival research and the use of new web-based resources. You will have the opportunity to visit significant national collections, such as the British Library and the British Film Institute.

The second strand, intended primarily for those studying media and multimodal texts, involves the examination of the online textual environment and introduces you to the new theoretical models being developed for the analysis of such materials. The DTP is designed to be interdisciplinary in orientation, and you will be free to design your own pathways through the various options in consultation with your supervisors, including those on offer in the partner Visual Histories and Visual Methods DTP.

Download Textual History and Culture in the Digital Age DTP brochure

Visual Histories and Visual Methods

This flexible programme is offered by the Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC), the Cinema and Television History Centre (CATH), and the Digital Building Heritage Group (DBHG) to provide high-level training over a diverse range of visual history, visual culture and digital humanities.

The focus will be on visual method, theory and historiography encompassing photography, film and television history, plans and drawings in both analogue and digital forms and their contemporary digital environments. This DTP has been developed in conjunction with the DTP in Textual History and Culture in the Digital Age, and shares a number of modules in common with it. 

The aim is to provide you with a set of critical and analytical skills that will enable you to make use of innovative visual analysis as an integral part of your research. The methods in question could form part of research projects over a very broad range of subjects, such as architecture, sports history, the history of fashion, silent film or book illustration.

The training programme will develop research skills, bridging archive, technology and content, in the historical dimensions of digital humanities in order to provide you with the very best foundation in both classic modes of analysis and in an understanding of the historical and cultural grounding of digital humanities.

Download Visual Histories and Visual Methods DTP brochure

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