Applications are now closed for 2019/0
Before you can submit a full PhD programme application and contact your preferred supervisor, you must send a pre-application to firstname.lastname@example.org, alongside:
- Research Proposal Title
- Research Proposal Summary – 300 words (including which member of faculty you wish to ask to be your supervisor and why)
We will assess your pre-application and, if appropriate, discuss your proposal with your preferred supervisor before providing feedback. Should your pre-application be approved, you will be invited to submit a full programme application and provided with an application link to the main programme application portal.
You should aim to submit your pre-application by 30 November 2018.
Programme Application Deadline: 5pm GMT 11 January 2019
After you have submitted a full programme application, you will be contacted before the end of April 2019 with a final decision about your application.
Most interviews will take place on 23 January 2019, though some may take place earlier if either the supervisor or applicant cannot make that date.
Please note that students requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK cannot study part-time.
The PhD programme is structured to help you attain the required skills you need to undertake your research and to write your thesis, allowing you to maintain and build momentum in your writing and to complete your PhD thesis within the three, or at maximum four year time span allotted.
In the first year you will take part in the skills course, a series of sessions that provide guidance on aspects of the PhD course and training with skills such as referencing programmes, image management and photography, using social media in your research, presenting at conferences, teaching, publishing, and archival research. During the first year you may also take language classes. Some of these – Dutch and Latin for example – are organised by the Courtauld in-house; others will be on offer through other institutes in London, such as LSE, Kings, or the Goethe Institute. There are also important courses held within the University of London for historical skills and archives, palaeography, public speaking, oral histories etc. Our CHASE partnership also provides access to a range of innovative training programmes: in 2014-15 these included ‘Material Witness’ and Becoming a Public Intellectual. Another important element of the first year programme are the sessions held by the Visual arts community of scholars across the University of London, known as ReSkIN. These sessions provide an opportunity to meet other scholars across London working on topics in the visual arts, and to attend sessions about writing and research on the visual arts. Alongside these various training and skills events, you will attend the first year seminar, which allows you to work together as a cohort of students at The Courtauld to learn about methods and approaches to research, to debate and share those methods, both theoretical and practical. In the first term this involves a different text read each week, chosen by a student as representative of their material or approach; in the second it moves to students presenting their own research topics to the group.
In the third term of the first year you will submit your first year monitoring paper. This consists of a chapter of your research, an outline of your thesis, and plan for the next two years of work; it will be read by your supervisory team, and discussed at a formal meeting with them in early June. You have to pass this monitoring exercise to proceed to the following year. It is an important milestone in your PhD research, and the focus for your writing in the first year.
In the second year students often take longer research or field work trips abroad; training in languages or other skills may continue; students may also be involved with working as teaching assistants and other opportunities for building elements of your professional experience. You will continue to meet regularly with your supervisory team. There is a further monitoring event during the second year, which takes different forms in different period sections, but most often involves some sort of presentation of your research, usually to faculty and research students.
In the third year you will be focusing on completing and revising your chapters: this can be the most intense year for writing. You will meet with your supervisory team regularly and will also be required to take part in the Third Year Postgraduate Symposium, attended by MA and PhD students and faculty from across the institute, where you will give a paper.
As a PhD student at the Courtauld your work will be monitored regularly, at formal points in the first, second and third year (see Structure). The award of PhD is given on the submission and assessment of your completed thesis. This will be a substantial piece of original research, of no less than 70,000 but no more than 100,000 words. It will, as our regulations state, ‘form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and afford evidence of originality by the discovery of new facts and/or by the exercise of independent critical power’.
When you are nearing completion and submission of your thesis, two examiners from outside The Courtauld will be appointed: they will read your thesis and conduct the oral examination (viva). They will decide whether your thesis merits the degree, or make clear what corrections may be needed for the degree to be awarded.
PhD applicants are expected to have achieved a Masters degree in a subject relevant to their proposed research. Those with Masters awarded in the UK normally are expected to have received at least 65%/a good Merit overall, with at least 70%/a Distinction in the dissertation or thesis; applicants from other countries should contact our Admissions team at email@example.com for advice about our requirements.
Before starting the application process, applicants must identify and contact a potential supervisor at the Institute who is an expert in the relevant field, confirming the suitability of the research proposal. A list of current Courtauld staff can be found here.
It is important to be in contact with your prospective supervisor before you apply, since there are strict limits on how many PhD students any one supervisor may take in a given year.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
All applicants are expected to have an effective knowledge of English, both spoken and written. For applicants whose first language is not English, we require proof of English proficiency – for details, please see the English Language Requirements page.
Part-time home/ EU fee: £2,520
Full-time home/ EU fee: £5,047
Overseas fee: £18,025
Fees are subject to change each academic year. Fee info, including what qualifies as home, EU, and overseas fees, can be found here.
Financial support for your studies
Find information about loans, grants, and bursaries to support you during your studies at The Courtauld here.