School of Art, Design and Architecture

MPhil/PhD Transtechnology Research

Using a range of practice and theory based methods the group is concerned to make apparent evidence of human desire and cultural imperatives as they are manifested in the way that science and technology is practiced, innovated by entrepreneurs and interpreted by its users.

Informed by transdisciplinary approaches, current research engages with burning questions in Film and Cinema Studies, Media Philosophy, Digital Media, History of Science and Technology, Media Anthropology, Design Theory, Interaction Design and Human Cognition.

Course details

  • Overview
  • This full time or part time doctoral programme is suitable for people who have a particular research question or topic in mind, and wish to explore this through independent study in order to produce an original contribution to the subject. If you aspire to a research career this is the most appropriate research degree to undertake.

    You will be guided by a small supervisory team of academic experts under the direction of a Director of Studies. Even if you already have a masters degree, you will normally be registered as a ‘MPhil/PhD’ candidate and may apply to transfer to ‘PhD’ status around 10–22 months after registration, based on your progress to date.

    You will be expected to fully engage with skills development and training and to present your research in a range of scholarly contexts.

    Your PhD will be assessed via submission of either a written thesis (approximately 80,000 words), or one that combines critical writing with artistic, creative and/or professional practice, and a viva voce (an oral examination).

    For full details of what doing a PhD entails at the University of Plymouth, please visit our Postgraduate Research Degrees pages.

    Core modules
    • GSRTRES1 Research Transtechnology

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • GSRTRES2 Research Transtechnology

  • Year 3
  • Core modules
    • GSRTRES3 Research Transtechnology

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    • GSRTRES4 Research Transtechnology

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have completed a masters level qualification to a high standard (e.g. at 'merit' or 'distinction' level) as well as either a good 2:1 or first class honours undergraduate degree in an area of study appropriate to your project proposal. We are happy to consider equivalent qualifications (for instance, you may have studied different subjects at undergraduate and masters level but have established an artistic practice since then).

If you do not have a masters level qualification, we recommend you consider applying for our ResM Art, Design and Architecture programme. Students who are making exceptional progress in a ResM programme, may progress directly into our PhD programme without having to complete the masters.

You will also need to provide evidence that you are ready to pursue the project you propose in your application. This will take the form of a sample of critical writing, and if relevant, documentation of relevant creative or professional practice.

If English is not your first language, you must have proficiency in written and spoken English (normally a minimum test score of 6.5 for IELTS, or equivalent). Given the nature of the programme, you’ll be expected to read and engage with complex theoretical texts and debates for which fluency in English is essential.

For more general guidelines and application requirements, please visit the research degrees applicants page.

Fees, costs and funding

Please visit tuition fees for postgraduate research for information about fees. PhD Transtechnology Research is in Band 2 for fees purposes.

If you are a full time student, you will pay full time fees for three years. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you may pay for an optional one year writing up period.

If you are a part time student, you will pay part time fees for four years. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you may pay for an optional 'writing up' period of up to two years.

You are responsible for meeting all of the costs related to your own research project, beyond the resources available in the department.

Please visit our postgraduate research money matters page to find out more about issues related to fees, funding, loans and paying for your programme of study.

How to apply

In addition to completing the online application form (which includes space for a personal statement), you must also upload a research project proposal of no more than 1000 words in total. Your research proposal should outline your general topic, your key aims and the research question/problem you are addressing, your proposed methodology, key definitions/thinkers/discourses/practitioners you are drawing upon and an explanation of why this topic is significant or important.

Your personal statement should briefly explain why you have chosen to apply to our programme and what you feel you can offer our research community.

You will also need to submit a sample of your critical writing (3000 words maximum) and, if relevant, evidence of your ability to undertake the practice-led research you are proposing (e.g. a DVD, portfolio, links to website, reviews, catalogue, etc.). It should take no longer than 30 minutes to view all the visual material that you provide.

For more general guidelines and application requirements, please visit the research degrees applicants page.

Many doctoral research projects begin with a conversation, and if you are considering a research degree there are a number of ways of engaging with us in order to find out more about the process and developing your application. Our monthly seminar sessions are open to the public. We also encourage potential applicants to contact us about making a visit to our offices for a meeting and the opportunity to meet other researchers in the group.

All supervisory teams include members with substantial track records of practice in the arts, design or filmmaking who also have significant publishing profiles in at least one other academic discipline. Previous students have held full doctoral research grants from AHRC, EPSRC, the University of Plymouth and Brazilian and Portuguese Research Councils. Current researchers are funded as part of the Marie-Curie funded ITN CogNovo, and 3D3 consortium. We also hold and oversees doctoral and post-doctoral research grants from the EU. 

Current Doctoral Research Projects

Allen, R., (2016-) The great Flood: Boat Punks, Exiles and Material Remediations

Brodskis, B,. (2016-) Post-digital scribing: valuing the point of intersection

Edmonds, G. (2014-) Early Cinema and Cognitive Creativity

Finnegan, P., (2018-) The digital image according to its hieroglyphic and animistic capacities

Haines, A. (2014-) Ideas exchange: understanding the human object

Hutchinson, J. (2014-) Not me – not not me: concerning the mediation of dissolving actualities and performing self

Jackson, A. (2014-) Creative balance between expressive movement and technology: for the autistic child

Knight, J. (2012-) The ‘frisson event’ a unified experience of simultaneity

Peres, N. (2014-) Immersive cinematics in medical simulation: interfaces for the patient voice

Richardson, J., (2018-) Bringing forth an economics of well-being in everyday life

Stamboliev, E., (2014-) The social robot between social, surveying and digital media: A media-ethical perspective on a contemporary tracking device

Sweeting, J. (2015-) The impact of technological constructivism on representation in videogames

Tadaoka, K. (2014-) Contemplation and Time

About us

Transtechnology Research is a transdisciplinary research group situated in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Its constituency is drawn from historians, philosophers, anthropologists, artists and designers and is led from a historical and theoretical perspective with the objective of understanding science and technology as a manifestation of a range of human desires and cultural imperatives. Its aim is to provide a doctoral and post-doctoral environment for researchers who need to undertake academic research informed by their own and others creative practice. Its overarching research project concerns the historical and philosophical aspects of science and technology and the popular arts. 

Visit our website for further information

Transtechnology Research

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