Fine Art

Fine Art

Fine Art research degrees cover a range of subject areas including sculpture, curatorial studies, painting and drawing.

MPhil | PhD
Start Date
February and October

We welcome proposal submissions from students to undertake research in the following indicative areas, although other areas will be considered:

  • Digital Printmaking Practices and Theory in Fine Art – Dr Jon Pengelly
  • Curatorial History, Theory and Practice – Dr Jon Blackwood
  • Art, Activism and Protest - Dr Jon Blackwood
  • Contemporary Art Practices in the Former Yugoslavia - Dr Jon Blackwood
  • Cultural Ecologies and Mapping - Dr Jon Blackwood
  • Contemporary Art Practice in Scotland since c. 1991 - Dr Jon Blackwood
  • Public Art, in particular Socially Engaged, Participatory, Community Arts, Co-Creativity and the role of the artist in public life – Dr Chris Fremantle
  • Art and science, in particular Ecological and Environmental Art, Inter/Trans/Post-disciplinary practices, Art and sustainability – Dr Chris Fremantle
  • Social research methods and theory (anthropology); cross-cultural research (Regional specialisms: Scotland/UK; Japan, SE Asia) – Dr Jen Clarke
  • Continental philosophy (esp: feminist theory, new materialism, object orientated ontology) - Dr Jen Clarke
  • Environmental and ecological art and design - Dr Jen Clarke
  • Performance studies; contemporary dance - Dr Jen Clarke
  • Feminist theory and philosophy - Dr Jen Clarke
  • Fine Art – Photography, Theory and Practice – Dr Jim Hamlyn
  • Representation Theory and Theories of the Image - Dr Jim Hamlyn

We are also interested in the following broad Fine Art research opportunities: 

  • Social and ecological art in the public sphere
  • Artistic leadership
  • Aesthetics and ethics of public art practice
  • Contemporary art in relation and its histories of representation and modes of distribution
  • Drawing within contemporary art practice
  • Theories of contemporary art practice, including feminism

Normal entry requirements are a first or upper second class honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom, or from an overseas University, or degree equivalent qualification, subject to the approval of Robert Gordon University. Applicants holding qualifications other than those above shall be considered on their merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the proposed research programme. 

Applicants holding qualifications other than those above shall be considered on their merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the proposed research programme. Applicants will normally register for an MSc/PhD or MRes/PhD with transfer to PhD dependent on satisfactory progress. However, applicants who already possess a Master’s degree which includes a significant research component could be registered directly for a PhD, subject to a satisfactory research proposal, and clear evidence of research expertise. 

English Language

Any applicant whose first language or language of previous University-level instruction is not English must normally demonstrate competence in English. This should be a score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

English Language requirements

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Pre-Sessional English Programme at RGU

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


For Academic Year 2022/2023


  • Full time - £4,596 per academic year
  • Part time MPhil/PhD - £2,760 per academic year
  • Part time MRes/MSc by research - £2,298 per academic year


  • Full time - £15,130 per academic year
  • Part time MPhil/PhD - £9,078 per academic year
  • Part time MRes/MSc by research - £7,565 per academic year

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.

Student Funding

Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter. For further information see:


All applications should be made via the University's online application for research students.

Our Research degrees usually start in February and October each year. There is no official deadline for you to submit your application, though we recommend you submit it as early as possible in order to ensure we can help you join us at your preferred time.

Completed application forms should be accompanied by:
  • Two academic references
  • A transcript or mark sheet for all graduate qualifications
  • A draft research proposal, or at least a short summary to indicate the potential area of research (Refer to Section 8 of the Application Form)

For applicants whose first language or language of university education is not English, applications must include:

  • Certificate of English language competency score of IELTS 6.5 in each of the four test components (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking).
  • Students who can demonstrate successful completion of tertiary (university or college) studies in a country whose national language is English, may be exempted from this requirement.


For more information on your proposal and application:

Dr Jon Pengelly Research Coordinator

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