Image of someone painting

Research Programme

Research at the School focuses on traditional art forms and on the roles of traditional art and arts practice in the world today. It offers opportunities to explore the world’s traditional art forms in relation to important questions about the meaning of art in the contemporary world, and about the roles of artists within their communities. We especially welcome applications from artists interested in researching and supporting traditional arts, crafts and design as living practices, or where traditional arts are either threatened or have already disappeared.

Our School pioneered arts practice as research in the traditional arts.

Our research is prompted by questions about

  • techniques, materials, forms and composition
  • the relevance and adaptability of traditional arts in contemporary contexts
  • the nature and purpose of traditional arts practice
  • the role of research beyond academia and the studio, in our communities today.

Through creating their own artwork using traditional materials and rediscovered techniques, students research and explore the wider relationship between traditional arts practice and sacred space, wellbeing, spirituality, sustainability, aesthetic experience and more.

Through tutorials, seminars and training sessions, students develop their critical and theoretical understanding and their skills as artist/researchers supported by their supervisors, fellow students, and other academics and artists.

Our research students benefit from being part of a growing international community of traditional artists, fellow students, teachers, practitioners and alumni, sharing skills, methods and knowledge, committed to reinvigorating traditional arts.

We look for students with original ideas (although not necessarily completely formulated), with potential to contribute to reinvigorating traditional arts in contemporary contexts through practice as research.

Current and recently completed research degrees have investigated:

  • Islamic art and architecture
  • Christian iconography
  • Hindu iconography and architecture
  • Urban design
  • Buddhist iconography
  • Jewish art
  • Traditional use of geometry and pattern
  • Poetry and painting
  • Colour and meaning
  • Innovation within the traditional arts
  • Traditional arts pedagogy.

The School is open to proposals across the traditional arts for which it has the skills and resources to support.

All our research degrees use arts practice as research methodology. Candidates can study for MPhil and PhD degrees part-time or full-time, in London or as distance learners.

Modes of Study for research degrees

Candidates for an MPhil or PhD may choose to study either full-time or part-time.

Full-time students

Full-time students will spend a minimum of 35 hours each week on research and study during the period of supervised study for the degree.

Part-time students

Part-time students will spend a minimum of 15 hours each week on research and study during the period of supervised study for the degree.

Periods of Study for research degrees

The required periods of study for students pursuing research degrees are given below with reference to the modes of study identified above.


Mode of study Minimum period of study Maximum submission
Full-time 3 years 4 years
Part-time 6 years 8 years


Mode of study Minimum period of study Maximum submission
Full-time 2 years 3 years
Part-time 4 years 6 years

Tuition Fees

Mode of study UK Overseas students
Full-time £6,500 p.a £10,000 p.a.
Part-time £3,250 p.a. £5,000 p.a.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Research degrees at the Prince’s School are validated by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Below are links to resources for current and potential students; the UWTSD Academic Quality Handbook, the UWTSD Code of Practice, and an introduction to the Researcher Development Programme at UWTSD.

Students will be provided with a copy of the Research Students Handbook from the Prince's School upon registration.

UWTSD Academic Quality Handbook

UWTSD Code of Practice

Entrance Requirements - Research Degrees

Applicants for MPhil or PhD degrees are expected to have a BA, 2:1 or above, or a Master’s degree, awarded by a UK or other recognised university or higher education institution, or by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA).

Applicants who do not have these minimum entrance qualifications may be considered for non-standard entry. In this case, the Admissions Committee has the responsibility to ensure that candidates can demonstrate equivalent academic ability, for example, they may have the required knowledge, skills and training due to their work or other previous experience.

The School will follow processes outlined by the University of Wales Trinity St David to assess the applicant’s prior skills and knowledge and determine their suitability to undertake research.

All applicants must be capable of satisfying the Admissions Committee that their proficiency in English is sufficient to allow them to research and prepare and defend their thesis in English.

Applicants whose first language is not English, and who have not completed prior degrees in English, will require a minimum overall IELTS score from a recognised UKVI centre of 6.5 (to include a minimum score of 6.5 in both reading and writing).

All admissions must finally be approved by the University of Wales Trinity St David before applicants may proceed with studies.

We encourage applicants to arrange an informal meeting with faculty before making an application. Please contact the Registrar if you would like to arrange this.


Applicants who wish to appeal or complain about our admission process should read through our Admissions Policy.