Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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MA by Research

The MA by Research is for candidates who have appropriate qualifications to undertake research and who have a clearly defined project which is planned and focused from the outset.

In this section:

How you study

The MA by Research involves the completion of the research project and submission of a thesis of up to 30,000 words within one year of registration (two years for part-time study). The subject must have substantial significance and, because of the nature of the degree, it is very important that the work is clearly focused and a disciplined approach to the project is adopted.

How to Apply

In order for you to apply, we require the following documentation to be uploaded on the University’s online application system:

  • Application form, completed through the University’s online application system.
  • A copy of your undergraduate degree certificate and transcripts
  • Two academic references (please note that we expect all applicants to provide their own references)
  • IELTS certificate (if applicable – please see below the ‘entry criteria’ for more information on English language requirements)
  • CV
  • Research proposal

At the heart of your application will be your research proposal. This should be a document of around 2,000 words and should normally include the following:

  1. A clear statement of the proposed research topic.
  2. An explanation and rationale of the importance of the proposed topic. This may include a section on the gaps or limitations of any existing work in your proposed area.
  3. A section indicating possible methodology and why this methodology might be the most appropriate for your topic.
  4. An approximate timetable showing a realistic plan for the completion of your research and writing within one year (or two years if part-time).

Any questions about the application process should be directed towards the research administrator in the Faculty’s Graduate School: fineartphd@leeds.ac.uk

Matching your interests with ours
Before you submit an application, you should consider how your proposed research fits with the research interests of staff in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. We will expect you to identify potential supervisors before you apply, and in view of the short timescale involved in studying for an MA by Research, it is important that you get a clear idea of the kind of research we do and make it clear how your proposed research will fit with that undertaken at the School. In applying to us, therefore, you will be asked to explain why you particularly wish to study here. A list of the academic staff and their research interests can be found on our staff pages.

Entry criteria

  • You should ideally have a first-class or at least a good upper second-class degree.
  • You must be an expert user of written and spoken English (see below)
  • Your referees must be fully supportive of both you and your ability for advanced, independent study.
  • Your project must be appropriate for study here.

English language requirements
Candidates whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the demands of their study. In particular, we require one of the following qualifications:

  1. An IELTS Band Score 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in any skill area) or
  2. Internet Based TOEFL 92 (with not less than 21 in Listening and Reading, 22 in Writing, 23 in Speaking)

The Language Centre provides an Academic English for Postgraduate Studies pre-sessional course which is designed to help international students develop the necessary language and academic study skills required for successful study on a research programme at the University of Leeds. Courses start in September, January, April, July or August. For further information, please see visit the Language Centre website or contact via e-mail: langc@leeds.ac.uk

Please note that IELTS and TOEFL only recognise test results as valid for a period of up to 2 years after the date of the examination. If an applicant’s first language is not English but they have successfully completed a first degree within the last 2 years in one of a number of countries (where English is the first language, used as the medium of instruction throughout the education system), they will be regarded as having met the English language requirement. Details are available from our PGR Administrator.

Fees & Funding

Details of fees for postgraduate study and a guide to accommodation costs can be found on the Research Student Administration website. For information about financial support such as scholarships, please visit the University’s Scholarship website, which is regularly updated: http://scholarships.leeds.ac.uk/

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