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About the course

This innovative and explicitly practice-driven MA provides you with the opportunity to explore creative methods of artistic enquiry. Questioning accepted ideas of what research is and what art practice can be, you will gain the knowledge, confidence and independence to develop your professional career as an artist, designer and creative researcher.

In the creative arts, practice-based research or practice-led research are now generally accepted as valid research methodologies. But the study, application and submission of Practice as Research (PaR) is still contentious. Such research challenges the presumed division of theory and practice, questioning what knowledge is and how it may be communicated and enhanced.

MA Practice as Research offers an innovative, practice driven investigation into the future of creative arts research: what it is and could possibly be. During the course you will propose and develop experimental, ambitious and innovative creative research projects, using media appropriate to your ideas, be this, photography, performance, sculpture, installation, moving image or sound. You will be encouraged to interrogate the entanglement of thinking and doing within your own practice in order to devise innovative research methods and realise unique creative outcomes. You will present your work in a public exhibition, exploiting this opportunity to generate dialogue with different audiences.

Working collectively with your peers, and with the support of the University research community, you will also organise a symposium, through which you will explore the creative use of image, sound and language in the dissemination and ‘presentation’ of creative research.

You will work independently, collaboratively and collectively with your peers, professional artists and designers from across art and design, in order to explore inter-disciplinary approaches to creative practice.

Thanks to the course teams close links with industry, you will also have the chance to work with professional artists, designers, art organisations and studios, including the internationally renowned speculative design studio, Burton Nitta.

Image ©Ruby Fardon

This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
You can apply direct to Solent University for this course.
Apply direct
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
You can study this course part-time.
Part time option

Students have free access to professional media, equipment, IT and studio facilities appropriate for all art and design disciplines.

What does this course lead to?

MA Practice as Research is focused on the individual creative development of each student. Through an innovative curriculum and established professional networks you will develop the links and skills necessary for the next stage in your creative career, be this as a professional artist/designer, artist in residence, or continuing with further study at PhD level.

Who is this course for?

The MA Practice as Research is for artists and designers who are focused on developing and challenging their creative practice and thinking. Applicants should be motivated, independent and have an imaginative and innovative approach to art as practice and research. Appropriate for those working in a range of art and design disciplines, candidates should normally have an undergraduate degree associated with creative practice or relevant professional experience. 

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £7,600
International full-time fees: £13,700
UK and Channel Island part-time fees: £3,800 per year
International and EU part-time fees: Students from outside the UK are usually unable to obtain a visa for part-time study. Please visit our visas and immigration page for more information.

Students in receipt of a postgraduate loan from the Student Loan Company are typically able to pay their tuition fees via instalments.

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU full-time tuition fees the same as UK full-time tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please see our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Compulsory costs

As part of one module, students will work with professional artists and design studios external to the University. This may incur independent travel costs to and from London or other locations. These costs will of course be dependent upon the location of individual students. Estimated costs are £100 for the year.

Optional costs

Students will the opportunity to take part in trips to national exhibitions and arts organisations. Costs will be based on current rail fares and/or bus hire.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

A BA honours degree at 2:2 or higher. 

  • Applicants are required to present of a portfolio of work and attend an interview (in person or online).
  • Candidates will be considered in terms of their innovative, imaginative and challenging approach to creative practice as evidenced through the portfolio and interview.
  • Applications are welcome from across all art and design associated disciplines. Students should demonstrate an independent approach to study and have a good first degree. However, applications will also be considered through prior experience and attitude.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with minimum of 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in reading, listening and speaking
  • TOEFL IBT 92 with minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Pre-Sessional English programme

The University also offers a Pre-Sessional English Language Course for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.


Solent alumni save up to 50% on their tuition fees

Study location

East Park Terrace

How to apply

Applications for postgraduate courses can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. However, we strongly recommend you apply at your earliest convenience.

Please ensure you upload the following mandatory documents with your application.

  • Two academic references
  • Certified transcripts of qualifications, including English language proficiency if non-UK student
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of current visa (if applicable)
  • A personal statement
  • Employer sponsor form where appropriate

Please use the links below to apply online:



Starts on 27 September 2021 Starts on 27 September 2021
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Alumni discount

Solent alumni could be eligible for up to a 50% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course. The discount applied will be dependent on your undergraduate degree classification as follows:

Solent Alumni with a:

  • First (1.1) will be offered a 50% discount to study at PG level
  • 2.1 or 2.2 will be offered a 20% discount to study at PG level

The discount applied will be based on the most recently completed course.

If you are currently a student at Solent University and are continuing on without a break in your studies, your discount will be automatically applied on your return.

If are not following directly on from a course at Solent University, but have studied with us in previous years, you will need to register for the alumni discount.

Click here to register or to find out more

What you'll study

Modules include:

  • Thinking Through Practice
  • Creative Dialogues
  • Composing research 
  • Practice as Research Project: Define and Propose
  • Practice as Research Project: Exhibit and Present


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Dr Sebastiane Hegarty academic profile Sebastiane Hegarty Course Leader View profile
Atsuhide Ito academic profile Atsuhide Ito Senior Lecturer View profile
Nina Sverdvik academic profile Nina Sverdvik Senior Lecturer View profile
Dr Flavia Loscialpo academic profile Flavia Loscialpo Senior Lecturer View profile
Tom Slevin academic profile Tom Slevin Senior Lecturer View profile
Jennifer Anyan academic profile Jennifer Anyan Associate Professor View profile
Guy Moreton academic profile Guy Moreton Associate Professor View profile
Dr Nicola Foster researcher profile Nicola Foster Research Fellow View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


We provide a stimulating learning environment and access to state-of-the-art resources to help you make the most of your time with us. Flexible spaces, Wi-Fi facilities and learning zones all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.

Students will have access to a range of specialist facilities throughout their studies, including Mac computers, professional creative software, digital printing facilities, and traditional printing presses.

Solent also provides a comprehensive media loans scheme, giving students access to high-end photographic and filming equipment.

Students have the opportunity to work with professional artists, designers, art organisations and studios, including the internationally renowned speculative design studio, Burton Nitta.

Your future

This course will provide you with the knowledge, skills and networks vital to advancing your career as a professional artist, designer and creative researcher. In addition to a significant development in your individual approach to creative practice, the MA opens up opportunities in roles such as;

  • Artist in residence
  • Professional artist
  • Professional designer
  • Lecturer
  • Filmmaker
  • Multi-media installation
  • Sound artist
  • Creative researcher
  • Academic research
  • Creative writing
  • Curation

The course also provides opportunities for progression to PhD level study.

Industry links

Thanks to the course teams close links with industry, you will have the opportunity to work with external galleries, art organisations and creative studios (including the internationally renowned speculative design studio, Burton Nitta). Enabling you to establish professional networks with artists, designers and the broader research communities. 

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day