Masters of Research in Art and Design MRes

1. Overview

The MRes provides a well informed and rigorous training, enabling individuals to open up their artistic and design creativity to new experiences, critical insights and theoretical understandings.

This programme provides preliminary training for doctoral level research. It is project led. This means that the student determines an initial trajectory of development building on their concerns of practice and its changing role in the public sphere.

We encourage projects that seek to work with other research disciplines as well as non academic sectors in society. Specialist areas include the nature of public/private space (urban as well as rural), artistic leadership, public pedagogy as well as the exploration and development of concepts, languages and techniques of art and design as practices of origination and representation.

The MRes is situated within a well established doctoral programme. PhD students are currently pursuing research in the following:

  • 'Curating the Farm', investigating the synergies and generative relations between art and farming
  • The Occupation and Craft of Independent Contemporary Curating Craft
  • Modernity and the Commodification of National Identity in Scotland after 1970
  • Empathy in Ecological Art
  • The Practice of Art as a Form of Knowledge in Participative, Collaborative Art Processes
  • Challenging Interactivity in Public Space through Digital Media
  • The physical and temporal Boundaries of the Digitally Transferred Image through Fine Art printmaking practice.

The MRes is also closely aligned to postdoctoral research and research clusters within the Creativity Design and Innovation thematic area of the Institute for Innovation, Design & Sustainability Research 

2. What you will study

The MRes is supported by the Graduate School of IDEAS that oversees the student's progression throughout the programme - registration, training and examination. The MRes is made up of three interrelated modules

  • An individual art/design project (60 credits)
  • Critical theory including the aesthetics and ethics, ecology, in depth case studies of selected artists and designers and public policy as it relates to art and design practices (60 credits)
  • Research methodologies, both generic (RGU PGCert Modules) and specific including drawing, writing and documentation of Art/Design interventions in the public sphere, critical analysis and presentation of research (60 credits)

Each student is assigned a supervisor with relevant subject expertise to Masters level or beyond and also undergoes a needs analysis. One to one supervisory sessions take place every month. The cohort participates in monthly seminars run by postdoctoral/ doctoral researchers (DART). Students select from a programme of weekly postgraduate seminars delivered by research active staff as well as the annual Guest@Grays lecture programme. Past lectures have been delivered by internationally renowned artists and designers such as Suzanne Lacy, artist and activist; Helen and Newton Harrison, ecology artists; François Matarasso, cultural policy researcher; David Haley, ecology artist; Amanda Ravetz, anthropologist; Sophie Hope, curator and researcher.

3. Entry Requirements

Normal entry requirements are a first or upper-second class honours degree from a university in the United Kingdom or overseas, or a 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 will normally register for an MSc/PhD or MRes/PhD with transfer to PhD dependent on satisfactory progress. However, applicants who already possess a Masters 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.

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.

4. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2013/2014

UK/EU Students


  • £3,400 entire course


  • £1,700 per academic year

International Students


  • £11,900 entire course


  • £5,950 per academic year

For Academic Year 2012/2013

Scottish/EU Students


  • £3,828 entire course


  • £ 1,914 per academic year

Rest of UK Students


  • £3,828 entire course


  • £1,914 per academic year

International Students


  • £6,293 per academic year

For Academic Year 2011/2012

UK/EU Students

  • £ 3,400 year full time
  • £ 1,700 year part time

International Students

  • £12,600 year full time
  • £7,560 year part time


Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


5. How to apply

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

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 -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

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Start Date

September or January

Course Length

Full-time-1 year; Part-time-21 months

Mode of Attendance