Funded PhD Opportunity An investigation into the parameters of Installational Practice within the expanded fields of Fine Art Photography and Painting.

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory


This topic investigates new parameters for installational practice, made possible in relationship with the 2-dimensional forms of fine art photography and / or painting, to explore and test the inter-related material and conceptual boundaries of these disciplines. Research untaken in this topic will explore the widening scope of the 2-dimensional art work in its material production, to harness 3-dimensional elements that will investigate the possible relationships between photography and/ or painting, in conjunction with installation.

Through the production of a substantial body of research, which focuses upon the 2-dimensional image and/ or art work, this research topic will encourage extensive experimentation with sculptural elements, to investigate the role that installation can play in the exhibition of photography and/ or painting, within the current contexts of their expanded fields. Research carried out in this topic will investigate how the inclusion of installation in the production and exhibition of the 2-dimensional art work, constitutes an exploration into to the audience’s spatial relationship to fine art photography and painting.

It asks: if making the viewer more aware of their physical presence within the viewing experience, does the viewer therefore become more aware of the act of looking? In so doing, this topic will investigate the different types of 'space' inherent in the 2-dimensional art work. For example, typically the photograph is experienced as a flat image; however, this topic seeks to investigate its 'object' quality, by testing its material properties and 3-dimensional possibilities. Concepts of construction and performance carry through both the installational and 2-dimensional elements of this research, which will constitute an innovative expansion within the field of fine art photography and painting. With sculptural elements introduced in a highly original relationship to the 2-dimensional art work, this research will harness the multi-dimensional properties of installation, to explore the audience’s relationship to the 2-dimensional art work, through greater spatialised interaction with the work, thus also further expanding our understanding of the role of audience.

The proposed research is specifically directed towards knowledge and understanding of the practical, intellectual and theoretical context and impact of current and emerging work in this subject. The scope of this research is interdisciplinary in nature, spanning a number of fine art disciplines and will encompass relationships to other fields of enquiry and art practice.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • Completion of Masters at a level equivalent to commendation or distinction at Ulster
  • Practice-based research experience and/or dissemination
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Work experience relevant to the proposed project


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £15,009 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.


    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Launch of the Doctoral College

Current PhD researchers and an alumnus shared their experiences, career development and the social impact of their work at the launch of the Doctoral College at Ulster University.

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The PhD training programme and regular supervision contacts have provided the direction and support necessary to ensure that I deliver a quality thesis in a timely manner.I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working at Ulster University and feel it has put me in a better position to sustain a full time career as an artist and academic in the years to come.

Jacqueline Wylie

Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 19 February 2018
Interview Date
12th to 16th March 2018

Contact Supervisor

Miss Mary McIntyre

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #237388 when applying for this PhD opportunity