This resource maps out common challenges and modes of doing in Artistic Research Doctorates. It offers tools and strategies to overcome specific challenges and to support students, supervisors, and institutions in making the most out of the doctoral journey in artistic practice. Users can navigate from the home page bubbles and / or from the drop-down menu. 

You can approach each topic independently as needed and download all resources in PDF form. You are welcome to use them in your studies, research or (for institutions) to develop resources / protocols / policy; please note that all materials are licenced under Creative Commons CC BY-NC 4.0. 

  • Throughout the resource you will hear the voice and stories of staff and doctoral students from institutions in Ireland who we interviewed as part of the project.
  • The resource includes videos of international experts in Artistic Doctoral Education who contributed to our Seminar Series. 
  • Resources are organised in short digestible sections available for download.

The resource is organised in three parts, each addressed to a distinct audience: PhD Students, Supervisors & Examiners and Institutions. 

PhD Students

The Student section is structured in three parts: If you’re navigating from the Bubbles, these are – GETTING STARTED; PhD PROCESS and PhD EXPERIENCE. 

GETTING STARTED focuses on essential information about Artistic Research Doctorates, relevant for both prospective students thinking about making an application, and for first year students who are getting familiar with what an Artistic Research Doctorate involves. PhD PROCESS covers different Forms of Writing, the role of Creative Practice, the importance of Sharing: Performing / Screening – and how to coherently bring everything together during both study and final submission through Synthesis and Integration. PhD EXPERIENCE addresses the challenges and pleasures of this kind of doctoral study; building a Road Map, developing Community, and exploring strategies for making the most of Supervision and Examination where creative practice is involved. The Student resource is packed with Proposals for Action (short reflective exercises to expand your thinking and doing) and resources for further investigation of the themes addressed.

Supervisors & Examiners

Questions about Supervision and Examination were raised by staff throughout our research who wanted to explore these areas further to enhance student support. This section is dedicated to Supervisors & Examiners, with a section on each. Supervising Artistic Research PhDs puts forward strategies for supervision, surveys common challenges and proposes ways to address those, including reflection exercises and a selection of resources to explore Supervision further. Examining Artistic Research PhDs discusses distinct approaches for examination, how regulations may be enhanced and strengthened, key points in selecting an examiner and conducting Vivas, as well as common challenges and resources. Supervisors and Examiners may also wish to read the resources included in the Student section; see the Supervision Agreement and the pages on Examination Strategies for PhD candidates. 


The Institutions section is aimed at university management, course leaders, PhD coordinators, administrators and those involved in developing doctoral regulations. Your institution may already have comprehensive policies / protocol and administrative structures / materials which acknowledge the Artistic Research PhD as a distinct form of doctoral research. Some universities / colleges do not have this, and policy / protocol related to PhDs in the Humanities remain largely academic. Wherever your institution is on this spectrum, the following is intended to offer some starting points for developing regulations in support of Artistic Research PhDs and you are welcome to make use / adapt these resources for your own context. 

The authors thank the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning for the funding award through the Irish Higher Education Authority in Ireland which made this resource possible.


This project was funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education under the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund. 

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