PhD Collaboration

PhD collaborations form an important part in helping us both to learn more about our collections and to share them more effectively with our audiences. It also enables the V&A to play an active role in helping to train a new generation of scholars equipped to work in both the academic and heritage sectors.

The V&A jointly runs – through a long-standing partnership with the Royal College of Art – the world's oldest MA, MPhil and PhD programme in the History of Design. Alumni from these programmes have entered the world of design at all levels including leading curators, journalists and design historians. Find out more about the course here.

We also co-supervise a broad range of Arts and Humanities PhDs, and work with universities across the country to improve training in public engagement for doctoral students. The V&A is a member of six AHRC Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres for Doctoral Training. These consortia of universities and research organisations collaborate closely to provide innovative training environments for postgraduate students in the UK.

The Museum holds an award from the AHRC of five Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentships per year, which are jointly supervised by V&A specialists along with UK university academics. Our students are working on topics from contemporary Brazilian design to the conservation of plastics, and from medieval English embroidery to Victorian literary culture. Further information including how to propose a project is available here

cover image : ‘Research in action at the V&A Research Institute (VARI) photograph by Eileen Budd’