Summer Residencies

The summer residencies are both milestones and resources, taking place at the beginning, middle and end of the program. Each residency has week of PhD specific workshops centered on the themes of Documentation, Presentation, Articulation and Research Methodologies. In addition, PhD candidates participate in workshops, seminars, guest lectures, artist and curator talks and critiques as well as advisory team meetings. The summer schedule can be found under the Residencies menu. 

Winter Residencies

Full week residencies take place at the end of the fall semester. The focus is on sequential milestones (Project Approval, Confirmation of Route etc) and presentations, critiques, feedback and the sharing of research undertaken since the previous summer. Students have the opportunity to exhibit work in conjunction with their presentations in order to explore exhibition and documentation possibilities. Guest artist talks, screenings, occasional practical workshops and cultural excursions complete the residency. The winter schedule can be found under the Residencies menu.

Please note that in certain circumstances a student may request to undertake an alternate residency during their course of study. If approved however this does not effect tuition for that semester.


Students participate in project presentations and critiques with residency faculty and alumni. Students present in various formats: in the plenum with faculty and peers, in self-organized groups of students which continue throughout the semesters, and individual advisory team meetings. This ensures the benefits of a multitude of perspectives and voices to reflect upon your work. 


Students partake in elected cultural studies seminars each summer residency, which are cultural studies equivalents of the workshops. Seminars are chosen from current topics viewed through the lens of media studies, literature, theory, psychology, sociology, philosophy and art history.


As well the PhD specific workshops students will participate in workshops of their choice with the full Transart summer community exploring concepts, testing new ideas and working methods through a series of creative exercises and assignments (realized in their media of choice and completed either alone and/or in collaboration). Workshop goals equip participants with expanded conceptual and aesthetic toolsets; their time together culminates with invigorated and inventive ideas about applying the workshop processes to their respective research and locales. Workshops are not intended to further technical virtuosity but rather to enhance creative thinking and problem solving through exposure to new approaches in various genres. It is recommended that students work with what they are technically familiar for these sessions bringing their own tools and media (whatever they like to work with i.e. cameras, powerbooks, sketch pads). Video projectors, sound equipment and printers are available. PhD students participate in two elected studio workshops each summer residency.


As appropriate to the nature of their reserach all students have the option to self-organize exhibitions and events, screen, perform or document their projects each residency and publicly each summer in a variety of formats, with and without curators. 


Between the summer and winter residencies are semesters of independent work on your creative practice research. There are up to six semesters sandwiched between the seven residencies (four summer and three winter) which punctuate the course of study. During semesters students work with their individual advisory team, share work via their process blogs and participate in self-organized online critique groups. Students also have full access to Plymouth University’s online library resources and consultations with a senior information specialist online.

Process Blog

Each student creates and maintains a process blog (typically monthly) to document their ideas, processes and the progress of their research and to respond to critique. Thinking of your blog as a research laboratory and journal for thought and production. Transart encourages you to devise a form that best suits your own research, making it a vital part of your practice and research; where you experiment with presentation, documentation and articulation. Research milestones are also documented here. Student process blogs form a wonderful resource, archive and means of communication for the entire PhD research group and the wider Transart community.


Each student’s exegesis or thesis should remain faithful to their practice—the guiding force behind any Creative Practice PhD research process. What are you trying to find out and how? What is most the appropriate form that the exegesis/thesis might take in order to reflect these ideas and motivations and importantly not to undermine the creative process? These are questions to be considered and discussed with each student's advisory team as the research progresses.


YEAR 1 (MPhil)
Summer Residency: provisional acceptance, meet with potential advisors, PhD research training, elected workshops and seminars, cultural excursions, exhibitions and special events.
October 1st: formal acceptance and registration with Plymouth University.
Offsite: develop proposal, self-organized critique group meetings and individual advisory meetings. Work on Project Approval milestone.
Winter Residency: Project Approval milestone presentation. 

YEAR 2 (MPhil/PhD)
Summer Residency: PhD research training, elected workshops and seminars, individual advisory meetings, cultural excursions, exhibitions and special events. 
Offsite: ongoing development of practice-based research project, self-organized critique group meetings and individual advisory meetings. Work on Confirmation of Route milestone.
Winter Residency: Confirmation of Route presentation.

YEAR 3 (PhD)
Summer Residency: PhD research training, elected workshops and seminars, individual advisory meetings, independent study projects (alternative residency requests), cultural excursions, exhibitions and special events. 
Offsite: ongoing development/completion of practice-based research project, self-organized critique group meetings and individual advisory meetings. 
Winter Residency: research presentations. 

During the final Summer Residency: design and plan a public dissemination of your practice (exhibition, performance, reading, documentation, screening etc) which presents your PhD creative research.

Candidates optionally work during a fourth year with their chosen level of advisory support to complete their research.

The viva voce is a formal and integral part of the assessment process. Although there is an established, traditional form that the viva often takes, Transart actively encourages each student—in consultation with her advisory team—to research and devise a form and forum that will be best suited and integral to their own voice and especially to the spirit, context and subject(s) of their own doctoral research. Workshops that discuss and explore the potential role of the viva voce and the dissemination of practice in a candidate’s research programme will be regularly conducted during residencies.

Following the submission of the final research exegesis each candidate (in consultation with her advisory team) will design and plan a public dissemination of her practice (exhibition, performance, reading, documentation, screening etc) to take place at the final summer residency.

Submission of the final research project for your viva voce must take place within 48 months from registration (including optional completion year if requested).

Director of Studies organizes date, location and time of PhD examination.