MPhil/PhD Research Degree Programme

Image by kind permission of Allan Taylor, Falmouth PhD student
Penryn Campus
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01326 255831

Falmouth University has a dynamic research culture and postgraduate researchers play an important role in the life of our research community. Interdisciplinary research is essential to our approach and is positively encouraged in everything we do.

Your research may be attached to one of our Research Centres, but our students' research projects are often interdisciplinary. In addition, your supervision team is likely to be drawn from more than one discipline.

Falmouth offers both theoretical and practice-based research programmes leading to a PhD or MPhil currently awarded through our partnership with University of the Arts London.

Programmes of research can be carried out in any field of study that aligns to one or more of the University's key research themes of Digital Economy, Smart Design or Creative Connected Communities, provided that the proposed programme is capable of leading to scholarly research and to its presentation for assessment by appropriate examiners. The University’s subject range also means that students can follow programmes of study in which creative work can form a significant part of the intellectual enquiry.

Research and innovation are central to Falmouth University's identity and aspirations as a global arts university. Our overarching aim is to develop and sustain an entrepreneurial and internationally distinctive research discourse that drives the University's academic profile and underpins its contribution to economic, social and cultural advancement. 

Research degree students at Falmouth benefit from the Research Student Development Programme (RSDP) which offers research students support and ongoing training to enhance their studies and future careers as researchers. Our postgraduate Research Student Development Programme will help you identify the appropriate research methods for your chosen subject, and help you plan and structure your project. We also support practice-led research in which your own creative practice plays a role, and documented creative work can contribute to your final thesis, alongside a written component.

Research students work alongside postdoctoral Research Fellows and a steady flow of international visiting researchers. All regularly share their enquiry through a lively and engaging programme of lectures, performances, readings, concerts and a variety of other activities. In addition, our cross-institutional programme enables researchers in all fields to share their work and ideas.

Falmouth University research degrees are awarded through our partnership with University of the Arts London.

Course outline

The format of study for a research degree (MPhil/PhD) is very different from a taught degree. As a research student you will engage in a programme of independent research and/or creative work, with guidance from your supervisors. Meetings with supervisors take place at regular intervals throughout the registration period. During the first year of enrolment you will participate in an induction programme, undertake training in research methods and attend a series of seminars on research in your field. Workshops will also be provided on topics such as preparing a research proposal, presentation skills and writing skills. Full details on the Research Student Development Programme (RSDP) are available in the Falmouth Research Degrees Handbook.

A PhD is awarded in recognition of the creation and interpretation of new knowledge through original research or other advanced scholarship.

An MPhil degree is awarded in recognition of a systematic, well documented and well-argued study, which should demonstrate adequate knowledge and understanding, critical evaluation and discussion of a field of study.

Duration of study


  • PhD: Maximum length 4 years
  • MPhil: Maximum length 3 years


  • PhD: Maximum length 8 years
  • MPhil: Maximum length 6 years