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Postgraduate Research

MIRIAD (Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design) offers opportunities for postgraduate research degrees in art and design and the history and theory of art and design. Our research programme is versatile and can be purely theoretical or a practice-led interrogation of creative processes and their outcomes.

We support research degrees on a full and part-time basis at MA by Research, MPhil and PhD Level in the practices, professions, histories and theories of Art, Architecture, Craft, Design, Film and Media Arts.

Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University has a distinctive 175-year history. In the 1960s it pioneered the practice-led Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and today MIRIAD provides a nationally recognized and unique environment for postgraduate education. It has long-standing relationships with galleries, museums, and the creative industries in the region and beyond.

Focus of study

The degrees offered by MIRIAD provide students with the opportunity to undertake research projects with over 50 nationally and internationally recognized researchers, historians, theorists practitioners and professionals. MIRIAD alone employs three research professors, six research fellows and houses the Arts for Health Unit.

Research themes available to students are inline with the Research Council UK strategic themes of sustainability, ecology, health, identity, memory and place, conflict, heritage, art and science, the digital economy and creative industries. Students have associate membership of the MIRIAD Research Centres for Architecture, Craft, Design, Art, Media and Visual Culture, and where appropriate the Arts for Health Unit.


MIRIAD has a thriving community of approximately 80 students and is situated close to the centre of Manchester in the Righton Building, on the All Saints Campus. This refurbished former Edwardian department store offers IT drop-in, secure office space, flexible project areas, work spaces and a central event atrium for researchers, research students and staff.

The nurturing environment of MIRIAD provides flexible learning opportunities and promotes the progression from masters to doctoral level.

Leaders of a Regional Training Network

Since 2003 MIRIAD has led a regional research training network, PARCNorthWest (Practice as Research Consortium), which is funded by the Arts Humanities and Research Council and provides additional research training in the Creative Arts and Industries. The consortium consists of twelve participating departments from 13 Higher Education Institutes encompassing the range of the creative arts from theories and histories to the practices and professions of art, architecture, craft, design, creative writing, media, music and performance.

Dan Richards, Rapid Prototype Sculpture

PhD Studentships

A number of research studentship awards are currently available.


For further information please contact the Art & Design Research Degrees Administrator.

Tel: +44 (0)161 247 4609