Artist Eric Downer looking at work in his studio

Art and design: history, theory and practice research

Explore the work we're doing across the 6 areas of expertise within our Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice research

We've a long tradition of art and design at Portsmouth. Since 1870, the school of Art and Design has investigated the relationship between practice and research from a cultural context, using any concern in society and culture as a springboard for our work.

Our research goes beyond individual disciplines, applying research skills and methods across a range of issues. But at the heart of our projects is social awareness, and a commitment to positioning practice-based work critically in a social, cultural and historical context.

We're exploring image making, visual communication and design, and thanks to the outputs of our practice-led research, we're solving problems through active experimentation, and by analysing images and visual processes.

Our supervisors come from backgrounds in practice and theory, and are well-positioned to support research programmes. We offer PhD by practice as an option, and encourage qualitative or practice-led research, using skills such as historical research, semiotic analysis, user research, action research, iterative process and reflective practice.

Interested in a PhD in Art & Design?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – and find a supervisor at our Art & Design postgraduate research degrees page.

Explore research degrees

Explore our areas of expertise

Find out more about the facilities and research methods that shape our research, in the 6 areas of expertise below. Learn more about our recent projects, the academic and industrial partners with whom we collaborate, and the major funders who fund our work.