PhD Arts Practice
Introduction

The PhD Arts Practice is a four year, structured PhD programme, designed to meet the needs of professional performing artists who wish to engage in academic and practice-based reflection on their own artistic practice. The programme involves a combination of taught modules and independent research.

Programme of Study

TAUGHT MODULES

The taught modules occur in the first two years of the programme, with the majority taking place in year one. There are three kinds of taught modules: shared modules (all in year one) which are taken by all doctoral candidates, elective modules, which are self directed modules, designed according to a needs analysis conducted by the student and his / her supervisory panel and spread across years one and two and generic skills modules, which are coordinated by the Graduate school and selected by students in consultation with the supervisory panel. Shared Modules are taught during one immersion week per month in the first year of study, as well as during a summer programme at the end of year one. These include:

ARTS PRACTICE RESEARCH I AND II

The aim of these modules is to introduce students to a variety of theoretical perspectives on arts practice research, towards the development of a framework suited to the specialist needs of individual research questions.  The module examines the recent history of the development of practice-based research in the arts within university structures and the challenges involved in incorporating artistic practice into traditional modes of research. It examines the privileged status of writing in theory production within the academy and the importance of ‘the somatic turn’ in contemporary research which seeks to redress the ‘mind’ / ‘body’ duality at the heart of the Western philosophical tradition and re-evaluate the role of ‘doing’ in our understandings of ‘knowledge’. Keywords and concepts will be addressed and problematised, such as aesthetics, agency, embodiment, everyday life, festival, gender, heritage, identity, liveness, narrative, performance art, performativity, play, poetics, race, representation/mimesis, ritual, spectatorship, theory.

CREATIVE PROCESS I AND II

These modules address basic questions concerning the design of a research project, including ways of framing research questions, the relationship between theory and practice in research, research ethics, and issues of representation. A key topic addressed in this module concerns the relationship between arts practice and writing. Writing out of creative practice, autoethnography, personal narrative, narrative inquiry and writing as a strand of the creative process are some of the modes of writing explored in the development of a research structure (apparatus) which can provide for the crossing of thresholds between the studio-based and text-based strands of arts-practice research.

ARTS PRACTICE ENCOUNTERS

The aim of this module is to explore dimensions of practice through reflexive participation in an intensive arts practice research workshop, with practice being investigated both as an object of inquiry and a theoretical / methodological source relevant to the research endeavour.

Featuring collaborative and interactive research in practice with the assistance of a selection of mentors, this module experiments with interdisciplinary engagements among the students as they participate together in an intensive arts practice research workshop of limited duration. The faculty member or invited facilitator, an innovative practitioner across disciplines, provides a catalyst for multi-disciplinary responses to their work in which reflection will play a central part. The primary working mode in this module brings the students’ arts practice into the foreground as the object of investigation.

INDEPENDENT RESEARCH

A personal development plan will be created by each student in consultation with his / her primary supervisor + panel, which will detail the components of the research plan including timeframes, targets, resources and the agreed body of work submission. The research thesis (body of work) is the culminating product of the research programme.  The thesis will combine written and practical components. Normally, a 40,000 word analytical text constituting 50 per cent of the project will form the written portion of the body of work. The practical component will be agreed by the student + supervisory panel by the end of year one and will normally include at least two significant public performances (to take place during years three and four) as well as suitable archival recordings of same.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE + PROGRESSION

The programme is divided into two stages, with Stage 1 corresponding with the first year of the programme. At the end of Stage 1, an assessment panel will adjudicate on the readiness of candidates to progress to Stage 2. The Assessment Panel will base its judgement on a written statement of progress and a research plan from the candidate, and a written progress report from the principal supervisor, and satisfactory completion of the modules in Stage 1. The assessment panel may also require a presentation / performance from the student and may interview the student and/or the principal supervisor.

Programme Structure + Progression

The programme is divided into two stages, with Stage 1 corresponding with the first year of the programme. At the end of Stage 1, an assessment panel will adjudicate on the readiness of candidates to progress to Stage 2. The Assessment Panel will base its judgement on a written statement of progress and a research plan from the candidate, and a written progress report from the principal supervisor, and satisfactory completion of the modules in Stage 1. The assessment panel may also require a presentation / performance from the student and may interview the student and/or the principal supervisor.

 

Autumn Spring Summer ECTSTotal
Year 1 Arts Practice Research I6 ECTS creditsCreative Process I

6 ECTS credits

 

Irish World AcademySpecialist Elective (1)

12 ECTS credits

or

an approved module from one of the taught MA programmes

 

Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel.

Arts Practice Research II6 ECTS creditsCreative Process II

6 ECTS credits

 

Irish World AcademySpecialist Elective (2)

12 ECTS credits

or

an approved module from one of the taught MA programmes

 

Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel.

 

Arts Practice Encounters6 ECTS creditsGeneric Skills

18 ECTS credits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel.

90
Year 2 Irish World AcademySpecialist Elective (3)12 ECTS creditsoran approved module from one of the taught MA programmes

 

Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel.

 

Irish World AcademySpecialist Elective (4)12 ECTS creditsoran approved module from one of the taught MA programmes

 

Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel.

 

 

 

 

Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel.

 

90
Year 3 Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel. Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel. Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel. 90
Year 4 Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel. Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel. Individual research work under supervision of primary supervisor + panel. 90

 

Applications

Applying for the Programme

Candidates should, in the first instance, identify a suitable project and supervisor(s). Candidates are encouraged to use personal contacts, the literature and the websites of the university to help them achieve this. Initial contact can be made directly to a member of faculty at the Irish World Academy or with the programme director of the PhD Arts Practice:

Dr. Helen Phelan
Programme Director, Phd Arts Practice
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance
University of Limerick
helen.phelan@ul.ie
 

Places are strictly limited to three candidates each academic year and will be allocated on a competitive basis. Places are also dependent on faculty availability for supervision and adequate resources at the Academy to facilitate the proposed research. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

HOW TO APPLY:

http://www.ul.ie/graduateschool/how-apply

http://www.ul.ie/graduateschool/courses/research/irish-world-academy

or

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate School
Foundation Building
University of Limerick

Tel: +353 61 234377
Fax: +353 61 233287
Email: postgradadmissions@ul.ie

UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK ACADEMIC CALENDAR:

http://www.ul.ie/acacal/academic_cal.html

POSTGRADUATE FEES:

http://www3.ul.ie/finance/docs/FeeScheduleAY1415.pdf

SCHOLARSHIPS:

Click here for a list of scholarships available to prospective Irish World Academy of Music and Dance students.

Testimonials

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“Having returned to Ireland from a 9-year spell with Riverdance (7 of which as Principal dancer) I found myself in a liminal space struggling to find my place as a dancer/choreographer within the wider dance landscape. I had given up my touring life with the intention of questioning my own practice as a contemporary Irish dance artist and what was intriguing me most was the interplay of practice and research. The PhD Arts Practice was the platform to satisfy this inquiry. Four rich years followed filled with creativity, support and stimulating discourse.”

Dr. Breandán De Gallaí, Graduate

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“As a music practitioner, finding the balance between academia and performance can be an arduous task in the search for further study. UL has provided this opportunity in the form of the PhD Arts Practice and has embraced the mutli-faceted world of performing arts, merging it with a structured academic programme and has produced a platform from which the artist has a voice both through the medium of practice and research. The world of liturgical music in which I am based can often become marginalised from that of the classical and traditional music world ,however, UL warmly encouraged this field of research and I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to pursue and complete the PhD.”

Dr. Sharon Lyons, Graduate

Media

Contact

Applicants wishing to discuss detailed elements of the programme may contact the programme director:

Professor Helen Phelan

Programme Director,

PhD Arts Practice

Room No: IW1.16,
Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,
University of Limerick,
Limerick, Ireland
Tel: +353-61-202575
Fax: +353-61-202589
Email: helen.phelan@ul.ie
 

For further details, information and brochures about the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance:

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance,
University of Limerick,
Limerick,
Ireland.
Tel: + 353 61 202590
Email: IrishWorldAcademy@ul.ie

For queries to the University of Limerick Postgraduate Admissions Office:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Graduate School
Foundation Building
University of Limerick

Tel: +353 61 234377
Fax: +353 61 233287
Email: postgradadmissions@ul.ie