School of Art, Design and Architecture

PhD Transtechnology Research

Using a range of practice and theory based methods the group is concerned to make apparent evidence of human desire and cultural imperatives as they are manifested in the way that science and technology is practiced, innovated by entrepreneurs and interpreted by its users.

Key features

  • Transtechnology researchers hold a monthly seminar session which is open to the public. The 2018/2019 seminar series follows the mode of a ‘slow conference’ and has the theme ‘Gravity, Epistemology, and Representation: A Weightless Exploration.’ Please visit our Transtechnology website for more information.
  • Transtechnology Research hosts the UK editorial office of Leonardo and the international office of Leonardo Reviews and Leonardo Reviews Quarterly (LRQ).
  • Since 2006 the group has published the annual Transtechnology Research Reader, as part of the Transtechnology Research: Open Access Papers project.
  • Transtechnology Research led a three year research project funded under the HERA JRP call ‘Humanities as a Source of Creativity and Innovation’ in collaboration with the VU University, Amsterdam, the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, the EYE Film Institute Netherlands and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
  • Transtechnology research students receive funding as part of the Marie-Curie funded ITN CogNovo, and 3D3 consortium. Previous students have held full doctoral research grants from AHRC, EPSRC, the University of Plymouth and Brazilian and Portuguese Research Councils. 
  • Since 2015 Transtechnology Research has collaborated with Torbay Hospital Trust on a research project exploring lo-fi virtual reality in clinical training. It now has researchers in residence at Torbay’s Digital Horizons Centre working on a number of projects, one of which is approaches to low cost simulation for ODA countries.
  • The Temporal Image Research Open Lab (TTIRoL) provides an interface for the intersection of practice and theory and operates as an archive and lab space for projects concerning media archaeology and cognition. It is currently home to the dqpb LAB which is undertaking EEG experiments in auditory perception with the goal of collecting data wirelessly in a surrounding that is close to the everyday experiences of participants.

Course details

  • Overview

  • This full time or part time doctoral programme is suitable for people who have a particular research question or topic in mind, and wish to explore this through independent study in order to produce an original contribution to the subject. If you aspire to a research career this is the most appropriate research degree to undertake.
    You will be guided by a small supervisory team of academic experts under the direction of a Director of Studies. 
    If you do not already have a masters degree, you may be interested in one of our masters level research degrees (which enables a transfer directly into the PhD programme if you are making excellent progress), or else an MPhil degree. Further details about the University's research degree awards
    You will be expected to fully engage with skills development and training and to present your research in a range of scholarly contexts.
    Your PhD will be assessed via submission of either a written thesis (approximately 80,000 words), or one that combines critical writing with artistic, creative and/or professional practice, and a viva voce (an oral examination).
    For full details of what doing a PhD entails at the University of Plymouth, please visit our postgraduate research degrees pages

    Core modules

    • Research Transtechnology (GSRTRES1)

    • Research Skills in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (DRTS800)

      This module provides research students the opportunity to explore the creation and interpretation of new knowledge within their field; develop the students’ ability to conceptualise, design and present their theses to merit publication; advance the students’ academic enquiry skills and techniques; and to generate and share the new knowledge within their academic discipline and professional practice.

  • Year 2

  • Core modules

    • Research Transtechnology (GSRTRES2)

  • Year 3

  • Core modules

    • Research Transtechnology (GSRTRES3)

  • Year 4

  • Core modules

    • Research Transtechnology (GSRTRES4)

  • Year 5

  • Core modules

    • Research Transtechnology (GSRTRES5)

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Research Transtechnology (GSRTRES6)

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have completed a masters level qualification to a high standard (e.g. at 'merit' or 'distinction' level) as well as either a good 2:1 or first class honours undergraduate degree in an area of study appropriate to your project proposal. We are happy to consider equivalent qualifications (for instance, you may have studied different subjects at undergraduate and masters level but have established an artistic practice since then).
Students who are making exceptional progress in a ResM programme, may progress directly into our PhD programme without having to complete the masters.
You will also need to provide evidence that you are ready to pursue the project you propose in your application. This will take the form of a sample of critical writing, and if relevant, documentation of relevant creative or professional practice.
If English is not your first language, you must have proficiency in written and spoken English (normally a minimum test score of 6.5 for IELTS, or equivalent). Given the nature of the programme, you’ll be expected to read and engage with complex theoretical texts and debates for which fluency in English is essential.
For more general guidelines and application requirements, please visit the research degrees applicants page.

Fees, costs and funding

Please visit tuition fees for postgraduate research for information about fees. PhD Transtechnology Research is in Band 2 for fees purposes.
If you are a full time student, you will pay full time fees for three years. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you may pay for an optional one year writing up period.
If you are a part time student, you will pay part time fees for four years. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you may pay for an optional 'writing up' period of up to two years.
You are responsible for meeting all of the costs related to your own research project, beyond the resources available in the department.
Please visit our postgraduate research money matters page to find out more about issues related to fees, funding, loans and paying for your programme of study.

How to apply

In addition to completing the online application form (which includes space for a personal statement), you must also upload a research project proposal of no more than 1000 words in total. Your research proposal should outline your general topic, your key aims and the research question/problem you are addressing, your proposed methodology, key definitions/thinkers/discourses/practitioners you are drawing upon and an explanation of why this topic is significant or important.Your personal statement should briefly explain why you have chosen to apply to our programme and what you feel you can offer our research community.
You will also need to submit a sample of your critical writing (3000 words maximum) and, if relevant, evidence of your ability to undertake the practice-led research you are proposing (e.g. a DVD, portfolio, links to website, reviews, catalogue, etc.). It should take no longer than 30 minutes to view all the visual material that you provide.
Submitting your application
Complete your application and upload supporting documents to the Doctoral College by completing our online application form.
Questions on the application process?
We're here to help. Please contact the Doctoral College and we'll be happy to assist you.
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.
If you have a disability and would like further information on the support available, please visit Disability Services.
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office
Find more information about Apply for a postgraduate research programme.
Many doctoral research projects begin with a conversation, and if you are considering a research degree there are a number of ways of engaging with us in order to find out more about the process and developing your application. Our monthly seminar sessions are open to the public. We also encourage potential applicants to contact us about making a visit to our offices for a meeting and the opportunity to meet other researchers in the group.
All supervisory teams include members with substantial track records of practice in the arts, design or filmmaking who also have significant publishing profiles in at least one other academic discipline. Previous students have held full doctoral research grants from AHRC, EPSRC, the University of Plymouth and Brazilian and Portuguese Research Councils. Current researchers are funded as part of the Marie-Curie funded ITN CogNovo, and 3D3 consortium. We also hold and oversees doctoral and post-doctoral research grants from the EU.
Profiles of doctoral, contributing researchers and staff as well as current and previous research projects are available on the Transtechnology Research website.

Student profile

“My thesis explores the idea of gesture in social robotics and is strongly influenced by my research in Media Philosophy and in the History of Technology and Science. The support and supervision I receive from Transtechnology Research – equally grounded in the academic and professional complexity of my supervisors and colleagues – encourages to situate debates beyond disciplinary boundaries and proofs essential for my thesis.”
Eugenia Stamboliev
PhD Fellow Transtechnology Research and CogNovo
Associate Lecturer in BA (Hons) Media Arts, BA (Hons) Architecture and BA (Hons) Digital Art and Technology
Eugenia Stamboliev

Current doctoral research projects 

Alsaad, A. (2015–) Creative Psychotherapy including Art (working title)

Brodskis, B. (2016–) Post-digital scribing: valuing the point of intersection

Bush, E. (2018–) (DTA Scholarship). ‘The feel of the tiniest latch has remained in our hands,’ an investigation of transcorporeality in the performance of memory

Edmonds, G. (2014–) Early Cinema and Cognitive Creativity

Finnegan, P. (2018–) The digital image according to its hieroglyphic and animistic capacities

Guy, L. (2018–) Artist designed systems in Community Radio

Haines, A. (2014–) Ideas exchange: understanding the human object

Hutchinson, J. (2014–) A Media-archaeology of Technology and Enchantment

Jackson, A. (2014–) Creative balance between expressive movement and technology: for the autistic child

Knight, J. (2012–) The ‘frisson event’ a unified experience of simultaneity

Moran, S. (2018–) (3D3 Scholarship) Symbiont Encounters: Ecological Fictioning and Networked Media

Peres, N. (2014–) Immersive cinematics in medical simulation: interfaces for the patient voice

Richardson, J. (2018–) Bringing forth an economics of well-being in everyday life

Schneider, J. (2018–) How can a culture of spontaneity be sustained from within the imperatives of goal/outcome-oriented human endeavour? (working title)

Stamboliev, E. (2014–) The social robot between social, surveying and digital media: A media-ethical perspective on a contemporary tracking device

Sweeting, J. (2015–) The Impact of Nostalgia on Videogame Form (working title)

Tadaoka, K. (2014–) Contemplation and Time

About us
Transtechnology Research is a transdisciplinary research group situated in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business. Its constituency is drawn from historians, philosophers, anthropologists, artists and designers and is led from a historical and theoretical perspective with the objective of understanding science and technology as a manifestation of a range of human desires and cultural imperatives. Its aim is to provide a doctoral and post-doctoral environment for researchers who need to undertake academic research informed by their own and others creative practice. Its overarching research project concerns the historical and philosophical aspects of science and technology and the popular arts.
 The Temporal Image Research Open Laboratory (TTIRoL)

Transtechnology Research

Research in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business

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