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3rd
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3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project, to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.

in
the
Arts

École nationale supérieure d’arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC), Paris, France

Awards

Established

2002

Research Policy & Strategy

The central feature of this policy is a doctoral program built on the model of practice- and project-led research. A doctoral department is organized with a focus on the humanities, creative practice, and heritage-centred studies. The new Graduate School hosts doctoral candidates and provide cross-disciplinary and internationally-oriented instruction. The doctoral program will be jointly overseen by a member of the academic faculty and a practicing professional recognized in his or her field. Three-year doctoral contracts will be offered by the Paris Seine Graduate School. The doctorate in “Arts” is supported by ENSAPC; the other institutions making up PSGS-HCH offer doctorates in “Theory and Practice of Literary Creation,” (Université de Cergy-Pontoise), “Architecture,” (École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles), “Landscape Design,” (École nationale supérieure de paysage de Versailles) “Heritage Conservation and Restoration,” and “Heritage Studies.” (Institut national du patrimoine).

Research in and through the arts places artists, authors, creators, and their creative practices at the centre of the methodological process. In this scheme, artistic research, closely linked with advanced professional experience, takes place through artistic practice.

This form of research draws on the various stages of the creative process (from idea to execution and then to sharing), while also feeding that process. It rests on the linkage of theory and practice and is characterized by continuous, mindful attention to the back-and-forth between hands-on experimentation and analytic distance. Inventing its own forms, the results of the research must put thought into practice and practice into thought.

According to its founding decree (Décret n° 2002-1515 du 23 décembre 2002), one of the missions of ENSAPC is “the conception and the implementation of research programs in the disciplines of visual arts” (“La conception et la mise en oeuvre de recherches dans les diverses disciplines des arts plastiques”)

The development of the research culture includes:

  • creation of a laboratory
  • financing research programs
  • research seminars for Master students
  • initiation to research during the 1st cycle
  • realisation of a thesis for Masters students – not only in written form but with the opportunity to choose any artistic form
  • support of professors for their own research and in the process of completing a Phd or a “habilitation” (“habilitation” in France is the academic title required for the supervision of phd students) (for instance with a reduction of their teaching time)

External engagement:

  • support from the Ministry of culture for the creation of a laboratory
  • support from the “Agence nationale de la recherche” (ANR) for the Graduate School and the practice-led PhD research programs in partnership with national structures (“LabEx”)
  • replies to national call launched by the Ministry of higher education

Awards Offered

PhD (“doctorat”) recognized by the French state in accordance with the Bologna Process and the HCERES.

ENSAPC has the ability to grant 3rd cycle awards as part of the ‘Paris Seine Graduate School – Humanities, Creation and Heritage (PSGS-HCH)’. 

Full-time: 3 years

Part-time: 6 years

Assessment

Mid-term written essays each year (with a predefined amount of pages).

Practical and experimental projects expected each year.

Evaluation by the supervisors (academic and professional) and by a scientific committee.

Thesis defence: They defend before a mixed board (academics and professionals) composed of at least four members. The co-supervisors are members of the board. Evaluation is conducted according to three criteria: a professional project for architects, artists, landscape architects, curators, conservators, writers; a final analytical dissertation of 100-150 pages; and an oral defence and explanation of the project and of the approach taken. Specific qualified and qualifying places for defence are to be envisaged (exhibition, gardens, etc.).

According to the national framework of PhD defence (4 to 6 external examiners).

Forms of Output

Thesis defence: PhD candidates defend before a mixed board (academics and professionals) composed of at least four members. The co-supervisors are members of the board. Evaluation is conducted according to three criteria: a professional project for architects, artists, landscape architects, curators, conservators, writers; a final analytical dissertation of 100-150 pages; and an oral defence and explanation of the project and of the approach taken. Specific qualified and qualifying places for defence are to be envisaged (exhibition, gardens, etc.). Each PhD student has to define, choose and justify the forms of outputs coherent with their research project.

Programme Structure

PhD students study for 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time.

Practice-led research aims to integrate practice into the research process, based on the belief that practice is one channel to produce knowledge. In line with the most recent theoretical and epistemological developments in the field of creation, we will go beyond the practice- led research stances currently being used to design and operationalize practice-led research strategies in which practice is the driving force, a source of both the questions and the findings of the research. This is a matter of putting practice into a strategy of continuous improvement through research, via a stance of reflexivity towards its own approaches, tools and arguments of intervention.

Our practice-led research project is located at the crossroads of three conceptual fields: (i) scientific research, whose aims to advance knowledge are fully shared and whose criteria of validity are rigorously respected; (ii) a project methodology that considers practices of conception/ideation/design, of planning and/or creation applied to art, spatial planning and heritage, as a specific area of human thought and action; (iii) finally, a heuristic of praxis, which considers practice or action an exceptional source—and in certain conditions an irreplaceable source—of knowledge.

Research in arts and design is often analysed through the distinction between research on, research for and research through. Far from conceiving these ternary classifications as absolutely differentiating mutually exclusive practices, we assume that practice-led research (through), which we promote, actually also associates the two other methods.

Doctoral training: this represents 60 ECTS accredited by the Doctoral school. The students should validate 50 ECTS by following the five doctoral seminars/workshops. Doctoral workshops will be set up each semester, three days in a row. Five workshops will be organised and successively supported by one of the five partners. They will be compulsory for all practice-led PhD students, thereby enabling a confrontation of perspectives. Each workshop will provide lectures by professionals and academics, roundtable discussions with contradictory debates and an exhibition of works done by the PhD students.

There is currently 1 PhD student (began 2018) studying in the arts per programme.

Undergraduate & Masters Research

The research embedded in the curriculum at BA and MA levels (including research methodologies): initiation to research methodologies during the 1st cycle; via Master seminars; Master thesis.

Qualification Framework

Paris Seine Graduate School – Humanities, Creation and Heritage (PSGS-HCH)

Quality Assurance & Enhancement

n/a

Supervision

The Thesis supervision is conducted via joint supervision: one professional (with a previous practice involvement in art research) and one HDR (authorization to direct research).

Staffing

Research time allocation

  • Via sabbaticals
  • Reduced teaching hours

Research professors teaching and carrying out research

  • 13 (of 27) 50%

Percentage of teaching staff with PhDs

  • 2 Professors (of 27) 7.5%

Student Admissions

Written application (CV; PhD project; portfolio)

Review by two external experts per project

Pre-selection by a scientific committee composed of representatives of all the members of the Graduate School

Interview of the pre-selected applicants

Final selection by the scientific committee

Student Funding

3 years working contract (salary according to the amount defined by the French Ministry of Higher Education)

5 contracts per year for the whole Graduate School (possibility to be PhD student without any contract)

Funding for production/publications/participation in conferences etc.

Student Support

Individual supervision with the supervisors

Doctoral training: this represents 60 ECTS accredited by the Doctoral school. The students should validate 50 ECTS by following the five doctoral seminars/workshops. Doctoral workshops will be set up each semester, three days in a row. Five workshops will be organised and successively supported by one of the five partners. They will be compulsory for all practice-led PhD students, thereby enabling a confrontation of perspectives. Each workshop will provide lectures by professionals and academics, roundtable discussions with contradictory debates and an exhibition of works done by the PhD students.

Links

3rd Cycle in the Arts

This is an international database of 3rd cycle awards in the European Higher Arts Education Area, developed within the Creator Doctus project, to identify possible examples of practice in developing and supporting artistic research.