The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programme represents the highest level of education at the School of Design & Visual Arts (SDVA), Apeejay Stya University (ASU). Professionals working in the field of design & visual arts education, research & practice, and allied areas, who are interested in enhancing their research capability and careers, further their understanding of the design domain or learning new design skills are eligible to participate in the programme.

The Ph.D. students at SDVA, ASU get to experience the essence of learning through multi & trans-disciplinary collaborations with partners from industry, institutions and the field. During the Ph.D. programme, students will have the chance to attend national & international conferences, research seminars, gain industry experience and expand their professional network.

Today design & arts is at the crossroads of philosophy, arts, science and technology. This field is now recognised as a catalyst to bring about a meaningful change and create value across sectors. Innovation through design, necessitates a multi-disciplinary approach at various levels: product, process and system levels.

The primary forces driving the university’s research pedagogy are empathy-based research, experiential learning, and contextual intelligence. The generation, dissemination and networking of new knowledge created in the Ph.D. studies are expected to open new frontiers in the design field benefitting the community, industry and society at large.



The Ph.D. programme in Design & Visual Arts shall include a range of topics around eight areas this year:

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Culture (such as traditional skills and handicraft)
  • Design Education (such as learning & teaching environment, pedagogy)
  • Design and Environment (such as sustainable solutions and experiment with materials)
  • Design Innovation (such as future of fashion and smart homes)
  • Design and Technology (such as computer-human interface and digital products)
  • Social-Business Innovation (such as entrepreneurship and business processes)
  • Product-Service-System (such as smart cities and complex human systems)


The focus of the Ph.D. study is to reflect & realise the potential of design & visual arts by:

  • Building the theoretical, methodological foundation of design with an understanding of the nature and value of design & visual arts
  • Developing reflective practices, enhancing competitive skills and setting new frontiers and benchmarks in design & visual arts practice
  • Harnessing the inter-disciplinary process of design & visual arts, and developing collaborative approaches for design innovations through the creation of products, services, and sustainable system models
  • Generating insights & new knowledge for humanity through field study, experimentations & deep research in the various domains of design & visual arts;

Award of Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.)

After successfully completing the course of study, which must be attended for a minimum of three years, doctoral candidates are awarded their degrees. Completion of Ph.D. may entail an open viva, a research seminar to showcase the new knowledge, submission of the thesis document and an exhibition/display for practice-led, field study-based doctoral work. The goal of this endeavour is to fill up the gaps in existing knowledge that is currently held around the world. Also, to broaden the overall scope and understanding of design in the current context.


  • Minimum 55% at Master's degree or equivalent in design/allied disciplines in relevant area with consistent good academic record,
  • Written test and research proposal presentation and personal interview,
  • Coursework equivalent to 12-16 credits
  • Applicants for part-time Ph.D. programme will have to submit No-Objection-Certificate (NOC) from their employer.


  • Ph.D. programme shall be for a minimum duration of three years, including course work and a maximum of six years.

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