SWW2 is consortium of Aberystwyth University, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Bath Spa University, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, Cranfield University, University of Exeter, University of Reading, University of Southampton, and the University of the West of England funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to provide postgraduate studentships and training. SWW2 builds upon the key strengths of, and collaborations established by its predecessor, SWW1

The programme will offer 200 awards across five student cohorts with a proportion of the awards offered being Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs). The first student intake will be in 2019/2020.

The 21st century is transforming academic research: the creative and intellectual challenges of our research enquiries are now combined with the demands of a dynamic and ever more globalised society and a landscape that increasingly requires research to be conducted within interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary contexts.

The AHRC-funded SWW2 is committed to developing creative approaches across disciplinary and interdisciplinary research that will develop scholars, researchers and professionals who are flexible and able to respond to both fast-moving research and industry environments.

We provide flexible, student-centred training that nurtures disciplinary expertise in conjunction with interdisciplinary perspectives, enriched by the world-class expertise and state-of-the-art resources available at our nine leading universities and our prestigious sector partners.

SWW2 researchers will be equipped for a wide range of careers through the acquisition of research-based, employability, entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills that are vital to the 21st-century knowledge economy.

Your research project will be supported by collaborative supervisory teams drawn from two of the consortium institutions.

SWW2 offers joint supervision arrangements between its consortium institutions. Our students are provided with unrivalled access across institutional boundaries to the most relevant and cutting-edge expertise on offer across our consortium, ensuring an exceptional breadth and depth of coverage for your project.

Your collaborative cross-institutional supervisory teams will work together, and with you, to ensure you receive the bespoke training you need to develop both your disciplinary and where appropriate, inter-disciplinary knowledge, skills and expertise. In addition to the development opportunities within the academic partners your supervisory team will also help you identify development opportunities with our non-academic partner organisations including mentoring, placements, technical skills and more.

Find your supervisory team here.

A central part of the SWW2 research experience; our dynamic, thematic and methodological research environment is designed to support the development of new interactions and cross-disciplinary approaches relevant to your research project.

Academics across the SWW2 Consortium cover an extraordinarily wide range of disciplines, with many engaging in interdisciplinary research that crosses subject boundaries. This range gives us a particularly broad supervisory capacity both within and across individual disciplines. As a means of expressing and thinking about that breadth, the members of the Consortium have together identified six cross-disciplinary themes that showcase the variety of our research environment.

The SWW2 themes are designed to stimulate interdisciplinary engagements and encounters with the larger field of arts and humanities research, as well as to highlight how different disciplines across the arts and humanities can engage with some of the big issues facing our world today. But they are not designed to be prescriptive; in particular, there is no requirement that any project proposal should map onto one of these themes. Indeed, we expect our students to develop their own themes to facilitate interdisciplinary engagement; these new themes will form the basis for student-led research clusters supported by the SWW2, which will bring together PhD researchers and encourage them to grow intellectually beyond their discipline.

The six SWW2 themes are as follows:

Cultural transmission, translation and migration

Students will bring their knowledge and skills to engage with challenges in a global context related to the dynamic movement of objects, texts and ideas across borders of language, genre, media, space, and time. This theme reflects student interest in literary history, reception studies, book and performance history, translation/transnational studies, global film and transcultural music practice.

Visual and textual aesthetics and materialities

This theme brings together researchers working with written texts together with those whose material is based on images, exploring the role that materiality and technologies play in the experience of texts and images and considering interpretative strategies can contribute to new understandings.

Environmental and regional pasts and futures

Students will be encouraged to connect global concerns with localities, especially those of Wales, the South and the South West.  This theme is expected to support research with a strongly interdisciplinary character.

Polities, policies and values

This theme recognises the need for students to engage with contributions to the evaluation and development of policy, including social science research agendas. It will create an interdisciplinary environment for students working on issues such as: gender, cultural value and creative industries, the politics of language, digital, religious and climate justice.

STEMM subjects and objects

Supporting students who wish to conduct research in topics and phenomena in the domain of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine, and those who employ methods, theories and technologies from the hard sciences to investigate issues such as Medical and Digital Humanities.

Conflict and post-conflict

This theme addresses some of the most pressing social and political problems and questions by bringing together researchers across a wide chronological and geographical range such as those attracted by expertise in the critical history of conflict, warfare and society, and critical military studies, in the study of trauma and memory, and in imperial and post-colonial history.


The SWW2 enabling methods are designed to provide students with the practical tools and conceptual / theoretical models required to engage fully in the cross-disciplinary, cross-institutional, and cross-sectoral research environment indicated by the themes. They also shape our training programme, as delivered at dedicated training days, and are intended to open up approaches that will be useful in the students’ own research cluster activities

The consortium has identified six key enabling methods:

Co-production in research

Involves co-designing research with non-university partners be they communities, industries, charities or policy makers.

Creative practice as research

Reflects consortium strengths in subjects such as Creative Writing, music composition and performance and partnerships with organisations such as Knowle West Media Centre, Creative Cardiff, and Arts Council South West.

Digitally-enabled research

This method represents investment in technology such as Exeter’s Digital Humanities Lab and Reading’s Minghella Studios, significant expertise and research groups (such as the Archaeological Computing Research Group) across the consortium.

Textual and visual analysis and criticism

Draws on extensive expertise in literary and film criticism across the consortium, textual scholarship and literary editing, and in discourse and multimodal methods.

Engaging with materialities

This method reflects extensive literary and historical archives and experience in a range of archaeological practices (Centre for Archaeology of Human Origins), the History of manuscript cultures/the Book, image technologies and cultural history, providing opportunities for a range of research and student engagement.

Transdisciplinary approaches

Encompasses, for example, scientific archaeology; collaborations with physicists, mathematicians and neuroscientists; health care and clinical practice, paleoclimatology, philosophy, and psychology.

The subject coverage offered by the new SWW2 programme is provided below:

Cultural and Museum Studies
Law and Legal Studies
Political Science and International Studies (Diplomacy & International Relations)
Theology, Divinity and Religion
Visual Arts: Art History
Cultural Geography
Visual Arts: Fine Art History, Theory and Practice
Visual Arts: Applied Arts History, Theory and Practice
Visual Arts: Digital Arts & Photography History, Theory and Practice
Visual Arts (covering Art Theory & Aesthetics; Community Art; Installation and Sound Art History, Theory and Practice; Film-Based and Time-Based History, Theory and Practice)
Languages and Literature: Creative Writing
Media: New Media/Web-Based Studies
Media: Film History, Theory and Criticism
Media: Television History, Theory and Criticism
Languages and Literature: Ethnography and Anthropology
Drama and Theatre Studies
Cultural Studies (Policy, Arts Management and Creative Industries)
Languages and Literature (including American Studies, Life-writing, History and Development of English Language, Literary and Cultural Theory, Post-Colonial Studies, Comparative Literature, Medieval Literature, Comparative Studies, Gender and Sexuality)
Languages and Literature: Asiatic & Oriental Studies
Languages and Literature: Celtic Studies
Cultural Studies and Popular Culture
Languages and Literature: English Language and Literature
Languages and Literature: French Studies
Languages and Literature: Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin Studies
Interpreting and Translation
Languages and Literature: Italian Studies
Media: Journalism and Publishing
Languages and Literature: Middle Eastern and African Studies
Languages and Literature: Russian, Slavonic and Eastern European Studies
Languages and Literature: German Studies (including Dutch and Yiddish)

© 2021 South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership

Privacy Policy