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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the SRU?
The Sainsbury Research Unit (for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas).

How do I contact the Sainsbury Research Unit?  
See our Contact page for full details.

What is the UEA?
The University of East Anglia.

What is ART?
The School of World Art Studies and Museology, of which SRU is a part.

Where is the Sainsbury Research Unit located?
Some faculty offices and our seminar room are housed in the Crescent Wing of the Sainsbury Centre. The Robert Sainsbury Library, MA and Phd research student facilities and the permanent collection are housed in the main building of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, UK.

How do we get more information about academic programmes, applications, and deadlines?
Enquiries should be made to Admissions Secretary, (

Is additional literature available?
We offer a brochure and hardcopy of applications and guidelines upon request.  Please contact faculty and staff for other questions.

Academic Programmes

How long do I have to finish the academic programmes?
The MA course is an intensive year-long course.  MA students have coursework in the Fall and Spring terms, and submit their dissertations during the summer.  PhD students are expected to complete the requirements of the degree in three to four years, maximum. Most funding sources for doctoral research provide support for three years.

What is the difference between ‘research student’ and ‘PhD candidate’? What is upgrading? 
Under University policy, one officially becomes a ‘PhD candidate’ only after having been upgraded from ‘research student’ status. Upgrading in the SRU usually occurs after the second year and entails an interview (viva) and formal recommendation by faculty members to the University.

What are the requirements of the application process?
You need to complete the application, provide appropriate references and transcripts and, for overseas students, demonstrate proficiency in English (TOEFL test scores or equivalent).  See MA and PhD application procedures.

What are the requirements during the PhD programme?
To be awarded the PhD, a student must complete an accepted PhD thesis, thesis defence (viva) and all requisites leading up to thesis submission. The PhD programme expects that you will have a Masters degree (or equivalent) by the time you start here and are preparing to undertake your dissertation research. For this reason, there is no formal coursework for doctoral students. Of course, you may attend course lectures, with instructor permission. Students are expected to attend regular meetings convened by their supervisors, presentations, research student seminars/groups, and related sessions.

SRU Facilities & Resources

When is the SRU Library open?
Unless otherwise noted, the library is open during term times on Mon, Weds, Fri 9.30 am to 5 pm and from 9.30 to 7pm on Tues and Thurs, except on national holidays.  The library is closed at the weekends.  For University vacation hours, contact library staff in advance to avoid disappointment or see Opening Hours for up to date information.

What are the lending privileges of the library? 
UEA students and staff can borrow items for study.  See Using the Library for more details. Some exceptions include bibliography committed to course instruction and rare books.  Outside researchers are encouraged to make arrangements in advance to use library holdings.

Are there computing facilities for students? 
Yes.  There are quiet study areas for both MA and doctoral research students.  Workspaces are equipped with networked computers with printing and scanning privileges.  Users need to be registered with the UEA/SRU and comply with UEA's computing guidelines.  Hours for study area use are normally 9 am to 7 pm weekdays, and 11 am to 5 pm weekends. There are other facilities on Campus outside of these hours including a 24 hour IT suite.

SRU Links

Fijian Art Research Project
Accommodation and directions to UEA
SRU contact information

Related Links

Sainsbury Institute for Art
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
School of Art History and World Art Studies

Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts & Cultures
South Asian Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection Trust
University of East Anglia
UEA Information Services ( inc. Main Library)

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