Course Arts-based research


Course leader: Lars Emmerik Damgaard Knudsen

Language: English

Graduate school: Faculty of Arts

Course fee: 0.00 DKK

Status: Course is open for application

Semester: Spring 2024

Application deadline: 01/05/2024

Cancellation deadline: 01/05/2024

Start date: 10/06/2024


All participants are placed on a waiting list until we reach application deadline.


Please note that for this course registration is binding unless you are prevented by illness.

Arts-based research is an approach to research in which the researcher uses artistic processes and forms of expressions to investigate a social phenomena. This includes all forms of artistic work and can be Integrated into all parts of the research process. By taking an artistic, artful, aesthetic approach to the investigation of human becoming and being the researcher is able to grasp and present elements of social processes and identity work that quantitative and traditional qualitative approaches is unable to do. Knowles & Cole (2008; xi) define arts-based research as "the systematic use of the artistic process, the actual making of artistic expressions in all of the different forms of the arts, as a primary way of understanding and examining experience by both researchers and the people that they involve in their studies" Leavy (2009; ix) defines arts-based research as: ”ABR practices are a set of methodological tools used by qualitative researchers across the disciplines during all phases of social research, including data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reinterpretation. These emerging tools adapt the tenets of the creative arts in order to adress social research questions in holistic and engaged ways in which theory and practice are intertwined.” 

With a focus on the artistic, aesthetic, material, performartive, and sensory dimensions of individual and social human life the researcher makes a research design that includes either the researchers own artistic production and processes or the artistic production and processes of a group of participants. The processes and the products can be an investigation of different areas of the research focus, they can be combined and they can include fieldwork observations and interviews with the participants and/or an audience. 

In this PhD course you will be introduced to arts-based research, how to perform arts-based research and get qualified feedback on your arts-based research research design and/or fieldwork. During the course we will discuss the general definitions and practices of arts-based research including how, why and what arts-based research adds to the existing research methodologies.

1) Read the literature for the course and prepare at least five questions.
2) Use an art form of your own choice e.g. the writing of a poem or making a photo collage to explore facets of your Ph.D. project, and present your work in a plenary session during the course. You can find inspiration for arts-based research Ph.D. here and in the readings for the course. The purpose is to gain independent experiences with performing arts-based research, relate the process and product to your own research, and become aware from a practical perspective of the strengths and weaknesses of arts-based research. Upload your arts-based research piece at the assigned Brightspace-page (intranet).

Day 1
09.15-09.45: Welcome: 'Introduction to the program and the establishment of a question pool' by Lars
09.45-10.00: In groups: Participants make a short presentation of themselves and their projects (3 min. each)
10.00-11.00: Lecture: 'Landscape of arts-based research' by Lars Break
11.15-12.15: Lecture: 'Doing rebellious arts-based research' by Pam Burnard 
12.15-13.15: Lunch
13.15-15.00: Workshop: 'How to use arts-based research in your Ph.D.' project by Pam Burnard 
15.00-16.00: Plenary discussions: 'Arts-based research' by Tatiana, Pam, and Lars

Day 2
09.15-10.15: Lecture: 'Home of arts-based research' by Tatiana
10.15-12.30: Workshop: 'Costumes and embodiment' by Charlotte Østergaard
12.30-13.00: Lunch
13.30-16.00: Groupwork: 'Students work with their products' under supervision by Tatiana and Lars
18.00-22.00: Dinner for all participants at Reffen, Refshaleøen Copenhagen.

Day 3
09.15-11.00: Groupwork: 'Students work with their products' under supervision by Tatiana and Lars
12.30-13.30: Lunch 
13.30-15.45: Plenary: 'Students present their work for all participants'
15.45-16.30: Plenary: 'Summing up and evaluation' by Tatiana and Lars.


- Insights into arts-based research methodologies, traditions and tenets
- Competences in performing and evaluating arts-based research


Literature will be distributed to the participants via a link to Brightspace (intranet).

Target group:

The course is relevant for PhD students at all stages of the process, but as the course includes students' presentations and participation in workshops it is required students have either a research design for conducting arts-based research and/or data materials.


Three lectures about arts-based research including examples and theoretical discussions about knowledge and method. Seminars following each lecture in which the lecture and the literature is debated from participants' perspectives. Exercises on how to do arts-based research and talks of how to apply arts-based research in the participants projects. Presentations of participants arts-based research work.


Lars Emmerik Damgaard Knudsen:
Tatiana Chemi:
Pam Burnard:
Charlotte Østergaard:


Campus Emdrup

Course dates:

  • 10 June 2024 09:15 - 16:00
  • 11 June 2024 09:15 - 16:00
  • 12 June 2024 09:15 - 16:30