Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications

School of Media and Communication




The PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is the highest degree programme we offer. It involves three years of independent research under the guidance and expertise of the School. It is aimed at those who already have proven ability in their chosen field and wish to continue their study at the most advanced level. It is also a necessary qualification for anyone seeking a research or an academic career. We consider applications that include a practical element, especially in the areas of cinema, photography and imaging.

What is involved?

A PhD involves researching and writing a research thesis of up to 100,000 words on a topic of your own choice under the guidance of expert academics. The thesis should make an original contribution to knowledge through, for example, gathering and analysing new facts or by interpreting existing information in an important new way. Studying for a PhD is a demanding and challenging endeavour that will enhance your organisational skills, your knowledge of how to design and follow through a project, and your ability to work independently and in teams. Access to the thriving research culture of the School  and high quality opportunities for research training in the School and the University are key to acquiring the necessary skills and habits to succeed in this endeavour.

How you study

A PhD here involves independent study under the guidance of two supervisors who are an experts in your field. This is not a ‘taught’ degree, and so does not involve coursework, but you will follow a programme of PhD research training, and be expected to participate in the intellectual life of the School through research seminars, research groups, conferences and other events.

PhD students must pass a rigorous upgrading process at the end of their first year before they can transfer to doctoral level.  Our PhD students participate in the School’s research groups and centres, work on School-based journals and, where appropriate, on postgraduate training events.

The School hosts fortnightly research seminars with external speakers in which research students participate and holds weekly seminars specifically for postgraduate research students on a range of topics from research methods to advice about working in higher education. From year two onwards PhD students can get involved in teaching undergraduates, but the amount of teaching is carefully monitored to ensure a good balance between research progress and learning/ teaching skills.

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