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Film (Research)

Newcastle University
6 years
Doctorate / PhD
On campus
Newcastle upon Tyne
Contact school for start dates

Program description

You can specialise in either Film Practice or Film Studies. Our Film Practice PhD provides you with a unique opportunity to develop your film as a practice-led research project. Alternatively you can undertake a Film Studies, MPhil or PhD studying British, Algerian, Chinese, French or Latin American cinema.

Newcastle University has embarked on an ambitious programme of growth in film practice under the name of Film@CultureLab.

Led by award winning documentary filmmaker Dr Ian McDonald, Film@CultureLab is committed to developing a distinctive approach to film practice pedagogy and research. This is rooted in an understanding of film as a cinematic medium and filmmaking as a means of expression and of challenging, critiquing, and intervening in the social and historical world.

Acclaimed filmmakers Nick Broomfield and John Akomfrah joined Film@CultureLab as Visiting Professors of Film Practice in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Film@CultureLab also recently established Film Praxis, a public-facing screenings and events initiative.

Supervisors in Film@CultureLab
Current PhD projects

Film@CultureLab has a growing community of practice-led PhD students in film. Their PhD topics include:
• a documentary on football fan activism in Greece
• a documentary on the 'Beautiful Socialist Countryside' policy in China
• a series of short documentaries on the concept of place
• a documentary on a religious order
• a critical study of commodity culture using screen-based practices
• an exploration of the essay-film form

All practice-led PhDs include a written critical reflection.

As a Film Studies MPhil or PhD student you will form a crucial part of our research culture. Our thriving community of postgraduate students work across schools and disciplines. Research ranges from modern languages to English literature, English language, linguistics and arts and cultures.

We are keen to work with postgraduates in the major research projects listed below, or in the more general areas related to them. We supervise projects that span academic schools and sub-disciplines, ensuring the best fit between your interests and the expertise of our staff.

Early cinema and cinema culture in Britain and the USA
Latin American cinema
French cinema
Algerian cinema
Transnational Chinese cinema

We organise an annual postgraduate conference for the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and you can get involved in a number of film-related research seminars on campus, including:
•the Research Group in Film and Media series
•the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics visiting speaker series
•the School of Modern Languages research seminar series

You will benefit from the North Eastern Regional Film Seminar, which brings together film scholars from the Universities of Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland, Teesside, Durham and York for a one day symposium.

There is also the Film Factory, an exciting new film forum for students and staff, initiated by two PhD students from the School of Modern Languages, Gary Jenkins and Mani Sharpe. It consists of a series of film screenings followed by discussion and debate at the Culture Lab.


You will normally be taught on the Newcastle University campus. Attendance is flexible and agreed between you and your supervisors depending on the requirements of your research project.

Film Practice, PhD - Facilities:
Situated in a Grade II listed building, Culture Lab is a centre for film practice, housing seven industry standard edit suites, a recording studio and event space.

Film Studies, MPhil and PhD - Facilities:
You will have the opportunity to use Culture Lab, a centre for creative practice which includes a stock of film cameras and editing suites, as well as motioncapture, animation and soundmixing technology.

Admission requirements

For more information about this program, please contact the school directly.

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About this institute

Newcastle University

Newcastle University is a world-class research and teaching university, ranked in the top 200 of the world’s best universities. We are proud to have been awarded Gold status by the UK government in the Teaching Excellence Framework in recognition of our provision of consistently outstanding teaching,...

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