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.
Film Practice, PhDFilm Practice, PhD
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
Dr Ian McDonald is a sociologist and a documentary filmmaker. His films have been screened at film festivals, academic conferences, campaign meetings and in cinemas around the world. Ian is interested in supervising doctoral students in most areas of film theory and practice. He is particularly interested in supervising practice-based PhDs in documentary filmmaking, especially alternative, political and observational documentaries.
Dr Geetha Jayaraman, known as Geetha J, is a writer, filmmaker and producer. Geetha's research area is primarily film practice, both as director and producer. Geetha is interested in supervising practice-based research in fiction and non-fiction, as well as subjects under Indian cinema, world cinema, women and cinema. Her interests include film theory and history, film journalism and criticism, film societies and festivals.
Supervision can also be offered in the following areas:
- creative documentary practices in India/ South Asia
- film festival studies
- history of the documentary
- intersections between the documentary and sociological/ anthropological/ cultural studies
- sports documentaries
- studies of independent film production and exhibition
- theorising documentary as a critical and creative practice
- world cinema studies
We currently co-supervise a range of film and film-related projects with academic colleagues from:
• Media, Culture, Heritage
• Fine Art
• English Language and Literature
• Architecture, Planning and Landscape
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.
Film Studies, MPhil and PhDFilm Studies, MPhil and PhD
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
- the history of film style
- popular cinema culture
- points of contact between literature and film
- Hollywood after 1975
Latin American cinema
- cinema and memory studies
- cinema and the imaginaries of post-conflict
- cinema and contemporary Latin American society
- cinema and the city
- cinema and theatre - performance studies
- popular film from the 1930s to the present
- gender and representation
- cinema audiences and theories of spectatorship
- postcolonial cinema
- cinema and the representation of trauma
- cinema and the Algerian War
- contemporary French cinema
- French horror and fantasy cinema
- cinema and the work of Pierre Bourdieu
Transnational Chinese cinema
- Chinese independent films and film festivals
- transnational Chinese cinema
- stardom and performance
- gender and sexuality
- audience and reception studies
- action and martial arts genres
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 - FacilitiesFilm 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.
As a PhD student in Film@CultureLab, you will be based in Culture Lab and have access to modern industry standard shooting kits and edit suites.
These include a range of high definition cameras and supporting rigs, a high-spec PC cluster equipped with full Adobe CC, 27” monitors and TVs, and bespoke edit suites with Apple iMacs and Mac Pros, 27” dual calibrated displays and stereo monitoring. They run the latest Apple OS with Adobe CC, Final Cut and Da Vinci Resolve.
Culture Lab is supported by a team of dedicated film technicians.
Film Studies, MPhil and PhD - FacilitiesFilm 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.
The Language Resource Centre and Peter Robinson Library hold large collections of international films and film magazines. You will also have access to a dedicated postgraduate suite including computers, workspaces, a kitchen and showers.
You will also have guided access to Tyne and Wear Archives.
In the news
Student blogger Lydia's story of why she chose to take on postgraduate study.
published on: 18 April 2018
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published on: 16 April 2018
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.
Our Faculty Training Programme provides a community made up of postgraduate social sciences and humanities students and staff. It is a unique blend of cross-disciplinary and generic researcher development training, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as providing a solid basis for doctoral study.
Although your focus will be on your specialist study, our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. We have nurtured a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and supportive environment where staff and students from across the world can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training, which accredits the core foundation modules on the training programme.
You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite with purpose-built facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences and we have a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.
Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership
Based at Newcastle University, Northern Bridge brings together the expertise and exceptional resources of Newcastle University, Durham University, Queen’s University Belfast and their partners for the training and development of outstanding arts and humanities postgraduate researchers.
Northern Bridge is funded by the AHRC to provide doctoral studentships and has been commended for the strength of its research base, shared vision, and its successful track record of partnership working.
Postgraduate Research Student Support
Our award winning Research Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £15,600
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
A 2:1 honours degree and preferably a merit master's degree, or an international equivalent, in a related subject, such as:
- MLitt (if applying for Film Studies, MPhil and PhD)
- film studies
- cultural studies
- modern languages
You may need to attend an interview, which can be via Skype if necessary.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: email@example.com for further information.
English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Pre-sessional English Course RequirementsPre-sessional English Course Requirements
- 6 week Pre-sessional entry:Not accepted
- 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.5 overall (with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)
You can study our Pre-sessional English course at the INTO Newcastle Centre.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.
You need to submit a research proposal with your application. Your research proposal should link to the work of a supervisor or research group in the School. Read our guidelines for producing a research proposal (PDF: 41.5KB) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Graduate School.
When making your online application, please insert one of the following programme codes on the 'Programme of Study' page:
Film Practice, PhD
- 8834F (PhD, full time)
- 8836P (PhD, part time)
Then select ‘PhD Media, Culture and Heritage’ and the ‘Research Area’ Film Practice.
Film Studies, MPhil and PhD
- 8220F (PhD, full time)
- 8220P (PhD, part time)
- 7220F (MPhil, full time)
- 7220P (MPhil, part time)
Then select ‘School of Modern Languages’ and the ‘Research Area’ Film and Media Studies.
There are usually two possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.
Film Practice, PhD
Film Studies, MPhil and PhD