Summary

Cinematic Arts at Ulster University is a new and vibrant area of research that combines theory and practice of moving image arts in the new digital media age. Applicants can propose cinema studies or practice-based research topics and/or related research questions that unearth and celebrate diverse new filmmaking voices, such as women, LGBT+, neurodiverse, indigenous and people of colour.

The Cinematic Arts PhD at Ulster University recognises long-held racial, gender-based and colonialist hegemonic and white-dominated prejudices in the study of neglected cinemas of diversity and encourages all interested applications to submit proposals to address the lack of scholarship in these areas: cinemas of the Global South, indigenous, black and MENA cinemas, i.e. study proposals beyond the dominant Western ‘global’ Hollywood and European economies of production, distribution and exhibition. Methodologies informed by post-colonial, critical race, Indigenous, feminist, and/or queer thought and the theory/history of moving image media and culture in the context of the Global South are particularly welcome.

Proposals are welcomed in a wide range of areas relating to staff research interests. With a combined experience of over fifty years in filmmaking, television production, animation and the creative industries, our experienced team of internationally established, research-active staff are able to offer supervision across a wide range of subjects and themes, from film history and national cinemas to contemporary filmcraft and emerging virtual reality technologies.

Where research proposals span various disciplines, a supervisory team can be assembled across schools and faculties to meet the needs of the projects. Our Diverse New Filmmaking Voices in Cinema & TV PhD provides you with an opportunity to study a range of specialist topics within the areas of onscreen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and filmmaking project teams; industry access and opportunities; and audience development.

Proposals are sought in the following areas of staff expertise: cinemas of the Global South, transnational cinema/screens, marginalised communities in pop culture; filmmaking collectives; countering hegemonic narratives; factual and fictional forms, practices and relations; filmmakers that have been diminished or misrepresented; and political oppositional cinema and TV. Applicants are invited to make contact with us in advance of application to discuss the feasibility of their chosen topic.

Our experienced team of internationally established, research-active staff have the critical theoretical experience required to lead the supervision of a research degree in Political and Resistance Media. Their recent publications include: Boody Women: Women Directors of Horror (2022); Alternative Media in Contemporary Turkey: Sustainability, Activism, and Resistance (2018); Make America Hate Again: Trump-Era Horror & The Politics of Fear (2020); Resist! Protest Media and Popular Culture in the Brexit-Trump Era (2020); Social Movements and their Technologies: Wiring Social Change (2016); and The Revolution will be Hacktivated (2016).


Essential criteria

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study.

We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.

  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Completion of Masters at a level equivalent to commendation or distinction at Ulster
  • Research project completion within taught Masters degree or MRES
  • Practice-based research experience and/or dissemination
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Work experience relevant to the proposed project
  • Experience of presentation of research findings

Funding and eligibility

The University offers the following levels of support:

Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,840 (tbc) maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £8,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Department for the Economy (DFE)

The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,840 (tbc) per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

  • Candidates with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, who also satisfy a three year residency requirement in the UK prior to the start of the course for which a Studentship is held MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance.
  • Republic of Ireland (ROI) nationals who satisfy three years’ residency in the UK prior to the start of the course MAY receive a Studentship covering fees and maintenance (ROI nationals don’t need to have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to qualify).
  • Other non-ROI EU applicants are ‘International’ are not eligible for this source of funding.
  • Applicants who already hold a doctoral degree or who have been registered on a programme of research leading to the award of a doctoral degree on a full-time basis for more than one year (or part-time equivalent) are NOT eligible to apply for an award.

Due consideration should be given to financing your studies. Further information on cost of living


Recommended reading

Batty, Craig, and S. Kerrigan. Screen Production Research, Palgrave, 2018.

Bell, Desmond. Research in the Creative and Media Arts: Challenging Practice. Routledge, 2019.

Deshpande, Shekhar, and Meta Mazaj. World Cinema. Routledge, 2018.

Ezra, Elizabeth, and Terry Rowden, eds. Transnational cinema: the film reader. Routledge, 2006.

Feeley, Jennifer L., and Sarah Ann Wells, eds. Simultaneous Worlds: Global Science Fiction Cinema. U of Minnesota Press, 2015.

Gauntlett, David. Media, gender and identity. Routledge, 2008.

Nagib, Lúcia, Chris Perriam, and Rajinder Dudrah, eds. Theorizing world cinema. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011.

Schoonover, Karl, and Rosalind Galt. Queer cinema in the world. Duke, 2016.

Rawle, Steven. Transnational cinema: An introduction. Palgrave, 2017.

Russell, Catherine. Experimental ethnography: the work of film in the age of video. Duke University Press, 1999.

Stone, Rob, et al., eds. The Routledge Companion to World Cinema. New

York: Routledge, 2018.

Traverso, Antonio, ed. Southern Screens: Cinema, Culture and the Global South. Routledge, 2018.


The Doctoral College at Ulster University


Reviews

I am a visual artist and researcher with emphasis on performative art and interdisciplinary practice. Before applying for the practice-based PhD I had studied Philosophy of Science and Fine arts. My research concerned immersive performative installations and focused on the psychophysical effects of artistic creation to the participants.My proudest  moment was when I managed to identify the right supervisory team to support my project. My favourite memory was when I was awarded a doctoral grant in order to participate to Psi conference in Canada. I’ll never forget my first year's struggle to define my subject! I couldn’t have got through without the moral support of my family and my passion for the art. If I could speak to myself at the start of my PhD I would advise myself to break down into steps this whole project and feed constantly my motivation with a balanced lifestyle.

Eleni Kolliopoulou - PhD in Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies

I applied for the PhD after completing Undergraduate and Masters Degrees in Design at Ulster, specialising in filmmaking concerned with issues of mental health and suicide prevention. The final PhD film, JACK (www.jackthemovie.co.uk) aims to translate the protective principles of the Papageno Effect from Psychology and Suicidology into Filmmaking practice by creating a more constructive depiction of a character struggling with their mental wellbeing and suicidal ideation.I am most proud of successfully completing the PhD and defending the project in the final Viva. My fondest memories include presenting my work at the International Association of Suicide Prevention World Congress in 2019 and screening JACK at various Mental Health Film Festivals. If I could speak to myself at the start of my PhD, the best piece of advice I would give myself would be to be prepared for some challenging days ahead and not to let them get you down. I could not have got through this process without the

John Deery - PhD in Music, Drama, Dance, Film and Screen Studies