Current and Recent PhDs

Our PhDs are a key part of our research community, with dedicated office spaces, IT and performance/production facilities and administrative support at Magee campus, in addition to university-level support via the Doctoral College.


Our PhDs are a key part of our research community, with dedicated office spaces, IT and performance/production facilities and administrative support at Magee campus, in addition to university-level support via the Doctoral College.

We currently have a total of approximately 25 PhD researchers from the UK and Ireland, as well as the rest of Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

Many are funded by our Northern Ireland Department for Economy (DfE) and Vice Chancellor's Research Scholarship schemes, providing full fees coverage and, in many cases, significant subsistence coverage similar to UKRI levels. We support PhDs via part-time and full-time routes, and the PhD community includes researchers from across the UK, Ireland, continental Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia.

We are a partner in the UK AHRC–funded Northern Bridge Consortium, in addition to running our own annual scholarship competition (deadlines generally in January/February each year).

In our most recent Postgraduate Researcher Experience Survey (PRES 2019), this unit performed above the sector average in a range of measures and was placed top in the university for research culture (GPA of 4.08).

As a University, Ulster was placed 8th across the UK, and 3rd for research culture.

Recently completed projects include the following:

Recently Completed Projects
Year of completionNameSubjectTitle/Topic
2020Gary LuttonMusicContemporary Steel-String Fingerstyle Guitar: Developing new vocabulary and improvisational approaches
2020Aidan O'DonnellMusicTuning In: Practices in tuning and pitch related inflections in the Donegal fiddle sound community.
2020Eleni KolliopoulouDrama and Art and DesignThe body of the relationship. A practice-based exploration of the relationship between the body and its environment informed by the notion of Butoh-body. Three case studies in time-based art.
2020Briony WiddisHeritage and Museum StudiesOpening boxes: private collections and colonial history in Northern Ireland

Current PhD researchers

You can find out more about current PhD researchers and projects below.

Current PhD researchers and projects
Year of entryNameSubjectTitle/Topic
2020Catherine McCulloughHeritage and Museum StudiesTBC
2020Aidan O'RourkeMusic TBC
2020Suphi KeskinCinematic Arts/Film and ScreenTurkish Diaspora Cinema
2020Tara HegartyCinematic Arts/Film and ScreenTBC
2019Adriana ValderramaHeritage and Museum StudiesCurating the future? Conflict curatorial practice when working with a contested past.
2019Paul O'HaganMusicMusic creators' rights and earnings
2019Gerard GibsonCinematic Arts/Film and ScreenBodies at Rest and In Motion: Space, Place and Materiality in Cinematic Horror
2019John KavanaghCinematic Arts/Film and ScreenMurdering Men: Recontextualising the slasher subgenre’s metanarrative, killers, and victims through poststructural analysis
2019Nicole JabreArt and Design (lead); Film and Screen (joint)Branding Attitude: Can design be a catalyst for change?
2019Lewis SmithMusicInclusive software design enabling disabled and no-disabled musicians to compose and perform music in an immersive virtual network
2018Kristopher ReidHeritage and Museum Studies

Queering Northern Ireland’s Museums: LGBTQ+ rights, social justice and museum activism in a post-conflict society

2018Amanda FinchDramaGender and Violence in Performance
2018Kevin GaffneyCinematic Arts/Film and ScreenResisting Homonormativity in Filmmaking Practice
2017Stephanie HarperHeritage and Museum StudiesRethinking the Display of East Asian Art Collections in Museums
2017Scott FlaniganMusicThe contemporary Jazz pianist: synthesised approaches to contemporary jazz practices
2017Lauren O'NeillMusic and IrishHarping Along the Atlantic Arc
2017Karl Tizzard-KleisterDrama and NursingDevelopment of an interactive model of applied dramas, creative agency and critical reflection to advance ‘sympathetic presence’ within multidisciplinary teams.
2017Dónall MacCathmhaoilDramaAuthorship and Advocacy in Applied Theatre Practice in Northern Ireland
2017Hamideh JavadiCinematic Arts/Film and ScreenInside the Screen, outside the Ideological Borders: An experimental film practice with mobile phone