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 20 PhD researchers drawn from the UK, Ireland, Continental 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 the 2019 Postgraduate Researcher Experience Survey (PRES), 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 2nd in the UK in 2021 for PhD researcher satisfaction and was placed 8th in the UK overall, and 3rd for research culture in 2019.
Recently completed projects include the following:
|Year of completion||Name||Subject||Title/Topic|
|2022||Hamideh Javadi Bejandi||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Inside the Screen, outside the Ideological Borders: Exploring Alternative Female Representation in Iranian Avant-garde Screen Productions|
|2022||Amanda Finch||Drama||'Ever more crossed and crossed’: cross-gender performance and violence in contemporary productions of Shakespeare’s comedies 2000-2019, a feminist queer reading|
|2022||Karl Tizzard-Kleister||Drama and Nursing||Using a drama-based approach to enhance the education of sympathetic presence and support communication skills for person-centered nursing students|
|2022||Kevin Gaffney||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Resisting Homonormativity in Queer Filmmaking Practice|
|2022||Adrian O'Connell||Drama||Digital Storytelling: Co-Creative Media and Community Engagement on the land Border of Ireland|
|2021||Dónall MacCathmhaoil||Drama||Modes of authorship in applied theatre for community advocacy in northern Ireland, 1998-2018|
|2021||Scott Flanigan||Music||Mechanisms as Development Devices in Contemporary Jazz Piano: Generating Original Improvised Vocabulary Through Analysis of the Music of Aaron Parks and Brad Mehldau|
|2021||Jill Sonke||Drama and Nursing||A Conceptual Model of Relationships Between Aesthetic Experience, Self-efficacy, and Behaviour Change in Arts-based Health Communication Programs|
|2021||Lauren O'Neill||Music and Irish||Harp Practice in Response to Gaelic Bardic Poetry|
|2021||Matthew Jacobson||Music||The Space Between: exploring spontaneity, group interaction and social context in improvised performances of motivic compositions|
|2021||John Deery||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Researching the use of filmmaking techniques for the representation of mental health struggles and suicidal ideation: Putting the Papageno Effect into Filmmaking Practice|
|2021||Stephanie Harper||Heritage and Museum Studies||Interpretation, Narration and Display of East Asian Collections: An Analysis of Irish Museum Approaches|
|2020||Gary Lutton||Music||Contemporary Steel-String Fingerstyle Guitar: Developing new vocabulary and improvisational approaches|
|2020||Aidan O'Donnell||Music||Tuning In: Practices in tuning and pitch related inflections in the Donegal fiddle sound community.|
|2020||Eleni Kolliopoulou||Drama and Art and Design||The 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.|
|2020||Briony Widdis||Heritage and Museum Studies||Opening boxes: private collections and colonial history in Northern Ireland|
Current PhD researchers
You can find out more about current PhD researchers and projects below.
|Year of entry||Name||Subject||Title/Topic|
|2022||Anjuli Grantham||Heritage and Museum Studies||Developing Heritage Leaders for the Climate Crisis|
|2022||Mark Donnelly||Music||An enquiry into creative pathways for the contemporary composer-performer through the collaborative narratives and mechanics of photography|
|2022||Cem Koç||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Producing Archive and Cultural Memory: Kurdish Documentary Cinema|
|2022||Robert Gresham||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Cross-cultural film adaptations as acts of recontextualization: transformations across language, symbols, and intertexts|
|2021||Lin Zhang||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Changeable Feminist films in China from 1980 to Present: Nation, Gender and Genre|
|2021||Matthew Curran||Music||Developing a New Sweep/Hybrid Approach in Picking Technique to Facilitate the Expansion of Dynamic and Harmonic Possibilities in Guitar Performance|
|2021||Tasha Curry||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Blood, Gore and Queer to the Core: Queering the Horror Genre and the Evolution of Representation|
|2021||Meabh Ivers||Drama||An Investigation into Dramatherapy as an effective intervention in helping Autistic children to develop their communication skills.|
|2021||Darragh Morgan||Music - PhD by Published Work||PhD by Published Work - title TBC|
|2020||Catherine McCullough||Heritage and Museum Studies||The EU and the Museum: an investigation of cross border museum projects in Ireland|
|2020 (PT register)||Aidan O'Rourke||Music||A portfolio of new Scottish music: expanding the language, form, diversity and relevance of traditional music in Scotland|
|2020||Suphi Keskin||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||The Evolution of Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Cinema: From Photographic Excellence to Cinematic Prose|
|2020||Tara Hegarty||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Harpy, Mermaid, Nymph: Challenging gendered myth-making in representations of female mythical figures in contemporary screen adaptations through practice|
|2019||Adriana Valderrama||Heritage and Museum Studies||Curating the future? Conflict curatorial practice when working with a contested past.|
|2019||Paul O'Hagan||Music||Attribution, Assignment & Mediation: A Phenomenology of Music Copyright|
|2019||Gerard Gibson||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Bodies at Rest and In Motion: Space, Place and Materiality in Cinematic Horror|
|2019||John Kavanagh||Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen||Murdering Men: Recontextualising the slasher subgenre’s metanarrative, killers, and victims through poststructural analysis|
|2019 (PT register)||Nicole Jabre||Art and Design (lead); Film and Screen (joint)||Branding Attitude: Can design be a catalyst for change?|
|2019||Lewis Smith||Music||Inclusive software design enabling disabled and no-disabled musicians to compose and perform music in an immersive virtual network|
|2018||Kristopher Reid||Heritage and Museum Studies|
Queering Northern Ireland’s Museums: LGBTQ+ rights, social justice and museum activism in a post-conflict society
|2017 (PT register)||Kate Brown||Drama||An investigation into the efficacy of arts interventions in supporting the development of agency in children living in direct provision|