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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 PRES 2023 (Postgraduate Research Experience Survey): our unit placed 2nd in university for overall GPA 4.58 (the University itself was placed 4th in UK). Furthermore, in PRES 2019, this unit performed significantly above the sector average in a range of measures and was placed top in the university for research culture (GPA of 4.08).

Recently completed projects include the following:

Recently Completed Projects
Year of completionNameSubjectTitle/Topic
2023Adriana ValderramaHeritage and Museum StudiesReassessing Authority and Curatorial Practice: Dealing with legacies of the past in Colombia and Northern Ireland
2023 John Kavanagh Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen Murdering Men: Recontextualising the slasher subgenre’s metanarrative, killers, and victims through poststructural analysis
2023 Gerard Gibson Cinematic Arts/Film and Screen Bodies at Rest and In Motion: Space, Place and Materiality in Cinematic Horror
2023 Paul O'Hagan Music Credit Where It's Due: Music, Copyright & Social Authorship
2023 Darragh Morgan Music (PhD by Published Work) Unlocking the unconventional: investigating the multifaceted role of the contemporary violinist with new perspectives on style, collaboration and innovation
2023 Lewis Smith Music

WithFeel: Embodiment as a Framework for Accessible Music Composition, Performance, and Design in Virtual Reality

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.

Current PhD researchers and projects
Year of entryNameSubjectTitle/Topic
2023Jessica WhitfieldHeritage and Museum StudiesMuseum Impact and Community Wellbeing: Evaluating the evidence
2023Shamim HasanDramaJerzy Grotowski’s legacies
2023Sandra FisherDramaDifferentiating Theatre for Young Audiences – towards a shared framework: an exploration of the specific processes and practices deployed by performances made for and with young audiences and the intrinsic values that underpin the work.
2023Linda CurtinCinematic Arts/Film and ScreenNew Worlds and New Possibilities: VP, Real-time and Convergence in the Screen Industry.
2023Lorna AllenCinematic Arts/Film and ScreenFresh blood: How have changing distribution and marketing strategies since 2016 facilitated the cultural diffusion and transnational circulation of non-English language horror cinema from the global south to us and UK audiences?
2023Aaron McGlincheyMusicThe Sound of Pre-Christian Ireland: An Environmental Sound Art Portfolio of Ireland’s Unique Acoustical Spaces
2023Colin WoodsMusicErosion of the creator-performer-observer paradigm in improvised open works
2023 (Jan start) Patrick Moore Music Integration of technology expanding the audience experience in contemporary composition through interactive systems
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.
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 (PT register) Nicole Jabre Art and Design (lead); Film and Screen (joint) Branding Attitude: Can design be a catalyst for change?
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