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Postgraduate Research

Film Studies

School of Arts, English and Languages | PhD
Entry Year
Academic Year 2024/25
Entry Requirements


We offer graduate research programmes in both critical and creative practice. These are designed for students who wish to conduct research into historical and/or broader theoretical issues in film, media, and screen cultures, or those who are interested in pursuing their PhD qualification through creative research. We encourage cross-disciplinary projects, especially those involving other areas within the School of Arts, English, and Languages.

There are three Programme routes:

• PhD in Film and Visual Studies (Critical Practice): This route offers students the opportunity to undertake advanced, original research in one of our current areas of specialisation, for example: animation studies; British cinema and television; censorship and regulation; documentary; film and sound; impact of new screen technologies; political film; screen industries; and world and comparative film studies.

• PhD in Film and Visual Studies (Creative Practice): This route involves the production of a body of supervised creative work, accompanied by a written critical treatment contextualising this work with the broader field of film and screen cultures. Recent successful creative practice PhDs have focussed on: documentary filmmaking; experimental film practice; fiction storytelling and direction; screenwriting; and sound design.

• MPhil in Film Studies: This third route also offers students the opportunity to undertake advanced Masters-level research through either critical or creative practice in one of our areas of specialisation.

Mode of study/duration: Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).

Subject Summary

You wish to conduct research into historical or broader theoretical issues in film and audiovisual cultures, or wish to undertake practice-led research. You have two pathways to choose from: a Creative Practice route, examining areas such as Documentary Film, Conflict Transformation, New Media and Experimental Aesthetic Practices; and a Film and Visual Studies route, looking at cinema history and historiography, sound and film, world and comparative film studies, documentary film, and Irish film and audiovisual culture.

Film Studies Highlights

Internationally Renowned Experts
  • Overall, 88% of our research outputs, research environment and impact in “practice-as-research and screen studies” was judged to be “internationally excellent or world-leading” by the 2021 REF panel.
  • We are 6th in the UK for Research power as indexed by THE
  • The programme is derived by leading academic experts in specialist fields including: documentary studies, World, British and European cinemas, film sound and music, film and history, animation, experimental practices, and nonfiction filmmaking.

Key Facts

Research students are encouraged to play a full and active role in relation to the wide range of research activities undertaken within the School and there are many resources available including:

  • ⁃ Access to the Queen’s University Postgraduate Research Development Programme
  • ⁃ Office accommodation with access to computing facilities

Student Testimonials

Course content

Research Information

Associated Research
Interactive Documentary
Cinema history
Experimental film
Irish film and audiovisual culture
Relations between film and the visual arts
World and comparative film studies
British film and cinema
Film controversy and film censorship

Career Prospects

Many of our PhD graduates have moved into academic and research roles in Higher Education while others go on to play leading roles in educational practice, the public sector, NGOs and the creative industries. Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability.

People teaching you

Professor Stefano Baschiera

Learning Outcomes

Students can conduct research into theoretical issues in film and screen cultures, or wish to undertake creative research in a specified area or areas of film production. To attain a doctoral level qualification, students choose either a PhD in Film & Visual Studies (critical practice) route involving extensive and rigorous study into a chosen area in film, media and screen studies, or the PhD in Film & Visual Studies (Creative Practice) route which involves the completion of a practice-based research project focussing on a particular area or areas of film and screen production. An M.Phil qualification in Film Studies by research is also available, and can be pursued through either a predominantly critical or creative research methodology.

Course structure


Learning and Teaching



No Opportunities Currently Available

Entrance requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in an Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences subject. While a Master's degree (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) is not essential, it is desirable and applicants without this qualification will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants may also be considered if they can demonstrate appropriate relevant experience. To find out more email

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 TBC
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 TBC
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 TBC
EU Other 3 £20,500
International £20,500

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. All fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Film Studies costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.

Bench fees

Some research programmes incur an additional annual charge on top of the tuition fees, often referred to as a bench fee. Bench fees are charged when a programme (or a specific project) incurs extra costs such as those involved with specialist laboratory or field work. If you are required to pay bench fees they will be detailed on your offer letter. If you have any questions about Bench Fees these should be raised with your School at the application stage. Please note that, if you are being funded you will need to ensure your sponsor is aware of and has agreed to fund these additional costs before accepting your place.

How do I fund my study?

1.PhD Opportunities

Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.

2.Funded Doctoral Training Programmes

We offer numerous opportunities for funded doctoral study in a world-class research environment. Our centres and partnerships, aim to seek out and nurture outstanding postgraduate research students, and provide targeted training and skills development.

3.PhD loans

The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students.

4.International Scholarships

Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.

Funding and Scholarships

The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Find a supervisor

If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.

To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.

You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.

Download Postgraduate Prospectus