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CITI-GENS DTP: Innovative Ways of Seeing Cities through Cinema Spatial Mapping and Data Digitisation of Urban Film Locations

School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD

Applications are now CLOSED
Reference Number
Application Deadline
10 July 2020
Start Date
11 January 2021


While the relationship between cinema, architecture and the urban environment has become the subject of a growing interdisciplinary research area, very limited research has been conducted on the cinematic representation of Irish cities and history of film production on the island from an architectural/urban viewpoint. The project represents a substantive attempt to put its two capitals, Belfast and Dublin, on the expanding global map of cinematic cities using contemporary methods and technologies.

This project is part of the MSCA COFUND CITI-GENS Doctoral Training Programme, for more information including detailed project descriptions, funding and the application process please visit

Please note that the funding and application information on the tabs within this page are not applicable to this particular programme and you must visit the website above to ensure you follow the correct procedures to be considered.

This project will examine how fiction films shot and set in Belfast and Dublin represent the built environment as well as urban living, and how that portrays and/or affects the wellbeing of their citizens. By looking at the understudied role of cinema in cultural and social development in Irish cities, both in the south and north, this comparative approach will offer an innovative perspective on the urban development and experience on two sides of the border. The project comes at a critical time in which local and international investments support the growth of the film industries in NI and the Republic. Accordingly, the objectives of the project are:

1.To offer new ways of seeing cities through a comprehensive methodology devising contemporary technologies in architecture, film studies and geography that will be made publicly available
2.To explore how architectural and urban characteristics of film locations and their cinematic representations have influenced each other in Belfast and Dublin
3.To examine how cinema has represented, and influenced, the urban experience and wellbeing of city dwellers
4.To collaborate with public/private stakeholders to discuss how research findings can support film commissioners and policy makers in promoting the architectural and urban characteristics of Belfast and Dublin, and their development as sites of film tourism.

As this PhD project has highly innovative high-tech components, particularly spatial mapping and data digitisation in the humanities, it is essential for the appointed research student to follow the most recent digital technologies and academic literature. For that reason, they will be encouraged to attend international conferences (either physical or virtual) and to submit research papers to distinguished international journals as they proceed with their work. They will also have an opportunity to visit a university, research centre and/or institution outside of the UK that conduct innovative forms of practice and/or research in the same area."

Funding Information

The programme covers the tuition fees and salary, please visit for information on eligibility and salary.

Project Summary
Gul Kacmaz Erk
Mode of Study

Full-time: 3 years

Part-time: N/A

Funding Body
Cofunded by the Horizon 2020 prog of the EU & DfE
Apply now Register your interest

Architecture overview

Architecture at Queen’s addresses the issues of architecture and urbanism in an increasingly globalised world, where factors such as sustainability and climate change, identity and heritage, and notions of craft and form create a complex context that architecture has to mediate.

Architecture at Queen’s values both traditional academic and practice-based research. We have the expertise to support PhDs involving deep investigations into cultural, historic and technological contexts both in Ireland and globally. Our practice-based PhDs (offered in association with the ADAPTr programme) and research-by-design activities promise new knowledge through not only the analysis of the existing, but also the documentation of new processes and situations created by new design thinking. In both, architecture is seen both as a lens and as a measure of urban, suburban and rural landscapes.

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).

Brexit Advice

Information on the implications of Brexit for prospective students.

Course content

Research Information

Associated Research
Architecture at Queen’s offers the opportunity to make an original contribution to the discipline of architecture through a PhD or MPhil within the department’s accomplished, academic environment. Each lecturer in architecture pursues a unique research interest so that as a whole, the school is a diverse and lively place to study.
Working closely with their chosen supervisors, PhD students are also connected to the School of Natural and Built Environment’s research clusters, benefitting from the cross-disciplinary context of research in the school. As part of the Russell Group, the university often hosts symposiums, seminars and conferences which connect researchers with renowned academics from across the globe.
Students maintain their own research seminar series and attend the fortnightly seminars of the Archaeology and Palaeoecology research clusters, which routinely bring outstanding scholars from abroad as well as Great Britain and Ireland.
The cluster undertakes research in Ireland, Great Britain and abroad, in particular, the Mediterranean region, territories of the former Soviet Union, the North Atlantic, west Africa and North America, where both staff and research students undertake collaborative projects.
Being based in the recently built 14CHRONO Centre has expanded our research facilities and allowed us to extend our research agenda.
Facilities include an AMS 14C dating facility, an NEC accelerator mass spectrometer, cold storage for biological materials, drawing office, laboratories for post-excavation, human bone analysis, palynology, plant, snail and insect macrofossils, dendrochronology and animal bone analysis.
Current postgraduates come from Ireland, Great Britain, the USA, France, and the Netherlands.

Career Prospects

For further information on career opportunities at PhD level please contact the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Recruitment Team on Our advisors - in consultation with the School - will be happy to provide further information on your research area, possible career prospects and your research application.

People teaching you

Dr Gul Kacmaz Erk
Senior Lecturer
Natural and Built Environment

Learning Outcomes

Course structure


Entrance requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

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 a minimum of 6.0 in Speaking and Listening and a minimum of 5.5 in Reading and Writing, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, is required. *Taken within the last 2 yrs.

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.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,407
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £4,407
Other (non-UK) EU £4,407
International £21,300

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Architecture costs

Students are responsible for additional costs for books, materials and software for drawing/model making and printing (including final portfolio). The amount for materials, equipment and printing will vary depending on the research undertaken and how students decide to represent their work.

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.

How do I fund my study?
1.PhD Opportunities

Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.

2.Doctoral Training Centres at Queen's

Queen's has eight outstanding competitive Doctoral Training Centres, with each one providing funding for a number of PhD positions and most importantly a hub for carrying out world class research in key disciplines.

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, £10,000 for students in Scotland and up to £5,500 for Northern Ireland 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.