Screen Media (Film and TV) PhD
MPhil option available
This course has an MPhil option
PhD student loans
The UK Government has recently introduced PhD loans of up to £25000 to UK and EU nationals, residing in England, for postgraduate research programmes starting in the academic year 2018-19. Read more here.
About the course
We offer doctoral supervision in a wide range of areas of staff expertise in film, TV and some other media forms. These include both theoretical/written work and projects that are based on or include practical components.
Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.
MPhil degree option
An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.
Screen Media at Brunel has established a substantial body of research in a range of topics, including numerous major contributions to the field. Four themes provide strands across which much of this work can be categorized:
- The politics of representation
- National and transnational film and TV
- Documentary practice and theory
- Gothic, horror and fantasy
Areas in which staff have published major work recognized in the field include British, European, Hollywood, American independent, Hong Kong, and Third cinema; horror, comedy, the integration of video practice and theory, Marxism and the media, contemporary British and American television. Some staff are also filmmakers, particularly in documentary, and/or use documentary itself as a form of research.
Find out more
Potential research projects areas for PhD students
- Recent and contemporary British, European, Hong Kong, Hollywood and American independent cinema
- World cinemas, art cinema
- Cult film, television and other media
- British and American television
- Science fiction, horror, comedy, the western, crime films
- Documentary, video practice
- Practice-based research
- Relationships between documentary and fiction
- Political cinema, activist media
- Imaging, surveillance, political power and military violence
- Gender, sexuality and the body in film
- Marxist and psychoanalytical approaches to screen media
- Cinematic spectacle, narrative
- New cinema/media technologies
- Avant-garde and experimental cinema
- Ecocriticism and screen media
- Trade unionism in film and TV industries
- The Gothic; fairy tales
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
Research degrees evolve in different ways according to discipline. Find out about what progress might look like at each stage of study here: Research degree progress structure
PhD+ Award – An internship to work in the industry or perform a research outreach or enterprise activity.
PhD Plus is a career development scheme designed to provide an opportunity for excellent PhD students to undertake work experience and mentoring, and to facilitate their transfer into a career area of their choice. The awards are targeted at exceptional PhD students who have submitted their thesis within the expected submission date and will provide up to three months’ funded support for the period after submissions of their thesis and before the confirmation of the award. The precise number awards each year will depend on the quality of the applicants, up to a maximum 8 awards. The maximum amount to be awarded will be in line with RCUK rates for research training support grants: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/skills/training/
Following the completion of the course students may follow several career paths:
- Career path within academia starting as a University Lecturer/Assistant Professor, or researcher
- Various potential career paths, or enhancements to careers, relating to film, TV or other media, depending on area of research, including film/video making
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Entry criteria 2018/19
The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.
As part of our application process for entry on our research degree (MPhil and PhD) programmes, we ask you to provide a 500-1,000 word research statement, excluding any references/bibliography you may include, setting out your research motivation, ideas and aspirations. Learn how to prepare a research statement here.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU entry requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.
If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.
Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.
We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.
Teaching and learning
Supervisors with insight
Our supervisors create knowledge and advance understanding, and equip research students with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society. Browse all potential supervisor profiles further here:
Ramon Bloomberg (email@example.com)
- Remote control and political power
- Surveillance, imaging and recognition
- Technological development and military violence
- Political sovereignty
- Narrative production across multiple formats
- Film and philosophy
Sean Holmes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- History of film and television production
- History of trade unionism in the film and television industries
- Post-war Hollywood cinema
- The Western
- Post-war European film
Leon Hunt (email@example.com)
- Hong Kong cinema
- Martial arts films
- Transnational cinema
- British TV comedy
- Cult film and TV
David Ingram (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Ecocriticism and film
- Ecocriticism and television
- Science fiction
- Crime film
- The western
- Avant-garde and experimental cinema
Geoff King (email@example.com)
- American independent cinema
- Recent/contemporary Hollywood cinema
- Art cinema
- Film and cultural value
- Film comedy
- Film narrative, genre, spectacle
Caroline Ruddell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The Gothic in film and TV
- Fairy tales in film and TV
- Film theory
- Psychoanalysis and film
Daniele Rugo (email@example.com)
- Film and philosophy
- European cinema
- Documentary (practice and theory)
- Modern European thought
- World cinema
Mike Wayne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Marxist media & cultural theory
- Political film
- Latin American film
- British cinema
- Documentary (theory & practice-based research)
Find out more about working with the Supervisory Team here.
Facts and figures
Brunel University London REF2014 Submission: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008. The next REF will be undertaken in 2020. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students
Study environment for research students
Find out more: Study environment for research students
Excellent research support and training
Extensive training and support is offered to all research students by the Graduate School, with regular Masterclasses and individual advice on academic issues as part of the Researcher Development Programme. Read more about the available Research Support and Training.
Brunel's library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 e-books, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject Information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs.
- state-of-the-art research information management tools including a research publication and grant database
- one of the largest UK’s full text repository
- an integrated data management system
- analytical tools such as Altmertic and InCites
- Open Access centrally managed fund
Fees and funding
Fees for 2018/19 entry
Full time: £4,260 / Part time: £2,130
Full time: £16,200 Part time: £8,100
Full time: £4,195 Part time: £2,097
Full time: £15,750 Part time: £7,875
We offer a range of PhD studentships, partial scholarships, and academic prizes, to help with your research fees. Explore external funding, particularly the Research Councils, as well as other support
Additional course related costs
Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase.