4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018

Creative and Critical Practice

Creative and Critical Practice enables you to develop your practice-led research in creative media production alongside critically engaged writing. Your research might involve a variety of practical approaches including video, photography and imaging, interactive media, sound, social media or process-based performative methods.

At Sussex, you’ll be able to take part in the activities of the Centre for Material Digital Culture. In Brighton, you’ll join a vibrant community for the arts and creative industries.


Areas of study

We offer expert supervision across a wide range of critical and creative practice:

  • filmmaking and documentary forms
  • digital arts
  • photography
  • media practice for development and social change
  • sonic media.

PhD or MPhil?

You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.

  • An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
  • A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.

If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.

How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to work on your research full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. For details about part-time study, contact us at


Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.

  • Faculty profiles

    Ms Joanna Callaghan
    Senior Lecturer In Filmmaking

    Research interests: Deconstruction, Film as philosophy, Film production, filmmaking, practice as research, practice led research, Practice-based research, video art

    View profile

    Dr Cecile Chevalier
    Lecturer in Media Practice

    Research interests: art, Automation, collaboration, collective instrument, conceptual art, Creativity, cultural memory, digital materiality, Embodiment and Technologies, expression, Human-Computer Interactions, interactive installation, interdisciplinary research, ludic, networked memory, Perception, Performance And Live Art, Post-digital, spatial practice, systems aesthetics

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    Ms Wilma De Jong
    Senior Lecturer in Media & Film Studies

    Research interests: Archives and media production, Documentary theory and practice, Film-based media (History, Theory & Practice), Interactive and web based documentaries, Media and international development, media and pressure groups

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    Dr Emile Devereaux
    Senior Lecturer In Digital Media

    Research interests: Critical Gender Studies, Digital Art & Design, Digital Cartography, Digital Culture, Interaction design, media history and theory, Tactical Media, Visual Studies

    View profile

    Ms Melanie Friend
    Reader in Photography

    Research interests: Media and film

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    Mr Adrian Goycoolea
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: activism, Chilean History, Collage Film, Documentary theory and practice, Film, Film production, First Person Film, Found Footage Film, Human Rights, Installation, Political History, the avant garde, Trauma

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    Dr Margaretta Jolly
    Reader in Cultural Studies

    Research interests: Creative and critical writing, Cultural and Creative Industries, cultural studies, Everyday Life, Feminist theory, genre, history of feminism, letters and diaries, Life writing, Mass Observation, oral history, Self-identity, self-narratives, women's liberation

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    Ms Mary Krell
    Senior Lecturer in Media & Film Studies

    Research interests: Digital Art & Design, Digital Arts History, Theory and Practice, Interactive and web based documentaries, interactive art, interactive installation, Performance

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    Dr Alisa Lebow
    Reader In Film Studies

    Research interests: Activism and Documentary, Documentary theory and practice, Experimental Documentary, First Person Film, Jewish Culture and Film, Queer and Transgender Representation, Revolution and Film, Turkish and Middle Eastern Documentary

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    Prof Sally-Jane Norman

    Research interests: Embodiment and Technologies, Performing Arts, Practice-based research, Scenography, Sonic Arts, Theatre History

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    Dr Martin Spinelli
    Senior Lecturer in Media & Cultural Studies

    Research interests: Aesthetics, arts interviewing, Broadcast News, Broadcasting History, Digital Humanities, ethnography, Journalism, Life writing, literary journalism, memoir, podcasting, radio, radio drama, Radio Studies, Socio-cultural impact of new media, Sound Art

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    Ms Lizzie Thynne
    Reader in Film

    Research interests: art cinema, contemporary television, Cultural and Critical Theory, Documentary theory and practice, Experimental Documentary, Feminist Art History, Film drama, Gay & Lesbian Studies, Gender and Sexuality, Life writing, Queer studies, Television History, Theory and Criticism, Visual fields, women's liberation

    View profile

Entry requirements

Normally a Masters degree with a Merit or equivalent in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Scholarships and fees

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters Loan

MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students

Home: £4,195 per year

EU: £4,195 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.

Contact us