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

Film Studies

With our internationally respected team of researchers and exclusive film and documentary library, you’ll find Sussex an ideal place for your postgraduate research in Film Studies.

 

Areas of study

We offer expert supervision across a wide range of topics, including:

  • Hollywood, British, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and European cinemas
  • gender, sexuality and representation
  • film, history and popular culture
  • genre, authorship and stardom
  • film and new media
  • documentary
  • film audiences and industries
  • curation and visual cultures.

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 mfm@sussex.ac.uk

Faculty

The research interests and expertise of our faculty are expansive and collectively we offer supervision across a wide range of subjects, approaches and methodologies. The themes listed here are just three of our most widely researched areas in Film Studies.

  • Film, gender and sexuality

    Sussex is world renowned for its research into questions of gender and sexuality. This forms part of a broader focus on the politics of representation.

    We look at feminist and queer interventions within cinema and film theory, and explore questions raised by cinematic representations of the body. 

    Dr Katherine Farrimond
    Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies
    K.Farrimond@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: crime fictions, cultural studies, Feminist theory, Film, film noir, Gender and Sexuality, genre, girlhood, Gothic, horror, Media, Nostalgia, popular culture, representation, retro and vintage, science fiction, television, The body, virginity

    View profile

    Dr Catherine Grant
    Senior Lecturer In Film Studies
    C.Grant@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Audiovisual Essay, creative and critical practice, digital media, Film-based media (History, Theory & Practice), Found Footage Film, Gender and Sexuality, Hispanic, Portguese & Latin Studies, Media & Communication Studies, Media and film, Multimedia - video, psychoanalytic object relations theory, Publishing, Videographic Criticism

    View profile

    Dr Michael Lawrence
    Reader
    Michael.Lawrence@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Adaptation, animals and media, Bollywood, children and film, indian cinema, Stars and performance

    View profile

    Mr Andy Medhurst
    Senior Lecturer in Media, Film & Cultural Studies
    A.Medhurst@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Genre of comedy

    View profile

    Dr Niall Richardson
    Senior Lecturer
    N.D.Richardson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: body image in film and media, disability and human rights, Queer studies, representation of gender and sexuality in film and popular culture, Transgender politics and representation

    View profile

    Dr Luke Robinson
    Lecturer In Film Studies
    Luke.Robinson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Chinese-language cinema, Documentary theory and practice, East Asian cultural studies, Film History, Theory and Criticism, Queer studies, Transnational cinema

    View profile

    Prof Sue Thornham
    Professor of Media & Film Studies
    S.Thornham@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Cultural Theory, Feminist theory, Film History, Theory and Criticism, Gender Studies

    View profile

  • Film, history and popular culture

    We explore the intersections between film, history and popular culture, focusing on topics such as genre, authorship and stardom. We address questions of audience and performance while examining the politics of films and film form (within both fiction and documentary).

    Our research also touches upon intertextual and transmedial synergies as well as broader issues of cultural representation. 

    Dr Thomas Austin
    Reader in Media & Film Studies
    T.R.Austin@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Aesthetics and Politics, audience studies, documentary, european cinema, reception studies

    View profile

    Dr Katherine Farrimond
    Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies
    K.Farrimond@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: crime fictions, cultural studies, Feminist theory, Film, film noir, Gender and Sexuality, genre, girlhood, Gothic, horror, Media, Nostalgia, popular culture, representation, retro and vintage, science fiction, television, The body, virginity

    View profile

    Dr Catherine Grant
    Senior Lecturer In Film Studies
    C.Grant@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Audiovisual Essay, creative and critical practice, digital media, Film-based media (History, Theory & Practice), Found Footage Film, Gender and Sexuality, Hispanic, Portguese & Latin Studies, Media & Communication Studies, Media and film, Multimedia - video, psychoanalytic object relations theory, Publishing, Videographic Criticism

    View profile

    Dr Frank Krutnik
    Reader in Film Studies
    F.S.Krutnik@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Comedy, contemporary television, film noir, radio, stardom, the Hollywood Left, US cinema and popular culture

    View profile

    Dr Michael Lawrence
    Reader
    Michael.Lawrence@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Adaptation, animals and media, Bollywood, children and film, indian cinema, Stars and performance

    View profile

    Mr Andy Medhurst
    Senior Lecturer in Media, Film & Cultural Studies
    A.Medhurst@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Genre of comedy

    View profile

    Dr Matilda Mroz
    Lecturer in Film Studies
    M.Mroz@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: art cinema, cultural memory, european cinema, Film, Film and the Holocaust, Film as philosophy, Film History, Theory and Criticism, Polish cinema, Temporality, the body in film

    View profile

    Dr Niall Richardson
    Senior Lecturer
    N.D.Richardson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: body image in film and media, disability and human rights, Queer studies, representation of gender and sexuality in film and popular culture, Transgender politics and representation

    View profile

    Prof Sue Thornham
    Professor of Media & Film Studies
    S.Thornham@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Cultural Theory, Feminist theory, Film History, Theory and Criticism, Gender Studies

    View profile

    Dr Dolores Tierney
    Senior Lecturer
    D.M.Tierney@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Latin American Cinema, race and ethnicity, Transnational cinema

    View profile

    Dr Lawrence Webb
    Lecturer in Film Studies
    L.Webb@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: American cinema, cinema and architecture, cultural geography and space, Film History, Theory and Criticism, US cinema and popular culture

    View profile

  • Global cinemas

    Research collected under this theme addresses popular, art and documentary cinemas from Asia, Europe, Britain, the US, Latin America and the Middle East.

    We explore debates about how cinema has been approached within national, regional and transnational production contexts and how such productions have been theorised in relation to shifting paradigms of film style, identity, intermediality and cultural representation. 

    Dr Catherine Grant
    Senior Lecturer In Film Studies
    C.Grant@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Audiovisual Essay, creative and critical practice, digital media, Film-based media (History, Theory & Practice), Found Footage Film, Gender and Sexuality, Hispanic, Portguese & Latin Studies, Media & Communication Studies, Media and film, Multimedia - video, psychoanalytic object relations theory, Publishing, Videographic Criticism

    View profile

    Dr Michael Lawrence
    Reader
    Michael.Lawrence@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Adaptation, animals and media, Bollywood, children and film, indian cinema, Stars and performance

    View profile

    Dr Alisa Lebow
    Reader In Film Studies
    A.S.Lebow@sussex.ac.uk

    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

    View profile

    Dr Matilda Mroz
    Lecturer in Film Studies
    M.Mroz@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: art cinema, cultural memory, european cinema, Film, Film and the Holocaust, Film as philosophy, Film History, Theory and Criticism, Polish cinema, Temporality, the body in film

    View profile

    Dr Luke Robinson
    Lecturer In Film Studies
    Luke.Robinson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Chinese-language cinema, Documentary theory and practice, East Asian cultural studies, Film History, Theory and Criticism, Queer studies, Transnational cinema

    View profile

    Dr Dolores Tierney
    Senior Lecturer
    D.M.Tierney@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Latin American Cinema, race and ethnicity, Transnational cinema

    View profile

    Dr Lawrence Webb
    Lecturer in Film Studies
    L.Webb@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: American cinema, cinema and architecture, cultural geography and space, Film History, Theory and Criticism, US cinema and popular culture

    View profile

Entry requirements

Normally a Masters degree 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.

Scholarships

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