We run a successful postgraduate research programme that is equally popular with British and international students. We offer MPhil and PhD programmes in any area related to film and television studies, cultural theory and media practice but prioritise proposals in those areas in which our staff have particular expertise (see list below).
We also welcome applications from students who want to combine traditional research with creative practice. Doctoral candidates who pursue this route can submit creative work, such as a film or screenplay, alongside a significantly shorter PhD thesis.
You’ll work closely with your supervisory team. If you’re taking a practice PhD, the team consists of a media practitioner and a member of staff with the relevant theoretical expertise. As well as working on your research project you’re required to participate in a research skills training programme. If you would like to teach in the Media Arts department you’ll obtain prior training through Royal Holloway’s InSTIL programme. Additional research training and development opportunities are offered by the London Screen Studies Group, which runs regular seminars and workshops on a broad range of film and television topics, and a cross-faculty Critical Theory Reading Group.
Our research community
Our postgraduate research students are part of a vibrant research culture. We host a series of research seminars to which speakers of national and international acclaim contribute. All MPhil and PhD students are invited to present their work at the department’s Annual Postgraduate Summer Conference. You also have the opportunity to bid for funding to organise your own conferences and workshops so you can develop additional skills in research management.
You’ll find a complete list of all Media Arts staff here.
Research interests of our staff
Media Arts staff are particularly interested in receiving proposals in the following areas.
Dr James Bennett
Television studies, public service broadcasting, digital media, production culture, celebrity studies
Professor Daniela Berghahn
European cinema, national, transnational and diasporic cinema, representation of family in film
Dr Manishita Dass
South Asian film and cultural history, global art cinema, silent cinema, modernism
Professor John Ellis
Documentary, television and digital technologies, television genres, British cinema 1930-1950
Audiovisual narrative and production, scriptwriting for radio, television and film
Professor John Hill
National and transnational cinema, British and Irish film and television, political cinema, film industry and policy
Professor Barry Langford
Hollywood genres, Holocaust film and television, critical theory, theories of mass culture, urban studies
Dr Jacob Leigh
European cinema, auteur theory, film aesthetics, theories of narrative
Documentary filmmaking and producing
Professor Mandy Merck
Psychoanalytic, feminist and queer theory, Hollywood cinema, melodrama, celebrity culture
Interactive digital installations
Professor Chris Townsend
Modernism and avant-garde film, photography and performance, especially during the 19th and early 20th century
Dr Joan Soler-Adillon
Interactive art and installation, VR, interactive documentary
Dr Richard Wright
Animation and media arts (especially moving image), computational and interactive media arts, the essay film, Constructivism, the history of art and technology. (Particularly practice-based research
Dr Olga Gorinuova
Digital media art and culture, media and cultural theory, philosophy of technology