PhD Film: Practice by Research
The Film Department at the University of Kent is known for its excellence in research and teaching. It was ranked second in the UK for research power in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
One of the largest European centres for the study of film, it has an established reputation going back 35 years. Approaching film as a dynamic part of our cultural experience, we encourage thinking about film as it emerges at the intersections of art, document and entertainment. Through theory and practice, individual research, student-led seminars and visiting speakers, we promote an environment in which postgraduate students are able to engage with the continuing vibrancy of cinema.
Studying film as a postgraduate at the University of Kent will give you the opportunity to experience our rich resources of academic expertise, library facilities and a campus based film culture. We currently offer expertise in North American, European and Latin American cinemas. Our research and teaching will engage you in a dialogue with aesthetic, conceptual and historical perspectives, as well as with digital media and practice by research.
In 2014, the University opened a new 62-seat cinema named after the pioneering female film director Ida Lupino, which students can enjoy as part of their experience during their studies. The Lupino has state-of-the-art digital projection and sound, and has been created to provide an intimate atmosphere for film viewing.
Postgraduate students are supervised via a research team through regular meetings. Research supervision draws on wide staff interests in North American, European, and Latin American cinemas, offering opportunities to study projects based in aesthetic, conceptual and historical perspectives on film and digital media, as well as practice by research. For further details, see staff research interests below.
In addition, research students participate in a series of regular events. These include work-inprogress seminars and professional development workshops, both of which are organised at School level. Research students are also able to enrol on the Graduate School’s Researcher Development Programme. Our research students also actively participate in a research seminar, which brings leading scholars and practitioners to Kent. We also hold an annual postgraduate presentation day.
Film at Kent has excellent viewing and library facilities, with a large number of films screened weekly during term on 35mm and Blu-Ray. The Templeman Library has extensive book and specialist journal holdings in film and related areas; there is also a large and growing reference collection of film on DVD, with individual and group viewing facilities. The Department also benefits from the presence of the Gulbenkian Cinema on campus, which runs a programme of new releases and classics.
In 2010, we moved into the purpose-built, and RIBA award-winning, Jarman Building. The new building is home to a range of professional standard editing and studio facilities, plus a dedicated postgraduate centre and teaching and social spaces.
Internationally recognised research
Our staff produce internationally recognised research at the intersection of film theory, history, practice, and the conceptual and stylistic analysis of moving image media. Based on this expertise, we are able to support research across a wide range of topics, including: moving image theory, history and criticism; American, European and Latin American cinemas; British Cinema; the avantgarde; and digital media and animation. There are also close connections between Film and the Aesthetics Research Group.
The Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Film and the Moving Image promotes our excellence in research and hosts a range of research events including symposia, visiting speakers and workshops.
A recently established affiliation with the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London offers the possibility of collaborative projects, internships, postgraduate events and activities as well as free membership to all postgraduate students.
The Department includes film-makers among its members of staff. Clio Barnard’s recent film The Arbor was nominated for a BAFTA and Clio received the best newcomer and original debut feature at the London Film Festival and best new documentary film-maker at the Tribeca Film Festival. Her most recent work, The Selfish Giant, was chosen as one of only two films to represent the UK in the Directors’ Fortnight line-up at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Virginia Pitts’ films Trust Me (2001) and Fleeting Beauty (2004) were selected to screen at 25 international film festivals, toured US art galleries and sold widely to television. Her latest film, Beat (2010), a narrative-dance piece exploring dialogism as an ideal for human interaction, is currently on the international festival circuit where it has been nominated for awards in New Zealand, Canada, the US and Greece. Lawrence Jackson worked in various crew capacities in the UK film industry for three years before working in-house, then freelance as a Bi-Media Producer for BBC Northern Ireland Drama. As writer-director, he has five short films and as producer-director, around 50 hours of radio drama to his name. The shorts, shot in locations from Margate to Northern Ireland and Prague to Newcastle, have been shown at the Munich Film Festival, London’s ICA Cinema and on BBC2.
An MA in a relevant subject.
This school offers programs in: