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FilmPart of Humanities

Elliott Nikdel BA Film Studies/MA Film and Cultural Management/PhD Film Studies

PhD Film Studies

Elliott Nikdel's Photo

Hi, I'm Elliott Nikdel and I studied BA Film Studies, MA Film and Cultural Management and PhD in Film Studies within Humanities at the University of Southampton.

Choosing the University of Southampton was a simple decision for me. The University has a world class reputation and the Film department consistently ranks at the top end of the national league table.

What made you choose to come to study at Southampton?

Choosing the University of Southampton was a simple decision for me. The University has a world class reputation and the Film department consistently ranks at the top end of the national league table. This is reflected in the wide-ranging expertise of the faculty and the breadth of leading research that emanates from the department, both from the faculty and the postgraduate community. The chance to learn from such esteemed academics as Professor Lucy Mazdon, Professor Tim Bergfelder and Dr Kevin Donnelly also influenced my decision to choose Southampton. During my open day visit, I also gained a really good impression of the University. In particular, I liked the integrated nature of Highfield Campus and the smaller Avenue Campus where Film and Humanities are situated. Unlike many other campuses, everything is within easy reach and Highfield Campus, in particular, feels like a very inclusive community.

What have been your Southampton highlights so far?

Every week throws up something new, something that opens your eyes and alters your perspective in new and thoughtful ways. I loved debating and engaging with my fellow students in seminars; I loved the range of films on offer and the intimate experience of seeing something great for the first time on a big screen with your peers; and I have relished the opportunities to pursue my own research under the guidance of faculty members, from my undergraduate dissertation on silent comedy to my current research on online distribution.

What networking, employment and work experience opportunities have you had?

As a thriving academic hub, Southampton always provides networking opportunities through conferences and symposiums, such as the Annual Humanities Postgraduate Conference, which you can get involved in. The Film department also has a number of strong ties with alumni currently working in the industry and industry professionals across diverse areas such as production, exhibition and distribution. In particular, the MA Film and Cultural Management programme gives you a number of opportunities to meet such industry professionals – a resource that proved invaluable for my own research.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

Studying at the University of Southampton gives you the freedom to explore the films, ideas and themes that interest you the most. The range of expertise across the faculty supports this freedom, giving you the guidance to better shape your own learning. The social nature of learning at the University is also something that I have particularly relished, whether debating with classmates during seminars or working with your peers on group-based assignments.

What activities have you taken advantage of whilst at University?

The University has been crucial in advancing my own career prospects. In particular, the faculty have given me the opportunity to teach on the MA programme, giving me the freedom to design and develop certain approaches to seminar leading, whilst also giving me the support and the guidance to cultivate my own teaching style. From my experience, the Film department here at Southampton really invest their time in your development, whether that be your academic studies or your future career prospects.

How has the research-led culture at the University informed your teaching?

The independent nature of learning and research at the University has been crucial in shaping my own personal and professional growth. Without it, I would not have gained the discipline and focus required to undertake postgraduate study.

What is it like studying here?

Studying here is challenging but deeply rewarding. The work is demanding yet stimulating and the academic staff provide a constant stream of support. Without exception, I have always found each faculty member to be approachable and supportive throughout my studies.

How do you rate the study facilities here?

I have always found the environment and the facilities here at the University of Southampton to be conducive to good academic study. Hartley Library, in particular, has been a valuable resource during my studies, providing access to a range of diverse material, from rare and out-of-print books to digital content that can be accessed on or off campus. The Library also provides a number of work stations and private study rooms for those long but fruitful days.

Do you have any idea of what you would like to do in the future? Have your opportunities at the University helped you have a clearer idea of what you might like to do?

I am currently pursuing a career in academia and my experience here at Southampton has been crucial in helping me forge that path. In particular, the contacts I have made along with the opportunities I have gained in teaching MA groups have been invaluable in preparing me for this career.

What do you like most about living in Southampton?

Southampton is a richly diverse city with a range of resources to suit most tastes. The city is easy to navigate and transport links to and from the University makes life incredibly easy for students. Not to forget, of course, that Southampton is also well positioned geographically and the local transport infrastructure makes light work of a trip to London.

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