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The University of Southampton
FilmPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Research Degrees

Our MPhil/PhD students benefit from contact with an energetic and dedicated group of specialists with a broad range of interests, as well as excellent research resources. We welcome enquiries on any topic in film and television.

Our Courses

We offer a number of different research degrees.

The minimum period of study for an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) is one year, but most postgraduate research students enrol for two years. Your initial studies under the close guidance of an academic supervisor will normally prepare you for potential transfer to PhD registration however it is possible to complete your degree at MPhil level.

PhD study takes place within a demanding and rigorous research environment. You will extend your personal knowledge and be expected to make an independent and original contribution to your field of research. PhD applicants normally register initially for MPhil and transfer to PhD subject to satisfactory progress. For a PhD you can normally expect to finish your research after around three years full-time study, or longer if you choose to study part-time.

The IPhD (Integrated PhD) is a four year programme of study. In the first year you will follow taught courses in Film alongside our MA students and undertake a series of assessments (essays and presentations). If these are completed successfully you will produce an extended research proposal during the summer and will then enrol for an MPhil in Year Two. You will then be upgraded to PhD status towards the end of Year Three if your work is progressing satisfactorily. This is an ideal pathway for those new to Film Studies and/or international students as it provides a detailed and intensive taught introduction to Film Studies and provides a series of possible ‘exit' points (MA; MPhil; PhD).

All of our research degrees can be taken on a part time basis. A part time PhD student would typically be enrolled for a period of seven years.

Our postgraduate students are an essential part of the Film and Humanities research community at Southampton.

You will receive regular supervision and training in research and communication skills - both generic and specific to your project. You will participate in fortnightly research seminars and are encouraged to contribute to conferences and symposia, both at Southampton and elsewhere.

We welcome informal enquiries, and like to work with students on their proposals before they submit their formal applications.

PhD by Distance Learning

It is also possible to study for a PhD at Southampton by distance learning.  Periods of candidature are as for the traditional PhD programmes.  However the distance learning programme enables you to study away from Southampton, communicating with your supervisors via e-mail, telephone and Skype.  While the programme is designed to allow flexibility for candidates not able to move full time to Southampton, we do expect some visits to the University for supervisory meetings, doctoral training sessions and events such as upgrades.

Key facts

Entry requirements: First- or upper second-class honours degree and MA in a relevant subject, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University (other qualifications will be considered). For international students whose first language is not English, our English language requirement is IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.5 in all components, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Duration: Up to 4 years (full-time); 3-7 years (part-time)

Assessment: Thesis (max. 75,000 words), viva voce

Start date: Normally October and February each year

Intake: Variable

Applying: University application with transcripts, research proposal and samples of writing (5,000 words maximum)

Closing date: Applications will be considered at any time; funding deadlines may apply

Funding: AHRC Block Grant; School and discipline studentships may be available

Fees: See programme fees and funding page 

Apply for a postgraduate research degree
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Research Themes

Film Studies' research is very diverse, but can be grouped under a number of specific themes - all are summarised on this page.

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