• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2016, January 2017 or April 2017
  • Duration:

    Up to four years full-time or seven years part-time.

  • Attendance:

    Regular meetings with your supervisor(s).

Programme overview

The Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies offers an exceptionally stimulating environment, where interdisciplinary research flourishes across film, television and media topics, including journalism, media history, the creative industries, memory studies and practice-led research. Our research aims for critical engagement with technologies, old and new, and poses theoretical, aesthetic and political questions associated with the rise of digital media.

The department is characterised by a strong research ethos, which has been enhanced by the foundation of the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, directed by Professor Laura Mulvey. Along with Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture (BIRMAC) BIMI brings together the research interests of staff across the College and offers a stimulating range of events for staff and students as well as support for PhD students. The department also hosts the London Screen Study Collection, a unique archival resource of films about London.

The research environment of the department benefits externally from the activities of the Vasari Research Centre, and from its participation in the London University Screen Studies Group, which is an umbrella organisation covering all aspects of screen study across the colleges of the University of London.

In addition to the Birkbeck Library, research students have access to the nearby Senate House Library, various libraries of the University of London colleges, the British Library, as well as other specialist collections and institutions in central London, including the British Film Institute library. They may also take advantage of practical film-making opportunities offered through the Derek Jarman Lab.

How to apply

You can apply throughout the year for commencement in October or the following January, using the online application link below.

The research proposal forms the core of your application to undertake an MPhil or PhD, as it is the main way in which we can assess you and your research ideas.

A typical proposal should include the following sections and the questions you should consider, in the order indicated:

  • Introduction, including a rationale
  • Literature review
  • Corpus of work, body of data or case studies you intend to research
  • Clear statement of research questions
  • Proposed methods
  • Potential significance
  • Timetable

 

Once your application is reviewed by the Birkbeck Registry, it is passed on to the postgraduate tutors for film and screen media studies, Dr Dorota Ostrowska and Dr Tim Markham, who will then liaise with the appropriate academic staff to review the merits of the proposal and whether we have the expertise to support the research.

Once those criteria are met, you will be invited in for an interview in person or by telephone, depending on your circumstances.

Finding a supervisor

A critical factor when applying for postgraduate study in film and screen media studies is the correlation between the applicant’s intellectual and research interests and those of one or more potential supervisors within the department.

Find out more about the research interests of our academic staff:

  • Dr Mike Allen, PhD: history of television; early cinema; digital culture; history of media technologies and multimedia design.
  • Dr Nobuko Anan: modern and contemporary Japanese theatre/performance and visual arts; nationhood and gender/sexuality in transnational contexts; experimental and popular culture in Japan.
  • Dr Silke Arnold-de Simine: German literature of the nineteenth century, especially the uncanny and the fantastic; W.G. Sebald; early German film; cultural history of the museum; cultural memory and media; practices of remembrance; remembering the GDR.
  • Dr Andrew Asibong: twentieth- and twenty-first-century French and francophone fiction; theatre and film; cultural studies; psychoanalysis (especially the British school) and its intersection with the arts; the writer Marie NDiaye; ethics, aesthetics and politics of 'the fantastic'; cultural reconfigurations of kinship and community.
  • Professor Ian Christie: early film and related media; British cinema history; cinema/TV relations; Russian and Soviet cinema; European film policy and issues in media historiography; film and visual arts.
  • Dr Tim Markham: journalism; media sociology; media politics; phenomenology; conflict; audience research; social media; Arab media.
  • Professor Laura Mulvey: film, feminism and psychoanalytical theory; avant-garde film; British television in the 1960s; technology and aesthetics.
  • Dr Janet McCabe: contemporary US television; feminism and gender politics; cultural memory; the historical unconscious.
  • Dr Joel McKim: digital media technology; media, urban planning and architectural design; cultural memory; media theory.
  • Dr Dorota Ostrowska: culture and history of film festivals; European film production and film industry; Eastern European and French cinema and criticism; history of television in Europe.
  • Dr Shinji Oyama: Japanese and inter-Asian media and cultural studies; branding, design and interactivity; new media; cultural globalisation.
  • Dr Scott Rodgers: media, politics and cities; geographies of journalism; media technology; relations of media and spatial theory; approaches to practices and materiality (e.g. actor-network theory); ethnographic methodologies.
  • Dr Emma Sandon: British colonial film and photography; ethnographic and documentary film-making; British television; law and film.
  • Dr Justin Schlosberg: media, corruption and political accountability; media politics and spectacle; pirate media; global and digital media; music industry.
  • Dr Michael Temple: history of French cinema; French film theory; audio-visual film theory; the work of Jean-Luc Godard.

Your research topic

The research proposal forms the core of the application to undertake an MPhil or PhD, as it is the main way in which we can assess you and your research ideas. A typical proposal should include the following sections and the questions you should consider, in the order indicated:

  • Introduction, including a rationale
  • Literature review
  • Corpus of work, body of data or case studies you intend to research
  • Clear statement of research questions
  • Proposed methods
  • Potential significance
  • Timetable

 

While it is difficult to specify with certainty the course of the research, it is helpful to indicate how you see your work developing and the timescales involved. For full-time PhD students, the maximum period for completion under normal circumstances is 4 years. It is 7 years for part-time students.

The proposal should be 2000 words in all, not including references.

For information about applying as a research student, read our guide for applicants.

Online application

Film and Screen Media (MPhil / PhD) (Part-time)

Film and Screen Media (MPhil / PhD) (Full-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Entry requirements

A good degree including film, television, media studies, social sciences or related disciplines in humanities, history and visual studies as a major subject. Depending on your background and research experience, a BA might be sufficient. Generally we recommend that you apply with a good MA degree.

You will also need to submit a specific indication of research interests with your application, and a 2000-word proposal.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 2187 pa
Full-time home/EU students: £ 4121 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 6050 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 11995 pa

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Birkbeck is offering 2 fully funded PhD studentships in partnership with major arts institutions in London for 2016-2017: 1 in collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the National Gallery in the fields of art history, English literature and Victorian studies; and 1 in collaboration with the AHRC and Tate Modern in the fields of arts management, curatorship and film, media and cultural studies.

Our School attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. We offer a range of fully funded research opportunities, find out more here.

Research Funding

Birkbeck is offering 2 fully funded PhD studentships in partnership with major arts institutions in London for 2016-2017: 1 in collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the National Gallery in the fields of art history, English literature and Victorian studies; and 1 in collaboration with the AHRC and Tate Modern in the fields of arts management, curatorship and film, media and cultural studies.

Our School attracts funding for studentships that ensure researchers of the highest standard can pursue their research with us. We offer a range of fully funded research opportunities, find out more here.

Careers and employability

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Read about Birkbeck research that enriches our experience and understanding of our shared history, culture and art.

Research resources

You will have the opportunity to get publishing experience through involvement with the School of Arts postgraduate journal, Dandelion.

You are also encouraged to develop and run symposia, conferences and reading groups which include other students and staff members. Through the University of London Screen Studies Group you take part in the biannual postgraduate training workshops and will benefit from the extensive programme of activities organised by the School of Arts.

Read more about our vibrant research culture.

Teaching opportunities

As part of our commitment to professional development, you have the opportunity to gain experience in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. There is also a 10-week lecture series, Teaching in the Arts, which is designed to prepare students for teaching humanities in higher education.

Research training and support

You have the opportunity to get publishing experience through involvement with the School of Arts postgraduate journal, Dandelion.

You are also encouraged to develop and run symposia, conferences and reading groups which include other students and staff members. Through the University of London Screen Studies Group you take part in the biannual postgraduate training workshops.

You also benefit from the extensive programme of activities organised by the School of Arts.

Research training and support

You have the opportunity to get publishing experience through involvement with the School of Arts postgraduate journal, Dandelion.

You are also encouraged to develop and run symposia, conferences and reading groups which include other students and staff members. Through the University of London Screen Studies Group you take part in the biannual postgraduate training workshops.

You also benefit from the extensive programme of activities organised by the School of Arts.

Teaching opportunities

As part of our commitment to professional development, you have the opportunity to gain experience in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. There is also a 10-week lecture series, Teaching in the Arts, which is designed to prepare students for teaching humanities in higher education.