Structured PhD (Film Studies)

College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies,
Huston School of Film & Digital Media

Course overview

As part of the doctoral training available on the Structured PhD programme, students avail themselves of a range of interdisciplinary taught modules. The wide menu of available options include modules that:



  • are Discipline-Specific in that they augment the student’s existing knowledge in their specialist area

  • are Dissertation-Specific in that they supply core skills which are essential to completion of the research project, e.g., additional language skills

  • acknowledge a student’s professional development, e.g., presentation of a paper at an International Conference

  • enhance a student’s employability through generic training, e.g., Careers Workshops, Computer literacy.


Each student will be assigned a primary Supervisor(s) and a Graduate Research Committee made up of experienced researchers to plan their programme of study and to provide on-going support to their research.


The Huston School encourages PhD degree applications, its involvement is in collaboration with other Arts departments; students undertaking doctoral studies in film must also be registered in an existing department of the university (e.g., English, French, History, Information Technology, Sociology and Politics for example) depending on the topic of their research. Students are supervised by a small team comprising staff from the Huston School and the relevant department.


The aim of this four-year, full-time research programme is the generation of a contribution to knowledge and understanding in Film, Television and Digital Media by means of academic research. During the programme, students receive training in research methods and complete a thesis based on a key research question. The length of the thesis is normally 60,000 to 80,000 words. The duration of research is usually four years.

Programmes available

Structured PhD (Film Studies) - full-time

Entry requirements

The minimum qualification necessary to be considered for admission to the PhD programme is a high honours, primary degree (or equivalent international qualification), or ’other such evidence as will satisfy the Head of Discipline and the College  of his/her fitness’ (NUI Galway Calendar). It is more usual, however, for successful applicants to have already gained a Master's degree.

Areas of interest

Researcher profiles

Rod Stoneman

Tony Tracy

Dr Seán Crosson

Dr. Conn Holohan

www.filmschool.ie/staff.php

Find out more

Assistant Director, Research
Huston School of Film & Digital Media
National University of Ireland, Galway 
T +353 (0)91 495 076
E info@filmschool.ie

PAC code

GYG09—full-time

Fees for this course

EU: €4,275 p.a. 2014/15 inclusive of levy

Non-EU: €13,250 p.a. 2014/15

Current Students

Sarah Arnold

Motherhood in Horror Cinema

"Having studied for a BA and MA in the U.K., I came to Galway to pursue a PhD expecting it to be an isolating and challenging experience. Yet throughout my three years here, I have always felt to be part of the film school and fully involved in the postgraduate community. All of the school’s staff and lecturers have done so much to create a collegial atmosphere and their encouragement and assistance undoubtedly helped me to get where I am today. As well as providing unending support for my research through supervision, mentoring and advice, those at the school have greatly helped in developing my career and professional experience.

The Huston, I think, is particularly unique in its approach to postgraduate studies. It manages to keep an informal and friendly environment while at the same time encouraging students to broaden their academic activities. Through the Huston, I attended a number of national and international conferences, took part in research forums and symposiums, and developed my teaching skills, none of which I could have anticipated prior to commencing my research.  Because of this I now feel that I am in a strong position to pursue an academic career.

So although the PhD research has certainly been challenging, it has been in no way isolating. I think of myself as very fortunate to have been part of the School and couldn’t recommend it enough."

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