Staff Research‌

The Huston School is home to a diverse range of scholarly interests and an active research culture. Focusing on areas such as Irish and Irish-American film, national cinemas (particularly small nations), sport and film, visual culture, cinema and space, gender and ageing, digital media and healthcare, masculinities, philosophy of technology, industry studies, digital studies and media, and feminist philosophy, we are actively engaged at the forefront of film scholarship. Staff at the Huston have published widely within these and other areas, including monographs on Sport on Film and Contemporary Irish and Spanish Cinema as well as edited collections on The Quiet Man and Masculinity in Irish Popular Culture. Staff are frequent participants at international conferences and have been invited keynote speakers for numerous conferences and seminars both in Ireland and abroad. 

For more about individual staff research interests, please visit the staff profiles.


Postgraduate Research

Previous doctoral research in the Huston has been successfully completed in areas as diverse as comic book adaptations, Italian popular comedy and the films of Jean Renoir. We have a strong cohort of PhD students working in a range of film and digital media related areas,  including students on the Digital Arts Humanities programme which is run across a number of academic institutions on the island of Ireland. The Huston is pioneering in its development of practice-based research and our students include practicing filmmakers and visual artists.

Further information on our PhD programmes is available at the following link:

Students are given careful and consistent support in their research by a team of supervisors. We create a lively and stimulating research environment for our students through our regular reading group and our annual postgraduate research forum.

For more about individual  student research interests, please visit the Post Graduate Researchers.

For further information on PhD studies at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media please contact Dr Conn Holohan 


PhD Application Guidelines

The Huston School offers two Doctoral programmes: a traditional, thesis-only programme and a practice-based programme. Students will normally register in the College of Arts Structured PhD Programme. For further details on this programme see or contact


The minimum qualification necessary to be considered for admission to the PhD programme is a high honours primary degree. It is more usual, however, for successful applicants to have already gained a Master's degree. Applications can be made at any time of year; however, the closing date for application is normally June 15.

Before applying, we strongly urge prospective applicants to discuss their plans with the  School's  Director of Research (

Applications are made online via the CRM portal

In addition to your online application, you must submit in hardcopy a sample of academic writing (e.g. a recent BA or MA course essay) and a 1500-word research proposal. This proposal must be structured under the following headings:

1. Description of proposed research (800 words)
This section should describe clearly the subject and scope of your research. You should indicate the critical problems or questions you propose to investigate.

2. Critical context (350 words)
This section should describe, as far as you can tell, the extent of the scholarly work already done on your topic. You should be able to explain how your research will challenge or extend this existing knowledge.

3. Methodology (250 words)
Here you should describe the research methodologies you will employ, and explain why you have chosen them (e.g. semiotic analysis, feminist analysis, genre study, practice-based, etc.)

4. Sources and archives (100 words)
Give a preliminary indication of the primary and secondary material you expect to examine, and how much of the material may be found at NUI Galway. You will be able to avail of inter-library loans and will be eligible to apply for some travel funding during the course of your research .

Applications are first reviewed by the Huston School. If your application is approved by the Huston School it is then recommended to a relevant department of the Arts Faculty, who also assess the application. The success of your application will depend on a number of factors: the quality and viability of the proposal; your qualifications and achievements to date; the reports of two referees; and the availability of appropriate supervision.


The Huston welcomes applications from a wide range of research areas. For details on the research interests of staff members at the Huston please go to the staff page on this site.


Supervision is undertaken by a supervisory committee, including staff members of the Huston School and other departments and centres at NUI, Galway, as appropriate. Prior agreement by a member of staff to mentor a new student is an important consideration in acceptance of students into the PhD programme.


By the time of graduation, students should also demonstrate a mastery of knowledge-based and research-based competencies appropriate to their specialisation. Completion of a PhD dissertation demonstrates that the student has learned investigative and critical techniques, has made a contribution to knowledge, and has developed skills that will prove useful in assuming a professional role.


The PhD is awarded by the National University of Ireland, Galway within the regulations and terms for the PhD degree and subject to the guidelines and protocols of the University, as published in the General Calendar of the University, and other sources as may be in place from time to time.

Useful links

FAQ for Postgraduates
Guidelines on Thesis Submission
 Structured PhD Programme details