Research Degrees in

Film and Screen Studies

in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities


Do you want to advance or change your career, deepen your expertise in a topic, or expand your research and practical skills?

With a PhD or other postgraduate research degree in Film and Screen Studies you will:

  • Work with renowned experts in the field. We are a leading centre for critical studies of film, TV and digital gaming. In the latest national evaluation of research, 78% of our English research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF2014). We are ranked in the top 10 in the UK for our English research impact (Times Higher Education).
  • Choose from our flexible study pathways. We offer practice-led and theoretical research degrees which can be pursued full or part time. We offer a PhD by distance learning programme for students with professional or personal commitments that prevent campus-based study.
  • Benefit from researching in Manchester, a major cultural and creative hub. Manchester is home to BBC and ITV studios, and has a range of innovative, independent cultural venues including HOME Manchester.
  • Join a thriving and multidisciplinary intellectual community. Our research spans classic and contemporary cinema and television. We pride ourselves on collaborating with internal and external partners to invigorate the research we undertake.
  • Engage in innovative public engagement programmes. RAH! (Research in Arts and Humanities) is a curated programme of public lectures, performances, film screenings, fairs, interventions, discussions, artist happenings and augmented reality. We also host an annual multilingual film festival: Beyond Babel.
  • Undertake tailored personal and professional development training. The Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre provides a comprehensive development programme for research students.

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Areas of supervisory expertise

We can supervise a wide range of projects focused on film, TV, gaming or any other aspect of screen studies. We particularly welcome projects that work across disciplines and across media.

We have particular expertise in:

  • British cinema history
  • Contemporary British film
  • Socio-cultural, historical and Marxist approaches to Film Studies
  • Pop culture
  • Gothic studies
  • LGBTI cinema history
  • Queer studies
  • American cinema
  • European cinema
  • Screenwriting
  • Monstrosity
  • Genre Studies, with particular focus on horror, comedy and the Hollywood Western
  • Black British film
  • Representations of disability
  • Class, gender and national identity in film
  • Place
  • Gaming (analogue and digital).

Find out more about our staff's expertise

Research culture

We are home to a substantial community of researchers undertaking critical analysis of film and screen.

Our research is innovative in nature. We read film and screen through a range of critical lenses, including genre studies, Marxism, queer theory, disability studies, and critical race theory.

More about our research culture

Our research is also highly collaborative. We work with colleagues across the University, including those working in Computer Science, Literature, Modern Languages & Linguistics, and Art & Design. We also work with the cultural industries and community groups in Manchester to programme festivals, deliver guest lectures and provide research expertise.

Our research is enhanced by a number of research groups at Manchester Met which provide forums for discussion and support. These groups include:

To further support our research and teaching in the area of screen studies, we are investing in a new, multi-million pound International Screen School. This is a collaborative endeavour working with partners across Manchester, under the guidance of Danny Boyle.

Our postgraduate researchers are a key part of our social and intellectual environment. You will be a member of our Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre (PAHC). PAHC is a dedicated forum for postgraduate students in the Arts and Humanities. It provides:

  • HARTS Online, an online community, news and events portal
  • A thorough research development programme
  • A space for cross-disciplinary discussion, support and experimentation
  • Hive, an academic e-journal, edited by current students
  • RAH!, an innovative programme of socially and culturally engaged public engagement events.

Courses offered, duration, and start dates

Programmes offered

  • PhD (3 years full time, 6 years part time)
  • PhD by Published Work or Professional Practice (course duration varies by route taken and candidate's background)
  • Master's by Research (1 year full time, 2 years part time)
  • MPhil (18 months full time, 36 months part time).

Find out more about the different research degrees we offer

Start dates

The majority of our students enrol in October. We offer further enrolment points in January and April.

Distance learning

Research degrees are available to study on-campus or through distance learning.

Career prospects

A research degree equips you with advanced skills in research, critical thinking, communications, and project management. These skills, as well as your subject matter expertise, will open up senior careers in a wide range of sectors.

Through researching in Manchester – one of the UK’s leading centres for the cultural, creative and digital industries – you will have a wide range of opportunities to network with leading industry professionals.

Course structure

This course is research based. You will independently conduct research into your own topic or a topic that we advertise. Your supervisory team will offer expert guidance throughout your studies and review work in progress.

Each year, you will follow a programme of training and development to enhance your research methods, subject-matter expertise and professional skills.

Fees and funding

Find out more

Postgraduate Research Degrees Fees

Please refer to our Fees page for more information about tuition fees.

Loans for research degrees

Many of our PhD and Professional Doctorate programmes are eligible for the government's Doctoral Loan Scheme. MPhil and MA/MSc by Research degrees are eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.

Find out more about tuition fees and financial support


Each year we offer a number of competitive scholarships to support high quality research projects. Current scholarship opportunities in Film and Screen Studies are advertised on our site.

Sign up to be notified when relevant scholarships are advertised

North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership

We are a member of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership which allows us to offer fully funded scholarships in the Arts and Humanities. Please contact us for more information.

Entry requirements

Find out more

You should, as a minimum, have a first or 2.1 honours degree or an equivalent qualification.

International students must demonstrate a sufficiently high standard of English language ability.

We welcome interest from applicants from non-standard backgrounds. We will take subject knowledge, professional experience, publications, or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment into consideration.

See more about our standard entry requirements.


Before applying for a research degree, you should have a preliminary discussion with a member of staff about your project and ideas. To arrange this, please email Dr Andrew Moor,, the Research Degrees Co-ordinator for Film and Screen Studies.

For further information on the application process, contact the Faculty’s research degrees administration team:, +44 (0)161 247 5412.

How to apply

Apply now

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online using the link below. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Before you apply, you should discuss your project with a member of academic staff. You should also complete the Postgraduate Research Degree Supplementary Information form which you will then upload to the ‘Student documents’ section of the application form. This collects key information about your research application and there may be delays if you do not submit this document.

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Postgraduate Study