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Anthropology (2) Communication & Media Studies (7) Creative Arts & Design (9)

  Film Studies PhD (option of joint PhD with Hong Kong University)

  Faculty of Arts & Humanities

 Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Programme

The Film Studies Department is one of the the leading centres for the study of cinema in London. We have internationally recognised research strengths in the following areas: European cinema, American cinema (mainstream and avant-garde), world cinema, cultural approaches, and film theory. We also offer the option of a joint PhD with Hong Kong University or the National University of Singapore.

Most recent REF rankings: The Department of Film is jointly ranked 4th in the UK with Music (REF 2021). 100% of research impact and research environment was rated either ‘world leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*).

Current number of academic staff: 17.

Current number of research students: 45.


The Film Studies Department is a leading centre for the study of cinema in London, a position consolidated through its appointments and facilities for film research. We have internationally recognised research strengths in the following areas: European cinema, American cinema (mainstream and avant-garde), world cinema (especially East Asian), cultural approaches, and film theory. 

Staff publications and research encompass national cinemas together with popular European genres and stars, art cinema, documentary, and experimental film. Cultural approaches extend to a wider range of cinemas (American and Asian as well as European) and include national and transnational identity in film, gender and ethnicity, the representation of the city, music and film, and new media. Work in the area of film theory addresses the relationships among film and other disciplines such as philosophy, psychoanalysis, literature, geography, and art.

Study Environment

King's has made a major commitment to refurbishing its multimedia infrastructure for the study of film and related media. This includes building a significant collection of print and DVD/VHS materials, new facilities for group teaching in 35mm, video, and DVD modes on the Strand Campus, and substantial new information technology resources.

Postgraduate training

The department's training programme covers methods and issues in presentation, illustration and referencing both written or oral communication in film studies, as well as support for formulating topics, reviewing the field and preparing for vivas and conferences. You will have access to the lectures, seminars and special events held under the auspices of the University of London Screen Studies Group.

Joint PhDs

You can choose to do your PhD jointly with Hong Kong University or the National University of Singapore.

  • Hong Kong

The Film Studies Department at King's sees a close affinity with the research interests and directions of Hong Kong University’s (HKU) Comparative Literature Department with its growing interests in global, inter-regional and cross-cultural exchanges in the study of film theories and histories, postcolonial discourses, gender and sexualities, race, ethnicities and other forms of sociopolitical identities, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary media. 

  • Singapore

Film Studies is part of a larger intellectual environment in the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore, which offers undergraduate and graduate programmes that examine communication with a focus on new media, and cultural studies in Asia. These programmes focus on media and cultural studies, communication management and interactive media design.

Joint PhDs - Subjects/specialisms available for joint study

  • Hong Kong

In recent years, a number of students at King’s Film Studies have taken advantage of King's strategic relationship with Hong Kong University to conduct comparative research in queer cinema and media, supervised jointly by faculty members from both universities.

  • Further collaboration

The two departments are developing further collaborative projects in the exploration of comparative histories in film theories, global perspectives in film historiographies and philosophies.

Free language tuition at King's

All research students in any discipline at King's can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages with the Modern Language Centre without any additional cost. 

More information about our PhD can be found here.

Funding Notes

Find out more information about fees on our course web page on the King’s website

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