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PhD in Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media (by creative practice)

Unleash your creativity with the production of a substantial piece of creative work.

  Length Start dates (semester dates)

3 years full-time
6 years part-time

Apply for PhD


PhD by distance learning

3 years full-time
6 years part-time

Apply for PhD by distance learning


This PhD programme in Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media (by creative practice) invites proposals in the fields of Playwriting, Acting for Theatre, Directing for Theatre, Film and Television, Sound Design and Interactive Media.

The PhD programme is aimed at individuals:

  • already working professionally in theatre, film, television or interactive media who wish to take time to reflect critically on their own and others’ work.
  • already working professionally in theatre, film, television or interactive media who wish to make a career move into teaching and research in Higher Education.
  • working in theatre, film, television or interactive media who wish to develop their careers with the production of a substantial and appropriate original work.
  • seeking to reach a professional standard of practice and research and to pursue a career in either Higher Education or professional theatre, film, television or interactive media.

Our staff and their research interests offer a wide range of academic and professional practice expertise.

We welcome both discipline specific and interdisciplinary research projects and our school has a number of overarching research themes. These include:

  • Cultures, Histories and Legacies
  • Creative Technologies
  • Contemporary Practice
  • Community, Health, Inclusion and Education

Your research

Under the supervision of one or more staff members with expertise relevant to the project topic, you will produce:

  • an academic dissertation of between 20,000 and 50,000 words;
  • portfolio of creative work;
  • and either a critical reflection on the relationship between the dissertation and the creative work; or 
  • a professional portfolio.

More information on the creative practice programme components.

As a research student you are also supported by a Thesis Advisory Panel (TAP) which includes an additional academic staff member who is not a supervisor.

The programme has a full-time and a part-time route. The full-time route comprises three years of study, plus one optional additional year for completion. The part-time route comprises six years of study. 

You will need to pass formal progression points at 12 and 24 months to ensure your work is on track in terms of the production and presentation of your work.

Creative insight

Join a creative community of industry professionals, dedicated academics and talented students.


Explore Arts and Creative Technologies funding for MPhil/PhD researchers and wider postgraduate support.


You will be assigned with a supervisor with expertise relevant to the project topic you will research, and develop a thesis on.

Course location

This course is run by the School of Arts and Creative Technologies.

You will be based in the School of Arts and Creative Technologies on Campus East. Most of our facilities and supervisory staff are housed here.

We offer a distance learning (DL) option for this PhD programme if you cannot live in York full- or part-time. As part of the application process, we will ask for justification for taking the DL option and will then assess the feasibility for this research programme.

Entry requirements

You will have completed an undergraduate degree at 2:1 or above. In addition, you will normally have a Masters degree or at least three years' professional experience in theatre, film, television or interactive media production.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability.

English language requirements


Apply for the PhD in Theatre, Film, Television, and Interactive Media by creative practice

Take a look at the supporting documents you may need for your application.

Find out more about how to apply.

Research proposal

You need to submit a proposal setting out:

  • The research questions and/or aesthetic and creative issues that the PhD will address;
  • a clear indication of the methodological and practice procedures to be adopted;
  • a summary of the academic/creative field/context to which their work will make a contribution; and
  • a provisional bibliography.

You will also need to submit a sample of your written work and examples of relevant practice-based work you have completed.

Careers and skills

Your PhD will help to extend your qualifications, allowing you to develop your knowledge and explore these exciting industries through practice-based research. You will be given the opportunity to develop network connections, and to use excellent film, television, interactive media and performance equipment and facilities to build up your creative portfolio and skills. You will become equipped with transferable skills in collaborative working, using critical analysis and creative thinking, presentation, production and performance. Ultimately, your PhD will help to open the door to various creative, technical, analytical, research and managerial roles in your chosen field within this growing industry.

Our dedicated careers team offer specific support including a programme of professional researcher development and careers workshops and 1:1 career support sessions. They will help you to build up your employability portfolio and to engage in activities that will build up your skills and experience within and outside of your research work.

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