PhD in Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media by Creative Practice Programme Components

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

  • academic dissertation of 20-30,000 words
  • a portfolio of creative work 
  • either a critical reflection on the relationship between the dissertation and the creative work or a professional portfolio

Academic Dissertation

The 20,000-30,000 word dissertation is a critical piece of writing, demonstrating an advanced ability to research, investigate and discuss relevant ideas, debates, contexts, creative processes and products/texts. The dissertation should provide a contextual framework for the creative portfolio and demonstrate advanced levels of appropriate subject knowledge, insight and understanding. It should also use appropriate academic referencing and bibliographic conventions.  

Portfolio of Creative Work

This can comprise different types of material depending on the research topic and subject matter:

Film and Television

  • a portfolio of screenplays (indicative rage: combined length of 150 pages minimum, 200 pages maximum), or…
  • a portfolio of films (fiction, non-fiction or experimental with an indicative combined running time of between 60 and 120 minutes), or…
  • a portfolio of screenwriting and film work (e.g. a full length screen play of 90-120 pages and a short film)

Sound Design

  • a portfolio of sound design projects. Examples might include sound designs for film, TV programmes, adverts, theatre plays or games. The portfolio should include at least three different forms of project: a long project (e.g. a 60 minutes film), a short project (e.g. an advert) and a “live” project (e.g. theatre play or game).

Theatre: Playwriting

  • a portfolio of three full length stage plays (with each play between 60 and 120 pages). Each play should demonstrate an endeavour to take on a different writing challenge – this might be done through exploring different forms, varied target audiences, different target venues, or different styles of theatrical performance. A submission of three monologues, for example, is not permitted – candidates are required to demonstrate that they can write for varied numbers of people onstage.

Theatre: Acting

  • a portfolio of three performances (normally between 60 minutes and 120 minutes each with the candidate playing a lead part in the play). Each performance should demonstrate an endeavour to take on a different acting challenge – this might be done through exploring different forms, through using different acting theories, varied target audiences, or different styles of theatrical performance. A submission of three one-man or one-woman shows, for example, is not permitted – candidates are required to demonstrate that they can perform as part of an ensemble.

 Theatre: Directing

  • a portfolio of three productions

A full-length production equals a performance time of normally between 60 minutes and 120 minutes. Each production should demonstrate an endeavour to take on a different directing challenge – this might be done through exploring different forms, different styles of text, through using mixed media, varied target audiences, or different styles of theatrical performance. A submission of three monologues, for example, is not permitted – candidates are required to demonstrate that they can direct more than one actor onstage.

Games and App Design (information coming soon)

Critical Reflection

The critical reflection should engage with the candidate’s intellectual and creative progress over the period of the research. It should document the creative process and how this relates to the research questions and research context explored in the dissertation. The reflective essay may also augment the written dissertation and creative practice in a manner similar to that of detailed appendices on questions of context and methodology that are sometimes included in orthodox academic doctoral theses in the humanities and social sciences. 

Professional Portfolio

The portfolio provides a record of the candidate’s professional development and intellectual/creative progress over the period of the research and is designed to assess his/her ability to critically reflect and comment on the development of their creative practice and relevant processes and to demonstrate a process of professional development and engagement with the industry. These learning outcomes are intended to augment the written dissertation and creative practice in a manner similar to that of detailed appendices on questions of context and methodology that are sometimes included in orthodox academic doctoral theses in the humanities and social sciences.