Two Studentships Available or PhD Film in Practice

University of Exeter x London Film School PhD Studentships in Film by Practice Ref: 4104

About the award

The College of Humanities is delighted to be able to offer up to 2 studentships to fund PhD study in Film by Practice, as a split-site degree with the London Film School. These PhD studentships are tenable for up to three years and cover full tuition fees and a maintenance allowance, which will be £15,609 per year and are open to UK and International fee-paying students.

Increasingly, independent film practitioners feel the need not only to develop their skills and thinking beyond the received concepts of mainstream or, indeed, art cinema but also to bring greater critical, aesthetic and theoretical rigour to their practice. A new methodology is required if film is to move beyond its present parameters, one that acknowledges the historical imperatives of its culture. It is precisely this kind of innovative approach that the Exeter/LFS PhD in Film Practice aims to encourage.

This unique and exciting programme provides students with the best of both worlds - belonging to an internationally recognised University and College with the highest quality research environment, and immersion into the professional world of film creation and instruction offered by the London Film School (LFS). This programme is designed for students wishing to take their filmmaking practice beyond an MA and to integrate their technical and practical skills into a more advanced cultural, aesthetic and critical context.

The partnership formed by LFS and the College of Humanities provides a unique combination of strengths in all the areas covered by this PhD. College staff have the critical theoretical experience required to lead the supervision of a research degree, while LFS staff are professionals from within the creative industries with significant expertise in guiding students in film craft. More generally, the College and the University offer training in a range of research skills, and students will benefit from being a part of both the research culture of the College and the professionally-based environment of the LFS.

Entry requirements

We invite applications for any of our specialisms from candidates with a strong academic background and a clear and engaging research proposal that can be developed through available research supervision.

Successful applicants will be expected to have considerable experience in filmmaking already, including a professional postgraduate degree in filmmaking or screenwriting and a good first degree (at least 2.1 or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline.

If English is not your native language then you will also need to satisfy our English language entry requirements.

These PhD studentships are open to UK and International fee-paying students.


How to apply

To be considered for one of these PhD studentships, you must complete the online application where you must submit some personal details and upload a full CV, research proposal (we advise between 1000-2000 words in length), transcripts, details of two referees and, if relevant, proof of your English language proficiency, by 19 April 2021.

In addition, applicants are requested to submit a portfolio of work as part of their application. For example, you might select 2 films that you have worked on that you feel best reflects your technical and creative abilities as a filmmaker, specifying your role in each film (e.g. director, producer, cinematographer, editor, screenwriter). This portfolio of work should be submitted by Vimeo/YouTube, with the necessary links clearly specified at the end of the research proposal.

If you are applying for the PhD as a screenwriter, please also submit electronic copies of the relevant screenplays along with the films. Screenplays can be submitted via email to You must also ensure that your referees email their references to the Postgraduate Administrator at by 19 April 2021. Please note that we will not be contacting referees to request references, you must arrange for them to be submitted to us by the deadline.

References should be submitted by your referees to us directly in the form of a letter. Referees must email their references to us from their institutional email accounts. We cannot accept references from personal/private email accounts unless it is a scanned document on institutional headed paper and signed by the referee.

Please note that if you have already submitted references to support your application to one of our MPhil/PhD programmes you may re-use these to support your funding application.  However, this is not automatic and you must email us at to confirm that we have two references on file to support your application, and to request that they be used to support your funding application.

All application documents must be submitted in English. Certified translated copies of academic qualifications must also be provided.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed remotely towards the end of May 2021 (date to be confirmed)

Please note that all applications, including copies of portfolio work submitted, will be considered by representatives from both Exeter and the London Film School and your application data will therefore be shared between the two institutions.



Application deadline: 19th April 2021
Number of awards: 2
Value: These PhD studentships are tenable for up to three years and cover full tuition fees and a maintenance allowance, which will be £15,609 per year.
Duration of award: per year

Contact: PGR Admissions

+44 (0) 1392 723044


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