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Study for a PhD in English
Study for a PhD in Film

Postgraduate research in English and Film

We are an internationally recognised centre for research and we have a strong culture of excellence in learning and teaching provision. Our English department is ranked first in the UK for world leading research and the 2014 REF placed us 4th in the UK for research power.

We have a rich and diverse graduate culture at both Masters and Doctoral level, backed up by strong supervisory and teaching expertise, top researchers and extensive research resources in a number of areas.

Students at Exeter work in a lively, productive and enriching environment which encourages and supports them as they strive to achieve their intellectual ambitions.

Our wide range of expertise offers postgraduates the possibility of preparing for research degrees in one or more areas. We attach particular importance to the quality of research supervision and training in research methodology and to the integration of our postgraduates into the Department’s academic and research community. Scholars of international repute are frequent visitors.

Explore our research centres and research projects to find out more about our current research topics.

Visit our English and Film staff pages for details on individual staff research interests and publications.

Find out about Exclamat!on: An Interdisciplinary Journal, our publication platform for postgraduate research and taught students working in all areas of English, Creative Writing and Film.

Our current PhD students

We're proud of the research carried out by our PhD students. There are currently around 80 PhD students in Film and English, many of whom maintain an online personal profile detailing their research activities. Follow the links below to find out more about them and their research projects.

StudentResearch titleLead supervisor
Sarah-Jayne Ainsworth Willing women: testamentary texts and the creation of female identity in the early modern southwest Dr Johanna Harris
Muhamet Alijaj Accepting the Unknown to be Know and Be Known: Paranormal Non-Fiction in Dr Joseph Crawford
Helen Angear Thomas Hardy and Heritage Professor Angelique Richardson
Aygul Bakanova Women in Central Asian Cinema Dr Helen Hanson
Stephanie Boland Off the beaten track: rural landscapes in conflict in modernist writing of the south west Professor Regenia Gagnier
Zoe Bulaitis The role of the academic in popular culture: the impact of fiction and film upon humanities scholarship in Britain Professor Regenia Gagnier
Peter Bunten The Life-Writings of Henry Williamson. Professor Tim Kendall
Elisa Cepedal The Cinema of Resistance: Realist Construction in European Film! Dr James Lyons
James Chambers The Strange Home project: towards a distinctive, 'authentic' contribution to Scottish cinema grounded in community folklore. Dr Joe Kember
Bysshe Coffey Distraction: The Drama of Sounds in the Poetry, Drama and Translation of Percy Shelley. Dr Corinna Wagner
Sophia David Ecoliterature. Professor Regenia Gagnier
Ellena Deeley   Dr Paul Young
Hasnul Djohar Cultural Translators in Contemporary Muslim-American Fiction. Dr Sinéad Moynihan
Mia Dormer A study of the Evolution of Detective Fiction in Relation to Forensic Science/Medicine Professor Andy Brown
James Downs Ministers of the 'Black Art': the uses of photography by the clergy in Britain, 1839-1909 Professor John Plunkett
Helena Drysdale State of Emergency: A journey across Greece in the footsteps of George Bowen, traveller, statesman and Philhellene. Dr Daisy Hay
Philippa Earle Monism and Hybridity in Milton's Literary Forms Professor Karen Edwards
Gemma Edney The Sounds of Silence: Voicing Girlhood in Contemporary French Cinema Dr Fiona Handyside
Tom Fallows "Survival of the Dead": Manufacturing Independence in the American Film Industry. An Exploration of the Political Economy of Laurel Entertainment, 1974-1988. Dr James Lyons
Acatia Finbow An exploration of the value and place of re-performance documentation in the contemporary art gallery archive. Professor Gabriella Giannachi
Harry Ford Indigenous Shakespeare and Botanic Creation. Dr Felicity Henderson
Stephen Gallagher A pious pursuit of paradise: The patronage of secular and religious monuments by Seljukid Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I (1220-1237). Professor Emma Loosley
Emma Geen    
Pierrealain Giraud The work of Darius Khondji: Cinematographic authorship in contemporary cinema. Professor William Higbee
David Goodchild Adapting Lovecraft Dr Helen Hanson
Dominique Gracia From Art to Life (and Back Again): The Triumph of Medusa over British Aestheticism Professor Regenia Gagnier
Molly Granatino 19th Century British literature, the psychology of space in the Victorian novel, George Eliot. Dr Paul Young
James Green Nerves, Networks, and Delay: Physiology and the Sensation Novel Dr Corinna Wagner
Christopher Grosvenor Cinema on the Frontline: A History of Military Cinema Exhibition during WWI and WWII. Dr Joe Kember
Lauren Hayhurst The Nameless: A creative and critical investigation into Muslim women and the issue of 'honour' in Britain. Dr Sam North
Jacqueline Hopson Exploring representations of the Psychiatrist in Modern English and American Fiction Professor Laura Salisbury
Christina Lake A Study of Eugenics in Utopian Fiction Professor Angelique Richardson
Alice Levick Narrative representations of American urban space from 1920-1960. Professor Jo Gill
Na Li Translating Women in Republican China (1911-1949) Professor Regenia Gagnier
Kate Limond Mocked with Art: Narrating Subjectivity in the fiction of A. S. Byatt. Dr Ellen McWilliams
Cristina Locatelli Exeter-Tate Digital Humanities Project Professor Gabriella Giannachi
Sally Long   Professor Andy Brown
Barbara Marshall Literary dialogue in the New Europe. Professor Regenia Gagnier
Rebecca Marshall Presenting The Self: Michel de Montaigne and Essay Film. Dr Fiona Handyside
Kristy Martin The of women in erotic literature both as writer and object. Is it possible to own language whilst unable to 'own' the phallus Dr Jana Funke
Errol Mattera The Challenge of Identity and Representation in Cinema: A case study of South Africa Professor William Higbee
Pauline McGonagle Investigating the Work of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Dr Florian Stadtler
Gillian Moore The representation of the Material Culture of Big Game Hunting in the Age of Empire. Professor John Plunkett
Michaela Morning Exploration of the notions of surrealism in Czech cinema. Professor William Higbee
Cristina Mosconi Creating a Future for the Past of Bristol: A geo-located audio tour for the medieval period of the city. Professor Fabrizio Nevola
Rachel Murray    
Imola Nagy-Seres 'Feeling with you': Rethinking Empathy in the Later Novels of Ian McEwan Dr Kirsty Martin
Daniel Passes Beyond the Pastoral: Producing Rural Cinema in Contemporary Britain. Dr Fiona Handyside
Joan Passey The West Barbary Barbarian: Identifying a Cornish Gothic in Nineteenth Century Britain Professor Nick Groom
Joshua Powell Perception, Affect and Cognition in Samuel Beckett's Late Period Professor Laura Salisbury
Mark Rawlins The 'Wessex novel' after Hardy (1895-1914): How writers used Hardy's Wessex to explore environmental issues. Professor Angelique Richardson
Sofia Romualdo De Carvalho Playing with heritage: a historical and practical investigation of gamification in the heritage museum Professor Gabriella Giannachi
Denise Ross Sacred wells: Understanding survivors of cultural change Professor Philip Schwyzer
Rocky Ruggiero Santo Spirito Professor Fabrizio Nevola
Barbara Santi Representing local Cornish cultural identity: Community collaboration, archives and emerging documentary practices Professor Nick Groom
Jack Sargent Anglo-American Gay Nostalgia: Desiring and Writing the Queer Past in Gay Literature Post-1990 Dr Kate Hext
Tamara Sharp Novel: The High Lonesome. Critical essay: Who made the eyes but I?: relocating the sublime in a post-secular world. Dr Jane Feaver
Paul Slade Italia Riconquistata: Italy's role in Milton's Poetic and Intellectual Development from the Early Poems to Paradise Lost Professor Karen Edwards
Anna Sowa The Role of the Producer in Collaborative Documentary Filmmaking Professor William Higbee
Sabine Starmanns Deconstructing Middle Age: Sexuality, Representation and the Midlife Woman in Dr Helen Hanson
Alison Stone Contemporary British poetry and objectivism Professor Andy Brown
Leonie Thomas Wireless Women: Listening In to Forgotten Female Voices at the BBC, 1922-1955 Dr Vike Martina Plock
Ana Tomcic Uncanny Subjects – Social Violence, Psychoanalytic Justifications and Modernist Literary Subversions Professor Laura Salisbury
Esther Van Raamsdonk The Influence of the Anglo-Dutch Relations in the Seventeenth Century on the Works of Andrew Marvell and John Milton Professor Nicholas McDowell
Philip Wallinder John Trevisa and the gospel of Nicodemus. Professor Eddie Jones
Charlotte White Ronald Duncan's Rural Devon: Place and Identity in the West Country Professor Nick Groom
David Whitehouse Allegory in Toni Morrison's 'Beloved' Professor Regenia Gagnier
Lorna Wilkinson The Trickster in Twentieth-Century British Literature Dr Kirsty Martin
Paul Willis Sir Joshua Reynolds: Sketchbooks to Genius Professor Melissa Percival
Robert Yeates The Brown Fog of a Winter Dawn: The Zombie Double of the Modern Metropolis Dr Paul Williams
Aygul Bakanova Women in Central Asian Cinema Dr Helen Hanson
James Chambers The Strange Home project: towards a distinctive, 'authentic' contribution to Scottish cinema grounded in community folklore. Dr Joe Kember
Pierrealain Giraud The work of Darius Khondji: Cinematographic authorship in contemporary cinema. Professor William Higbee
Rebecca Marshall Presenting The Self: Michel de Montaigne and Essay Film. Dr Fiona Handyside
Michaela Morning Exploration of the notions of surrealism in Czech cinema. Professor William Higbee

Supervisors - all students have a primary and a secondary supervisor who provide regular, high quality advice, support and direction in their academic endeavours. You will work closely with your supervisors over three to four years (full time PhD) or six to seven (part-time PhD) to develop, investigate and write-up a project at the cutting edge of theological research.

Visit our English and Film staff profiles for more information about individual research interests or use the search box on the right of this page to find a supervisor.

Mentor - each student will also be assigned a mentor who will take on a pastoral role and mediate on any problems that arise during the period of study. Your mentor will keep in regular contact and will provide background stability and support.

Graduate School Office - the College of Humanities has a dedicated Graduate School Office that supports our postgraduate research students during their study with us. The Office promotes intellectual and social contact between research students in all our disciplines to foster a vibrant research community within the College.

Funding opportunities available to students on our research degree programmes in English and Film:*

AwardValueApplication deadlineDescription
Class of 2020 Progression Award 20% reduction in first year tuition fee There is no application for this award. You will be automatically considered. A tuition fee discount for current University of Exeter students completing a full degree in 2020 and progressing directly to a standalone postgraduate course in September 2020.
Deepfakes: re-balancing the governance of persona appropriation created with AI. PhD Law Studentship (Funded by the QUEX Institute) Full tuition fees, stipend of £15,000 p.a, travel funds of up to £15,000, and RTSG of £15,000 are available over the 3.5 year studentship Mon 31st Aug 2020 The QUEX Institute studentships are available for April 2021 entry. This prestigious programme provides full tuition fees, stipend of £15,285 p.a, travel funds of up to £15,000, and RTSG of £15,000 over the life of the studentship. The studentship funding is provided for up to 42 months (3.5 years)
University of Exeter Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction in first year tuition fee There is no application for this award. You will be automatically considered. A tuition fee discount for all University of Exeter alumni who start a postgraduate degree with us from September 2020.
Fulbright Scholarships: Postgraduate Student Awards - 2021/22 competition Full tuition fee waiver for one year of Masters / PhD & living stipend Tue 13th Oct 2020 Our UK Partnership award with Fulbright is available for Masters or Doctoral students who are USA or dual USA:UK citizens wishing to study at the University. The award takes the form of a tuition fee waiver for the first year of graduate study (either Masters or PhD) and a living stipend. We also accept scholars in receipt of Fulbright 'Open Awards' (also referred to as the All Disciplines Award).
Commonwealth PhD Scholarships 2020 (for least developed countries and fragile states) Tuition fees, approved fares and stipend Deadline passed
(Wed 30th Oct 2019)
Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from the least developed countries and fragile states in the Commonwealth, put forward by various nominating bodies, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university.
Said Foundation Scholarships Varies Deadline passed
(Fri 1st Nov 2019)
The Said Foundation offers around thirty postgraduate scholarships to nationals from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Syria who are also permanent residents in these target countries.
2020/21 Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships (low and middle income countries) Visiting scholar tuition fee, approved fares, and personal maintenance Deadline passed
(Wed 6th Nov 2019)
Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships are for PhD candidates from low and middle income Commonwealth countries, to spend up to 12 months at a UK university as part of their doctoral studies in their home country.
China Scholarship Council and University of Exeter PhD Scholarships Full tuition fees and Living Allowance Deadline passed
(Mon 6th Jan 2020)
The University of Exeter alongside the China Scholarship Council is pleased to offer fully funded studentship available for September 2020 entry.
Canadian Centennial Scholarships for current Canadian Postgraduates studying in the UK £5,000.00 Deadline passed
(Sun 8th Mar 2020)
Awards for study for Canadian Students who have already commenced their multi-year studies in the UK
Colciencias (Colombia) Fully funded Deadline passed
(Fri 1st May 2020)
The University and Colciencias have agreed an MOU to promote long-term collaboration between the two organisations with the purpose of encouraging Colombian students to pursue Doctorate level studies.
Sanctuary Scholarship Full tuition fee waiver plus annual living cost grant Deadline passed
(Mon 18th May 2020)
The Sanctuary Scholarship scheme enables individuals seeking asylum and refugees who are not able access student finance to study at the University of Exeter.
Sports Scholarship Scheme up to £3,000 plus additional support services worth £3,500 Deadline passed
(Tue 30th Jun 2020)
Sports scholarships are awarded to students of outstanding sporting ability who show evidence of achievement at international level in their chosen sport.
US Department of Education - Federal Student Loan Variable Deadline passed
(Tue 30th Jun 2020)
The federal government offers a number of financial aid programs, including these loans, to help pay for your education.
*Please note that if you have submitted an application to one of our MPhil/PhD programmes you will not automatically be considered for funding. You must submit a separate funding application, including all required supporting documents, via the link provided in each award to be considered for that award.

The College of Humanities works closely with the University’s Career Zone to help you gain the skills, experience and expertise employers are looking for. There are a wide range of opportunities to enhance your employability, along with the support you need to make important career decisions.

We have our own Employability Officer who works to develop close links with employers and arranges careers events. 


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