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Postgraduate research programmes

Postgraduate Research Programmes

PhD in Film Studies (Doctor of Philosophy)

The Film Studies Department is staffed by a group of internationally acclaimed scholars and enjoys a lively graduate community. We supervise PhD dissertations on a wide range of topics. The PhD is the presentation of a thesis of 80-100,000 words. This thesis should be of publishable standard. Students may be full or part-time, but the minimum period before presentation of the thesis is three years. There are no classes or taught courses. Work is done under the supervision of one member of the core Film Studies staff.

Timeline for research students

A timeline showing an overview of the journey of a research student within the School of Arts and Humanities is available under the Research section of this handbook.  This provides details of when supervisor's reports take place, the process of upgrading, submission of your PhD and every stage in between.  

Below you will find further information and links that will assist you during your time at King's.  

Registration and Progression

If you need to make any change to your registration status you should initially contact your supervisor. A change to registration status form is available through the internal Registry Services webpages. Information about upgrades and progress reviews is also available in this handbook.

All currently enrolled research students (excluding the exceptions) across the College need to complete a standardised Individual Progress Report (IPR) initially 3 months after their start date and every 6 months thereafter.  

Students and academics will be required to complete all progress reviews using the Online Progress Reporting system. When a report is due, students (and their supervisors) will receive an automatic notification email to their King's email address with instructions on how to complete the report. Please login to your Student Record as prompted in the email and complete the report accordingly.

For further details please refer to section 9.2 of the Core Code of Practice for Research Degrees

Supervision and pastoral care

Each postgraduate student in the department is allocated a supervisor (a member of the core Film Studies staff) and you will have regular supervision meetings. Students should keep a record of when supervisory meetings take place and the agreed action points for the student and supervisor that arose from the meeting.

It is the responsibility of the student to keep the supervisor informed of any changes in personal or other circumstances that might affect the progress of work. 

There are no classes or taught modules, but students may audit a module with the consultation of their supervisors. Students should attend research seminars throughout the year and a work-in-progress postgraduate conference at the end of the academic year in May.

Your main points of contact other than your supervisor are:

Sarah Cooper - Director of Graduate Studies

Maryia Zyhmantovich - Research and Resources Manager

Research Ethics

Postgraduate research students should be aware of College policy with regard to research ethics and should take whatever steps that are necessary to ensure they carry out their PhD research in compliance with it.

Individual Fieldwork Risk Assessment Form

This form must be completed for all fieldwork taking place outside the  Film Studies Department.

It should be completed electronically, printed in triplicate, the three copies signed, and lodged with your Supervisor, the Research & Resources Manager (Maryia Zyhmantovich ) and one for retention by yourself before fieldwork commences. Fieldwork-Risk-Assessment-Form-Film 

Upgrade (Transfer from MPhil to PhD Registration)

Full time students are expected to transfer from MPhil to PhD status after 9 months once they have commenced their studies; the final deadline for upgrading is after 18 months of study.  

Part-time students are expected to transfer from MPhil to PhD status after 18-months once they have commenced their studies; the final deadline for upgrading is after 36 months of study.

Once the panel has been nominated, the student will log in and upload their upgrade documents to the student record system by the deadline given. For more information, see the Registry Services webpage.    

For the upgrade documents you need to provide as part of your upgrade review, see the departmental guidelines and discipline-specific criteria.

Writing up

The PhD is the presentation of a thesis that does not exceed 100,000 words in length (inclusive of footnotes but exclusive of appendices and bibliography). This thesis should be of publishable standard. Transferring to writing-up will normally take place after a period of approximately three years’ full-time registration (or part-time equivalent), although exceptionally it can take place sooner if the student has completed his or her research (and/or data collection) and will be ready to submit within one year. Should the transfer to writing-up take place later than the three years’ full-time registration point (or part-time equivalent), the student will not be entitled to the full year usually permitted for writing-up. In this instance,the required submission deadline will come before the end of the writing-up year and must always take precedence.  Student fees are lowered during the writing up stage. If the student does not finish the dissertation within the year, he or she must resume paying normal PhD student fees until it is finished.

The procedure to move a student from full or part-time status to writing-up will include an appropriate form of progress report and/or meeting of the supervisory panel to decide whether the student is ready to transfer and can demonstrate that they will submit within the required submission deadline timeframe.  During the write-up period, the PhD student is mainly editing and refining the work, and/or working on a last chapter. School procedure maintains that a student should have a full if rough draft of the entire dissertation, or very close to it, before being approved to continue on to the writing up stage. The Faculty’s writing up form (link) must be signed by the student’s supervisor and the PARC chair. 


There is a helpful step-by-step guide to submitting your thesis on the Examinations webpages.


Other useful information:
Research Seminars

Film Studies research seminars in term time host internationally renowned scholars and leading junior colleagues, who share their most recent research with Film Studies postgraduate students, along with post-doctoral researchers and staff.  Research seminars are intrinsic part of the program and postgraduate students are expected to attend seminars regardless of topic.

The seminar series will be listed here.

Faculty of Arts & Humanities training

The Faculty of Arts & Humanities runs training sessions for postgraduate research students, some of which are mandatory. Students should consult their supervisors in their selection of training sessions.  

King’s College London is part of a number of Doctoral Training Partnerships/Centres, including the KISS-DTC and LAHP,  that offer various training programs and workshops.  

GTA Scheme

The Department offers Postgraduate research students the opportunity to teach on the Undergraduate Film Studies programme with the Graduate Teaching Assistant scheme. You will receive further information about the application process after your first year of study.

Faculty Graduate Teaching Assistant Handbook

PhD Studentships

The Department of Film Studies is pleased to announce the availability of PhD studentships through AHRC/LAHP Doctoral Training Awards. To access the AHRC/LAHP application form, please see the apply for a studentship webpage. ESRC doctoral funding is also available through the LISS-DTP.

Funding Opportunities (Small Grants)
  1. Film Studies Conference Attendance Grants (due to limited funds priority will be given to students who are presenting a paper). 
  2. Film Studies Conference Organisation Grants
  3. A&H Faculty funding opportunities (Group Events grants and Individual grants) 
  4. Centre for Doctoral Studies funding opportunities
Centre for Doctoral Studies

The Centre for Doctoral Studies provides important resources for postgraduate research students, including training programmes and is a good source of information about all aspects of the PhD programme.

External Funding

It is possible to apply for external funding during your time at King's.

University of London

The Department of Film Studies at King’s is part of the Screen Studies Group, which offers various workshops and organizes events. 

PURE Profile

All PhD students in KCL have a profile on our Research Portal site. This portal shows information about research, from researcher biographies and funding details, to outputs such as published books and peer-reviewed journal articles.  The link to Film Studies profiles can be found here.

Student research profiles are generated automatically after enrolment, showing your start date, department and supervisors. It is encouraged that students then log into the portal themselves to update personal profiles and research interests.  

The portal gives you the opportunity to present yourself and your research to the world and can help you develop an academic career. Information on how to update your profile can be found in the student handbook.

Please do update your personal pages, it will help promote yourself as a researcher.

Work Space
  1.  KCL Postgraduate Space
  2. Norfolk 1.01/02 is a quiet working space on the 1st floor of the Norfolk Building. It has a mix of desktop PC's, laptop stands & docking stations, & is shared with the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries.

PGR students can print for free in their home departments and in any of the Doctoral Studies Centre's lounges (locations online: ). The Maughan Library offers free printing to PGRs in the room 1.31.

Printing in the Film Studies Department (card access only):

  1. Norfolk 559 - Film Studies Post Room
  2. G.04 Norfolk Building - Film Studies Department Admin Office 
Administrative Support
Maryia Zyhmantovich: Research & Resources Manager, Music PhD Programme Administrator

Location: Room G.05, Norfolk Building 
Telephone: 020 7848 7921

James Gagen: Research & Resources Officer 

Location: Room G.05, Norfolk Building 
Tel: 020 7848 7315

Office Hours:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 
09.00 - 
09.00 - 
09.00 - 14.00 09.00 - 17.00 09.00 - 11.00
12.00 - 17.00

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