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Filmic Visions and Pushing Boundaries

  • School: School of Art & Design
  • Starting: 2023 / 2024 / 2025
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


The proposed project will involve an investigation into filmic forms that push against, cross and/or transgress boundaries between fiction, ethnographic, essayistic or documentary cinema. We are particularly interested in PhD projects that view this transgression of cinematic genres as a metaphor for other forms of transgression in relation to questions around identity, cultural belonging, migration, gender and sexuality. Over the last two decades there has been a great influx of transnational art house cinema which has consistently undermined preconceived cinematic orthodoxies. This PhD opportunity provides the opportunity to analyse emerging visual forms that are yet under researched or have received little scholarly attention. We are particularly interested in the role of transglobal communities that shape these forms of expression.

Applicants should have a strong understanding of the histories and contexts of any given cinematic form that they are primarily concerned with though ultimately we believe that the project is best addressed through transdisciplinary methods which we are keen to support. We support PhD projects via the traditional research degree consisting of an original written thesis, or, for those with a practice-based background, an original written thesis with a significant body of creative work. Additionally we also welcome applications that seek to experiment with practice-based research and finding ways, through rigorous PhD research, how to incorporate filmic texts into academic writing (or vice versa). Routes that are open to students includes the essay film, video diaries/essays, and video installations.

The successful applicant would join one of the country’s leading art and design schools which has been influencing, inspiring and innovating for over 175 years. The school has a vibrant, forward-looking and expanding research community where collaboration and interdisciplinarity are embraced and encouraged. PhD candidates would have access to a number of highly relevant research groups based within the Artistic Research Centre, or, in the School of Arts and Humanities, The Centre for the Study of Inequality, Culture and Difference. Additionally, successful applicants would have access to world-class technical facilities and technical expertise in relation to filmmaking, photography and visual communication if this is appropriate for the project. As UNESCO City of Literature, Nottingham is a vibrant and exciting city considered to be one of the leading centres of the Creative Industries in the UK.

The successful applicant would be principally supervised by Dr. Marco Bohr, Associate Professor in Visual Communication in the School of Art and Design, and Dr. Cüneyt Çakırlar, Senior Lecturer in Communication, Culture and Media in the School of Arts and Humanities. Potential applicants are welcome to contact Dr. Bohr and Dr Çakırlar for any enquiries.

As part of the application process, applicants are asked to produce an original 1,000 – 2,000 word research proposal which outlines their research project. Under clear headings or subheadings, the research proposal needs to contain the following information: provisional title, the topic or area to be investigated, the problem or hypothesis to be tested, the methods and techniques to be used in the research, a provisional timetable for the project indicating anticipated activities, the relationship of the proposed research to the published literature and to current research in the field, an indication of the contribution to knowledge that the thesis is anticipated to make, details of previous work in the proposed field, and a bibliography of sources already consulted or identified as of relevance to your proposal.

Further guidelines on how to apply can be found from Nottingham Trent University’s Doctoral School.

This opportunity is for self-funded PhD students. Applicants are encouraged to apply for external funding and we will support this process if appropriate and when required.


Dr Marco Bohr

Dr Cüneyt Çakırlar

Entry qualifications

Entrants must have a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in a subject area relevant to the PhD research.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

The deadline for this PhD is all year round.

Please visit our how to apply page for a step-by-step guide and make an application.

Fees and funding

This opportunity is for self-funded PhD students. Applicants are encouraged to apply for external funding and we will support this process if and when required.

Find out about fees and funding for PhD projects.

Guidance and support

Find out about guidance and support for PhD students.

Still need help?

Dr Marco Bohr