Skip to main content

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. English at Exeter 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
Freddie Jobbins Portrayals of Autism Spectrum Conditions in Modern English Literature Dr Emily Bernhard Jackson
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

Our current PhD students

StudentResearch titleLead supervisor
Rosemary Day Unsettled Forests: Investigating the Eco Gothic in Contemporary Literature Dr Rob Magnuson Smith
Rebecca Johnston Marginalised American Poets from the First World War Professor Tim Kendall
Melodie Manners Authenticity and Creative Economy: How do business text employ 'authenticity' and why is 'authenticity' used as a device. Dr Jason Baskin
Adrian Markle Hanging Them Up - Depictions of Retirement in Contemporary American Boxing Novels; and the novel Bruise Dr Rob Magnuson Smith
Anna Milson Interactive Documentary as a Tool for Understanding Inevitable Archaeological Change on the Coast Professor Marion Gibson
Judy Rye Ted Hughes' Early Drama Professor Jo Gill
Barbara Santi Representing local Cornish cultural identity: Community collaboration, archives and emerging documentary practices Professor Joe Kember
Nicholas Smith  The role of the Highlands and Scottish Identity in James Hogg's Highland Tours, Three Perils of Woman and other works. Dr James Kelly
Angela Nicolle Sturdevant Guardianship of Sacred Spaces in Scotland and Wales: How ancient and Christian landscapes interrelate. Professor Joanne Parker
Dorottya Tamas Powers of the Supernatural in Sylvia Plath’s Poetry: From Salem to Ariel Professor Jo Gill
Walker Zupp  The Happy Tragedy of Hiroshi Nakadai Dr Rob Magnuson Smith

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.

View list of funding opportunities available to students on our research degree programmes in English and Film. 

We are committed to making your PhD a rewarding experience that will develop your skills and expertise. Undertaking a postgraduate degree with us also provides you with access to the wide range of support offered by our Career ZoneIn addition, postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you to succeed during your research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

Graduate destinations

Below are some examples of initial jobs undertaken by English and Film postgraduates who studied with us in recent years.

Please note that due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job titleOrganisation

Associate Lecturer
Policy Advisor
Head of Academic Engagement
Lecturer in Creative Writing
Senior Business Analyst
Copy Editor
Research Officer
Freelance writer and teacher
Curator and Lecturer
Lecturer in English
Post Doctorial Research Fellow
Research Grant Writer
Course Leadder Editing and Post Production
Vice President of creative content
Lecturer Creative Media
Information Systems Analyst IV

Royal Literary Fund
Liverpool Hope University
ARK Kings Academy
University of Manchester
Royal Holloway Universtiy of London
Falmouth Exeter Plus
Old Mutal Plc
Piedmont Post
Civil Service
University of Exeter