Project code



School of Film Media and Communication

Start dates

February and October

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded 3 year PhD to commence in February 2020. 

The PhD will be based in the School of Media and Performing Arts, and will be supervised by Professor Deborah Shaw.

Migration is one of the most urgent social issues of our time and has been by marked by national, transnational and supranational initiatives, opportunities and failures. The current social landscape has been characterised by preventable deaths of refugees and migrants, and a shift in political cultures across Europe, the US, and elsewhere.

Often in the discourses around the issue the embodied experience of the refugees and migrants themselves is absent. Cinema is in a uniquely privileged position to provide agency to people and to stage an intervention in perception that can counter increasing xenophobia.

This doctoral study will analyse cinematic representations of migration in a specific regional context/s. The thesis will focus on the funding, production processes and reception of migration films, and their location within discourses of human rights, political theory, and existing work on migration in Film Studies.

The PhD will be located in the University of Portsmouth’s School of Media and Performing Arts.


Fees and funding

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

2019/2020 entry

Home/EU full-time students: £4,327 p/a*

Home/EU part-time students: £2,164 p/a*

International full-time students: £15,900 p/a*

International part-time students: £7,950 p/a*

*Fees are subject to annual increase

By Publication Fees 2019/2020

Members of staff: £1,610 p/a*

External candidates: £4,327 p/a*


*Fees are subject to annual increase

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in a relevant subject area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Professor Deborah Shaw ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project title.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select ‘Film, Media and Communication’ as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. 

Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.