Theatre Film and Television

Theatre Film and Television

Research excellence

Our vision is to be an internationally leading focal point for the study of Cultural Policy, Film and Television, and Theatre, with an emphasis on media sociology and cultural policy, cultural economics, amateur media and popular culture, world cinema and theatre histories and practices, areas in which we have undertaken agenda-setting research. Our research base has expanded through strategic appointments and we consistently produce research of high quality and volume publishing in the last five years over 25 research monographs, co-authored books and edited collections and over 100 refereed articles, many in our disciplines’ leading journals. We have increased our research income to some £3m since 2008 leading several large-scale projects in research areas that fall into three broad categories: cultural institutions, media organisations and popular and amateur forms. 

Our research distinctiveness lies in our ability to generate research across a broad spectrum of cultural practices, ranging from studies of Latin American cinema to site-specific Glasgow performances, informed by cultural policy analysis, commitment to public engagement and an extensive portfolio of funded projects. While there are distinct but complementary specialisms in our research groups there is also a continued dialogue through cross-disciplinary workshops, seminars and reading groups. Notable areas of common interest and research are in film policy, television studies, digital media and critical studies of performance. The research overlaps and a shared agenda have enabled extensive collaborative supervision of research students across the unit as a whole.

The Gilmorehill Centre, a specially converted building with a cinema, theatre and performance studio, provides an ideal venue for research dissemination, hosting a series of conferences, seminars and workshops, and offers excellent opportunities for public engagement, through film seasons, mini-festivals, performances, public talks and lectures. A collection of over 10,000 DVDs and videos of films, television programmes and theatre performances, is housed in our Resource Centre which is equipped with viewing and IT facilities. We are supported by two dedicated technicians, one specialising in AV/IT and one in theatre and performance. 

We contribute significantly to the wellbeing of our disciplines and are involved in national and international partnerships, networks and joint research projects. We sit on research council committees and advise national and international bodies. Our staff hold editorial positions in leading journals in our fields such as Media, Culture and Society and we co-host Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. The world-leading journal Screen is based in the Gilmorehill Centre and hosts its annual international conference at Glasgow, sponsoring a series of Screen Research Seminars.

Research strategy

We aim to produce high-quality research with an impact relevant to the unit’s continuing contribution to contemporary culture, public debate, economic challenge and policy formation. The beneficial effects to our research culture of the £5m RCUK-funded CREATe (WEB LINK), a consortium of seven UK universities headquartered at Glasgow will be maximised, especially in the fields of the creative economy and copyright. We will expand our engagement with digital and new media and develop a new research group on environmentalism. In the context of major growth of our research base, as well as changes in research funding priorities, our strategic aims are to:

  • exploit fully our expansion by consolidating excellence in areas of expertise whilst supporting staff to develop new complementary areas;
  • sustain our production of world-leading research by mutual critical support for all colleagues and by nurturing our early career researchers via mentoring, peer support networks and researcher skills development training;
  • take full advantage of the multidisciplinary context of the School of Culture and Creative Arts by strengthening cross-subject intellectual engagement and collaboration;
  • increase our leadership and influence in our research by undertaking further collaborative projects and, in particular, prioritising international work;
  • maximise the social and intellectual impact of the several large projects to be completed in the next three years; and,
  • enhance our research impact by extending our engagement and partnership with key institutions and by embedding planned impact pathways in the design of our future projects.

Strategy is underpinned by the specialised research activities and complementary 
strengths of our constituent groups:

The Centre for Cultural Policy Research combines fundamental research in media and culture with policy analysis and intervention in public debate and institutional developments. It will continue to initiate outstanding opportunities for public engagement with civic institutions, government and industry. Through the activities of CREATe it will deliver interdisciplinary collaborative research with significant policy implications. In a first wave of cross-centre collaboration (2013-16), a trio of projects will be researched by CCPR staff. These are: sports media rights and regulation; converging technologies and business models; and, copyright and cultural work. 

Film and Television Studies has complemented its established theoretical, historical and analytical strengths with a new focus on practice that spans critical studies of production and exhibition, sound in film, television forms and digital experimentation enabled through a series of recent appointments. This new emphasis will extend the range of our links with media institutions and creative industries. Scholarship on amateur media and world cinemas will advance through high profile dissemination – eg, Children and Amateur Cinema’s end-of-project conference and exhibition with the Scottish Screen Archive, hosting Film-Philosophy’s annual conference in 2014, key monographs on amateur cinema in the UK, children in amateur media, film and cosmopolitanism, transworld cinemas, and international collaborations with the universities of Vienna, Amsterdam and Groningen on European cine clubs and with NTU Singapore on Asian Cinemas. 

The capacity of Theatre Studies to deliver initiatives in critical-spatial practices that engage with pressing concerns attached to issues of environmentalism has been enhanced through strategic appointments. Our new work in this area includes a suite of projects around performance and sustainability, with outputs ranging from monographs and articles to edited series and practice-based research. Our established connectivity with professional and non-professional theatre communities, theatre makers, organisations and agencies will continue to shape and direct our research priorities, questions, methodologies and impact activities – eg, via new work in archival and historically-informed research on theatre music and a comparative study of mediaeval and contemporary digital practices will be undertaken in collaboration with partners Scottish Opera and Prototype Theatre.

PG opportunities

We offer postgraduate research students a wide range of options for independent study, from one-year taught degrees to three-year doctoral programmes. In both Theatre Studies and Film and Television Studies, our outward-looking, multi-disciplinary research activities are based on high-quality, challenging and flexible graduate programmes. In undertaking such a programme, you will be joining a thriving and vibrant postgraduate community.

We welcome students from a variety of backgrounds, working on areas of specialist interest using methods from the arts, humanities and social sciences, including, where appropriate, research through practice.

Our research degrees
(all degrees are available in either Film and Television Studies, or Theatre Studies, and all can be taken part-time)

  • PhD (3 years)
  • MLitt (Research) (2 years)
  • MPhil (1 year)
  • MRes (1 year)

An important first step in applying is to locate a supervisor with relevant expertise. A full list of scholars can be found here.

Film & Television scholars:

Theatre Studies scholars:

How to apply for a research degree

We also offer a range of taught postgraduate Masters programmes in both Theatre Studies and Film and Television Studies (for a full list, please see here).

Projects and networks

Current projects

Recently completed projects

Web resources


Screen Seminars at Glasgow

‌‌Film and Television Studies, with generous funding from Screen, hosts a series of regular invited seminars throughout the academic year. Guest speakers are drawn from both the UK and the wider world. They include scholars, filmmakers and a range of other practitioners and professionals from the cultural and creative industries. The seminars provide a forum in which to engage with the latest in cutting edge research, where staff and postgraduates from across the University can participate in lively discussion and explore new ideas.

Screen largeEvent: Document Film Festival, in association with Screen Seminars at Glasgow, presents a full-length (345 mins) screening of La Commune (Paris, 1871)
Date/Time: 21 Oct 2016, 12 noon

Speaker: Dr Michael Cowan, University of St Andrews
Date/Time: 25 Oct 2016, 5:15pm
Title: Advertising, Animation, and the Circuits of Control

Speaker: Dr Becky Bartlett, University of Glasgow
Date/Time: 9 Nov 2016, 5:15pm
Title: Separation of church and cinema? Interpretation and adaptation in Noah, the "least biblical biblical epic ever made."

Event: Research panel on ‘Film Exhibition: Memories and Histories’ (followed by wine reception and mince pies)
Speakers: Dr Rebecca Harrison, University of Glasgow; Dr Ealasaid Munro University of Glasgow; Dr Ana Salzberg, University of Dundee
Date/Time: 30 Nov 2016, 5:15pm
Titles: Projecting Britain: Domestic and Colonial Film Circulation in World War Two; The Major Minor Cinema and oral histories of cinemagoing in rural Scotland; Classic Films in Care Homes: Memory, Sensation, and Social Connectivity



Archive of past events