The School of Arts offers postgraduate research in a diverse range of areas with specialists available to supervise study in the fields of Film and TV Studies, English, Contemporary Drama and Performance Studies and Music. The School has distinctive expertise in offering practice based MPhil and PhD programmes tailored to your individual interests as well offering the more traditional degree based on the written thesis or a mixture of the two. Research expertise in the School is organised around four groups.
The Body, Space and Technology Research Group make specific and focused interventions in the fields of physical and virtual live performance practices. The group publishes its own online journal and pioneers new developments in both theoretical and practical fields. Performances arising from the research are given regularly in London and internationally. The group’s current project ‘Advanced Interactivity in the Arts’ is investigating digital technology and its impact on performance; motion capture; live video; granular synthesis; web-based applications; body based performer techniques.
The Contemporary Writing Research Group includes researchers and practitioners across the genres and forms of contemporary fiction and poetry. There are four practising creative writers, and a creative writing fellow. Research specialisms in the group include: contemporary poetics, the New York School of Poets, music and writing, popular fictions, postcolonial, multicultural and feminist writing. The group has staged a number of international conferences, including: British Braids (2001), Jewish Women Writers (2002) and Contemporary Writing Environments (2004).
The Contemporary Music Practice Research Centre covers the interfaces between genres of composition and improvisation, technology and human performance, music and society, movement and sound, and between text and music. The group staged a conference, ‘Interfaces – Where Composition and Improvisation Meet’ in December 2000 and hosted the 2001 Annual Conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, which was attended by a large number of international delegates. The theme of the conference was ‘Music and Power’.
The Screen Media Research Centre includes researchers working in many areas of film, television and new media including documentary, British, European and Hong Kong cinema; Hollywood and American independent cinema, political film, cult cinema, animation and representations of gender and sexuality; and generic territories including horror, science fiction and comedy. The group has staged international conferences including ‘The Spectacle of the Real: From Hollywood to Reality TV and Beyond’, in January 2003.
The School has a growing postgraduate community and offers a range of resources to support research. Students also benefit from the recently opened Graduate Centre which provides a dedicated space to meet with fellow postgraduate students. The School also has opportunities for part-time teaching for postgraduates with relevant skills. All postgraduates can apply for financial help to give conference papers and other research related activities.
Awards The School of Arts may be able to offer a limited number of bursaries or fee waivers. Other financial awards may be available from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and other funding bodies. Some of these funding packages cover tuition fees (at UK/EU rates) and living expenses for the duration of study; others cover the fees, or contribute in other ways towards the cost of study.
MPhil and PhD research supervision is available and includes the following areas:
Drama/Performance Studies Aesthetic potential of digitised technology for performance (artificial intelligence, motion capture, 3D-modelling and animation) Somatic practice and performance composition Interdisciplinary performance Live capture (sound, film) plus performance Solo performance and new performance writing
English/Contemporary Writing Contemporary literature Creative writing Twentieth century literature Victorian literature The Renaissance Modern American literature Popular literature Postcolonial literature Contemporary literary theory Literature and mourning Innovative, marginal and non-traditional texts All aspects of literary theory
Film/TV Studies Five themes provide major strands within which most of the research is organised: Cult Media and Transgression Spectacle, Documentary and the Real The Politics of Representation and Cultural Identity Dominant and Alternative Cinemas Videogames and Digital Media
Music Composition Improvisation Electronic music and live electronic transformation Meeting points between popular, world and ‘classical’ cultures ‘Digital arts’ – the interfaces between different forms of electronic media and live performance Music in education and community