How do I apply?


Steps for applying to the PhD programme

  1. First, check your eligibility for PhD studies at St Andrews University (to make sure your application is not rejected on formal grounds), and verify that your proposed topic falls within the areas of expertise covered in our department. Staff profiles can be found here and areas of supervisory expertise here.
  2. If you wish to proceed, you should start by contacting appropriate staff members from the department to find someone qualified and able in principle to supervise your project. At this stage, you should be ready to present an informal description of the project and provide further information if necessary.
  3. Once an informal supervisory arrangement has been reached with a staff member, it’s time for the formal application. The university’s online Postgraduate Research Application can be found here. For the application, you will need to submit a detailed research proposal, a CV, a scholarly writing sample (generally an essay from previous coursework on a relevant topic), evidence of qualifications (transcripts), letters of reference, and evidence of English proficiency where required.

Please note that applications for the Department of Film Studies must include a research proposal of 2000 words (not 500 words as stated on the university application website). You only need to submit one research proposal with your application, which should be 2000 words in length.

The research proposal should give a more detailed description of your planned research project, touching on the following points:

  • Your research questions and their relation to previous work on the topic or field. Please tell us what new perspective(s) your work will bring to your topic.
  • The historical and geographical scope of your study
  • The theoretical framework (Who are you in dialogue with?)
  • Your planned methodology (How will you carry out your work?)
  • References to the relevant literature and materials to be used in your course of work

Further instructions, including current fees, are available on the webpage for the Postgraduate Admissions Office.

Proposals may be submitted at any point during the year. However, the optimum time for projects that aim to commence in September is the period between January and early March of that year. The department has limited funding available for select applications, but we strongly encourage you to explore other funding options. To be considered for funding, applications must be submitted and complete by March 15th. Funding decisions will be made by mid-April.

Please contact Dr Paul Flaig ( , Director of Postgraduate Research, Department of Film Studies, if you have any questions.

St Andrews is an absolutely beautiful and lively town, but the best thing about doing a PhD in St Andrews is the postgraduate community and the many opportunities to be involved in activities organized by the Department of Film Studies.

— Raluca Iacob, PhD Student