Who can supervise my thesis?

Below is a list of staff who can supervise research. You are encouraged to make contact with a potential supervisor prior to applying.

Professor Michael Cowan

Head of Department

I enjoy supervising a wide range of topics in film and media history, German or French cinema, digital studies, intermedial topics (e.g. film and video games), film theory and more. I also strongly encourage applicants to consider potential forms of co-supervision, which offer opportunities for competitive funding (fees and maintenance). Current funding opportunities include:

-St Leonards Interdisciplinary Doctoral Scholarships for co-supervisions across Schools within the university. I have strong connections to Modern Languages (for topics in German, French or European cinema) and to Art History (for topics in media history or visual culture).

-St Leonards Inter-European Doctoral Scholarships for theses co-supervised with European universities. I have connections to many film and media studies programmes on the continent.

-AHRC-SGSAH scholarships for theses co-supervised between two Scottish universities.

Please be aware that deadlines for the above funding lines are early and you should inquire as soon as possible.


Dr Lucy Fife Donaldson

Dr Lucy Fife Donaldson

Senior Lecturer in Film Studies

I would welcome projects from students working in various areas of film and television performance and aesthetics, affect and embodiment in film and television, audio-visual design, film sound, film criticism, genre  (especially horror and melodrama) and American cinema.

Dr Paul Flaig

Lecturer in Film Studies

I would welcome projects from students working in silent and early film studies, media theory and archaeology, film comedy, German cinema, animation, film theory (especially psychoanalysis and the Frankfurt School).

Dr Elisabetta Girelli

Senior Lecturer in Film Studies

I am interested in supervising doctoral theses on these broad topics: stars studies; performance and silent cinema; queer cinema and queer theory; sexual, gender, and national identity in British, European, and Hollywood cinemas, within frameworks of cultural analysis and theories of representation; crip theory; representations of normativity and its contestations.



Professor Dina Iordanova

Professor of Film Studies

Currently I supervise students working on film and historyfilm festivals, and Eastern European cinema and national identities in film. I receive many queries from potential students, mainly in two of the areas of my expertise: A. transnational cinema and film festivals/global film circulation and B. Eastern European/Balkan cinema.  These remain the areas in which I am still mainly interested in supervising research students.

Dr Anuja Jain


I would welcome projects from students working in various areas of South Asian cinema, experimental film and moving image, transnational visual and material cultures, film and politics, documentary film, memory and trauma studies.

Given my own interdisciplinary work, I would also welcome co-supervisions across Schools within the university for projects with a focus on visual culture and intermedial study of film.

Dr Philippa Lovatt

Lecturer in Film Studies

My research interests are in East and Southeast Asian cinemas, experimental film and documentary, sound in audio-visual media, censorship and film activism and I particularly welcome PhD students whose work relates to any of these areas.

Dr Tom Rice

Senior Lecturer in Film Studies

I would welcome approaches from research students working on projects related to aspects of film history, colonial cinema, British documentary, early American cinema, world cinemas (especially pre-1960), non-theatrical film practices, and educational and government film. I would be particularly interested in supervising projects that engage with primary research materials or that work with film archives.

Dr Leshu Torchin

Senior Lecturer in Film Studies

I am interested in advising students working in the area of film and social justice, representations of genocide and the Holocaust, trauma, collective memory, documentary, visual anthropology, media anthropology, and film industries (including tourism).