The Documentary-track PhD allows suitably qualified candidates to submit an original filmed
documentary along with their thesis.
This allows PhD students to submit a thesis of 60,000 to 70,000 words and a within-copyright filmed documentary of 20 to 30 minutes in length.
This is to be researched in two parts, as a text and a film
project, but developed in two parallel but interdependent modes of
discourse. The two projects are therefore intended to overlap closely,
so that the documentary is part of the integrated whole of the argument
of the thesis.
An example of a research project which may be pursued using
this methodology would be the study (in the form of an academic thesis)
of the works of a living author or artist or film director, along with a
creative research-led documentary film on the same individual's work.
The PhD candidate will need to provide a statement explaining the research question and aims addressed by the documentary film, including written production notes and a discussion of the stages of research and choice of methodology.
Applications to the documentary-track PhD will be required
to demonstrate that they possess, over and above the requisite
disciplinary knowledge along with the pertinent academic research
skills, an appropriate level of technical ability in documentary
For example applicants must demonstrate that they have
taken and passed a course in documentary film-making at UCL (such as the
course SPAN G014 How to Make an Eight-Minute Documentary) or another
Alternatively applicants will be required to submit a portfolio (namely a sample from their show reel or a piece of practical work of a suitable standard) as a precondition of entry to the programme.
Application arrangements for the documentary-track PhD will
be subject to those currently in place for the PhD in the Faculty of
Arts and Humanities. Candidates will apply for the documentary-track PhD
at the point of entry to the M.Phil degree.
All applicants (notwithstanding exceptional circumstances)
will be interviewed, and the portfolio (i.e. a sample of practical work)
submitted with the application will normally be discussed at the
interview. Transfer from the text-only-based PhD to the
documentary-track PhD will only be permitted in exceptional
circumstances and, in any event, only at the discretion of the
Departmental Graduate Tutor or other designated research officer.
Candidates for the documentary-track PhD will submit all paperwork as for the standard PhD. A copy of the documentary film in an approved format (normally a DVD copy) must be submitted simultaneously along with each required copy of the written thesis delivered to the Registry.