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Your life in the Department

If you choose to study with us, you'll find our Department the ideal place to research, discuss, create and reflect. 

Minghella Studios is the home of our Department and the hub of our activities. It's a bright, open and flexible collection of spaces reflecting how we explore film, theatre and television. You'll study alongside a community of experts, who are active in academic research and cutting-edge practice. 

Take a virtual tour of Minghella Studios in 360 degrees


A day in the life

John Whitney is a PhD student in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television. He has opted to undertake his doctorate part-time, and is self-funding his degree. 

John is undertaking a practice-based PhD exploring the relationship between games and performance. 

While his PhD is his primary focus, he also works at the University. He teaches and supervises undergraduate projects in the Department, and is also a Hall Mentor at Stenton Hall, working with the Welfare Team to support students living there. 

Here’s what a typical day looks like for John.

  • Morning
  • Lunchtime
  • Afternoon
  • Evening


John leaves Childs Hall, where he lives, and arrives at Minghella Studios just before 09:00.


From 09:00 to 13:00, he teaches a workshop on Brechtian theatre followed by a workshop on drag performance to second year undergraduates as part of one of their modules. John enjoys the opportunity to teach on subjects that are different to his PhD but that align with his personal interests.


John goes back to his office in Old Whiteknights House, which is the University’s hub for postgraduate researchers.


He has lunch and spends a couple of hours working on a chapter of his thesis. The chapter reflects on the play texts he has created for his PhD and how he can use them in performance. Once he has finished with this after a few weeks, he’ll submit the chapter to his supervisor for feedback.


John returns to Minghella Studios at 15:00 to run a two-hour practical workshop for his PhD research. As part of his exploration of the relationship between games and theatre, the workshop consists of filming a group of people playing backgammon and then asking them what feedback comes from this game, and how this could be applied to performance. 


John returns to Childs Hall and eats dinner. After that, he goes to meet a friend back at Minghella Studios, where they watch an undergraduate performance in Bulmershe Theatre. 

Our facilities

The extensive facilities at Minghella Studios include performance areas, a digital cinema, multi-camera television studio, sound stage and editing suites. 

Mark's PhD story

I like the interdisciplinary nature of the space; there always seems to be something going on and I find it to be a stimulating environment.

Mark Player, self-funded, part-time PhD researcher and PhD Researcher of the Year Theme Winner

Presenting your work

Over the course of your PhD you will have the opportunity to share your work and network with other researchers, speak at conferences and workshops, and visit or host researchers from elsewhere. We have a small fund to help with travel and accommodation costs. 

Our Department holds an annual postgraduate conference, Journeys Across Media (JAM), and regular PhD seminars, which give you the opportunity to practise speaking about your work at a friendly, informal event.