"Surrey appealed to me because it promised to invest a lot of time and money in helping me to develop as a researcher."
CourseFilm Studies PhD
"Surrey appealed to me because it promised to invest a lot of time and money in helping me to develop as a researcher. I could see that the University invests in their research students, with lots of workshops, talks and support when you need it.
My supervisor had also just published a book that was very relevant to my field, so Surrey had the kind of expertise and facilities I needed to complete my research. My supervisor was also incredibly supportive while I was applying for external funding. This was really important for me as I felt like they really cared about what I was writing and what I wanted to research.
I’m a filmmaker and have just released my second feature documentary as co-director called About a War. Before that, I worked in television for a number of years. I’m particularly interested in the voice – I used to sing, I’ve developed experimental voice work and then found myself intrigued by the voice and filmed interviews. Taking this kind of professional experience, contrasted with more experimental academic research, into a practice-as-research based PhD is really thrilling. I’m really excited to explore the junctures between practice and theory. Someone once said to me that the avant-garde at the moment survives in limited spaces, one of those spaces is the university, is the academy. I believe that. It’s one of very few places I could develop this kind of work.
"There is a really nice community of postgraduate researchers at Surrey and lots of support, meet-ups, groups and talks."
There is a really nice community of postgraduate researchers at Surrey and lots of support, meet-ups, groups and talks. There are also amazing free language classes and lots of workshops helping with grammar or how to manage your research – they’re really helpful and you can book easily online. Both my supervisors are very helpful, open and inspiring. I’m very happy to begin this collaboration with them. From the start they made it clear that this is my research, my ideas and that they’re here to help, guide and support.
They’ve set a great atmosphere of openness around the work – I’m very grateful for this.
There’s also a real sense of openness towards collaboration at Surrey and there are even opportunities to get funding to aid projects. There is a great support network for this; within the first couple of months I was collaborating with fellow researchers developing the Surrey Arts and Humanities Research Group where I did my first talk at Surrey.
In terms of general life at the University, I really love the lake. It’s so beautiful, green and peaceful. I also love eating and I love to cook, so when I found a great little place on campus that does homemade Ramen soups it made me very happy. Eating healthily and keeping fit is so important to me – when it tastes good and costs £5, that’s close to Nirvana.
Once I complete my PhD, my plan is to continue to make films professionally while developing an academic profile, researching and feeding this back into teaching."
Discover more about our postgraduate courses in languages, communication, translation and interpreting, including our PhD Film Studies.