The School brings together world-leading expertise in the visual arts and material culture, in film, television and media studies and in the literature, history, and culture of the United States, and the Atlantic and Pacific worlds.

Art History and World Art Studies is one of the leading centres in the world for the study of art and material culture and is the only institution in the UK concerned with the study of art worldwide.

Film, Television and Media have a thriving and active Postgraduate community with over 40 students currently working towards their PhD.

If you have a research proposal that you would like to discuss, or any questions about the postgraduate research that goes on here, please contact our Postgraduate Research Director, Dr Karina Aveyard.

The interdisciplinary American Studies programme at UEA enjoys an international reputation. Our research areas encompass American studies, American literature and American history, with a focus on interdisciplinarity.

Research Degrees


There are 3 research degrees. The Masters by Research and the MPhil are taken over 2 years full-time (4 years part-time) and the PhD over 3 years full-time (6 years part-time). We offer a lively and supportive environment. 

Research and Supervision



 A multidisciplinary community of art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and museum professionals span research subjects from prehistory to the present. Our distinctive concerns include the study of art, material and visual culture, as well as cultural heritage. We welcome research applications in any of the areas represented by the faculty interests. Approaches may be established or innovative, with a focus on artefacts and/or theory.

Film, Television and Media

If you do your PhD with us, you'll be supervised by one or more members of our internationally renowned research staff. We are active in wide and varied fields of research, from film and television history to gender and post-feminism, national cinema studies (particularly Britain and Japan), and audience and reception studies. Our research output was described as producing work of ‘international excellence', that is ‘world leading' in the most recent UK government Research Assessment Exercise.

American Media Studies 

We have particular strengths in autobiography and biography; the historical and literary constructions of race, gender, sexuality and age as markers of difference; material culture; land, space and place in the American environment; post-colonialism; and visual culture. Please contact our Postgraduate Research Director, Dr Sarah Garland, for further information concerning specific expertise.

Research Culture



We are located in the Sainsbury Centre. Designed by Norman Foster, under one roof, it provides a range of resources for our students, including the Robert Sainsbury Library, an extensive photographic collection, the renowned Sainsbury collection of art, dedicated student computing facilities, and relaxing light-filled communal areas which bring students and staff together in an informal environment.

We have active links with Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, and benefit from the thriving arts and culture scene in Norwich, which hosts the largest contemporary art festival outside London (Contemporary Art Norwich) and the annual Norwich and Norfolk Festival. Norwich has a number of museums, galleries and arts centres, including the Castle Museum and Art Gallery located in the city's Norman castle. The Norwich University College of the Arts is a leading educational centre for fine arts, design and media, with whom we have many links. And Norwich is home not only to the 12th-century cathedral but also to 36 medieval parish churches – more than any other city in northern Europe.


Film, Television and Media

Our current students are producing equally compelling research: recent and current research topics include fantasy in British cinema, online fan communities, gay celebrity in British reality TV, marketing horror films, ‘dark' comedy, masculinity and the contemporary Hollywood rom-com, the Chinese reception of Avatar, audiences and film trailers, and the representation of ‘tween' culture in contemporary film and TV.


American Media Studies 

Our research base, the Arthur Miller Institute, promotes the study of American Studies throughout Europe and sponsors an annual prize for the best article published by a British scholar of American Studies. The Centre organises an annual International Literary Festival that brings major writers from around the world to UEA, including Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, Richard Ford, Toni Morrison, Stephen Fry, Germaine Greer, Seamus Heaney, Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith and Jay McInerney.

We have a vibrant research community of scholars from the UK, USA and other countries, which regularly brings faculty and students together for seminars and social events. We also have long-established links to over 40 universities in the USA. Our research seminars allow visiting speakers and American Studies staff to present papers based on their research and provide a forum in which staff and Postgraduate students with varying perspectives on American Studies can come together. Research students are encouraged to present papers at a suitable point in their Postgraduate studies.

PHD Programme 2020


The School of Art, Media and American Studies (AMA) at the University of East Anglia is inviting applications to our PhD programme.

This year (entrance in Oct 2020) the School intends to offer two fully-funded PhD studentships (Home/EU rates) in the following area of research:


American Visual Cultures

We see this as a broad and inclusive intellectual area that stresses the cross-disciplinary strengths of the School. Projects here could include aspects of American media, studies in America and the Americas, or issues around the trans-Atlantic. However, these are just indicative examples, and we would urge applicants to define and develop their relationship to American Visual Cultures in their proposals.

The University of East Anglia is part of the AHRC consortium CHASE (Consortium for the Arts and Humanities in South East England) which offers around 75 fully funded (tuition and maintenance grant) studentships per year to Home/EU PhD students across the consortium.

Additionally, there are fully funded Scholarships (equivalent to AHRC rates for both tuition and maintenance) offered by the Faculty (including 2 international), as well as the two School studentships outlined above.

The School holds a wealth of expertise in Art History and World Art Studies; Film, Television, and Media; and American Studies. You may wish to consult our list of staff and their research interests for guidance on possible supervisory expertise.

Particular research strengths are in the following areas:

  • Art History

  • World Art

  • Techniques of Making

  • Material Histories

  • Museums, Exhibition and Heritage

  • American Studies

  • Race, Gender, and Civil Liberties

  • Space, Place, and Environment

  • Popular and Avant-Garde Cultures

  • Transatlantic and Transpacific Studies

  • Film, Television and Media

  • Feminist Media Studies

  • Media and Cultural Consumption

  • British Film and Television

  • Genre Studies


It is important that prospective applicants contact the School as a matter of urgency to start the application process, preferably no later than the end of November to ensure that you work with potential supervisors on developing your proposal prior to application.


Enquiries and how to apply

If you are interested in applying for a PhD in Art, Media or American Studies at UEA, please contact the School’s Director of Postgraduate Research, Dr Sarah Garland or contact a prospective supervisor directly but copying Dr Garland into the email.Alternatively, please contact the Humanities Graduate School.