Skip to main content




Northern Bridge

Northern Bridge is an exciting collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast, Newcastle University and Durham University. Our aim is to deliver outstanding doctoral education in the arts and humanities, and successful applicants will join a thriving cohort of almost fifty Northern Bridge PhD students recruited through last year’s studentship competition. Northern Bridge offers exceptional supervision by academic staff researching at the cutting edge of their disciplines, vibrant research environments that promote interdisciplinary enquiry, and research training and career development opportunities tailored to the needs of twenty-first-century researchers.

Northern Bridge students benefit from our close partnerships with prestigious local and national organisations in the cultural, heritage, broadcasting, and government sectors.

Value of the Award

We provide a comprehensive and attractive package of financial support over the duration of study, which incorporates:

• full payment of tuition fees 

• a tax-free maintenance grant set at the UK Research Council’s national postgraduate rate, which is currently £13,863 (subject to review)

• a research training support grant (RTSG) to fund the costs of study abroad, conference attendance and fieldwork

• financial support to attend our cohort-building events

• financial support to incorporate short-term placements, international study visits and specialist training events in order to develop your skills.

AHRC Eligibility Criteria

Applicants for Northern Bridge studentships must meet the AHRC's residency requirements, which can be found in the AHRC’s Student Funding Guide. For those classified as ‘Home’ students under AHRC rules, awards provide successful applicants with full tuition fees and a maintenance grant set at AHRC’s national rate. Students classified as ‘EU’ under AHRC rules are eligible for tuition fees only from the AHRC.

Person Specification

Candidates will usually hold a first-class undergraduate degree and be expected to perform at or around distinction level in a Masters degree. In exceptional cases, candidates with lower qualifications may be considered if they can demonstrate that relevant professional practice or work experience has equipped them with equivalent academic and research skills.

How to Apply

Candidates must consult the Subject Area Contact in their prospective department or school to discuss their research proposal and check that there is a member of staff who can supervise their thesis before making a formal application. For further application information, please visit the Northern Bridge website.

Closing Date for Applications

The deadline for submitting a postgraduate course application and supporting documentation is Monday 26 January 2015, 5:00pm.

 School of Creative Arts 


Based in the School of Creative Arts, we have the advantage of the networks, research possibilities and professionals associated with the Brian Friel Theatre, the Queen’s Film Centre, the Sonic Arts Research Centre and our strong connections with the Belfast Festival at Queens and the Naughton Gallery.

The PhD programme is deeply connected to the arts and cultural sector. We have strong connections with the sector in Northern Ireland and the wider UK and the Republic of Ireland

Researchers at the School are focused on the social, historical and political processes involved in making, managing, and developing policy for the arts and culture. Please refer to [Link to webpage] for further details.



Centred within the lively culture of the Brian Friel Theatre and Research Centre, Drama at Queen's provides excellent facilities for both scholarly and practice-related doctoral study. It enjoys close connections with key industry professionals in a national and international context. A significant number of staff are themselves experienced professional theatre practitioners. Drama at Queen's currently offers particular expertise in Irish Theatre, Post- Conflict Theatre, Applied Theatre and Dance.


With our new investment in a Film Studio in the School of Creative Arts, Film Studies at QUB is establishing itself as one of the leading centres for the study of film theory and practice in the UK and Ireland.

We particularly welcome applicants in the following areas: British Cinema, World Cinema, Documentary, Experimental Film, Film History and Historiography and New Media. For more information, click here .

Our post-graduate researchers have successfully pursued careers in the higher education and creative industry sectors, and have obtained positions including at institutions such as MIT, McGill University and Newcastle University.


The Music Programme at Queen’s is proud of its heritage as a centre both of research and musical practice, with particular strengths in Nineteenth- / Early Twentieth-Century Music, with special interest in Opera, Modernism and Nationalism; Eighteenth-Century Source Studies, Theatre and Reception History; Experimental Music and Acoustic Composition; Irish Music; and Ethnomusicology. Practical performance and performance research feature prominently in the Programme’s orientation in all its areas of expertise, and the programme maintains a wide range of ensembles, including Chamber Choir, Symphony Orchestra, Viol Consort, Brass Band, Big Band and ensembles of non-Western traditions. The McClay Library holds rich archival material of relevance to music studies. Staff within Music engage in various collaborative networks that cut across the programmes within the School (Drama, Film, Sonic Arts), the University (particularly Anthropology, English and History) and both UK-based and international institutions.


Since its founding in 2001 the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) has become a leading institute for research and creative practice in sonic arts. A purpose-designed building with state-of-the-art facilities was opened by Karlheinz Stockhausen in 2004 during the Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music which is hosted annually by SARC.  

Key areas of research activity include: composition and performance; improvisation, virtual instruments; interactivity and interaction design; spatial audio; hearing and perception; distributed performance; site-specific sound art, critical and cultural theories of sonic arts; history of sonic arts, community engagement in sonic arts; and relationships to the creative industries in local, regional and international contexts.  

SARC enjoys a wide interdisciplinary and collaborative network which includes researchers inPsychologyArchitectureLawElectronic Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Our researchers have developed partnerships with organisations that include the DTSHewlett Packard, the Metropolitan Arts Centre Belfast (the MAC), as well as higher education institutions including IRCAMStanford University and University of Michigan. SARC has over fifty masters and PhD students who come from all over the world to work in our unique research community. 

Top of Page

Apply for the MA in Sonic Arts
Applications are opened for the MA in Sonic Arts at Queen's University, Belfast. 
The MA in Sonic Arts is a one year full-time taught programme that covers multiple aspects of sound, creativity and technology. During the first semester, the course provides a background in sound-related arts, both in terms of history/practice and in terms of the technical skills and knowledge required to work with sound. In the second semester, students specialise in two of five topics (composition, performance, sound arts, spatial audio, and computational acoustics), culminating in an individual summer project.
On top of these core modules, students will follow two modules on research methods delivered by the School of Creative Arts and by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students will engage with others across the School and the Faculty in the exploration of broad interdisciplinary themes to develop their critical skills and provide a valuable intellectual context for their postgraduate studies.
More information about the course can be found in our website (
We have 2 bursaries of £3000 available in the school that go towards the tuition fees. Each person who has completed an application before Thursday 30 April 2015 will be entitled to one of the bursaries. These bursaries will be offered to the candidates with the highest undergraduate score.
Furthermore, the postgraduate centre ( provides information about other potential funding opportunities.
The application portal can be accessed via 
For any further information, please contact Stephanie Bertet,

Top of Page

Oscar nomination for local film worked on by QUB students

Film studies students in the school of Creative Arts are keeping everything crossed for the success of short film Boogaloo and Graham which has just been nominated for an Oscar. Directed by Michael Lennox and produced by Brian Falconer and Out of Orbit productions, the film has been nominated in the live action short category.

Third year film studies students Rebecca Kelly and Rebekah Davis worked on the short film as assistant producer and runner respectively and are hoping for a good result from the Hollywood awards ceremony which takes place on Sunday 22 February.

Davis commented about the experience, “I basically got involved because I've worked with Michael Lennox on lots of other Cinemagic projects. He asked me to be a runner but I ended up doing lots of bits and pieces during the four days such as location managing and taking actors to and from the unit base to the set.

Michael knows I'm interested in the camera side of things and he made sure I was able to see what was being shot on the monitor so I had a real close up look at what was happening. 

It was so exciting that I was able to see the workings of an Oscar and BAFTA nominated set, and to realise that it is possible for people like me and the rest of my class to make material like this. Northern Ireland is going places!” 

The QUB students are pictured here with the young stars Riley Hamilton and Aaron Lynch.

Congratulations all! 

Top of Page

REVIEW: Traditional Music and Irish Society: Historical Perspectives by Martin Dowling


Dr Martin Downling, a lecturer in traditional Irish music at the School of Creative Arts, has been featured in the Irish Times with a review of his recent book "Traditional Music and Irish Society: Historical Perspectives by Martin Dowling".  

Between the jigs and the reels, says Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, this is a skilful, sustained trawl through traditional music’s evolution...

See the full article here:


Top of Page

British Board of Film Classification visits Queen’s.

Last Wednesday saw Director of the British Board of Film Classification David Cooke and Head of Policy David Austin visit the department of Film Studies at Queen’s and take part in a seminar with students. In a lively discussion event hosted by Dr Sian Barber in the Queen’s Film Theatre, BBFC policy decisions on a range of films were discussed, notably The King’s Speech and Made in Dagenham, as well as the problems posed by more extreme fare such as Human Centipede 2.

As well as considering the ethics of classification, the BBFC also answered questions on their work classifying films in the digital age and the complexities of classifying material for different regional audiences. The BBFC also talked about their recent pilot in classification of online music videos which is an ongoing collaboration with the British music industry. 

The event was well attended and included students from Law and English as well as staff and student from Film Studies. 

Director of the BBFC David Cooke with 3rd year Film Studies students Rachael Doherty, John Emerson and Joanne Russell 

Top of Page

Unheard Voices: Stories from the Troubles

WAVE Trauma Centre has recently made available online the short film, Unheard Voices: Stories from the Troubles, which tells the stories of those who lost someone or who were injured during the Troubles. Directed by Cahal McLaughlin, Chair of Film Studies, the film was produced collaboratively with the participants and has been screened by seven Borough Council Good Relations Departments across Northern Ireland.

Top of Page

School of Creative Arts Teaching Assistants 2014-15

School of Creative Arts Teaching Assistants 2014-15

The School of Creative Arts wishes to engage the services of a number of Teaching Assistants to help in the delivery of modules on the BA Film, BA Drama, BMus and BSc Music Technology and Sonic Arts pathways during the academic year 2014-15.

The minimum requirement for someone wishing to act as a Teaching Assistant is a second-class undergraduate degree in the relevant subject (or equivalent) and previous experience of undergraduate teaching in that subject is desirable. If you wish to be considered for this opportunity then please complete the application form and return it to the School of Creative Arts by 5.00pm on 04 July 2014. Late applications will not be accepted. Those who have previously acted as Teaching Assistants in the School must also complete and return the form if they wish to be considered for opportunities in the academic year 2014-15.

The School will contact successful applicants with details of module teaching being offered. Those who are not selected for teaching assistance in 2014-15, but who meet the minimum requirement, will have their forms retained should future opportunities arise. Those who do not meet the minimum requirement will be informed that they cannot be considered for any opportunities. Please note that in the allocation of teaching assistance duties, priority may be given to full-time PhD students in the School who are entering the second year of their studies.

Teaching Assistants will be paid at the rate of £34 per hour: this hourly rate includes marking support, where required. Those who are offered teaching opportunities will be expected to undertake a short training course in October 2014.

Modules for which teaching assistance may be required include:

BSc Music Technology and Sonic Arts

MTE1004        Listening and Repertory

MTE1009        Audio Engineering 1

MTE1018        Fundamentals of Sound

MTE1022        Composition (Sonic Arts)

MTE2004        Electroacoustic Composition 1

MTE2005        Acoustics

MTE2009        Recording Techniques 1

MTE2015        Sound Design for Film

MTE2040        Designing Digital Music and Interactions 1

MTE2042        Designing Digital Music and Interactions 2

MTE3003        Electroacoustic Composition 2

MTE3005        Psychoacoustics

MTE3009        Recording Technologies

MTE3013        Designing Musical Interactions



MUS1001        Musics of the World

MUS1011        Composition 1

MUS1013        Fundamental Harmony 1

MUS1014        Fundamental Harmony 2

MUS1041        Repertory A (Classical and Romantic)

MUS1042        Repertory B (Western Music 1890-2000)

MUS2001/       Early 20th Century Technique and Style


MUS2015        Classical Analysis

MUS2037/       Piano Pedagogy


MUS2041        Repertory C (Western Music: Medieval to 1750)

MUS3054        Experimental Music

MUS3069        Traditional Irish Music: Form, Style and Development                       



BA Film Studies 

FLM1001         Introduction to Film Studies 1

FLM1002         Introduction to Film Studies 2

FLM1004         Introduction to Film Practice

FLM2001         Hollywood Cinema 1

FLM2015         Cinema and Modernism

FLM2019         Introduction to Screenwriting

FLM2026         British Cinema: Nation, Identity and Industry

FLM2027         Experimental Practice

FLM3019         Hollywood Cinema 2

FLM3024         Film and Music: Theory and Criticism


BA Drama Studies

DRA1001        Drama 1: Performance Analysis

DRA1002        Drama 2: Classical Theatre

DRA2001        Drama 3: Renaissance to Romanticism

DRA2002        Drama 4: Modernist Theatre

DRA3001        Drama 5: Postmodern Performance

DRA3033        Applied Theatre


Other Modules

SCA1001        Transitional Study Skills

SCA2043        Writing about the Creative Arts



To apply, please complete the following application form. The completed form, together with a recent CV should be returned in electronic or hard copy to:

Mr Kirk Shilliday

School Manager

School of Creative Arts

Sonic Arts Research Centre

Queen’s University Belfast



Further Information: For further information, please email Kirk Shilliday or telephone on 028 9097 4843.

Top of Page

Creative Arts Film Students Attend Cinemagic Event in Los Angeles
Cinemagic Hosts Los Angeles Festival Showcase.
The LA Cinemagic International Film & Television Festival for Young People took place from 2-10 March with a special closing night showcase on 10 March, which recognised young film talent.
Speakers included Northern Ireland First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, and the charismatic MC for the evening Ross King.

Guests were treated to spirited performances from the talented group of young people from Northern Ireland as well Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. The young people participating in Cinemagic this year impressed the audience with their premiere screening of their short film “Punch” made at Cinemagic’s International Film Camp. The film dealt with a young girls struggle with domestic violence and her transformation from troubled teen to young adult through boxing; the film earned a well-deserved standing ovation.

The evening came to a close with a Q&A from entertainment industry professionals such as Peter Devlin (Sound Mixer, Thor, Iron Man 3), Ian Fox (Camera Operator, The Amazing Spiderman), Bernie Caulfield (Executive Producer, Game of Thrones), Lance O Connor (Producer) and Paula Malcolmson (Hunger Games).
Guests Included: Courteney Cox (Cougar Town), Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol), Rory Cochrane (Argo), Damian McGinty (Glee), Ross King (TV Host), Darwin Shaw (The Bible), Jamie Gray Hyder (True Blood), Ocatvius J. Johnson (Intelligence), Russ Bain (Intelligence), Emma Fuhrmann (Blended), Desi Valentine (Singer/Songwriter).

Cinemagic Los Angeles engaged with 2,000 young people, over 10 days of festival activity, which boasted a wide programme of events with industry masterclasses, Q&A’s, and studio tours. Young people got insights into organizations such as The Jim Henson Company, HBO, Walt Disney Animation Studios, 20th Century Fox, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, New York Film Academy, Aero Film, Creative Visions Foundation.

Joan Burney Keatings, Cinemagic CEO said “With the support of our funders we are proud to present our 5th Cinemagic Los Angeles Film Festival. The industry partners have come on board to share their knowledge and skills with young people and this interaction provides vital encouragement for young people, inspiring and motivating them.

The Cinemagic Festival gives young people the opportunity to work with others from different cultural backgrounds and to create new channels of communication through the medium of film. The workshops help develop not only the young people’s film making skills but also their inter-personal skills, and the overall process of film viewing contributes to a deeper understanding of cultural difference.”

Some of the young people involved include Rebecca Kelly from Newry, Daniel Crowe from Bangor, Lori Brown from Larne, Niamh Brennan from Dunmurry, Rachel Carvill from East Belfast, Rebekah Jane Davis from Ballynahinch, Rory Maguire from Derry and Kyle Plunkett from NYC.
Carál Ní Chuilín, Arts Minister, commented “The work being done by Cinemagic in Ireland and internationally continues to provide young people with fantastic experiences. It also demonstrates the innovation and determination of the Cinemagic team to position themselves at the forefront of creativity on an international stage. Congratulations to all involved."

Top of Page

Celebrating Women in NI Music

On 8 March, in celebration of International Women's Day, Dr Gascia Ouzounian curated a series of events that featured the talents of several students and staff in the School of Creative Arts. The day started with an all-ages improvisation workshop lead by vocalist and Performance Workshop tutor Caroline Pugh. This was followed by a panel on Women in the NI Music Industry that examined the different opportunities and challenges faced by local musicians. An evening concert, CarousELLE, featured SOCA students and staff including Isobel Anderson, Helena Hamilton, Matilde Meireles, Úna Monaghan, Katharine Philippa, Pugh and Ouzounian, as well as local musicians Rachel Anne Coulter, Claire Hall, Catherine Hatt, and Kasey Peters. The concert, which was promoted by a live performance on BBC Arts Extra and a full-page write-up in the Mirror, was played to a packed hall. It was warmly received by audiences, and the musicians are now planning further collaborations.

CarousELLE poster by Helena Hamilton, MA candidate in Sonic Arts. 
CarousELLE was produced by John McGurgan, who along with Kris Strong founded the Carousel improvisation series in 2008. It received generous support from the PRS for Music Foundation and Black Box Belfast. Special thanks go to Sarah Jones from Black Box Belfast, John McGurgan, and all the musicians and production team involved in this memorable day of events.
Photos from CarousELLE concert, Black Box Belfast, 8 March 2014.

Top of Page

Patchblocks - A KickStarter Project by Sebastian Heinz

Sebastian Heinz, a PhD student at SARC will soon be releasing his KickStarter project, Patchblocks.  Sebastian, based on his research at SARC, has created fantastic user friendly programmable synth modules that can be used in all sorts of ways to create music and sound.  See the KickStarter video below for a demonstration.  

Sebastian hopes to hold a Patchblocks release event at SARC.  More details to follow.

Top of Page

'Recomposing the City: Sonic Art & Urban Architectures'

Dr Gascia Ouzounian (School of Creative Arts) and Dr Sarah Lappin (SPACE: Architecture) are happy to announce their project 'Recomposing the City: Sonic Art & Urban Architectures', which will operate as a research group at the Institute for Collaborative Research at Queen's University Belfast this year. The group brings together over twenty artists, researchers and not-for-profit organisations including Forum for Alternative Belfast and PLACE Built Environment Centre in asking the question: how can sound artists and architects working together generate new ways of understanding, analysing, and transforming urban spaces? Activities in 2013-14 will include a seminar and events series, an international symposium, publications and conference presentations, and an interdisciplinary design studio for sound artists and architects. Please visit for more information on the project, and please come along to Recomposing the City events! All are very welcome. 

Top of Page