From doctoral project to cinematic release: a dialogue on the impact pathway of Colours of the Alphabet

Nicholas Higgins, Alastair Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Since its inception the practice-based PhD has had as its point of reference the traditional text based PhD. Whilst methodologies may differ, and the exact division and relationship between the written element and the practice output continues to vary between institutions, in the case of lens-based documentary practice at least, the film output has the potential to reach and impact upon audiences outside the academy in a way that traditional text-based doctorates rarely do.

The dialogue below explores this ‘second public life’ of the practice-based doctoral output and in particular, the transition from a doctoral project to a more explicitly public facing and collaborative project. This transition forms the basis of the discussion between Professor Nick Higgins, the supervisor and latterly the producer of the documentary, Colours of the Alphabet and Dr. Alastair Cole, the doctoral candidate and director of Colours of the Alphabet.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberRJMP 1529477
JournalMedia Practice and Education
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jan 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jan 2019



  • Research impact
  • Collaborative practice
  • Practice based PhD
  • Film distribution
  • Audience engagement
  • Documentary film practice

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