Staff on the course

Prof. Paul Ward

Course Leader – MA Animation Production / Professor of Animation Studies – Animation

BA (Film Studies), MA (Media Studies), PGCE, PhD (Animation Studies/Education)


Dr. Paul Ward is Professor of Animation Studies in the Bournemouth Film School (Faculty of Media and Performance) at the Arts University Bournemouth. He studied Film and English at the Polytechnic of North London (1988-1991), and then went on to do a Masters in Media Studies at the University of London Institute of Education (1991-1993), returning there to do a PGCE (1994-1995) and PhD (part-time, from 1998-2003). During this period, he taught Film and Media Studies at the University of North London, Brunel University and the Institute of Education, holding a full-time post in Film and Television Studies at Brunel from 2000-2006, when he left to join what was then the Arts Institute at Bournemouth.

He is currently Course Leader for MA Animation Production, teaches on the BA (Hons) Animation Production course, and supervises PhD students. His main research interests are in the fields of animation and documentary film and television, production cultures, communities of practice and film and media historiography. Published work includes articles for the journals ‘animation: an interdisciplinary journal’, ‘Animation Journal’, and the ‘Historical Journal for Film, Radio and Television’, as well as numerous anthology essays. He serves on the Editorial Boards of ‘animation: an interdisciplinary journal’ and ‘Animation Studies’ and was a member of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College with special interest in animation and documentary research proposals. He was the President of the Society for Animation Studies from 2010-2015, and was the inaugural Fellow of the Holland Animated Film Festival (HAFF) in 2012. He has given invited and keynote presentations at conferences in Edinburgh (UK), London (UK), Basel (Switzerland), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Utrecht (Netherlands). He was a Visiting Professor in the Design School at the Politecnico di Milano in November 2013. His work has been translated into German, Czech and Japanese.

Professor Ward is interested in receiving applications from PhD students who wish to examine the relationship between animation theory, practice and professionalism, the production cultures of animation, and areas such as animation and documentary, animation and education/pedagogy, and animation and performance.

Professional practice

Main areas of teaching expertise: animation theory and history; documentary theory and history; the relationship between theory and practice; ‘production studies’; communities of practice.

I have held External Examinerships at the University of North London/London Metropolitan, Lincoln University and UWE (Bristol). I have also acted as a validator or advisor for courses at South Bank University and Leeds Metropolitan University.

I am on the Editorial Boards for animation: an interdisciplinary journal and Animation Studies. I peer review for the above journals, as well as Refractory, Television and New Media and proposals/manuscripts for Palgrave, EUP, Routledge, and Bloomsbury.

I am the Series Co-Editor (with Dr Caroline Ruddell) for the book series Palgrave Animation – which publishes monographs and anthologies in the broad area of Animation Studies.

I co-ordinate the Society for Animation Studies SIG (Special Interest Group) in Animation and Education.

Professional memberships

  • Society for Animation Studies: President (2010–2015)
  • Society for Animation Studies: Board member (2005–present)
  • Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)


  • McLaren-Lambart Award for Best Scholarly Essay in the field of Animation Studies (2008)

Research Specialism

To explore the interface between animation and a broad range of other cultural practices (including videogames, documentary/non-fiction filmmaking, computer-generated imagery); to investigate the convergence/dialectic between ‘animated’ and ‘live action’ media; to examine the history and theory of documentary practices, old and new.

I am therefore interested in prospective research student proposals in any aspect of animation or documentary (or the relationship between the two). I am also interested in supervising practice-based students in these fields or those who want to explore the changing role of technologies, communities of practice or theory-practice relationships. PhD students in any area of animation are welcome.

My training as a Film and Media historian means I am also interested in proposals relating to film and media historiography more generally, especially those concerned with British and US film and media.

Research Supervision

I am certified to supervise research degrees via CLTAD qualification taken at University of the Arts, London (UAL).

Supervision of MPhil/PhD students:
Second (external) Supervisor for Fatemeh Hosseini-Shakib (completed PhD research into Aardman Animation and realism), University for the Creative Arts, Farnham – completion date Spring 2009.

First (external) Supervisor for Wynn Gerald Hamonic (completed PhD research on Paul Terry’s animation studio business practices), Brunel University – completion date Summer 2011.

First Supervisor/Director of Studies for Joe Sheehan (PhD research into phenomenology and stop motion animation), AUB – completion date Spring 2016.

First Supervisor/Director of Studies for Fran Norton (PhD research into drawing), AUB – completion date Autumn 2018.

Second Supervisor for Kate Hall (PhD research in Museum of Design in Plastics), AUB – projected completion date, Autumn 2018.

First Supervisor/Director of Studies for Carla Mackinnon (PhD research into the production cultures of animated documentary in the UK), AUB – projected completion date, Summer 2020.

First Supervisor/Director of Studies for Marc Bosward (PhD research into nonfictional collage), AUB – projected completion date, Spring 2021.

First Supervisor/Director of Studies for Marika Aakala (PhD research into digital remediation of puppet-making processes for animation), AUB – projected completion date, Summer 2022.



Postgraduate Research Student examining:
MPhil internal examiner (2005) for Sarah Lo, Brunel University (Hong Kong cinema).

MPhil external examiner (Summer 2010 viva) for Wang Zhe, Chow Yei Ching School of Graduate Studies, City University of Hong Kong (digital puppetry).

PhD external examiner (August 2012 viva) for Van Norris, Portsmouth University (British television comedy animation).

PhD external examiner (January 2013 viva) for Eirini Konstantinidou, Brunel University (practice-based film project on false memories).

PhD external examiner (February 2013 viva) for Inge Ejbye Sørensen, University of Copenhagen (documentary in a multiplatform context).

PhD external examiner (March 2013 viva) for Malcolm Cook, Birkbeck College, University of London (animation and British music hall, 1880-1928).

PhD external examiner (February 2014 viva) for Britta Pollmuller, Insitute of Education, University of London (animation, education, machinima)

PhD external examiner (December 2014 viva) for Nea Ehrlich, University of Edinburgh (animation and documentary)

PhD external examiner (Summer 2014 viva) for Sam Moore, Loughborough University (animation, documentary and brain states)

PhD external examiner (Autumn 2016 examination) for Andrew Buchanan, RMIT University, Melbourne (metamorphosis in CG animation)

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Research output