Rafe Clayton


Alongside my departmental leadership roles, I am also an active filmmaker and researcher. I am interested in using current practice (in both fields) to direct and inform my lectures, practical workshops and student supervision at masters level.

As a filmmaker I trained in film production at the BBC and have subsequently written, directed and produced across a range of genres and formats from party political broadcast through to feature film. I have been fortunate to be presented with awards for filmmaking during my career, receiving my most recent prize in 2021 for screenwriting. 

As a researcher, I am the principal investigator for the ‘New Uses of Screens in Post-Lockdown Britain’ study which examines the impact of the pandemic upon screen-time and screen dependencies for both work and leisure amongst the British population. This mixed methods study is funded as part of the Policy Impact initiative from Research England.

I am also the co-investigator for the British Families in Lockdown study which examines the experiences of UK parents and their families throughout the coronavirus lockdowns and beyond. This qualitative study began collecting data during the initial seven weeks of the first lockdown. Research is ongoing and has helped to contribute to several parliamentary reports and publications.

My particular interests regarding communication and society are focussed on how the emergent and diverse uses of screens and moving images for entertainment, education, work and communication may exacerbate perceived inequalities among vulnerable groups. My interest in the phenomena of vertically framed film and video has been long standing and I have twice been published in this new field of academic inquiry.

I serve as a national mentor for Screenskills, I am a member of Directors UK and I also sit on the executive committee for NAHEMI (National Association for Higher Education and the Moving Image) where my role is to direct the National Student Film Awards - an annual competition created to celebrate the achievements of student filmmakers across the UK and Ireland.

I undertake parliamentary advisory roles related to digital communciation and society, I am an academic reviewer for a range of different national and international publishers, and I work as an external examiner.


  • Academic Lead for Employability
  • Academic Lead for Placements
  • Module Leader MA

Research interests

Research projects


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • MA - Film and Moving Image Production
  • PGCE - Lifelong Learning
  • BA - Politics

Professional memberships

  • NAHEMI (National Association for Higher Education in the Moving Image)
  • Directors UK
  • BBC Alumni Network
  • Screenskills

Student education

I hold the positions of departmental academic leads for employability and placements. I am a module leader for the MA and run workshops and lectures on the BA. I am also an MA dissertation supervisor.

Students can book a video call appointment with me via email – r.m.clayton@leeds.ac.uk.