Dr Dunleavy completed her MA and PhD between 1994 and 1999, during the formation of Auckland University's Department of Film, Television and Media Studies and, in 1999, was the first of its graduates to gain a PhD. Prior to her appointment at Victoria, Dr Dunleavy lectured in Television and Film Studies at De Montfort University, Leicester. In 2001, she returned to New Zealand to help establish a new programme in Media Studies at Victoria University, acting as its Programme Director until early 2003. Dr Dunleavy specialises in Television Studies, a field within which her research interests divide into two main areas, one of which is 'institutional' (TV institutions, economics, policy, and production industries) and the other, 'textual' (form, aesthetics, genre and narrative). Dunleavy's research in these areas has focussed on three countries; the UK, USA and New Zealand and has intertwined contemporary with historical developments and practices. Her newest book-length publication is New Zealand Film and Television: Institution, Industry and Cultural Change, Intellect Books and Chicago University Press (2011) which examines key developments in the three (title) areas between 1960 and 2011 and was co-authored with Dr Hester Joyce. Her previous books are TV Drama: Form Agency, Innovation, Palgrave Macmillan (2009), which examines creative innovation in long-form American and British TV drama and comedy and Ourselves in Primetime: A History of New Zealand Television Drama, Auckland University Press (2005).