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Communication, Cultural and Media Studies (PhD)

2022-23 (also available for 2023-24)

This course is eligible for Doctoral loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

19 September 2022

16 January 2023

Duration

The maximum duration for a full-time PhD is 3 years (36 months) or part-time is 6 years (72 months) with an optional submission pending (writing up period) of 12 months.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.

Application deadlines

For October 2022

10 June 2022 for International and Scholarship students

1 July 2022 for Home students

For January 2023

21 October 2022 for International and Scholarship students

18 November 2022 for Home students

For April 2023

27 January 2023 for International and Scholarship students

24 February 2023 for Home students

About the research degree

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered. This programme allows you to explore and pursue a research project built around a substantial piece of work, which has to show evidence of original contribution to knowledge.

A full time PhD is a three year programme of research and culminates in the production of a large-scale piece of written work in the form of a research thesis that should not normally exceed 80,000 words.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of study including appropriate programmes of postgraduate study (which may be drawn from parts of existing postgraduate courses, final year degree programmes, conferences, seminars, masterclasses, guided reading or a combination of study methods).

Your main supervisor will normally head a supervisory team which will comprise of up to three members. The research supervisor will advise and support you on your project.

Entry requirements

The normal level of attainment required for entry is:

  • Master's degree or Honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent, in a discipline appropriate to the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 6.0, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

What can I research?

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below examples of research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria:

Outline

We invite proposals related to digital media and culture. This may include (but is not restricted to) studies addressing the rise of social media and/or the internet and its impacts on media, society and culture; studies that explore the growth of streaming culture in relation to changing industry strategies, audience behaviours, and/or regulatory and policy debates; new modes of sociality and/or industrial strategy generated by platformisation and the rise of apps; the impact of datafication, algorithms and AI on media, culture and society; studies that seek to de-Westernise or decolonise our understanding of the impacts of digital media culture and those attentive to questions of identity and the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and disability.

Funding

Please see our Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We invite proposals exploring fandom and participatory culture, in relation to (but not restricted to) film, television, music, sport, journalism/news, political culture, social media. This may include examining the cultures, practices and identities associated with cultural participation, social media use and fandom; exploring people’s affective relationships with media and culture; examining how affective relationships with media and culture are created, managed and enabled by the industry.

Funding

Please see our Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We invite proposals exploring how gender, popular music and the media interact. This may include (but is not limited to) proposals relating to feminism, masculinities, queer perspectives; pop, rock, hip hop and other popular musics; music journalism, social and digital media; audiences, musicians or the music industry.

Funding

Please see our Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We invite proposals addressing the intersections of media and communications with journalism, politics and policy. This may include (but is not restricted to) addressing the global political upheaval characterised by the rise of populism, identity politics and new forms of media and communication; studies of political fandom; examining the consequences of changes to journalism, news and political communication, including the rise of social media, platforms and datafication, and its impacts on national and local journalism; exploring historical and changing practices related to PR and promotional culture; studies that examine historical and contemporary debates related to media policy and regulation.

Funding

Please see our Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We invite proposals exploring the current and historical development of the media industries and cultural production (film, television, social/online media, press/journalism) nationally and transnationally. This may include (but is not limited to) proposals related to changing industry practices in response to the rise of platforms, streaming and digitalisation; histories of the media industries and cultural production practices; studies of the production of specific media texts, genres or forms; studies that seek to de-Westernise or decolonise media industry studies and/or comparative studies; issues of regulation and policy; the nature and practices of media work and labour, including issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Funding

Please see our Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We invite proposals exploring media and digital audiences, including (but not restricted to) audiences for television, film, games, sports, journalism/news, social and online media. This may include studies of changing audience behaviour in response to the rise of platforms, streaming, digitalisation and online culture; media audience practices and everyday life; how people find and discover media content; historical studies of media audiences and reception; studies that seek to de-Westernise or decolonise media audience studies; how media industries understand and measure audiences, including datafication, interfaces and AI; media audiences, identity, diversity and inclusion/exclusion.

Funding

Please see our Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We invite proposals exploring work, labour, and/or organisations in digital media and communication industries within their historical, social, political, economic, and technological contexts. Proposed research topics may include (but are not limited to) studies of digital labour; freelance and entrepreneurial media; labour-management relations; media labour and production practices; social media content creation; and/or social movement media. Research may engage with any of the following areas: organisational communication; political economy of communication; critical-cultural and discourse studies; journalism studies; and/or video games studies.

Funding

Please see our Scholarships page to find out about funding or studentship options available.

Deadline

Supervisors

How to apply

Research in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies focuses on a wide range of aspects of the interplay between media audiences, industries, technologies and texts. We have significant expertise in contemporary digital media and culture, including the internet and social media, and its impact on legacy media, such as journalism, film and TV. As well as focusing on contemporary developments, we can also supervise projects interested in exploring the histories of communication, culture and media. One of the distinctive features of our subject area is that we combine expertise in sports, gaming and music, with expertise in the internet, social media, television, film, radio and journalism. This means we are well placed to supervise topics across a range of media and cultures, as well interdisciplinary topics that cross the boundaries between different forms of communication, culture and media. We have particular expertise in:

Audiences, Fans and Participatory Culture: addressing how people are engaging with and responding to a rapidly changing media culture; exploring people’s affective relationships with media and how these are created, managed and enabled by industry; examining the cultures, practices and identities associated with cultural participation, social media use and fandom.

Politics, Journalism, Gender and Identity: addressing the global political upheaval characterised by the rise of populism, identity politics and new forms of media and communication; exploring questions of gender, identity, equality, diversity and inclusion as they pertain to media industries, audiences/fans, technologies, production and cultures; examining the consequences of changes to journalism, news and political communication, including the rise of social media and platforms.

Media Industries and Cultural Production: addressing the industrial contexts of production internationally, nationally and locally, often working in collaboration with industry; exploring how media industries, regulators and policy-makers are responding to a rapidly changing media culture; examining the nature and practices of media work and labour.

Digital Culture: addressing how digital culture is transforming communication, culture and media; exploring new theorisations to understand digital culture; examining the impact of digitalisation and platformisation on audiences, politics and industries.

We are home to the Centre for Participatory Culture, the only research centre in the world dedicated specifically to the analysis of all forms of participatory culture and the shifting boundaries between media industries and media users. The Centre offers a focal point for our postgraduate students as well as a regular programme of research events.

To find out more about the research we conduct, take a look at our Research, Innovation and Skills webpages, where you will find information on each research area. To find out about our staff visit ‘Our staff list’ which features profiles of all our academics.

Your completed research proposal outlining your areas of interest as part of your application will be used to identify the appropriate supervisors for your project. If you have already discussed your application with a member of staff, please identify them in your online application. If you would like to discuss your research proposal before submitting a formal application, please email Professor Catherine Johnson who can provide you with advice about the suitability of your project and more information about our research expertise.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Researcher Environment

The University of Huddersfield has a thriving research community made up of over 1,350 postgraduate research students. We have students studying on a part-time and full-time basis from all over the world with around 43% from overseas and 57% from the UK.

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through undertaking research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills which are current and relevant to your specialist area.

[Find out more about our research staff and centres|http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/]

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

When you are offered a place on a research degree, your offer will include confirmation of your supervisory team, and the topic you will be researching.

Whilst the University will use reasonable efforts to ensure your supervisory team remains the same, sometimes it may be necessary to make changes to your team for reasons outside the University’s control, for example if your supervisor leaves the University, or suffers from long term illness. Where this is the case, we will discuss these difficulties with you and seek to either put in place a new supervisory team, or help you to transfer to another research facility, in accordance with our Student Protection Plan.

Changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, for example the University being unable to access its buildings due to fire, flood or pandemic, or the University no longer being able to provide specialist equipment. Where this is the case, we will discuss these issues with you and agree any necessary changes.

Your research project is likely to evolve as you work on it and these minor changes are a natural and expected part of your study. However, we may need to make more significant changes to your topic of research during the course of your studies, either because your area of interest has changed, or because for reasons outside the University’s control we can no longer support your research. If this is the case, we will discuss any changes in topic with you and agree these in writing. If you are an international student, changing topics may affect your visa or ATAS clearance and if this is the case we will discuss this with you before any changes are agreed.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by the University’s Terms and Conditions and a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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