Media and Cultural Studies - PhD - 2016/17 Entry

Course Overview

The essential course information

Course Code:
TBC
Award:
PhD
Attendance:
  • Full Time (3-4 years)
  • Part Time (4-7 years)
  • Distance Learning (4-7 years)
School:
Birmingham School of Media
Campus:
City Centre

Our Media and Cultural Studies PhD research degree will help you achieve a career in media research or academia.

The PhD enables research into a broad range of interests within the fields of media, communication and cultural studies.

Your research will be delivered over three years (full time) or four years (part-time or distance learning).

We support both traditional PhD research presented through an academic thesis and PhD research through practice.

PhD Supervisors and Specialisms

The programme is led by Dr Oliver Carter (pictured right) and is supported by a team of supervisors working in the following research clusters:

PhD Research Interests

We particularly invite your initial PhD enquiry for Media and Cultural Studies PhD research within the following areas of interests:

  • Popular Indian cinema studies
  • Diasporic and transnational media
  • Media and cultural history
  • Media heritage and archives 
  • Creative industries, cultural policy and cultural work 
  • Popular music culture
  • Songwriting
  • Jazz studies
  • Radio studies 
  • Sexuality, gender, the cultural construction of masculinity 
  • Screen melodrama
  • Pornography studies 
  • Cult cinema 
  • Media fandom 
  • Cultural entrepreneurship 
  • Film and television audiences 
  • Comedy 
  • Media and conflict 
  • Austerity and the media
  • Community media and media activism
  • Gaming cultures
  • Amateur/informal cultural production 

Why Apply for a PhD at Birmingham School of Media?

When you join us you will become a member of the thriving research culture at the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR).

Your PhD research will be organised as a programme of professional and academic development.

You will receive individual support and guidance from our team of supervisors, meeting on a regular basis to review your progress and plan your next steps.

You will feel a strong sense of community amongst students and supervisors in the School of Media and wider Faculty of Arts, Design and Media.

You will attend regular research seminars, conferences and symposia and you will receive a dedicated workspace that acts as the hub of your PhD research activity.

You can strengthen your PhD research and personal/professional development by participating in wider international research communities and conferences, and by helping to teach degree modules to undergraduate students.

There are opportunities for studentships through the AHRC funded Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership and University supported initiatives. The latter are advertised on the website when they are available.

What is a PhD?

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is an internationally recognised doctoral-level qualification.

It is a ‘gold-standard’ qualification which certifies that your unique PhD research has made a significant contribution to theory and knowledge in a specific area of interest.

Holders of a PhD research degree are experts in their field of interest and are eligible to use the title ‘Doctor’.

Course Structure

Our Media and Cultural Studies PhD research degree offers individual programmes of research across many areas of interest.

Our PhD gives you the opportunity to spend time researching and developing a deep understanding of a unique area of interest whilst contributing world leading insight to the academic specialisms at Birmingham School of Media.

On successful completion of your PhD research degree your findings will have either contributed new knowledge or extended existing theory and understanding of an area of interest.

You will have proven yourself as a scholar, be an expert in your field and be eligible to use the title ‘Doctor’.

Our Media and Cultural Studies PhD is research based and does not include taught modules of study.

Application Process

Before you apply, please send us an initial PhD enquiry containing a brief overview of your PhD research proposal. This gives us an opportunity to discuss and focus your PhD research before you make your final online application.

Send Initial PhD Enquiry

Fully funded PhD studentships

You could get a fully funded PhD, plus get extra money for living expenses through the Midlands3Cities Arts and Humanities scholarships.

Find out more

Entry Requirements

To apply for our Media and Cultural Studies PhD research degree you should have, or expect to be awarded, a Masters degree in a relevant subject area from a British or overseas university.

Exceptional candidates without a Masters degree, but holding a first class Bachelors degree in media studies, may be considered.

We also welcome enquiries from potential PhD researchers without formal academic qualifications but with appropriate levels of professional experience.

Application Process

Before you apply, please send us an initial PhD enquiry containing a brief overview of your PhD research proposal. This gives us an opportunity to discuss and focus your PhD research before you make your final online application, and talk through your professional experience if you are without formal academic qualifications.

 Send Initial PhD Enquiry

How to Apply

To apply for a Media and Cultural Studies PhD please follow the application process below, starting with your Initial PhD Enquiry.

Application Process

1. Initial PhD enquiry

Please send us an initial PhD enquiry containing your brief PhD research proposal (max. 500 words), and/or any questions or queries you may have.

Send Initial PhD Enquiry

2. Review enquiry

We will review your initial enquiry to ensure your research proposal compliments one of our PhD research interests and if so we will ask you to make a full application.

3. Complete full PhD online application form

Once we have received your full application it will be reviewed and potential students will be invited to attend an interview (either face to face or Skype).

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.

4. Successful applications

Following the interview a decision will be made on your application and those who have been successful will receive a written formal offer from the university.

Start Dates and Enquiry Submissions

Our Media and Cultural Studies PhD research degrees start in September and February each year.

Please send us your initial PHD enquiry at least three months prior to your preferred start date to allow enough time for you to progress through the PhD application process.

Need Help?

If you are unable to use the Initial PhD Enquiry or Online Application forms or require help or advice, please contact admresearch@bcu.ac.uk

Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership

AHRC funding for UK/EU doctoral students

Birmingham City University is part of the Midlands 3 Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. As part of the programme, postgraduate research studentships are available to arts and humanities doctoral researchers across six institutions, including fully funded PhDs. Find out more about Midlands3Cities.

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2017 FT 3-4 years PhD TBC
Sep 2017 PT 4-7 years PhD TBC
Sep 2017 DL 4-7 years PhD TBC
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2017 FT 3-4 years PhD £12,000 per year
Sep 2017 DL 4-7 years PhD £7,500 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Fully funded PhD studentships

You could get a fully funded PhD, plus get extra money for living expenses through the Midlands3Cities Arts and Humanities scholarships.

Find out more

International Students

International Students at BCU

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK. Our reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Postgraduate Open Event

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be held on Wednesday 23 November 2016, between 2pm and 7pm.

PG Open Evening

Our postgraduate open event offers you the chance to:

  • Meet with lecturers and other prospective students to discuss study options
  • Meet and chat with our current students
  • Obtain advice on fees and funding opportunities.

93 per cent of our graduates find work or further study within six months (DLHE). Explore your potential at our open evening.

Who is it for?

Whether you are coming to the end of your undergraduate studies, or have been in your job for a while and want to progress in your career or change direction, a postgraduate qualification gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market.

Our graduates are already shaping the world in a variety of high-profile roles – and you could be next. Read some of our inspiring case studies.

For more information, visit our Open Days page or call our Course Enquiries Team on +44 (0)121 331 5595.

Register now
Book your place
Wednesday 23 November 2016

University Approach to Employability

Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.

Read our Employability Statement to find out more.

Career Progression

The Doctor of Philosophy or PhD is recognised worldwide and is often an essential requirement for those wishing to follow an academic or research career in industry or commerce. Our Media and Cultural Studies PhD research degree has been designed to help you achieve a career in Media and Cultural Studies research or academia.

Course Structure

Our Media and Cultural Studies PhD research degree offers individual programmes of research across many areas of interest.

Our PhD gives you the opportunity to spend time researching and developing a deep understanding of a unique area of interest whilst contributing world leading insight to the academic specialisms at Birmingham School of Media.

On successful completion of your PhD research degree your findings will have either contributed new knowledge or extended existing theory and understanding of an area of interest.

You will have proven yourself as a scholar, be an expert in your field and be eligible to use the title ‘Doctor’.

Our Media and Cultural Studies PhD is research based and does not include taught modules of study.

PhD research interests

We particularly welcome your initial PhD enquiry about conducting research within the following areas of interest:

  • Popular Indian cinema studies
  • Diasporic and transnational media
  • Media and cultural history
  • Media heritage and archives 
  • Creative industries, cultural policy and cultural work 
  • Popular music culture
  • Songwriting
  • Jazz studies
  • Radio studies 
  • Sexuality, gender, the cultural construction of masculinity 
  • Screen melodrama
  • Pornography studies 
  • Cult cinema 
  • Media fandom 
  • Cultural entrepreneurship 
  • Film and television audiences 
  • Comedy 
  • Media and conflict 
  • Austerity and the media
  • Community media and media activism
  • Gaming cultures
  • Amateur/informal cultural production 

Supervisors and Support

As a PhD research student you will be guided through your programme of study by a team of supervisors.

Your supervisors will help you create your individual PhD research plan which, in your first few months, may include study for a research methods qualification: PG Cert Research Practice.

Your supervisory team will include a Director of Studies whose role it is to ensure that you are meeting targets and following the correct processes and systems for conducting PhD research.

You will also be supported by a second supervisor (and sometimes a third) who will provide guidance based on their knowledge of your specific PhD research interest.

You will meet with your supervisors on a regular basis to review your progress, receive advice and plan the next stages of your PhD research. It is generally expected that full-time students meet with their supervisors twice a month, while part-time students meet their supervisors monthly. 

You will present your research developments regularly to supervisors and other members of your PhD research community at Birmingham School of Media.

Your first semester of study will require you to complete the University’s PGCert in Research Practice, which takes place on Wednesday mornings, from 10am to 1pm.  This course will introduce you to a range of transferable research skills and methodologies, preparing you for your PhD study and future career as a researcher. 

Throughout your time studying at Birmingham City University you will be part of a Faculty research culture, and will be able to participate in The PGR Studio. The PGR Studio aims to enhance the Arts, Design & Media PGR research community and student experience through supporting routes into and out of PhDs through professional and career development within and beyond Higher Education as well as the transition throughout PhD study. You can attend workshops, training, social events and other activities in partnership with our PGRs.

Modes of Study

Our PhD is offered full-time or part-time. These modes of study ensure that we can create a PhD research plan around your lifestyle needs, even if you are in full-time employment or overseas.

Full-time PhD Research: three to four years

As a full-time PhD research student you will undertake much of your research on campus using the facilities at Birmingham School of Media.

You will usually spend at least 37 hours per week engaged in research.

You will be expected to complete your research and submit your work for examination within 36-43 months.

Part-time PhD Research: four to seven years

You would chose part-time PhD research if you opt to study whilst in employment or if full-time study is impractical.

You will be encouraged to use the campus facilities when you can and may often work from home.

You will be expected to complete your research and submit your work for examination within 48-72 months.

Distance Learning PhD Research: four to seven years

Distance learning is possible, under carefully controlled circumstances, if you normally live outside of the UK but wish to conduct PhD research with Birmingham School of Media.

You will still be required to have some level of face-to-face engagement with us each academic year, often by conducting research on campus at Birmingham School of Media in Birmingham (UK).

Face to face research will be arranged for a period of time during the summer months, or at a mutually agreed time.

You will be expected to complete your research and submit your work for examination within 48-72 months.

Assessment Methods

We support both traditional PhD research presented through an academic thesis and PhD research through practice.

The nature of your Media and Cultural Studies PhD research will be determined by your area of interest. It will be agreed by your supervisory team during your application process.

A traditional route will require you to conduct a piece of unique PhD research, submit a thesis for examination and sit an oral exam (viva voce) in which you defend your thesis before a panel of experts.

PhD research through practice enables you to use your practical skills to investigate a research question. You will submit your final practical work supported by a written account for examination and sit an oral exam before a panel of experts.

Research Supervisors

We will appoint you a team of supervisors from our academic staff, selected for their expertise in your specific area of PhD research. View their profiles here.

A list of our current students and their research interests can be found on our ADM PGR Studio website.

Previous graduates of our PhD programme now work in academia, work in the media industry or are researchers. Several of our graduates work in the School of Media as lecturers, postdocs, or researchers. One such graduate is Yemisi Akinbobola, who talks about here experiences in the the video below.

Enquiries

Media and Cultural Studies PhD
  • If you have any questions or queries regarding our Media and Cultural Studies PhD, or a PhD research proposal you would like to discuss with us, please send an initial PhD enquiry.
  • If you are unable to submit the initial PhD enquiry form, please email admresearch@bcu.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 331 5517.

Prospectus

For an overview of our postgraduate courses and a range of other information please download our Postgraduate Prospectus (10Mb).