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Media and Cultural Studies - PhD - 2016/17 Entry

Course Overview

The essential course information

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

STEAM Scholarships

We are currently offering fully funded PhD scholarships in media.

Find out more

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 John Mercer (pictured right) and is supported by a team of supervisors with specialisms and expertise in the following research groups:

PhD Research Interests

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

  • Alternative and independent media
  • Broadcast archives
  • Cultural history
  • Fandom and fan culture
  • Jazz studies
  • Media for development
  • Media industries and institutions
  • Media performance and emotion
  • Media for social change
  • Media technologies
  • New media
  • Online music
  • Popular music culture and music industries
  • Radio studies
  • Reality media
  • Sexuality and identity
  • Urban culture

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 Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Studies (BCMC).

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.

You will attend regular research seminars, conferences and symphosia 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.

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’.

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

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 our Research Officer Shelley Fray

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 2016 FT 3-4 years PhD £4,120 per year
Sep 2016 PT 4-7 years PhD £2,060 per year
Sep 2016 OL 4-7 years PhD £2,575 per year
Feb 2017 FT 3-4 years PhD £4,120 per year
Feb 2017 PT 4-7 years PhD £2,060 per year
Feb 2017 OL 4-7 years PhD £2,575 per year
May 2017 FT 3-4 years PhD £4,120 per year
May 2017 PT 4-7 years PhD £2,060 per year
May 2017 OL 4-7 years PhD £2,575 per year
Sep 2017 FT 3-4 years PhD TBC
Sep 2017 PT 4-7 years PhD TBC
Sep 2017 OL 4-7 years PhD TBC
Feb 2018 FT 3-4 years PhD TBC
Feb 2018 PT 4-7 years PhD TBC
Feb 2018 OL 4-7 years PhD TBC

UK/EU fees to be announced shortly

Register your details to receive an email once we've announced our UK/EU fees for 2016/17.

Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2016 FT 3-4 years PhD £12,000 per year
Sep 2016 PT 4-7 years PhD £6,000 per year
Sep 2016 OL 4-7 years PhD £7,500 per year
Feb 2017 FT 3-4 years PhD £12,000 per year
May 2017 FT 3-4 years PhD £12,000 per year
Sep 2017 FT 3-4 years PhD £12,000 per year
Feb 2018 FT 3-4 years PhD £12,000 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 in Autumn 2016. The date will be confirmed soon and registration will open shortly.

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 20 April 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:

  • Alternative and independent media
  • Broadcast archives
  • Cultural history
  • Fandom and fan culture
  • Jazz studies
  • Media for development
  • Media industries and institutions
  • Media performance and emotion
  • Media for social change
  • Media technologies
  • New media
  • Online music
  • Popular music culture and music industries
  • Radio studies
  • Reality media
  • Sexuality and identity
  • Urban culture

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.

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

Modes of Study

Our PhD is offered full-time, part-time or by distance learning.

These three 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 oversees.

Full-time PhD Research: three 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 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 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.

Academic Staff

Dr John Mercer

Reader in Gender and Sexuality

John Mercer, an Associate Professor in Gender and Sexuality and published author, has written books on melodrama and Rock Hudson, and has a forthcoming title on porn. He is co-editor of the Journal of Gender Studies and is one of the editorial founders of the journal Porn Studies.

Professor Tim Wall

Professor of Radio and Popular Music Studies

Tim Wall leads the research-active academics and knowledge transfer staff within the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR), as well a number of current research projects. He also co-ordinates the Interactive Cultures research group. He has published extensively on radio and popular music culture in international journals and books, and he applies his insights in undergraduate and postgraduate classes, and with doctoral research students.

Tim is Editor of The Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media, and until recently was chair of the Radio Studies Network, the lead organisation for international radio scholars. He has led five major collaborative research projects, was formerly an AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellow, and has worked with the BBC as well as a range of smaller radio and music businesses.

His two textbooks have become widely used in the subject. He is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College. He is currently leading a research project on social media citizen journalism in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and with Syrian activists, developing work on jazz in Britain, and initiating knowledge exchange projects with arts and creative industry companies.

Professor Paul Long

Professor of Media and Cultural History

Paul has a track record of research on the creative industries. He has been published on the subjects of media history, popular music and radio, and has led research in the pan-European Leonardo Partnership ‘Innovative Media and Music Heritage Impacting Vocational Education’.

He has been a researcher on two Nesta/ACE/AHRC-funded projects promoting digital research and development for the cultural industries. The most recent of these produced a mobile app for managing complementary tickets for various cultural institutions in Birmingham.

Paul’s future research projects include the role of class, ethnicity and gender in creative industries work, and a historical study of the relationship between student unions and the UK music business. Currently, Paul is a Co-Investigator in the AHRC-funded ‘Cultural Intermediation: Connecting Communities in the Creative Urban Economy’.

Dr Simon Barber

Researcher, Developer and Technical Coordinator

Simon Barber researches and publishes work on popular music, the music industries, film and television, digital culture and jazz. He plays a key role in developing the research profile of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) and coordinates our team of technical developers.

Prior to joining BCMCR, Simon studied music at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and was a broadcast journalist for the BBC. He holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool and is a practicing songwriter, composer and producer.

His PhD was a case study of the independent New York-based jazz label GRP Records, founded in 1982 by Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen. The work analysed the role of the music industries in all aspects of jazz production.

He is one half of the songwriting team Sodajerker and the producer and co-presenter of the popular iTunes podcast Sodajerker On Songwriting.

Social Media and Websites

Twitter: @simonbarber

Dr Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore

Lecturer in Media and Cultural Theory

Dr Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore is a senior lecturer whose expertise lies in screen comedy, screen audiences and fandom. She is currently writing a book – Screen Comedy and Online Audiences (Routledge).

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).