Cultural Ecologies

You could get a fully funded PhD, plus get extra money for living expenses through the Midlands3Cities Arts and Humanities scholarships, to study with the Cultural Ecologies team housed within the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research.

The Cultural Ecologies team explores the realities of creative and cultural industries practice. We take a critical perspective to investigate the challenges of working in the creative sector and explore the impact of cultural policy on areas such as the economy, heritage, urban regeneration, education and enterprise.

Our work is underpinned by social theory and has an emphasis on lived experience of culture and creative production, offering new perspectives for professionals working in the creative industries.

Dr Paul Long has previously led research projects around cultural policy and music education, heritage and tourism and is currently developing research concerning the role of class, ethnicity and gender in creative industries work.

Prof. Tim Wall applies his historical studies to understand contemporary technological and cultural change and has been able to apply his work with companies, public bodies and community organisations as diverse as the BBC, record companies and music festivals.

Dr Kirsten Forkert explored the conditions experienced by freelance artists in London and Berlin in her PhD thesis and researches the politics of cultural work and education, whilst Dr Dima Saber, co-founder of, which built the first open community newsroom and media innovation/startup lab in the Middle East and North Africa region, has developed research around open educational resources (OER) and creative ways to enhance media and digital literacy in teaching, learning, and research.

Dr Nick Gebhardt, who has a background in community radio and is an authority on the entertainment industry, and Dr Simon Barber, who explored the effects of digital technology in music production, are currently applying their extensive research into the music industries to projects involving music workers.

We welcome enquiries and expressions of interest from potential doctoral students who want to pursue a research degree in the areas described above. Students can work on traditional dissertations or practice-based research.