Research Environment

The Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) aims to advance research in the broad range of media and cultural studies and to serve as the focal point for a community of scholars who are committed to critical inquiry and collaborative practice.

Media student researching magazines

The Centre provides scholars with the resources necessary to generate new knowledge and to produce distinctive and creative work that challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries and reaches beyond the academy. BCMCR is at the forefront of innovative scholarship in the areas of global media and culture, digital media and new technologies, media history and theory, gender and sexuality, visual cultures, sound and music studies, race and class, media institutions and politics, media practices, and critical media studies.

We are an interdisciplinary research centre that focuses on exploring the production and consumption of different media and cultural forms. Our research draws on and contributes to theories and methods in cultural and media studies, as well as wider research within the arts and humanities. We are interested in understanding how a range of media and cultural practices and processes work, as well as how they create meanings and shape the societies we live in.

We pride ourselves on a collaborative and supportive environment that fosters research careers at all stages and we encourage creative approaches to our research and methodologies. Our understanding of media and cultural research includes studies of traditional screen-based media such as film and television, but also encompasses creative forms of expression ranging from stand-up comedy to new development in social media to popular music.

We have delivered, or participated in a number of major, externally funded research projects with partners that include Arts Connect, Arts Council, BBC, British Library, Meedan, MAC Birmingham, NESTA, Sampad, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and Soul City Arts. Our dynamic and well-attended weekly research seminar series showcases a series of internal and external speakers. The Centre also hosts the postgraduate journal Riffs, which features experimental writing on popular music, the Songwriting Studies journal and the postgraduate Creative Industries journal.

We have a lively and global community of doctoral researchers undertaking a wide range of projects. Our programme offers the flexibility to present your research in a range of formats, depending on the nature of your research, whether it be a conventional thesis or practice based with a written element. PhD students attend regular research seminars, conferences and symposia and receive a dedicated workspace that acts as the hub for PhD research activity within the Centre. Student are also able to strengthen their 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.