Undertaking a PhD in media and cultural studies provides you with access to a wide range of professional and academic opportunities including quality-assured supervision and regional, national and global links with creative and cultural industries.
You will become part of the Media and Cultural Studies team contributing to a vibrant learning community. During your studies you will have the opportunity to present papers at conferences, write articles for academic journals and contribute articles to edited collections alongside other publications. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to enrol on a nationally recognised Teaching in Higher Education qualification, allowing you to host undergraduate and postgraduate seminars.
We are a leading research unit at Newcastle University with a strong PhD culture. Our research environment supports world-leading, internationally excellent scholarship. Our approach is distinct and interdisciplinary, focusing across theoretical and applied areas.
PhD SupervisionPhD Supervision
Our research is characterised by a critical cultural studies approach, with PhD supervision normally available in the following research areas:
- digital interfaces; digital money and finance; app economies; phenomenology and new media; mobile media; media theory; new materialism; speculative realism and interdisciplinary projects across media studies and geography (Dr James Ash)
- journalism and community; local; hyper-local; work/practices; and diversity/diverse voices (Dr David Bane
- social media; intimacy and changing social relationships; changing media technologies and personal life; gender, media and culture (Professor Deborah Chambers)
- the social, cultural and institutional construction of art and artists; art curation, display and education; artist-run initiatives; identities; membership and belonging; place; geographies of art (Dr Emma Coffield)
- documentary film practice, history and theory; film-based practice research methodologies; documentary film editing and non fiction narrative construction; linguistic anthropology; social linguistics; language ideologies as well as their filmic representation; subtitling and translation in film (Dr Alastair Cole)
- multimedia journalism; public relations; online journalism; visual data journalism (infographics); journalism studies; journalism pedagogy; journalism histories (Dr Murray Dick)
- masculinities; mobile media; sport (particularly action sports); place; bodies; cultural studies; sexual ethics; gendered violence; young people; identities (Dr Clifton Evers)
- digital media in museum/gallery/heritage settings; online museum/gallery/heritage experiences; social media and its implications for the cultural sector; design and use of mobile, personal, ubiquitous technologies in cultural settings; study and understanding of social museum experiences; theory and practice of Visitor Studies; ethnographic and ethnomethodological approaches in the study of museum experiences (Dr Areti Galani)
- digital politics; democracy and power; digital activism; network culture; critical theory; public sphere theory; autonomist theories; media-philosophy (Dr Joss Hands)
- dating; intimacy and masculinity; education; masculinity and sexuality; young people and gender (Dr Chris Haywood)
- practice-based research in fiction and non-fiction as well as subjects under Indian cinema; world cinema; women and cinema; film theory; film journalism and criticism; film societies and festivals (Dr Geetha Jayaraman)
- journalism; discourse; ideology; political communication; media theory; national identity; war; politics and propaganda (Dr Darren Kelsey)
- social media critical discourse studies; digital discourse analysis; CDA; populism & discourse; discourse & national identity/nationalism; discourse & ethnicity/migration/gender/race; discourse & politics/democracy; the Middle East (Dr Majid Khosravinik)
- queer theory; celebrity; psychoanalysis; pornography; sexuality; reality and authenticity; neo-liberalism; bodies; gender; identity and representation; politics and power (Dr Gareth Longstaff)
- identities; heritage; museums; curatorship; postnationalism, cosmopolitanism (Professor Rhiannon Mason)
- the management and interpretation of cultural heritage; history of South African museums; the construction of hunter-gatherer archaeological history, including the integration of information derived from excavations with that from rock art; the absolute and relative dating of rock art; Northumberland rock art (Dr Aron Mazel)
- documentary making: politics, theory, practices; sport documentaries: ideology, aesthetics, practices; filming India: history, culture, practices (Dr Ian McDonald)
- cultural policy; the consumption of museums and galleries (capital, citizenship, identity construction); learning in museums and art galleries; art interventions and people living with dementia (Professor Andrew Newman)
- gender and political communication; women and news; gender and journalism; politics and social media (Professor Karen Ross)
- geoengineering or climate-engineering; technologies using a critical approach to technology studies coupled with critical discourse analysis (Dr Tina Sikka)
- management of large heritage sites; heritage; the role of world heritage in UNESCO; protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict (Professor Peter Stone)
- financialisation; governance and communication; fiscal policy and communication; political rhetoric, political elites; financial elites; think tanks; independent fiscal institutions (Dr Catherine Walsh)
- cultural politics of museums; galleries; museums and memory (Professor Chris Whitehead)
- foreign policy; conflict and human rights in the national press; democracy; power; political economy (Dr Florian Zollman)
This programme is taught on the Newcastle campus. Attendance is flexible and agreed between you and your supervisors depending on the requirements of the research project.
As a postgraduate research student in media and cultural studies you will benefit from dedicated research suites within the School of Arts and Cultures.
In the news
Newcastle moves up 20 places into the top 150 in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
published on: 15 June 2018
Want to know more about postgraduate study? Come along to one of our PG Café events on the 18 July on our city campus.
published on: 10 July 2018
Student blogger Kinsey tells us about the differences between studying in the US and the UK.
published on: 6 July 2018
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.
Our Faculty Training Programme provides a community made up of postgraduate social sciences and humanities students and staff. It is a unique blend of cross-disciplinary and generic researcher development training, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as providing a solid basis for doctoral study.
Although your focus will be on your specialist study, our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. We have nurtured a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and supportive environment where staff and students from across the world can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training, which accredits the core foundation modules on the training programme.
You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite with purpose-built facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities.
ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership
The ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership is a joint venture between Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Sunderland, Teesside University and Ulster University. We are a centre of excellence for postgraduate social sciences. We offer a world-class, interdisciplinary environment for doctoral training and research.
Funded and accredited by the ESRC, we are one of the most innovative of the national network of doctoral training centres with a strong track record of partnership working with public, private and community organisations.
Postgraduate Research Student Support
Our award winning Research Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £15,600
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 and 2019 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a related subject, such as:
- cultural studies
- communication studies
- media studies
- gender studies
- related humanities and social sciences subjects
We may ask you to attend an interview either in person, via telephone or Skype.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at email@example.com for further information.
Pre-sessional English Course RequirementsPre-sessional English Course Requirements
- 6 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)
- 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)
You can study our Pre-sessional English course at the INTO Newcastle Centre.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.
You need to submit a research proposal with your application. Your research proposal should link to the work of a supervisor or research group in the School. Read our guidelines for producing a research proposal (PDF: 41.5KB) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Graduate School.
When making your online application, please insert one of the following programme codes on the 'Programme of Study' page:
- 8834F (PhD, full time)
- 8836P (PhD, part time)
- 7018F (MPhil, full time)
- 7019P (MPhil, part time)
Then select ‘PhD Media, Culture and Heritage’ and the ‘Research Area’ Media and Cultural Studies.
There are usually two possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.