Journalism - MA, PhD


We are committed to offering PhD supervision for studies that explore contemporary issues in Journalism and news media.

We work closely with the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research and the Kent Law School along with the University’s Institute for Creative and Cultural Industries on interdisciplinary PhD studies. We welcome PhD applications that focus on (but need not be limited to) political communications, travel journalism, conflict reporting, ethics, media regulation, lifestyle journalism, election coverage, trust and social media.

We offer two research programmes. Our MA by Research entails producing a 40,000 word thesis on a one year full-time / two year part-time basis. Our PhD programmes demand a high level of research and analysis resulting in theses of 75,000 words on a three year full-time / five year part time basis.

About the Centre for Journalism

The Centre for Journalism was established in 2008. We run regular research seminars and through our close links with the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research and the Kent Law School, our students are part of an active and vibrant postgraduate community. Our students work alongside academics recognised as expects in their respective fields. We also work closely with the Graduate School who, through their Researcher Development Programme, provide a full programme of seminars and workshops on all aspects of postgraduate study.  

A lively and welcoming community spirit exists within the Centre. There are regular social events, seminars and masterclasses. Recent visitors have included: Amol Rajan, Media Editor of the BBC and Ed Conway, Economics Editor Sky News; Gavin Esler, former presenter of Newsnight; Jon Snow, presenter of Channel 4 News, Mark Thompson, former Director General of the BBC, Alex Crawford three times RTS TV journalist of the year, Stephanie Flanders former Economics Editor BBC and Stuart Ramsay Sky News chief Correspondent.  

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.1 or equivalent in a relevant subject. In certain circumstances, the Centre will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path, eg, working or former journalists who have acquired a minimum of three years’ professional experience in the news industry. These cases are considered individually.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.


A group of postgraduates sit outside the Kennedy Building on the Canterbury campus

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Course structure

Duration: MA 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

PhD 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time

Teaching and assessment

The MA by Research entails producing a 40,000 word thesis; the PhD programmes demand a high level of research and analysis resulting in dissertations of 80,000 words.


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Journalism - MA at Medway

  • Home/EU full-time £4407
  • International full-time £16200
  • Home/EU part-time £2204
  • International part-time £8100

Journalism - PhD at Medway

  • Home/EU full-time £4407
  • International full-time £16200
  • Home/EU part-time £2204
  • International part-time £8100

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 


Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2020, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

Please see the University League Tables 2020 for more information.

Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 97% of the University’s research was judged to be of international quality, with 73% of this judged to be internationally excellent.

Research areas

Political communication, history of journalism, environmental journalism, conflict reporting, journalism technology, democracy, media law and ethics, travel journalism, lifestyle journalism.

Staff research interests

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Ben Cocking : Director of Research

Ben leads the Centre for Journalism’s research strategy and is also responsible for the teaching of politics and political communications to students on the BA in Journalism and the News Industry and the MA in Multimedia Journalism. He is also involved in PhD supervision and his research interests include travel journalism, news media and political communications, travel writing, cultural theory and postcolonial theory.

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Richard Pendry : Lecturer in Broadcast and Online Journalism

Richard is a BAFTA award-winning television producer with 20 years’ experience as a freelance, working in documentaries, news and current affairs. During most of the 1990s Richard was a member of Frontline Television News, an agency which specialised in reportage from war. A fluent Russian speaker, Richard filed stories for Frontline from all over the former Soviet Union, including Chechnya. His research focuses on how independent reporters gather news in conflict zones such as the Caucasus and Iraq.

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David Acheson : Lecturer in Media Law

David Acheson joined the Centre in 2016 as Lecturer in Media Law. His research interests centre mainly on the tort of defamation, on which he has published articles in Communications Law and the Journal of Media Law, but extend to other areas of private law that have an impact on the media. He is also interested in the effect of human rights law on the news industry, and on the way in which human rights and constitutional law are presented in the media.

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Dr Simon Cottee : Senior Lecturer in Criminology

Sociology of crime and deviance; sociology of intellectuals; terrorism and apostasy; coercion; political violence.

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Professor Michael Calnan : Professor of Medical Sociology

Diffusion and innovation in health care and technology; trust and health care; dignity and the provision of health and social care for older people. 

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Dr Elke Van Hellemont : Lecturer in Criminology

Social deviance, interdisciplinary and multi-method study of crime, visual criminology, the seduction of crime within the processes of globalisation and a global mediascape, and cybercrime.

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Dr Dawn Lyon : Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Sociology of work; gender; embodiment; visual and sensory sociology.

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Dr Robert de Vries : Lecturer in Quantitative Sociology

Social stratification and social comparisons, cultural consumption, health inequalities, social attitudes and stereotypes (particularly with respect to welfare benefit claimants). 

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Dr Heejung Chung : Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy

Welfare state and labour markets; gender; work-life balance and work-family conflict; labour market flexibility; working-time flexibility; employment insecurity.

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Dr Michelle McCarthy : Reader in Learning Disability

The sexuality of people with learning disabilities, in particular women with learning disabilities, and sexual abuse; sexual and reproductive health; the menopause for women with learning disabilities.

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Professor Larry Ray : Professor of Sociology

Sociological theory; postcommunism, social memory and the emergence of new Jewish cultures in Europe; globalisation; race; ethnicity; violence.

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Professor Adam Burgess : Professor of Risk Research

Contemporary understanding of risk in Western societies; the impact of health risks and neuroses upon individuals and society; the spread of generic risk assessment and management to every walk of professional life; precaution and the study of rumours and urban legends.

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Dr Erin Sanders-McDonagh : Lecturer in Criminology

Radical and engaged pedagogic practices, inequality in different forms.

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Dr Sweta Rajan-Rankin : Senior Lecturer in Social Work

Sweta’s research interests include globalisation, transnationality, embodiment and worker identity; social work, embodiment and social location and ageing, racialised bodies, ethnicity and diasporic imaginaries.

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Dr Anne-Maria Brennan : Lecturer in Professional Practice

Public engagement with science, particularly the interface between science, technology, culture and the arts

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As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, postgraduate qualifications are becoming more attractive to employers seeking individuals who have finely tuned skills and abilities, which our programmes encourage you to hone. As a result of the valuable transferable skills developed during the course of your studies, career prospects for journalism graduates are wide ranging. Options include; an academic career in Journalism or a related discipline; a journalism career in a particular area of reportage; public policy research, media promotions, public affairs, marketing and public relations.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The resources for journalism research at Kent are led by the Templeman library on the Canterbury campus and the Drill Hall library on the Medway campus. The journalism collection includes a comprehensive range of texts on the history, principles and practice of journalism. Specialist resources include a complete microfiche archive of popular newspapers of the Second World War. Students have access to online full-text journals plus extensive online newspaper resources. The Centre subscribes to all relevant UK journals. Research students have access to the SCONUL access scheme to visit and borrow from other UK libraries. The Drill Hall Library contains more than 250 study spaces, 370 computers and more than 150,000 items. The Templeman library contains over 1600 study spaces, 390 computers and more than 1 million items.

The Centre is based in state-of-the-art multimedia newsrooms equipped with the latest audio and video-editing technology, a radio studio and broadcast-quality television facilities. A dedicated postgraduate newsroom opened in September 2010. Newsroom computers offer a wide range of software for teaching and research support. Students have access to Press Association news wires, Sky News Radio and Reuters World Television News feeds. They use the Centre’s dedicated multimedia website, which offers live publishing facilities in text, audio and video. The site is a forum for debate about issues in journalism and the news industry involving students and practitioners in Britain and abroad.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff regularly publish their research in leading academic journals and books. These include: Travel Journalism and Travel Media: Identities, Places and Imaginings (Palgrave), Assessing the Delivery of BBC Radio 5 Live's Public Service Commitments (Abramis), Journalism Studies, Contemporary British History, Ethical Space, Journal of Media Law, Communications Law, Studies in Travel Writing and British Journalism Review. 

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and team working, and career management skills.

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Apply now

Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.

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Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MA at Medway

PhD at Medway

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1634 202913



International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254


School website

Centre for Journalism