Postgraduate programmes in journalism at Kent offer you the opportunity to research and learn in an environment that combines excellence in the practice of convergent, multimedia journalism with intellectual leadership in the history, ethics and future of the news industry.
Research programmes are best suited to students who have a clear and original idea of a topic that they would like to investigate in detail. There are two types of programme: 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.
About the Centre for Journalism
The Centre for Journalism is leading the development of journalism as an academic discipline rooted in professional newsroom practice. It was established in 2008 to achieve top standards in teaching and research.
A lively and welcoming community spirit exists within the Centre. There are regular social events, seminars and masterclasses. Recent visitors have included: Allan Little, BBC correspondent; Sarah Ivens founding Editor-in-Chief of OK! Magazine USA; 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. Thanks to the range of research and professional interests in the Centre, we can offer wide scope for research supervision.
The Centre enjoys strong links with other academic departments including the School of History, Kent Law School and the School of Politics and International Relations. It encourages collaborative and interdisciplinary research and joint supervision.
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.
All first-year research students attend a Methodologies and Research Skills seminar. Through the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Centre provides training in methods of using sources and can assist in funding applications.
We welcome research applications across the range of expertise in the Centre and from all over the world.
A postgraduate research degree in Journalism provides you with qualifications for a teaching career in Journalism or a related discipline. It can also provide you with expertise that can assist in a journalism career in a particular area of reportage. Other career options include public policy research, media promotions and public affairs.
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, www.centreforjournalism.co.uk 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.
The resources for journalism research at Kent are led by the Drill Hall Library at Medway. 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.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff regularly contribute to newspapers, magazines, journals and books. These have included: This is Today – a Biography of the Today Programme, The Phone Hacking Scandal: Journalism on Trial, Mirage in the Desert? Reporting the Arab Spring, Face the Future: Tools for the Modern Media Age and Afghanistan, War and the Media (Tim Luckhurst); The Media, Politics and Public Life, Slow Living, Informing Voters? Politics, Media and the New Zealand Election 2008, Politics and the Media (Geoffrey Craig); What do We Mean by Local? (Ian Reeves), Specialist Journalism: Journalism Studies; Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism; Ethical Space; British Journalism Review; Parliamentary Affairs; Journal of Language and Politics; Environmental Communication; The Guardian; Media History; Political Quarterly; The Daily Telegraph; Independent; The Times; Sunday Telegraph; Toronto Globe and Mail; Los Angeles Times; The New Republic; The Word; Prospect.
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.
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, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.
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.
History of journalism, political reporting, environmental journalism, conflict reporting, journalism technology, democracy
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.
Professor Tim Luckhurst: Professor of Journalism; Head of the Centre for Journalism
Tim is a former editor of The Scotsman and former BBC News and Current Affairs editor. His research interests include the history of journalism and, in particular, the reporting of conflict from the Spanish Civil War to the present day.View Profile
Ian Reeves: Director of Learning and Teaching
A former editor of Press Gazette, he was responsible for developing the Student Journalism Awards, the Magazine Design and Journalism Awards, and the innovative Press Cadets project. He was Weekly Business Writer of the Year in 2003’s Periodical Publishers Association awards. He continues to write about business and media and has a particular interest in how technology is changing journalism. He designed the Centre for Journalism’s live publishing website and built the first iPad app for any UK university department – now available on the Apple Store.View Profile
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.View Profile
Mr Lee Kenny: Lecturer in Reporting
Contemporary British and American cinema documentary; regional British journalism in the digital age.View Profile
Rob Bailey: Lecturer in Reporting and Writing
Rob is a former news editor and chief reporter of the Kent Messenger in Maidstone, the country’s biggest-selling weekly, weekday newspaper. He is a former KM Group reporter of the year. He joined the Kent Messenger as editorial assistant in September 1999 and took his first reporting job on the first UK paper founded in the new millennium, the Swanley Messenger. He went on to work on titles across Kent, including two stints at the Kent Messenger Group’s flagship Maidstone edition. He also worked as senior press officer for social services at Kent County Council. He is an alumnus of the University of Kent, having graduated with a BA in English and Philosophy in 1999.View Profile
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.View Profile
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.View Profile
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for Home/EU PG Research programmes have not yet been set by the Research Councils UK. This is ordinarily announced in March.
General additional costs
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: