Media

Media Studies - PhD

We live in a world undergoing profound shifts in media and communications culture. A PhD in Media Studies enables you to develop an in-depth research project. We will help you advance the discipline by empowering you to discover cutting-edge insights.

Overview

With access to specialist supervision, excellent resources and a vibrant intellectual community, your time at Kent will empower you to create innovative research that breaks boundaries and intervenes into urgent debates.

You conduct original research under the guidance of a team of specialist supervisors. We welcome enquiries on any topic, and provide you with excellent research resources to enable you to complete your research, which culminates in a thesis of up to 100,000 words. The first step is to reach out to a potential supervisor with an email (see Staff Research).

You will have a minimum of two supervisors who support and guide you through your academic and professional development throughout your studies. You meet regularly with your supervisors, who not only oversee your research project but help you to identify areas where you may require further advice or training. A series of reviews take place throughout your studies in order to ensure that your project stays on track and that you have all the necessary support and resources required to successfully complete it.

You may be eligible to apply for a fully funded PhD scholarship. Scholarship opportunities may include the Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship (GTA) and the Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) collaborative doctoral award. For further information and eligibility requirements, please see our Scholarship website.

About the Media Studies programme

Media Studies at Kent is a vibrant and supportive community of academics, practitioners and students, connected through our shared passion for all forms of media and communications. Our international staff are able to support a wide range of research covering social media, online and fan culture, media industries, promotional media (including marketing and PR), audiences and participatory culture, and issues of politics, identity, diversity and the media. Our staff encourage you to locate media forms within broader social and historical contexts.

You will be part of a substantial community of PhD students within the School of Arts. The Research Group for Film, Media and Culture will be your homebase for symposia and talks by internationally excellent visiting scholars. You can test out your own ideas, share tips and get extra feedback in the School’s staff-led PhD ‘Work in Progress’ research colloquium. The Templeton Library contains vast digital and print collections. Our dedicated Media Hub, which contains cameras as well as computers equipped with editing software, supports research with practical designs and outputs.

Media Studies students also benefit from Kent’s one-of-a-kind location. Based in the cultural city of Canterbury, we are less than one hour from London by train and forty minutes from the Eurotunnel, meaning that you will enjoy both a green, welcoming campus and close proximity to metropolitan culture, archives and industry.

About the Department of Media Studies

Media Studies at Kent is a vibrant and supportive international community of academics, practitioners and students, connected through our shared passion for all forms of media. Our staff are able to support a wide range of research covering digital media, online culture, audiences and participatory culture, gender and the media, and all forms of media in the broader social and historical contexts.

We also partner with the Gulbenkian Cinema, part of the University of Kent’s Arts Centre, to offer innovative, engaging and high quality arts activity for the public, staff and students. The School of Arts also has the Lupino, a 62-seat cinema named after the pioneering female filmmaker Ida Lupino, which Media Studies students can enjoy as part of their experience during their studies. The Lupino has state-of-the-art digital projection and sound, and has been created to provide an intimate atmosphere for film viewing.

Media Studies at Kent students also benefit from our fantastic location. Based in the cultural city of Canterbury, we are less than one hour from London by train and forty minutes from the Eurotunnel, making us close to both London and Europe.

Entry requirements

A first or 2.1 honours degree in a relevant subject for the MA; an MA for the PhD

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 Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study 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.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time

Additional costs

Fees

Fees have not yet been set. As a guide he 2020/21 annual tuition fees for similar programmes are:

  • Home/EU full-time £4,407
  • International full-time £16,200
  • Home/EU part-time £2,204
  • International part-time £8,100

For more information and updates please get in touch.

General additional costs 

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

Funding

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 2021, 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 2021 for more information.

Complete University Guide Research Intensity

Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Arts at Kent was ranked 1st for research power and in the top 20 in the UK for research quality.

An impressive 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Research areas

Film, Media and Culture Research Group

The Group’s main objective is to support and produce cutting-edge research in the areas of film, media and culture. The Film, Media and Culture Research Group has interests in aesthetics, social roles, discursive formations, cultural meanings, psychological effects and/or economic realities. Drawing together scholars from across the University – including Arts, European Culture and Languages, Digital Arts and Engineering, History, English and American Studies, Law, Sociology and beyond – the Group has a lively,  research culture. Through our journal Film Studies and pioneering research projects and outputs we actively seek to shape the field, open lines of communication with the local community and engage with colleagues worldwide.

Aesthetics Research Centre

The Aesthetics Research Centre (ARC) coordinates, enables and promotes research in philosophy of art and aesthetics at the University of Kent. It is embeeded in the analytic tradition, and it is deeply committed to making connections and exploring synergies with  other approaches to thinking about art and culture. ARC comprises a vibrant community of staff and postgraduate students across the School of Arts and the Department of Philosophy, and its activities include an annual programme of research seminars, workshops, symposia and conferences.

Histories: Art, Drama and Film Research Group

The Histories Research Group brings together staff and post-graduate students from across the School of Arts whose research involves a cultural historical approach to their field. It holds regular research seminars and supports student-led initiatives, such as organizing conferences.

Performance and Theatre Research Group

The Performance and Theatre Research Group’s mission is to create a warm and dynamic research community, welcoming everybody from 'Fresher to Professor'. We are a delightfully broad church, with well-established expertise in a broad range of subjects, including theatre history, performance and health, theatre and cognition, physical acting, applied theatre, performance and philosophy, performance and politics, European theatre, Greek theatre, theatre and adaptation, audience studies, cultural industries, variety theatre, puppetry, dance theatre, popular performance and stand-up comedy. We embrace a diversity of methodologies including, for example, Practice as Research, archival and participatory methods.

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.

Careers

A PhD in Media Studies provides the foundation for an academic career. It also provides invaluable research skills, provides skills suitable for careers in archival work, journalism, working in media production, publishing, editing, and teaching.  

Study support

Throughout your time at Kent you will be supported by two experienced PhD supervisors, and you will have a monthly supervision meeting (or every two months for part-time students).In these meetings you will have the opportunity to discuss, debate, and develop your ideas in exciting new directions. As well as supporting the development of your PhD, your supervisors are also there to guide you in your wider career development. This includes presenting your work at international and national conferences, publishing your work, and applying for jobs.

Beyond your supervisory team you will also be supported by the wider School of Arts community. You will join one (or more) of the School’s four Research Groups and will have the opportunity, in both the regular meetings and larger annual symposia, to share your research, network within and outside your discipline, and hear about the range of research taking place both within the School and beyond. Through the Research Groups there are also opportunities to organise conferences and events, or apply for small grants.

A programme of Research Seminars takes place throughout the year which students are encouraged to attend. The seminars will be relevant to Film students but also to students studying History of Art, Drama and Film. Leading scholars and practitioners are invited to present papers which enable networking opportunities to our research community.

Work in Progress Sessions offer the opportunity for you to present your work to a small group of colleagues. They are a key part of academic life and give you the opportunity to practice your presentation skills to your peer group in an informal and supportive way. The School also hosts an Annual Presentation Event which provides a platform for students to present their work to colleagues. 

Research resources

All PhD students are based in the School of Arts’ award-winning Jarman building where you will find a professional film studio, two further studio spaces and a dedicated postgraduate study hub.

Media Studies at Kent has excellent viewing and library facilities, with a large number of films screened weekly during term-time in the custom-designed Lupino Cinema. The Templeman Library has extensive book and specialist journal holdings in film and related areas; there is also a large and growing reference collection of film on DVD and Blu Ray, with individual and group viewing facilities. The Department also benefits from the presence of the Gulbenkian Cinema on campus, which runs a varied programme of new releases and classics.

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

We will be taking applications shortly. For more information or to express your interest please email ArtsHumsAdmissions@kent.ac.uk.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

PhD at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 823177

F: +44 (0)1227 827846

E: arts-pgadmin@kent.ac.uk

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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School website

School of Arts