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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.
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.
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.
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.
PhD: An MA in a relevant humanities subject. In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path or who may have relevant experience in the industry. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies or the Director of the relevant Research Group.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Duration: 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time
The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
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:
We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.Search scholarships
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 100% of our Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies research was classified as ‘world-leading’ for impact and environment.
Following the REF 2021, Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies at Kent was ranked 9th in the UK in the Times Higher Education.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.
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