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.

Our research is characterised by a critical cultural studies approach, with PhD supervision normally available in the following research areas:

• journalism work in transition; the political economy of local media; new understandings of 'local'; widening diversity in the news workforce; journalism education (Mr David Baines)

• social media; intimacy and changing social relationships; changing media technologies and personal life; gender, media and culture (Professor Deborah Chambers)

• public relations; corporate social responsibility; ePR (Ms Laurel Hetherington)

• journalism; discourse; ideology; political communication; media theory; national identity; war, politics and propaganda (Dr Darren Kelsey)

• critical discourse analysis; discourse analysis of new (social) media; national identity; political discourse analysis; ethnicity and immigration; international politics; the Middle East (Dr Majid Khosravinik)

•financialisation; the political-economy of Britain since the 1970s; political and financial elites; the UK Treasury; political rhetoric and its construction; the rhetoric of economics; heterodox economics (Dr Catherine Walsh)

•data journalism; infographics; news values; newswork ethnography; online journalism; search engine optimisation; social media (Murray Dick)


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.

Detailed Course Facts

Start dates and application deadlines

Started in

    Deadline was:
  • ( General

    General deadline, applies to everyone.


Started in

    Deadline was:
  • ( General

    General deadline, applies to everyone.


Dates reflect the university's timezone.

Tuition fee Not specified
Credits (ECTS) 180 ECTS
Credits 360
Duration full-time 36 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 72 months
Project Type Open

Course Content

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.

Research training

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. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences and we have a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.

North East Doctoral Training Centre

The North East Doctoral Training Centre (NEDTC) is a joint venture between Newcastle and Durham Universities. We are a centre of excellence for postgraduate social sciences, offering students 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.

English Language Requirements


IMPORTANT NOTE: The UK government confirmed new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more


A 2:1 honours degree and preferably a merit Master's degree, or an international equivalent.

Applicants whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.5, (with at least 6.0 in all sub-skills).

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