Placeholder image for Navigating the Post-Brexit Public Sphere - Communication, Inclusion and Trust in Northern Ireland

Navigating the Post-Brexit Public Sphere - Communication, Inclusion and Trust in Northern Ireland, Ph. D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #531 (QS) Coventry, United Kingdom
Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship in Navigating the Post-Brexit Public Sphere - Communication, Inclusion and Trust in Northern Ireland.
Access all 180000+ programmes, for free with a Studyportals account.
account benefits visualised


This doctoral (PhD) project in Navigating the Post-Brexit Public Sphere - Communication, Inclusion and Trust in Northern Ireland has been devised and developed by a leading early-career researcher at Coventry University. 

The Trailblazer Scheme provides doctoral researchers with an innovative and dynamic intellectual space in which to undertake transformative research, whilst fully supported by a team of experienced supervisors

The Brexit referendum pushed debates about political communication, populist discourses, and notions of trust and inclusion centre stage in British politics. For stakeholders of Northern Ireland, a post-conflict but deeply divided society that voted to ‘remain’, the nature of the post-Brexit public sphere should be of central concern. Brexit brings longstanding issues of ethno-national tensions, borders and division back into sharp relief, with all of the accompanying issues of cross-community distrust, fears of exclusion and feelings of vulnerability. 

The project will utilise appropriate methods and conceptual frameworks to gather empirical data and address these issues of current academic, social and political importance. It will provide new academic knowledge on how Brexit is understood, imagined and enacted by different individuals and stakeholder groups. Through this, it will generate recommendations for relevant policymakers and practitioners at a time of profound change. 

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

The successful candidate will also benefit from participation in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations’ Doctoral Training Course, involvement in the Centre’s Communities, Identities and Politics research group and involvement in Centre research seminars. 

The successful candidate will benefit from mentoring by and collaboration from experienced researchers in the fields of communication, trust, social movements and identity, including Dr Charis Rice, Prof Ann-Marie Nienaber and Dr Joel Busher. 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

  • This project is interested in the, as yet, relatively unexplored role of communication in such issues in Northern Ireland. 
  • It will investigate how a range of social and political actors use information from various sources to envisage the post-Brexit public sphere in relation to perceptions of trust and inclusion. 
  • It will consider how communication shapes the opportunity structures and behaviour of social and political actors as they navigate Brexit uncertainty. 


  • Some knowledge and/or research experience within the field of communication studies (e.g. political/government communication; public communication; strategic communication/public relations; dialogue or discourse study)  
  • Familiarity with the Northern Ireland societal and political context
  • An interest in the use of qualitative social research methods
  • A commitment to collaborative study


  • Prof Mike Hardy 
  • Dr Thea Gibbs

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: Upper Second Class

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to Upper Second Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 
  • A Masters’ degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience is desirable.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years

Tuition Fee

  • International

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Coventry

  • 656 - 1060 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


  • Full studentship which includes tuition fees and living expenses for a doctoral candidate over 3.5 years. 
  • Stipend rates set by UKRI with an annual projected average increase of 1.25% per year. 
  • CTPSR Research development allowance of £1,000 per annum 

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Let us fund your studies abroad!

Apply to The Global Study Awards and get the chance to receive up to £10000 for your study abroad! This funding is powered by ISIC, British Council, IELTS and Studyportals.

Tell me more
Global Study Awards


You’ve wishlisted multiple studies. Did you know you can compare them side-by-side in our Compare-tool?