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Exploring Mediated Forms of Sexual Commerce

The student is invited to investigate forms of postmodern sexual commerce that have come into existence since the inception of the internet. Preferably these would be forms of sex work that are entirely mediated in nature, such as webcamming, rather than those that have migrated into the digital space such as escorting.

My own doctoral thesis was about webcamming and I am keen to be involved with research that expands the field of mediated and corporate owned platform based forms of sex work.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)


Rachel Stuart - I am a critical criminologist who specialises in the research of marginalised communities. My PhD thesis examined the experiences of adult content webcam performers as they negotiated the corporate-owned hosting sites from which they broadcast. Whilst researching for my PhD I was also employed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) on an NHIR-funded project that examined the impact of policing on the health of sex workers in East London. During the COVID-19 lockdown, I was employed as a PI on a research project funded by the Doctors of The World that examined the health needs of street-level sex workers in Newham. Our findings recently influenced a change of policy that includes a health-informed approach towards street-level sex work in the borough As someone of Gypsy/Traveller heritage, I have recently been involved in research that looked at the uptake of COVID prevention measures among members of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. The research funded by the DHSC, a collaboration with colleagues at LSHTM, revealed increased marginalisation and high levels of systemic violence against community members during the COVID period. At the same time, I worked with colleagues at Brunel to investigate the impact of digital exclusion in the context of Margate; the research focussed on the impacts of a lack of connectivity on Roma and the arts community in the town.  I am part of the growing criminology department and have helped develop the curriculum for the newly launched Criminology BSC. Along with my colleagues, we have sought to develop a degree that reflects the needs of the diverse cohort that our cutting-edge programme has attracted. I am the module convenor of Crime Media and Society, Intersectional Criminology and the forthcoming Capitalism and Sex module.