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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 - Dr Rachel Stuart is a criminologist who specialises in the research of marginalised communities. Her doctoral thesis was a study of webcam performers broadcasting adult content material– a study she undertook while simultaneously researching the impacts of policing on the health of sex workers with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has also designed and conducted a longitudinal study of street sex workers before and during the COVID pandemic for the Doctors of The World NGO. Most recently she has been employed as a consultant by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on a DHSC funded research around the impacts of COVID on The Gypsy Roma and Traveller Communities. Drawing on her positionality as a member of the Traveller community to highlight the issues that Travellers have experienced during the COVID pandemic in the context of structural racism. Rachel uses her role as a host on the Newbook Network to explore her areas of interest including new debates concerning sex work that fall outside the binaries of exploitation and liberation. She is currently a member of a team of Brunel academics that are investigating the impacts of digital poverty on the Roma community in Margate and community-based solutions to the issues of digital exclusion that are experienced in the Margate context.