MPhil option available
This course has an MPhil option
PhD student loans
The UK Government has introduced PhD loans of up to £25000 to UK and EU nationals, residing in England, for postgraduate research programmes starting in the academic year 2018-19. Read more here.
About the course
Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.
Once you have identified your potential supervisor, please use the contact details for enquiries. You may also approach your potential supervisor directly.
MPhil degree option
An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.
The Journalism group is a dynamic, international and globally respected community of researchers. Members are at the forefront of research into subjects as diverse as: journalism and the implications for it of emergent digital and social technologies; migration and refugees; social justice and political communication; environmental and health communication. We also have specialist expertise on media and journalism in China and Hong Kong. Read more here.
While we welcome a wide range of topics in the areas of journalism, political communication and media here is an example list of potential research topics that we would like to supervise:
- Chinese media, journalism and society
- Data Journalism
- Digital cultures
- Environmental, health and science journalism
- Food communication and social conflict
- Immersive media/Virtual and Augmented Reality
- Media and the creative industries
- Sanctuary, refugees and asylum
- Political communication
- Political economy of journalism
- Poverty, hunger and social justice
- Refugees and migration
- Social media, politics and society (social media analysis)
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
Research degrees evolve in different ways according to discipline. Find out about what progress might look like at each stage of study here: Research degree progress structure
PhD+ Award – An internship to work in the industry or perform a research outreach or enterprise activity.
PhD Plus is a career development scheme designed to provide an opportunity for excellent PhD students to undertake work experience and mentoring, and to facilitate their transfer into a career area of their choice. The awards are targeted at exceptional PhD students who have submitted their thesis within the expected submission date and will provide up to three months’ funded support for the period after submissions of their thesis and before the confirmation of the award. The precise number awards each year will depend on the quality of the applicants, up to a maximum 8 awards. The maximum amount to be awarded will be in line with RCUK rates for research training support grants: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/skills/training/
Careers and your future
Successful PhD students have gone on to work in the following types of sectors: Public Relations; Cultural Industries; Think Tanks; Research Centres; Teaching; Data Science; Charities/NGOs; Media production; Academia; Activism.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Entry criteria 2019/20
The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.
As part of our application process for entry on our research degree (MPhil and PhD) programmes, we ask you to provide a 500-1,000 word research statement, excluding any references/bibliography you may include, setting out your research motivation, ideas and aspirations. Learn how to prepare a research statement here.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU entry requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 7.5 (min 7W, 7L, 7R, 7S)
- Pearson: 73 (64 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 75% (min 70% in all areas)
You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.
If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.
Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.
We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.
Teaching and learning
List of supervisors by theme of research
- Bodies, Space and Political Resistance - Dr Anita Howarth (see also Dr Monica Degen, Dr Sara De Benedictus, Dr Meredith Jones, Dr Sharon Lockyer in Sociology and Communications on Bodies, Space and Culture)
- Communication, protest and social change - Dr Anita Howarth (see also Dr Lesley Henderson and Dr Sanjay Sharma in Sociology and Communications)
- Chinese media and journalism - Dr Jingrong Tong
- Digital cultures - Dr Christian Stiegler (see also Dr John Roberts, Dr Sanjay Sharma, Dr Peter Wilkin, Dr Meredith Jones, Dr Monica Degen in Sociology and Communications for Digital Cultures, Networks and Social Media)
- Social media, politics and society (social media analysis) - Dr Jingrong Tong (see also Dr John Roberts; Dr Sanjay Sharma; Dr Peter Wilkin; Dr Meredith Jones; Dr Monica Degen in Sociology and Communications)
- Digital data analysis - Dr Jingrong Tong
- Emergent Digital Media Technologies (including Immersive Storytelling, Virtual and Augmented Reality b- Dr Christian Stiegler (see also Dr Paul Moody in Sociology and Communications)
- Environmental, health, science and risk communication - Dr Jingrong Tong; Dr Anita Howarth (see also Dr Lesley Henderson, Dr Sanjay Sharma in Sociology and Communications)
- Hunger, poverty and social justice - Dr Anita Howarth (see also Dr Peter Wilkin, Dr Sara d Benedictis, Dr John Roberts and Prof Nicola Ansell in Sociology and Communications on the precariat)
- Journalism/journalists in comparative, historical and digital contexts - Dr Jingrong Tong, Dr Anita Howarth
- Migration, Refugees and Sanctuary - Dr Anita Howarth; (see also Professor Sarita Malik, Dr Sanjay Sharma, Dr Simon Weaver, Dr Meredith Jones and Dr Paul Moody in Sociology and Communications on race, racism and othering)
- Political Communication - Dr Anita Howarth; Dr Jingrong Tong
- Political Economy of media industries/journalism - Dr Christian Stiegler (see also Dr Peter Wilkin, Dr John Roberts and Dr Paul Moody in Sociology and Communications on Approaches to Political Ecnomy)
- Popular culture and mass media - Dr Christian Stiegler (see also Dr Paul Moody in Sociology and Communications and Dr Leon Hunt in Film & TV on film and media history)
Find out about working with the Supervisory Team here.
Facts and figures
Brunel University London REF 2014 Submission: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008. The next REF will be undertaken in 2020. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students
Study environment for research students
Find out more: Study environment for research students
Excellent research support and training
Extensive training and support is offered to all research students by the Graduate School, with regular Masterclasses and individual advice on academic issues as part of the Researcher Development Programme. Read more about the available Research Support and Training.
Brunel's library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 e-books, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject Information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs.
- state-of-the-art research information management tools including a research publication and grant database
- one of the largest UK’s full text repository
- an integrated data management system
- analytical tools such as Altmertic and InCites
- Open Access centrally managed fund
Fees and funding
Fees for 2019/20 entry
Full time - £4327
Part Time - £2163
Full time -£16850
Part time -£8425
Full time: £4,260 / Part time: £2,130
Full time: £16,200 Part time: £8,100
We offer a range of PhD studentships, partial scholarships, and academic prizes, to help with your research fees. Explore external funding, particularly the Research Councils, as well as other support.
Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.
Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase.