Candidates must normally have completed a UK Masters degree or equivalent at a recognised university.
Months of entry
Media and Film Studies at SOAS has an expanding programme of doctoral research with some thirty research students currently enrolled. Our research students work on an exceptionally wide range of topics, both theoretical and empirical, with about half coming from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and half from Europe and North America.
The Centre puts emphasis on the acquisition of critical theoretical skills and in-depth regional, linguistic and cultural knowledge of media and film forms and practices.
The PhD in Media and Film Studies is a research degree, involving original research on some aspect of contemporary theoretical and global issues in media and film. Our approach to media and film studies involves a developed critique of Eurocentrism. Our speciality is the analysis of the film and media industries, their contents and their audiences in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and their diasporas, an approach equally well-suited to research on Latin American, East European and mainstream ‘Western' media.
In 2007 we opened a PhD stream designed to integrate and interrogate the relationships between theory and practice. The submitted work comprises 60,000 words of written work and up to one hour of audio-visual materials.
A research degree in media and film normally takes three years, or up to a maximum of four years should extensive periods of fieldwork be required. Part-time registration is also possible.
The Centre stresses interdisciplinarity and draws upon expertise right across the School. So the PhD Programme is equally suited to researchers who wish to engage in detailed study of media and film in Asia or Africa and to those who wish to combine media and film studies with other disciplines, ranging from the study of language and culture through the humanities to the social sciences.
We consider research students to be one of our main research strengths and advise them to develop a portfolio of projects, whether individual or collaborative, which will be relevant to their future careers. In their final year, we also encourage them to organize symposia and film festivals based on their fields of special expertise and aimed at a broader audience. For example, the student-led Sacredmediacow collective organised a conference on media in India and produced an edited book, Indian Mass Media and the Politics of Change, which was published by Routledge. Other students have become involved with the organization of the Small Media Initiative (smallmediainitiative.com) events every autumn. Many students also give papers at national and international conferences and some publish in academic journals.
For details about requirements and structure of the programme, or to see profiles of current research students please follow the links in the menu.Academic Staff and their Research Areas
Dr Elisa Oreglia PhD, MIMS, (University of California Berkeley)
China and Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar; Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD); Information Society and digital divides; localized information sharing practices and media production; intermediation in digital media use; rural markets and new media.
Dr Dina Matar, MSc PhD (London)
Middle East, especially the Arab world; international political communication; Arab cultural politics; Arab cultural studies; memory studies and oral history; Islamist movements; social movements and media; diasporas; ethnic minorities; transnational movements and communications.
Dr Somnath Batabyal, MA (SOAS), PhD (SOAS)
Southeast Asia with a focus on India; transnational news spheres with a special focus on India; Development discourses in India and its articulation in mainstream and alternate news forums; environmental politics.
Dr Jaeho Kang, MA (Korea); PhD (Cambridge University)
East Asia; Korea, China and Japan; critical theory; media theory; East Asian cultural studies; political communication; media and urban spaces in East Asian cities; New media and democracy; media spectacle and global mega events
Professor Stephen Chan BA MA(AUCKLAND) MA(LONDON) PHD(KENT)
Professor of International Relations
Dr Lindiwe Dovey BA(HARVARD) PHD(CANTAB)
Senior Lecturer in African Film and Performance Arts
Professor Rachel Dwyer BA(SOAS, LONDON) MPHIL(OXFORD) PHD(SOAS, LONDON)
Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema
Ms Narguess Farzad BA(LONDON)
Senior Fellow, Persian Language and Literature
Dr Sian Hawthorne BA(LONDON) PHD(LONDON)
Lecturer in Critical Theory and the Study of Religions
Dr Dana Healy PHD (PRAGUE)
Senior Lecturer in Vietnamese
Professor Michel Hockx DRS PHD(LEIDEN)
Professor of Chinese
Dr Stephen Hughes BA(BATES COLL., LEWISTON) MA PHD(CHICAGO)
Lecturer in Social Anthropology
Dr Kevin Latham BA(OXON) PGDIP(ZHANGSHAN) MA PHD(LONDON)
Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology
Dr Dolores Martinez AB(CHICAGO) DIPSOCANTH DPHIL(OXON)
Reader in Anthropology with reference to Japan
Dr Nima Mina BA(MARBURG) MMUS PHD(MONTREAL)
Senior Lecturer in Persian and Iranian Studies
Dr Parvathi Raman BA PHD(LONDON)
Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology
Dr Justin Watkins BA(LEEDS) MA PHD(LONDON)
Senior Lecturer in the Languages and Linguistics of South East Asia
Information for international students
For details, including English language requirements, please see SOAS website
Fees and funding
For details of postgraduate fees, please see SOAS website
Qualification and course duration
Further details of qualification
Students are initially registered for an MPhil and are transferred to PhD registration if their progress is satisfactory.
Course contact details
- Postgraduate Enquiries
- +44 (0)20 7074 5117