Research course

Media and Cultural studies

University of Sussex · School of Media, Film and Music

Entry requirements

Normally a Masters degree with a Merit or equivalent in a subject relevant to your chosen area of research.

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

  • PhD in Media and Cultural Studies
  • MPhil in Media and Cultural Studies
  • We offer expert supervision across a wide range of media and cultural studies with specialist focus on:

    • social and cultural analysis of media forms, institutions and practices
    • digital cultures
    • media histories
    • media theory
    • journalism, documentary and cultural citizenship
    • public cultures
    • sound cultures, visual culture and sense perception
    • advertising and consumption
    • media audiences • everyday life and life histories
    • identity and cultural space
    • feminisms
    • lesbian and gay studies
    • working-class and popular culture
    • questions of representation.

    Research proposals in these fields are particularly welcome.


    You have two supervisors who together help you devise a detailed programme of study tailored to the individual research project, and who offer regular guidance and feedback until completion.

    Research training

    All new research students are required to participate in a programme of research training and to take other postgraduate modules that may be recommended by their supervisors (exemption from research training modules can be granted to those who have already taken such modules at MA level).

    Throughout your studies, as part of your intellectual training, you are expected to take part in the research culture of the School of Media, Film and Music and relevant research centres. This might include participation in reading and discussion groups, skills development training, research-in-progress seminars, etc.

    You are expected to present your research both within the School and beyond. The School offers support for conference attendance and studentled symposia. There is a mentoring scheme within the School to support PhD students, and you join a lively well-established interdisciplinary research community.

    The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.


    The first term (or first two terms for part-time students) is devoted to developing the research plan – typically refining research questions, designing a methodology and engaging in a literature review. By the end of the first year (or second year part time), you write and present your first research paper, and are ready to pursue fieldwork or other primary research for analysis and completion in the final year.

    Assessment and progression

    Progress is monitored by supervision meetings, annual reports, and an annual interview by a review panel. The research is written up as an 80,000-word thesis (PhD) or a 40,000-word thesis (MPhil) and judged by internal and external examiners. The examination includes an oral defence.

    Recent PhD thesis titles

    ‘I understand that I am me, but that I am also we’: the contemporary literary and cultural construction of conjoined twins

    Remediating politics: feminist and queer formations in digital networks

    Sound-based creative use of mobile technology

    Talking Torchwood: fluid sexual representation, identity and the audience

    The film of tomorrow: construction of self in videoblogs

    Women blogging and femininity: a study of ‘ordinary’ women blogging in Québec, Canada

Department specialisms

For further information, visit the webpage below.

Information for international students

Please see link for information on international students' entry requirements:

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please

Qualification and course duration


part time
36-72 months
full time
24-48 months


part time
24-48 months
full time
12-36 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 873525