History of the School
Leeds was the first University in the UK to embark on serious academic research into communications and media, when it established the Granada Television Research Fellowships in 1958. From 1968 to 1988, the Centre for Television Research, under the leadership of Professor Jay Blumler, gained international renown for its research on political communication, audience studies and public service broadcasting.
By the 1980s, Leeds was also home to Britain’s largest purpose-designed studio and teaching complex for television-related study, built in the centre of the University campus over the next two decades.
In 1988 the University created a new multidisciplinary department under the leadership of Nicholas Pronay: the Institute of Communications Studies. Key early appointments included Phil Taylor and David Morrison. Professor Pronay was Director of the Institute until 1997. The Institute was one of the first departments to offer undergraduate courses in communications studies in the UK and to accept doctoral students in the subject area. Many leading scholars in the field of communication studies have worked at the Institute.
In 2014, we changed our name to the School of Media and Communication. The department continues to be a centre of international excellence in the field, with some of the field’s leading academics on its staff and involved in academic and professional activities both within and outside Britain.
Professor Phil Taylor
Professor Phil Taylor, Professor of International Communications, one of the field’s outstanding scholars and a founding member of the Institute, died in December 2010. He graduated from Leeds with a First in History in 1975 followed, in 1978, by a PhD. In the same year, he was appointed as Lecturer in the School of History and was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1987. Phil was seconded as Deputy Director to the Institute of Communications Studies in 1990. In 1997 he was appointed to a Chair of International Communications and was Head of the Institute until 2002. Phil was an internationally renowned scholar of international communications and propaganda, a charismatic and popular teacher, and an excellent colleague.
To find out more about his work and the heritage he leaves for the School, click here.