At the School of Media and Communication, PhD candidates are fully engaged in the School’s research and teaching activities and are strongly supported throughout their study with training and supervision.
In addition to supervision tutorials, further research student training is provided by both the School and the University. Weekly seminars address the full range of social science and historical research methods, both quantitative and qualitative. Philosophical and epistemological questions regarding the nature of research are also addressed. There is emphasis on the need to integrate theory and empirical work. Other issues addressed include interdisciplinarity, responsibilities of researchers towards their subjects, questions of objectivity and subjectivity, and the social shaping of research.
These School-specific seminars are complemented by a very full suite of seminars provided by the University on all aspects of postgraduate research, including the PhD process, managing research projects, presenting research, writing and publishing, and academic integrity. Students assess their own progress using the University’s ‘audit-tool’ which they discuss with their supervisors and mentors.
PhD students often have the opportunity to get involved with organising academic conferences so that they can learn organisation and networking skills. Several PhD organised conferences have been held since the first event, ‘Communication Technologies of Empowerment’, was held in May 2007 which attracted over 50 speakers from 5 different countries. In 2014, the School’s PhD students hosted the prestigious MeCCSA postgraduate conference . Students involved in organising such events are given careful mentoring and advice by School staff, and also have the opportunity to assist with the organisation of the School’s research groups as PhD convenors.
Research students have 24-hour access to dedicated facilities within the School of Media and Communication building including a dedicated PhD research room, appropriately equipped with computers, digital satellite television and printing and copying capabilities. In addition, students can apply for grants to fund travel to research conferences.
Our PhD students appreciate the quality of the experience provided by the School. The School was ranked above average in the 2015 Postgraduate Research Experience Survey with our students’ reporting their overall satisfaction with the research degree programme at 87%. Students also expressed a very high level of satisfaction (100%) with the feedback, contact and subject knowledge provided by our supervisors.