Overview

Ulster University pioneered the development of Communication and Media Studies in higher education, introducing one of the first communication and media studies degrees in the UK and Ireland in 1978. In REF 2021 an impressive 77% of our research was judged either world-leading or internationally excellent. We are particularly proud of our quality profile of our research outputs, nearly tripling the amount of our world leading outputs during the last REF cycle, placing our research unit 2nd of the 9 research units in the faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and 4th overall of the 18 research units across Ulster University as a whole.


Summary

The REF 2021 panel were keen the emphasise the 'world leading' quality of our research outputs in the areas of 'Cultural Studies', 'Television', 'Film' and 'Screen Studies' and we very much welcome applications in these related areas (broadly construed). We also particularly welcome applications in Psychosocial Studies, Radical Politics and Social Movements, Cycling Cultures, The Politics of Everyday Life and Popular Culture, Emerging Media, Media Policy and Political Communication.


Entry requirements

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study. We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.


English language requirements

In order to be admitted to research study at Ulster, you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency as part of your application.

Get full details on the requirements for both home and overseas applicants can be found on our English language requirements page.


Careers and opportunities

PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence.

The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015), and while two thirds end up in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the range of skills acquired equips the remainder for employment in a wide range of contexts.


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Details of tuition fees can be found under the fees schedule for the academic year of entry.

To work out for which fees you would be eligible and to find out more information about potential sources of funding, please view the Fees and Funding pages on the Doctoral College website.


Apply

We are delighted that you are considering Ulster University for your research studies.

Get full details on the application process and further guidance on how to apply, and what you will need to upload as part of your application.

Once you have identified supervisors, discussed a research proposal and are ready to make an application, please apply using the online application system.

Ulster University welcomes applications from all sections of the community and from persons with disabilities. It is University policy to assess all applications using academic criteria and on the basis of equality of opportunity and you should be assured that reasonable adjustments will be made should you require them.


Reviews

I moved overseas from Canada to Northern Ireland to pursue my PhD studies in 2017. Before this, I was a museum curator who spent a lot of time researching, designing and installing large public exhibitions. Having spent some (work-related) time in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland before my PhD studies, I was delighted to return to the beautiful island as a PhD researcher. My PhD research was (predictably) full of all kinds of challenges, but it was also incredibly rewarding—especially in terms of building knowledge around my research area and establishing research (and social) networks with individuals from around the world.Some of the brightest moments along the way, included the opportunity to present my PhD research and conduct additional field research in various non-western nations. These were important events that eventually led to the beginnings of what is now a growing co-authored publication record. I also owe much of the above success to my incredible PhD

Amy McCroy - PhD in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management