Dr Phil Ramsey


School of Communication and Media

Belfast campus

Room BC-06-208,
2-24 York Street,
BT15 1AP,

Centre for Media Research


Dr Phil Ramsey


Life Before Ulster

Dr Phil Ramsey holds BA, MA and PhD degrees in media studies from Ulster University. His PhD thesis was titled New Labour and the Public Sphere: a normative critique, and addressed government communication in the UK from 1997 to 2010.

He taught extensively in the former School of Media, Film and Journalism at Ulster between 2007 and 2012, on modules in journalism studies, media and cultural studies, and documentary film. Phil then returned to Ulster University in August 2016, having previously been Assistant Professor in Digital and Creative Media at the University of Nottingham (Ningbo) China between 2012 and 2016.


Phil currently teaches political communication, critical approaches to public relations and public relations practice, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

These areas coalesce around the concept of the public sphere, and on the formation of public opinion, a concept which theoretically ties his teaching and research interests together.

His approach to these topics is structured around critical political economy of communication and critical theory approaches. In the past he has taught across a range of topics in media and communication, including media and cultural theory, and journalism studies, arts and cultural policy, and intercultural communication.

He has been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2017. Phil also supervises PhD students in the areas of political communication, and discourse and society. He is interested in PhD applications for projects in these areas, along with those in media policy, public service media, the creative industries, and critical approaches to public relations.


Phil’s research focuses mainly on media policy and public service media in the UK, with a specific focus on the work of the BBC.

He addresses media governance and the political economy of the UK’s media system, and has written on the use of the public value approach at the BBC, the move online of BBC Three, and on debates around the devolution of broadcasting powers in the UK. Other strands of his research have dealt with cultural policy in the UK, Northern Irish culture and society, the relationship between media and democracy, and critical approaches to political public relations.

Phil’s research has been published in a number of international journals that include Media, Culture & Society, Convergence, International Journal of Cultural Policy, Journal of Radio and Audio Media and Television & New Media. He tweets on media policy and higher education policy at @ramsey_phil.

Civic Roles

Phil Ramsey was Chair of the UK’s MeCCSA Policy Network (Media and Cultural Studies Association) from January 2018 to June 2021, previously serving as Vice-Chair (2017–2018).

The network functions to exchange ideas and research findings, and also seeks to join with civil society in their debates with the regulators, the broadcasters and the Government.  He has also engaged through events, knowledge exchange and research activities with a number of external institutions, including: the BBC, the BBC Trust, Ofcom, Impress (press regulator), and the Press Council of Ireland.

Through his teaching activities, he has engaged with, among others: the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the National Autistic Society (Northern Ireland), the Irish Football Association, and Expac, through the Conflicts of Interest course (which was an EU Peace & Reconciliation funded programme).