Culture, Communication and Media MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

The MPhil/PhD programme provides a route for you carry out a piece of research that will make a distinctive contribution to knowledge in the fields of education, culture and communication. You will work closely with your supervisor(s) to develop your project, supported by a flexible programme of methodology courses and a strong research community of staff and doctoral students. This programme is available to study both face-to-face and online.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£7,580
£3,790
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£21,200
£10,600
Duration
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

The normal minimum requirement is a Master’s degree from a UK university in a subject appropriate to the programme to be followed, or a qualification of equivalent standard appropriate to the programme to be followed awarded by a university (or educational institution of university rank) outside the UK. The majority of our successful applicants hold a Merit at Master’s level, and may have additional relevant experience.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The Department of Culture, Communication and Media has innovative, research-active staff able to supervise postgraduate research in the following areas: applied linguistics; TESOL; art, design and museology; music education; English education, social semiotics and multimodality; media education; learning with digital technologies; teacher professional development; and psychosocial studies. We have seven research centres: The Centre for Applied Linguistics, The Academic Writing Centre, The Confucius Institute for Schools, The International Centre for Intercultural Studies, Digital Arts Research in Education, The Centre for Multimodal Research and the UCL Knowledge Lab.

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society is a world-leading centre for research in education and related social science. We host the UK's largest doctoral cohort in these areas. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2022), the Institute was ranked first for education for the ninth year running, ahead of Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge. In the UK's recent Research Excellence Framework (2021), we were ranked first for research strength and research power in Education, according to the Elsevier REF 2021 Results Analysis Tool. We attract extensive research funding each year and host many prestigious research centres and projects.

Doctoral students at IOE have access to the wider UCL community as well as the education cluster constituting the ESRC UBEL Doctoral Training Partnership. The Institute's programme has been designed to provide comprehensive and broadly based research training and to meet the requirements of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the UK Researcher Development Framework.

Students work closely with their supervisor(s) to develop each stage of research; supervisors also help put together a programme of additional courses and activities to support progress towards completion of the final thesis.

The foundation of your career

Students will develop general and specialist skills in research methodology, academic writing and presentation, as well as gaining experience of engaging with a wide range of practitioners across different sectors of education.

Employability

IOE doctoral graduates in the Department of Culture, Communication and Media progress to careers in university teaching, educational research, policy and curriculum development, as well as creative arts education.

Networking

The Department of Culture, Communication and Media has a wide range of research seminars, where students can join discussion of our ongoing projects, as well as being the base for national and international conferences. There are also opportunities to work with education practitioners and organisations beyond IOE. The Centre for Doctoral Education holds two annual conferences for IOE doctoral students; and there are opportunities for students to offer specialist reading groups and workshops and to act as facilitators on courses within the research training programme.

Teaching and learning

In addition to UCL's Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE's Centre for Doctoral Education provides a comprehensive Research Training Programme.

The Core Courses aim to meets the needs of early stage doctoral students.

There is also a wide range of introductory, advanced methods, advanced theoretical, and generic academic skills courses, as well as student-led workshops and reading groups.

Research areas and structure

  • Applied linguistics: bilingualism and multilingualism; neoliberal ideology and language teaching; materials analysis; English as a global language; language learning and identity; language teacher identity; language education, gender and sexuality; critical discourse analysis; second language acquisition; language testing; translanguaging; ethnography
  • Art, design and museology: artists in sites of learning, curatorial practices and the shaping of knowledge in galleries and museums, artists interventions in educational contexts; visual culture
  • Music education: musical development, the psychology of music, singing and voice science, music in special education, music ideology, gender and music, the sociology and philosophy of music, informal and popular music education, the wider benefits of music
  • English education, social semiotics and multimodality: teacher identities; literature in urban classroom; social and digital literacy practices; identity, subject knowledge and communication; visual methodologies; subject knowledge and policy
  • Media education: the moving image and video games; young people’s production of digital animation, film and computer games; online communities, virtual worlds, play and film
  • Learning with digital technologies: software interventions to support learners with disabilities; the development of adaptive technologies; learner modelling; virtual learning environments; methods for analysing the effectiveness of interactive learning environments; technology mediated knowledge in the curriculum
  • Psychosocial studies: reflexivity; psychoanalytically informed approaches to educational research; knowledge practices in the humanities and social sciences; unconscious aspects of learning, professional practice and research; post-structural theories of gender and subjectivity

Further details of staff research and publications are available on the department website.

Research environment

As a research student in the Department of Culture, Communication and Media, you can participate in the seminars organised by department research centres or according to interest groups.

Since October 2014, we have also – in addition to the campus-based mode - offered the option to study online in a distance-learning mode. Choosing the distance-learning mode means that there are no residency requirements and it is not necessary to attend during doctoral study, the viva examination take place in-person at UCL or online. However, you are welcome to visit and use campus facilities including the library, attend seminars etc. In the first year of full-time study (and first two years of part-time study), distance learners take a series of compulsory research methods modules that are studied online. This typically involves provision of materials (articles, ebooks, videos etc.), forums to facilitate discussion of various tasks, and synchronous sessions to discuss the activities. Alongside these you will work with your supervisors on your research (e.g. using Teams/Zoom and email). In addition, there are other resources and training opportunities to support distance-learning students, e.g. sessions to develop generic skills.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is 3 years for full-time.

You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

IOE Centre for Doctoral Education provides an extensive Research Training Programme. A mandatory core course is provided that aims to meet the needs of early-stage doctoral students. There is also a wide range of introductory, advanced methods, advanced theoretical, and generic non-credit bearing academic skills courses, as well as student led workshops and reading groups which you can attend.

Full-time MPhil/PhD students are required to fulfil minimum 20 ‘points’ of training activity in their first year, and are encouraged to fulfil the same in their subsequent years of study. This training can be selected from the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE faculty’s Research Training Programme, the multi-institutional Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network, and from other sources. Each point is worth approximately a half-day of face-to-face training, or an online equivalent. Other activities such as attending and presenting at conferences also count towards research training. Students may undertake additional training beyond these minima, as relevant to their research and/or as agreed with their supervisors.

You are expected to upgrade from MPhil to PhD status towards the end of your first year of study if full-time. Students whose performance is satisfactory will transfer from MPhil to PhD status.

Processes aimed at assisting you during your course of study include the Research Student Log (an online project management tool), and periodic reviews of students’ progress.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may, if necessary, register as a register as a completing research status (CRS) student while you finish writing your thesis.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is 5 years for part-time.

You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

IOE Centre for Doctoral Education provides an extensive Research Training Programme. A mandatory core course is provided that aims to meet the needs of early-stage doctoral students. There is also a wide range of introductory, advanced methods, advanced theoretical, and generic non-credit bearing academic skills courses, as well as student led workshops and reading groups which you can attend.

Part-time students are required to fulfil minimum 12 ‘points’ of training activity in each year of study. This training can be selected from the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE faculty’s Research Training Programme, the multi-institutional Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network, and from other sources. Each point is worth approximately a half-day of face-to-face training, or an online equivalent.  Other activities such as attending and presenting at conferences also count towards research training. Students may undertake additional training beyond these minima, as relevant to their research and/or as agreed with their supervisors.

You are expected to upgrade from MPhil to PhD status at around 18 months if part-time. Students whose performance is satisfactory will transfer from MPhil to PhD status.

Processes aimed at assisting you during your course of study include the Research Student Log (an online project management tool), and periodic reviews of students’ progress.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may, if necessary, register as a completing research status (CRS) student while you finish writing your thesis.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Online - Open day

Graduate Research Open Events: IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

IOE is number 1 in the UK for research strength and research power in Education (REF 2021) and is ranked world number one for education for nine consecutive years (QS 2022). Our Graduate Research Open Events are a great chance to learn about graduate research programmes at IOE, meet our academics and join presentations where you'll be able to learn about your chosen programmes. You will also be able to put your questions to the programme leaders and learn more about studying for a research degree at IOE.

Online - Open day

Preparing for a research degree at IOE

Watch the presentation from our programme team and find out what it's like to study for a research degree and how to prepare for it at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £7,580 £3,790
Tuition fees (2023/24) £21,200 £10,600

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their thesis.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

IOE Centenary Doctoral Scholarships

Deadline: 2 May 2023
Value: Full tuition fees, stipend, and accommodation at International Students House (Up to 4 years)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

Year of entry: 2022-2023

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