Media (including by practice)

Key Information


MPhil: 1.5-3 years. PhD: 2-4 years


MPhil: 2-4 years part-time. PhD: 3-6 years

Entry Requirements

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Start Dates in October, February, and May

Programme Overview

The Lincoln School of Film, Media and Journalism offers a collaborative environment in which to undertake research at doctoral level, whether by thesis, practice portfolio plus commentary, or by publication.

Students are able to engage in a structured programme of training to develop practical and critical skills, while benefiting from the School's research expertise spanning media and cultural studies, film and television, and media and heritage.

An experienced supervisory team can offer support and guidance on research and/or practice, funding opportunities, attending conferences, exhibitions and screening, and publishing or exhibiting work in recognised journals and at events.

A vibrant research community exists at the School where regular research seminars take place, offering students the opportunity for further development.

Key Features

Conduct independent, original, and academically significant research

Benefit from training courses to develop key research skills

Supervision and support from an advisory panel of academic staff

Present at talks and seminars to showcase your work

Enrol in February, May, or October each year

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How You Study

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the majority of time is spent in independent study and research. Students will have meetings with their academic supervisor(s), but the frequency of these will vary depending on individual requirements, subject area, staff availability, and stage of programme.

Research Areas and Topics

Alongside our research groups, there is also a wide range of individual expertise in areas such as: 

  • Visual and digital culture
  • Media ecologies
  • Animation Studies
  • Sonic Culture
  • Horror studies
  • Game studies
  • Histories of media and communications
  • Cultural theory
  • Critical time studies
  • Posthumanism and continental philosophy
  • Intermediality
  • Postdigital 
  • Environmental photography and aestehtics
  • Documentary photography
  • Documanrary film and media ethics
  • Social engagment
  • Activism in documentary practice
  • Media and heritage
  • Historical film and media

With film and television studies, research interests include:

  • Television histories
  • Gender and queer theory
  • Race and representation
  • Televisual fame
  • British cinema
  • African cinema
  • National and transnational cinemas
  • Exploitation/experiemental/marginal cinema
  • Hollywood cinema and star studies
  • Children's film and television
  • Film and/as practice
  • Script
  • Screenwriting theory

How you are assessed

A PhD is usually awarded based on the quality of the student's thesis and ability to present and successfully defend their chosen research topic in an oral examination (viva voce). They are also expected to demonstrate how their research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.

The following provides a guide on what is expected for each award:

- 80,000 words for PhD thesis
- 40,000 words for MPhil thesis
- 25-40,000 words for written component of PhD by Practice, plus practice component
- 25,000 words for written component of MPhil by Practice, plus practice component

How to Apply

Postgraduate Research Application Support

Find out more about the research application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about how to write a research proposal and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

Master's degree.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. . These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Please take note of the following guidance on research proposals:
- A research proposal will only be considered if we have academics in the school with an interest in your field. Please see the list of school research interests (on this webpage) and also staff profiles.
- The research proposal should be 1,000 to 2,000 words in length.
- Clearly define the topic you are interested in and demonstrate understanding of your research area.
- Include two or three research questions that you will explore in your research.
- Outline the range of research methodologies you will use to undertake the research.
- Include a provisional bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
- You might include a brief literature review of the key works that relate to your topic, particularly if this helps to exemplify the point below.
- Explain clearly how your research contributes to existing scholarship in the area; what gaps will it fill? How will it further knowledge of the area?
- Sketch out a provisional plan of work that includes research activities and a timetable for the writing of chapters.
- Make sure the proposal is well presented with sections and subheadings and is free of errors.

Programme Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below. Research students may be required to pay additional fees in addition to cover the cost of specialist resources, equipment and access to any specialist collections that may be required to support their research project. These will be informed by your research proposal and will be calculated on an individual basis.

Programme Fees

Funding Your Research

Loans and Studentships

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate research, from Master's and Doctoral Loans, to research studentship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

A doctoral qualification can be the capstone of academic achievement and often marks the beginning of a career in academia or research. A research programme provides the opportunity to become a true expert in your chosen field, while developing a range of valuable transferable skills that can support your career progression. A research-based degree is also the most direct pathway to an academic career. PhDs and research degrees are a great chance to expand your network and meet diverse people with similar interests, knowledge, and passion.

The University’s Doctoral School provides a focal point for Lincoln’s community of researchers, where ideas and experiences can be developed and shared across disciplines. It also offers support and training to help equip you for both academic and non-academic careers.

Doctoral School

Research at Lincoln

Through our research, we are striving to change society for the better. Working with regional, national, and international partners, our academics are engaged in groundbreaking studies that are challenging the status quo. We also understand the importance of providing the best possible environment for pursuing research that can support our communities, improve lives, and make a tangible difference to the world around us.

Explore Our Research
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.