The School of Social Sciences has long been recognised as an international centre of academic excellence and for our cutting-edge interdisciplinary work.
The Communication and Media study area provides training in digital culture, media and communications and Loughborough is home to world-leading, original and internationally-excellent research in this field.
We are ranked in the world top 50 for Communication and Media Studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018) and are home to the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture.
Our staff work with a wide range of public and third sector bodies (eg BBC Trust, Metropolitan Police, the Electoral Commission, the College of Mediators, UK Drug Policy Commission, and the Department of Health).
The School is home to a lively community of 110 postgraduates working closely with 80 specialist supervisors who conduct research at the cutting-edge of developments in their fields.
Why you should choose us
Where you'll study
Our extensive range of first-class facilities are designed to help you throughout your studies and fully-equip you for your future endeavours. You will have use of spacious study areas, which are well-equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment.
Communication and Media Studies
This group uses multidisciplinary approaches to analyse media and the communications industries and to develop theory. Comparative perspectives feature strongly in much of its work and members are internationally renowned for their research and publications.
This group is internationally renowned for its research on social interaction across a range of everyday and institutional contexts, and on social identities, groups and processes. Leaders in the areas of conversation analysis, discursive psychology and political psychology, the group publish prolifically on topics such as prejudice, identity, children and families, and communication in professional and clinical contexts.
Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC)
Comprises the world-leading Discourse and Rhetoric Group (DARG) and Culture and Media Analysis Research Group (CAMARG) involving staff from across the School. Their influential research has real world impact through their engagement with private and public-sector organisations.
The Online Civic Culture Centre
This centre applies cutting-edge concepts and methods from social science and information science to understand the role of social media in shaping our civic culture. It features a team of academic supervisors drawn from the disciplines of communication, information science, social psychology and sociology. Interdisciplinary teams of researchers and PhD students work together on issues of misinformation, disinformation and the rise of hate speech and incivility online.
Your personal and professional development
Support from your supervisor
You will be assigned two supervisors who are international experts in their respective fields, plus an internal reviewer and a Director of Doctoral Programmes. This team provides tailored academic and pastoral support throughout your studies. The School runs an extensive programme of research training and you will have the chance to participate in and run seminars and discussion groups. These will help you integrate into the School’s academic community and develop skills that will enable you to present your work at national and international conferences. You will be provided with access to a shared office with networked PC and specialist software, allowances for photocopying, conference attendance and interlibrary loans.
Skills and experience
A PhD programme will give you the opportunity to develop new and highly sought-after skills which can set you up for a range of careers. It is a chance to make a novel contribution to knowledge, to become a world expert in a particular field and it can open a range of doors with different employers. You will also enhance your interpersonal skills, such as networking and relationship building, which will be invaluable in your future career.
In addition to the University’s extensive training provision, you will have access to courses in teaching and research skills and methods organised by the University and the School.
Future career prospects
Recent graduate destinations include:
- Rochester College, USA, Associate Professor and Department Chair
- The University of Manchester, Lecturer
- Bournemouth University, Senior Lecturer.
Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.
Entry requirements for United Kingdom
A 2:1 honours degree or its equivalent. Applicants without a postgraduate qualification will be required to complete research training in tandem with their research.
IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.
English language requirements
Applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.
Fees and funding
UK / EU fee
- Full-time degree per annum
- Full-time degree per annum
Starting your studies in the 2018/19 academic year?
If your start date is October 2018, January 2019, or April 2019 your tuition fees for this academic year will be at the 2018/19 rates.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment.
Who you'll work with
How to apply
If you cannot find a suitable PhD opportunity that fits your interests and experience from our funded (studentships) and unfunded opportunities, you can submit a research proposal to the School of Social Sciences to try to find a supervisor who will work with you on your project.
If you are interested in applying for a PhD in the School of Social Sciences through this method, you should prepare a research proposal giving details of the research you wish to undertake. Detailed information about what the proposal should include can be found here.
A research proposal will ordinarily give consideration to the following:
- Aims and objectives: what are the major research questions and why is the subject worth investigating?
- Literature review: what work has already been done on the topic?
- Methodology: what approach offers the most feasible, as well as appropriate, means of conducting the research? What, if any, fieldwork might be involved?
- Data: what might this be and how will it be collected and analysed?