Journalism  PhD / MPhil


The Department of Journalism has a distinguished reputation as one of the leading providers of journalism training and education in the UK.

Our team of highly-experienced academics are recognised not only for their leadership in journalism education, but also for their professional expertise. We enjoy very strong links with the journalism industry, including our high-profile professors, visiting lecturers, and guest speakers.

Our faculty has expertise in a broad range of journalism topics, including: history; ethics, law and regulation; practices and processes in a digital context; effects of/on globalisation; representation and democratisation; business and leadership; scholarship of teaching and learning in journalism.

Research in Journalism has a strong inter-disciplinary focus and our research staff collaborate with academic staff at universities across the UK and internationally. A number of City Journalism MA graduates are now undertaking research degrees with the Centre for Law, Justice & Journalism.

Each of our research students is provided with a supervisory panel, comprising academics and practitioners, in addition to support from a designated lead supervisor.

  • School of Arts and Social Sciences,
  • Department of Journalism
  • Start Date:

    End of September entry.

    Entry Requirements

    You should have a track record of high academic achievement, demonstrated by a good undergraduate degree with a second class (upper division) pass or equivalent. A Masters-level degree in an academic discipline related is advisable. In exceptional cases, professional qualifications and experience in the proposed research area may compensate for the lack of a Master's degree.

    English Language Requirements

    For students whose first language is not English, the following qualifications will meet the English language requirement for entry to a postgraduate course of study:

    • A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA.
    • A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by the University as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA.
    • GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum.
    • Cambridge ESOL CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) at grade C or above.
    • An overall score of 7.0 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) including 7.0 in writing with a minimum of 6.0 for each other subtest.
    • Other evidence of proficiency in the English language which satisfies the board of studies concerned.

    Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

    Visa Requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

    The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

    • Students on courses of more than 6 months
    • Students on courses of less than 6 months
    • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

    Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

    For more information see our main Visa page.

    Start Dates / Duration of Studies

    Start Date

    End of September entry.

    Duration of Studies

    The minimum period of registration is two years for full-time students. The maximum period of registration is four years for full-time students.

    Students on graduate research programmes are initially registered for the degree of MPhil. Promotion to registration to PhD is not automatic, but contingent on the satisfactory outcome of a review process. This normally takes place towards the end of the first year of registration for full-time candidates and towards the end of the second year for part-time candidates. If the outcome is satisfactory, the student will be upgraded to PhD.

    The programme will conclude with submission of your research in the form of a PhD thesis and attendance at a viva voce examination in front of at least two examiners, at least one of whom will be external to the University.

    For full details about City University London's PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.


    • Full-time EU: £4,500 per year
    • Part-time EU: £2,250 per year
    • Full-time Non EU: £12,000 per year
    • Part-time Non EU: £6,000 per year

    Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and may vary during your period of registration.

    You pay the above fees (which usually increase each year in line with inflation) annually until you are ready to go into 'writing up' status, whereby you are no longer researching your research topic and are solely writing up your thesis for examination. You will not be required to pay further tuition fees but you will be charged the writing-up fee of £300 which will cover you for the duration of the writing-up period (a maximum of 12 months for full-time and 18 months for part-time students).

    If a student fails to submit their thesis within the maximum writing-up period, they will be reverted to full registration (full-time or part-time depending on their status before moving to writing up) and will be required to pay the full fees. Students will only be expected to pay for the time taken to complete the thesis and once the thesis has been submitted the remaining proportional fees will be refunded to the student.

    Fees are payable upon registration. Details of methods of the payment of tuition fees can be found in the postgraduate fees section.

    PhD Studentship

    The School of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to offer a PhD Studentship for this programme. The Studentship will comprise a full tuition fee waiver and a maintenance grant of £16,057 per annum for three years, starting in October 2016.

    Full applications received by Thursday 31st March 2016 will be automatically considered for the Studentship and successful candidates will be informed in May 2016.


    The School of Arts and Social Sciences is offering six PhD studentships comprising tuition fees and maintenance grant of £16,000 pa for 3 years, starting in October 2015. Find out more and how to apply.

    Preliminary Enquiries

    When considering potential applicants, we attach great importance both to the applicant's academic profile and record of achievement, and to the fit between the proposed research and the interests of the supervisor. It is therefore essential that potential applicants identify staff with relevant research expertise, and then contact an individual member of staff to discuss their willingness to offer supervision for their particular topic before submitting a formal application to undertake a research degree. Please consult individual staff webpages for our specialist research profiles and interests.

    Before looking for a potential supervisor, please carefully check the minimum entry requirements, both regarding English language proficiency and marks in relevant previous qualifications.

    Please note that we will not consider applications unless the applicant has initially discussed their full proposal with a member of staff. Potential supervisors will discuss full written proposals and not ideas.

    For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.

    How to Apply

    In order to apply for a place on the MPhil/PhD programme, you will need to submit the following supporting documents:

    • Your research proposal
    • Certified copies of your degree certificates and transcripts
    • Two references - these may be submitted as hard copies in signed and sealed envelopes. If your referees would prefer to email the recommendation letters they can do so, as long as they send them directly to me from their official work (not private) email account
    • Proof of your English language proficiency (if applicable).

    When this information is received the application will be assessed by the relevant academic staff. Further information or an interview may be required. The applicant will be contacted if this is the case. The outcome will be reported to the applicant as soon as is practicable.

    Apply online

    Writing Your Research Proposal

    Your research proposal should give an outline of the research you intend to conduct, along with the research questions you will be attempting to answer, and an initial plan for how you will complete the research. A preliminary literature research which shows where you think your research will sit within existing knowledge would also be useful.


    Research students are normally appointed a supervisory team consisting of at least two supervisors. One of these will be designated as the first point of contact with personal responsibility for ensuring that effective supervision is provided.

    Training Provision

    Information on central provision for doctoral students can be found on our research pages.