Communication and Media

Communication and media is the study of the creation, production, dissemination, evaluation and positioning of messages. It includes professions like public relations, journalism, radio production, film and television scriptwriting, multimedia and websites. We invite research projects that look at all forms of media (radio, film, TV, print, web) and interdisciplinary projects including those that focus on professional and creative media production practices.

Why study a PhD or Research Masters in Communication and Media at Newcastle?

Communication and media postgraduate research at the University of Newcastle offers PhD and Research Masters candidates expert supervision, as all our academics have professional experience in communication and media industries.

We also have strong industry partnerships with national media organisations like ABC, Fairfax Media and APRA/AMCOS.

Our research is published with national and international colleagues through the Communication and Media Research (CAMR) group. The group supports its members by hosting national conferences, encouraging conference attendance and bringing visiting scholars to the School.

What you can research

Research proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • Creative Practice
  • Media Production
  • Journalism
  • Media Studies
  • Public Relations
  • Communication and Media
  • Scriptwriting
  • Film and Television Production
  • Radio Production
  • Song writing
  • Music Engineering and Production

Creative Practice PhD’s are welcome, where candidates create a media articfact using their professional practice. One example of this is Susan Kerrigan’s PhD title 'Creative Documentary Practice' (2011), which was the creative examination of the production of two documentaries ‘Using Fort Scratchley’ (2008a), and an idoc ‘Fort Scratchley a Living History’, (2008b). This was an interdisciplinary research PhD project conducted with the University of Newcastle history department and Newcastle City Council.

Research methodologies

Communication and Media takes an interdisciplinary approach and favours methodologies like Surveys, Textual and/or Discourse Analysis, Case Studies, Ethnographies, Practice Based Enquiry and Autoethnographies.

Research projects in Communication and Media Arts can include Thesis and Creative Practice Projects where a Media artefact is submitted with a written exegesis. The Media artefact can take any media form including a screenplay, film, documentary, radio program, song or album. We have internationally recognised creativity researchers who have supervised and examined creative practice, and practice-led PhDs in Communication and Media Arts.

How to apply

Find a Communication and Media Supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Mark Balnaves: specialises in audience research, new media and society, digital ethnography, history of media.
  • Associate Professor Phillip McIntyre: researches how novel and valued things come into being. Supervises postgraduate research across a variety of domains concerned with creativity and innovation within the field of communication and media.
  • Dr Janet Fulton: specialises in creativity and cultural production, journalism, online journalism, media entrepreneurship, media studies and social media.
  • Dr Melanie James: specialises in public relations, strategic communication and positioning.
  • Dr Susan Kerrigan: supervises thesis and creative practice projects in film, television and screen production, including screenwriting, drama or documentary.
  • Dr Michael Meany: specialises in humour, comedy and creativity produced and performed in traditional and new media forms.
  • Dr Keith Russell: communication media law and ethics, design concepts and methods, new humanities, new media poetics, phenomenology, philosophy of communication, philosophy of design.
  • Dr Judith Sandner: researches vernacular creativity and collaborative theatrical, television and film productions generated from fact-based community narratives. She supervises projects concerned with Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of news media productions; communication and media personnel as creative practitioners; social media engagement and identity constructions.
  • Dr Simon Weaving: is passionate about cinema and is interested in supervising research that involves film-production, distribution and exhibition – in particular screenwriting and directing cinematic drama.
  • Ms Felicity Biggins: narrative journalism, radio, creative non-fiction, feature writing, journalism, media production, radio.
  • Ms Christina Koutsoukous
  • Ms Cathie Payne
  • Mr Paul Scott: journalism, politics, public affairs and communication, public policy, radio journalism.