MPhil/PhD Data, Networks and Society

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Media and Communications
  • Application code P3ZN
  • Starting 2018
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: London

Media and communications research is developing rapidly, both theoretically and methodologically, in keeping with the vast expansion in the penetration, technological diversity and social significance of the media globally. Media and communications research is essentially interdisciplinary, drawing on the theories and methods of a range of social science disciplines as they apply to the media, both old and new.

With 91 per cent of its research output judged to be "world leading" or "internationally excellent" (REF 2014), the Department of Media and Communications provides an excellent research-based education to its doctoral researchers. Its mission is to guarantee the highest quality graduate research training in media and communications and to undertake original social science research in the field, emphasising in particular the relationship between media, technology and social change.

This programme offers the chance to undertake a substantial piece of work that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution on the role of data and networks in relation to society.


Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD Data, Networks and Society
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline 26 April 2018. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Three-four years (minimum two) full-time
Availability UK/EU: Closed
Overseas: Closed
Tuition fee UK/EU: £4,299 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas £17,904 for the first year
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships (deadline 8 January 2018 and 26 April 2018)
ESRC funding (deadline 8 January 2018)
Minimum entry requirement High merit (68 per cent) in in a taught master’s degree in social science or humanities and normally a distinction in the dissertation
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Research (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

In addition to progressing with your research, you will be expected to take the listed training and transferable skills courses. You may take courses in addition to those listed and should discuss this with your supervisor.

First year

(* half unit)

Training courses

Compulsory (examined)

Two from:
The Audience in Media and Communications*
Examines a variety of social, cultural and psychological issues as they relate to the audiences for television and other media
Media, Technology and Everyday Life*
Explores how information and communication technologies are experienced in everyday life. 
New Media, Information and Knowledge Systems*
Examines how innovation influences the development of digital technologies and the information, communication and knowledge systems they support.
Theories and Concepts in Media and Communications I*
Addresses key theoretical and conceptual issues in the study of media and communications, within a broadly interdisciplinary social science perspective.
Theories and Concepts in Media and Communications II*
Examines key concepts and critical perspectives on the processes of communication that underpin social, economic and cultural relations across diverse spheres of modern life.
Media and Communications Governance*
Explores the governance and regulation of media and communication, including internet and digital platforms, press freedom, telecommunications, broadcasting and the converging media.
Interpersonal Mediated Communication*
Examines the influence of media on three key fields of interpersonal interaction which are identified as personal, social and professional communication.
Data in Communication and Society*
Introduces core theoretical perspectives on data and information from a social scientific perspective, and outlines research approaches that take account of the contemporary influence of data within communication and society. 
Technology and Justice*
Addresses questions of justice and inequity in relation to communication technologies of the 20th and 21st centuries
Digital Platforms and Media Infrastructures: Societal Issues*
analyses digital platforms through their complex interactions with existing media infrastructures that organise the circulation of media, knowledge and information in society, through a process we present as "platformisation."

Advanced Methods of Research in Media & Communications (includes Introduction to Quantitative Analysis and Applied Regression Analysis)
A series of workshops and lectures offered by Media and Communications staff in Michaelmas term. (By agreement, the methodology components (Introduction to Quantitative Analysis and Applied Regression Analysis) can be replaced by other, more advanced, statistics courses or an advanced qualitative course. At least one half-unit course of statistics needs to be included.)

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined)

Research Seminar for Media, Communications and Culture
Focuses on the key conceptual issues and analytical strategies required in media and communication research, with special reference to the study of the changing environment of media production.

Annual Departmental PhD Symposium

Presentation requirements
At least one presentation annually at Research Seminar for Media, Communications and Culture.

Optional (not examined)
Thesis Writing course
Modern Foreign Language courses offered by the Language Centre
Other graduate courses or seminars of relevance to research subject

Second year

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined)

Research Seminar for Media, Communications and Culture
Focuses on the key conceptual issues and analytical strategies required in media and communication research, with special reference to the study of the changing environment of media production.

Annual Joint PhD Symposium
For second years and above, at Goldsmiths, Westminster and City.

Third year

Transferable skills courses
Compulsory (not examined)

Research Seminar for Media, Communications and Culture
Focuses on the key conceptual issues and analytical strategies required in media and communication research, with special reference to the study of the changing environment of media production.

Fourth year

Complete your research.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar. 

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises. 

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Supervision, progression and assessment


You will be assigned a principal supervisor with requisite knowledge in your chosen field and to an appropriate second supervisor. Supervisors are normally members of the Department of Media and Communications faculty. If appropriate, a second or joint supervisor may be recruited from another department.

Progression and assessment

You will initially register for the MPhil and follow a taught programme involving coursework which is formally assessed. Towards the end of your first year, you will submit a 10,000-word research proposal. This paper will include a substantive statement of the aims, theories and methods proposed for the thesis, a tentative chapter outline, an indicative bibliography and a timetable for its completion. Evaluation of this paper, together with an oral examination based on the thesis proposal and the submission of satisfactory coursework, will contribute to assessing whether you are permitted to upgrade from MPhil to PhD and continue into your second year.

You will be assigned a Thesis Committee consisting of your two supervisors and a senior member of the Department’s faculty as Chair. This committee will act as the review panel at the end of the first year of registration and in the decision to upgrade you from MPhil to PhD. The Thesis Committee also provides feedback on draft chapters submitted at the end of the second year and remains responsible for overviewing your progress in subsequent years.


Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career. 

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations in the field give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff at the School, and we recommend that you investigate staff research interests before applying.

See the LSE Experts Directory for more information

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including existing and pending qualifications)
- personal statement
- references
- CV
- outline research proposal
- sample of written work.

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE, but we recommend that you do.

See our English language requirements for further information.

When to apply

The application deadline for this programme is 26 April 2018. However to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Minimum entry requirements for MPhil/PhD in Data, Networks and Society

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a high merit (68 per cent) in a taught master's degree (or equivalent) in social science or humanities and normally a distinction in the dissertation.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

See international entry requirements 

Fees and funding

Every research student is charged a fee for their programme. The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2018/19 for MPhil/PhD in Data, Networks and Society

UK/EU students: £4,299 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas students £17,904 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges UK/EU research students in line with the level of fee that the Research Councils recommend. The fees for overseas students are likely to rise in line with the assumed percentage increase in pay costs (ie, 4 per cent per annum).

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Scholarships, studentships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, the EU and outside the EU.

This programme is eligible for LSE PhD Studentships, and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding. Selection for the PhD Studentships and ESRC funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.  

The funding deadline for LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding: 8 January 2018.
Funding deadline for the second round of LSE PhD Studentships: 26 April 2018.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. 

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

External funding 

There may be other funding opportunities available through other organisations or governments and we recommend you investigate these options as well.

Find out more about external funding opportunities.

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