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University of Nottingham Malaysia

Research overview

The School of Media, Languages and Cultures offers research degrees that are interdisciplinary that broadly covers the fields of media, communications and culture. Under this umbrella are options focusing on media democracy, media reform, Southeast Asian cinema, youth and new media, internet governance, civil society, creative industries, digital media, and film. Other areas of expertise include music, food culture and identity, migration, cross-cultural and intercultural issues, and multiculturalism and sociology.

In a globalized world where constantly evolving technology becomes the basis and medium of socio-cultural and political communication, the school’s research degrees tap into a much-needed understanding of our common urban modern world, providing a critical understanding of the inner workings and meanings of objects, media and everyday cultural artefacts that we take for granted.

PhD in Media, Languages and Cultures offers training in various types of research methodologies in the social sciences to obtain data. Through mentoring and supervisory guidance from our research-active faculty members, students acquire analytical and critical skills to help them analyse the collected data and learn to be independent researchers. Graduates will be equipped to be active researchers and educators in university, or in the relevant sectors.


Why choose this programme? 

The School of Media, Languages and Cultures is a dynamic research community providing internationally recognised and respected degrees in culture, media and communications.

You will engage with the most up to date, dynamic and forward-thinking studies in the workings of global, regional and local societies.

As convergence and digitalization now form part of the much bigger multimedia industry, there is an increased need to make sense of the implications for society by conducting more research into the areas of communications and culture. Our research programmes provide you with an opportunity to explore in detail contemporary culture, media and communication theories, policy and practice.

Our community of researchers and teachers are of international standing, with each staff member bringing their own unique set of cultural and research specialisations. This mix of experiences delivers a contemporary programme with wide-ranging significance to the modern environment.

Professor Zaharom Nain is interested in media policies and structures, especially in relation to the implications of ownership and control of media organisations for democratic practices and representation. This includes the study of digital media and the control and regulation of new and social media; Associate Professor Joanne Lim focuses on participatory media (mobile and social media), youth identities and civic/political engagement in the Southeast Asian context; Assoc Prof Thomas Barker focuses on communication, media, creative industries and cultural studies, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, targeting conditions of cultural production; Assoc Prof Khoo Gaik Cheng specializes broadly in film and cultural studies, including independent filmmaking and cinema in Malaysia and Southeast Asia; race and multiculturalism, food and identity, cosmopolitan identities and spaces, and the political economy of the durian. Dr Dag Yngvesson specializes in film in Indonesia; American and European New Wave and post-apocalyptic films; Dr Ahmad Fuad Rahmat on psychoanalysis, masculinity in films; Assistant Prof. Gayathry Venkiteswaran’s area of expertise includes media freedom and right to information, media and politics, media reform, digital rights, media and feminism, journalism as a profession; Assistant Prof. Leong Yut Moy conducts research on Japanese Literature from the Meiji, Taisho, Showa periods to contemporary Japanese Literature; Dr Sergio Camacho specializes in the zarzuela; his research interests include but are not limited to composition, contemporary music, performing arts and new audiences; stage, screen and music technology; new technologies in education, and world musics; Dr Cristina Quintana Blanco’s research interest focuses on teaching and learning a foreign language; Latin American culture and history; and translation and interpreting.


How to apply for


If you are interested in applying to do an MPhil, MRes or PhD in the School of Media, Languages and Cultures we would recommend that you contact us and discuss your research project proposal with the relevant supervisor in the first instance. You can then visit our applications pages to find out how to apply.

Course content

Our research covers areas including:

  • comparative literature, Japanese literature, literary translation
  • digital cultures, youth and social networks
  • food, identity and transnationalism
  • international information flows – questions of imbalance, cultural and media imperialism and dependency
  • media and human rights – these include communication rights, media and gender relations, and media and minority groups
  • performing arts: music, drama, performance, applied creative practices
  • Southeast Asian cinema, particularly Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean films
  • the history, policies and structures of the culture industries - these encompass structural analysis, political economy and post-colonial development studies

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.


A master’s degree (or international equivalent) plus, at least a second class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Non-UK qualifications will be assessed against this standard.

If deemed necessary, applicants may also be required to attend an interview.


A first class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Non-UK qualifications will be assessed against this standard.

If deemed necessary, applicants may also be required to attend an interview.

MPhil and MRes

At least a second class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Non-UK qualifications will be assessed against this standard.

If deemed necessary, applicants may also be required to attend an interview.

Applicants must have graduated from an approved university. Other equivalent qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Entry requirements in the prospectus and website may not always apply and individual offers may vary.

IELTS (Academic):

7.0 (with no less than 6.0 in each element)


100 (minimum 20 in speaking and 19 in all other elements)

PTE (Academic):

76 (with no less than 65 in each element)
MUET: Band 5

IELTS, TOEFL and PTE (Academic) test results must be less than two years old and all IELTS must be the academic version of the test. MUET results are valid for five years from the date of the release of results.


Malaysian studentsRM39,900 per year
International studentsRM45,900 per year


Find out about scholarships, financial assistance and specific research funding available to all malaysian and international students.

Scholarship funding

Where you will learn

Malaysia Campus

Semenyih Campus is 48km from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and just 45 minutes’ drive from the famous city centre with its iconic Petronas Twin Towers. On arrival, you are immersed in the green jungle backdrop that Malaysia provides with wildlife, sunshine and campus lake.

The campus is home to our business, education, science and engineering schools, which sit alongside a sports centre, library and student accommodation. The University has everything a modern day student could wish for with the added bonus of being located in central Asia allowing you to travel further afield in your free time.

Public transport is plentiful with free shuttle services operating on some routes. Taxi/Grab services in Malaysia are very reasonable and used widely by the student community.


Our PhD graduates have gone on to work as academics in higher education and the civil service, research institutes and NGOs while the MRes is a path to further study or work in research institutes and the fields of film, media and communications.

The University has an established Careers Advisory Service (CAS) that provides students with essential resources and guidance for career choices offering many opportunities to develop the skills needed to plan and manage your future. Our Careers Advisory Service will work with you to improve and maximise your employability skills as well as providing essential resources and guidance that will assist you with job/course applications. They will facilitate searches for appropriate work experience placements and connect you to a wide range of prospective employers or training opportunities.

This PhD programme provides advanced skills in research and analysis along with providing a broad understanding of contemporary developments in media, communications and culture from a critical perspective. Graduates of this PhD have gone on to work in NGO’s, government services and private sectors including advertising, public relations, market-based research consultancies, film and television, print media, digital content, marketing, foreign service, advisory and consultancy roles, and academic careers.

The MRes provides skills to pursue independent research interests and critical thinking in the specialized field selected within the broader umbrella of media, communications and culture. This degree is a pathway to further postgraduate study or a career in media, marketing, digital content or the civil service, especially in areas that require research and writing.

This content was last updated on 21 December 2023. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.