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Centre for Media Studies

Centre for Media Studies

The Centre for Media Studies is a major initiative in London and at SOAS, unique in the world for its focus on contemporary and historical trends in media, communications and film in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and their diasporas. The Centre examines media, communications and film production, and reception in the South and their increasingly complex relationships with Europe and North America. We recognise that we live in a multi-platform and multi-centred media world in which the global balance is changing rapidly. Therefore, we are committed to addressing theoretically and empirically the Eurocentrism which still pervades the study of media and film. The teaching faculty includes recognised international specialists who provide unparalleled coverage of aspects of media and film in their regions of expertise. The emphasis given to particular regions, themes and approaches will vary with current trends in the disciplines, broader global developments and the evolving research priorities of academic staff.

Osama Salameh, currently, Information and Social Media Supervisor, Media and Communication Directorate at The Royal Hashemite Court - Amman, Jordan

The Centre for Media and Film Studies has been a turning point in my academic, professional, and epistemological life. I will never read, watch or receive information or media products as before. My rich and unforgettable experience at CMFS equipped me with the necessary theoretical framework to embark on a journey of informed practice, which promises unimaginable potential to understand communication theories and models, semiotics, film criticism, globalization, post-colonial studies, digital theories, reflexivity, audience-hood and much more. The faculty encouraged students' independent research towards region-focused case studies. The result, on the personal and the group levels, was simply localized knowledge par excellence. CMFS at SOAS, as my experience has shown, provides a gateway for practitioners and theorists to re-enter the ever-evolving world of the media, with a more informed mind and a more confident attitude.

Our focus in teaching and research extends from the historically older forms of media such as the press and broadcasting to digital media and the current multiple alternative spaces of cultural production, from cinema and television screens to computer and mobile phone screens. We are interested in the convergence and digitalisation of communications which are bringing the global cultural industries closer together and the ways in which diverse actors engage in and with these industries and what these actions mean for social, cultural and political lives. Our main intention is to combine an obligatory and rigorous grounding in the skills basic to the degree under study with an expression of a student’s individual interests. Particular emphasis is put on the latter element, thus each degree encourages students to undertake original project work and research, including use of our multimedia facilities and practices.

MPhil/PhD in Media Studies

The Centre for Media and Film Studies has a large and vibrant community of students researching a wide range of issues related to the global South. Training and supervision are provided for students registered for postgraduate research degrees (MPhil and PhD). The Research Student Seminar is mainly student-oriented and responsive to the specific needs and interests of each group. Training in a range of relevant research methods is provided by the Centre and by faculty and school-wide provisions. There is ample opportunity to develop or improve language skills and attend selected courses offered across the MA programmes.

We also support a PhD with practice, designed for those with experience of the media and film industries, or those wishing to include a substantial component of practice-based work in their research.

MPhil/PhD students may register for a research degree in Media and Film Studies while being supervised by an associate member based in another SOAS department.


The Centre collaborates closely with other colleges in the University of London, which allows for the provision of unique depth and breadth of expertise in media and film. We are also a member of the University of London Screen Studies Group which hosts regular international symposia and its own postgraduate training programme. CMFS enjoys a close relationship with the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) http://iamcr.org/ and is well-connected to universities and academics around the world.

Why study in London?

London is one of the great media capitals of the world with an unparalleled variety of print and broadcast media, film venues, libraries and media and film industries. Many international broadcasters, newspapers and film distributors have offices here. The London Film Festival is a major international event and there are countless other festivals and celebrations of cultural diversity throughout the year.


SOAS combines disciplinary expertise, regional focus and language scholarship. It has the largest concentration in Europe of academic staff working on Africa, Asia and the Middle East and has a student body comprising more than 100 nationalities. The SOAS library houses a major collection of books and journals on media and a substantial archive of audio-visual materials on Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Centre for Media and Film Studies is one of the few centres in the world which specializes in the study of non-Western media and film and is developing its media and video production to support new PhD students wishing to include a practical component in their research. The Centre staff members have strong international profiles and enjoy close links with leading universities in Asia, Afria and the Middle East.

The Centre for Media and Film Studies now belongs to the School of Arts which Inaugurated in September 2012, the School of Arts incorporates two other departments.


020 7898 4124