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Doctorate (PhD)

A Word from the Director

Concordia University has one of the best doctoral programs in communication studies in the country and an international reputation for excellence in research, research-creation, and teaching. Faculty in the department include numerous nationally and internationally reputed, award-winning scholars, artists, and media makers, with extensive and committed track records in graduate supervision, training and mentoring. Our research expertise is profoundly interdisciplinary, traversing the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, and the sciences, and supports and encourages innovative subjects and modes of inquiry. 

Beyond our established expertise in media and cultural theory, popular culture studies, and experimental and activist media, our faculty research strengths address the pressing issues confronting the field of media studies today: algorithmic media and “big data”, media activism, critical disability and mobility studies, critical race studies and intersectionality, feminist media studies, LGBTTIQQ2sA studies, game studies, social media and networked publics, youth and ageing studies, material religion and media, globalization and border studies, media democracy and data justice. 

Our methods are largely qualitative, but include historical and discourse analysis, research-creation (with specific expertise in documentary film, sound projects, platform interventions and activist media, installation, and VR), science and technology studies (STS), participant observation, visual ethnography, digital research methods, curatorial research, co-research and co-design, and community-based research. Students in the program will gain rigorous training in advanced, experimental and interdisciplinary methods for media, communication, and cultural analysis.

A key department strength lies in its lab-based research culture, allowing graduate students to get involved in rich, engaged, cutting-edge research and research-creation projects. Working with graduate students, faculty and post-doctoral students across the university, graduate students can participate in broad-based research initiatives, and can access key media equipment and space for engaged scholarly work and practice-led research. Labs and research initiatives associated with the department include Aging + Communication + Technology, the Archive/CounterArchive Project, the Feminist Media Studio, the Intersectionality Research Hub, the Media History Research Centre, the mLab, and the newly emerging AIM (Access in the Making) Lab for critical disabilities research. Students also have the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research labs across the university, and Communication Studies doctoral students are particularly active in Milieux, and Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG).

The intellectual energy of our PhD. students is a constant source of inspiration. Over the years, students have organized ground-breaking conferences, established reading and thesis support groups, and been included in exhibitions, film screenings and cultural events around the world. Our students have also been successful in securing highly competitive scholarships and awards, including the Trudeau Scholarship and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Graduates from our program have gone on to take up post-doctoral fellowships, employment in the public and private sectors, and academic positions across Canada and internationally.

For further information about individual faculty areas of expertise and ongoing research projects, please consult the department’s individual faculty pages. For a sense of the range of topics addressed by PhD students in our department, see our list of theses completed.

A PhD is a serious, long-term undertaking, one not taken up lightly in our current conjuncture. While students are admitted on the basis of their capacity to undertake sustained, independent, and rigorous work, we specifically recognize a multiplicity of paths towards graduate study, and encourage you to contact me if you have questions about the program or the application process. We are honoured that you are interested in applying for graduate study in our department.


Dr. Krista Lynes
Director, Concordia PhD in Communication

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