Media and Communications

Learn from experts who influence media law, media policy and media ethics - and discover the impact the media has on the world around us. Whether you're a Masters or a PhD student, we have the learning resources and postgraduate support network to help you succeed at Sussex, and in your future career.

 Our Masters and PhD courses: 
Digital Media MA

Our MA in Digital Media investigates a world that continues to become increasingly digital. Through the degree, you’ll acquire an advanced grounding in the theories and methods used for analysing digital media cultures.

The Digital Media MA is taught by a mix of seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials. You'll explore both digital media theory and practice, and will engage actively in independent study that includes reading, researching, writing and developing practical projects. You’ll have access to facilities such as computer labs, studios, post-production suites and viewing theatres, and to digital equipment.

Find out more about our Digital Media MA

What can I read to prepare? 

This list of publications from academics teaching on the degree exemplifies the types of histories, methods, theories, practices and contexts discussed in the MA.

Gender and Media MA

Explore the relationship between the media, gender and sexuality.

You'll study historical and contemporary approaches to feminism, queer theory and masculinity studies and develop an advanced understanding of gender and sexuality. 

Find out more about our Gender and Media MA

What can I read to prepare?

Media and Cultural Studies MA 

Our MA in Media and Cultural Studies is designed for students who understand that media are central to the experience of modern life and culture, and who are driven to know more about how and why that is the case, and what it means for politics, society and identity in different contexts. This research-driven and interdisciplinary MA helps you develop the skills and knowledge to explore and explain the questions you have about how various media are produced, how people engage with them, and how they inform, shape and reflect all aspects of our contemporary world.

What can I do to prepare?

Here is a short list of books, podcasts, and websites to help you get ready for your studies at Sussex. None of this is compulsory, but rather suggestions of interesting work that you might enjoy as you start thinking about your course, or through the term. 


  • Media: Why it matters. Nick Couldry (2019). Polity. A great introduction to some of the most urgent contemporary debates by one of the UK's leading scholars of media and cultural studies. 
  • Keywords for Media Studies (2017). (Vol. 5). ed. by Laurie Ouellette & Jonathan Gray. NYU Press. More than a dictionary, this is a critical account of the key conceptual vocabulary you will encounter on this MA.
  • Misunderstanding the Internet. James Curran, Nicola Fenton & and Des Freedman (2016). 2nd Edition. Routledge.
    One of the challenges of studying media is to get beyond common sense understandings of media that we use in everyday life. Written by leading scholars in the field, this is a good example of what's at stake in public and academic debates about the internet.
  • How to do Media and Cultural Studies. Jane Stokes (2021). 3rd Edition. Sage.
    A very accessible introduction to the field, particularly if you are new to this area of study.
  • The mediated construction of reality. Nick Couldry & Andreas Hepp (2018). Polity. An account of the 'mediatisation' thesis, which is a sophisticated argument about the power of the media in contemporary society.
  • Power without responsibility: Press, broadcasting and the internet in Britain. 8th edn. James Curran & Jean Seaton, (2018). Routledge. A new edition of a classic text book provides an excellent overview of media, politics and power in the UK.
  • Why Study the Media? Silverstone, Roger (1999)  London: Sage An older book, but still a classic manifesto for how urgent and complex is the study of the media. It is interesting to see how much remains familiar more than two decades on.
  • Gender and popular cultureMilestone, K., & Meyer, A. (2020). Polity. An updated edition of a wide-ranging introduction to some key theories and concepts applied to topical examples.
  • Social media: A critical introduction3rd ed. Christian Fuchs (2021). Sage. A new edition by a leading critic that promises ‘you will never look at social media the same way again’.
  • The network society. Jose Van Dijk (2020). 3rd ed. Sage. An updated edition that offers a historically-informed overview of the many social consequences of digital communication and platforms.
  • News 2.0: Can journalism survive the Internet? M. Hirst (2020). Routledge. A new book that addresses an urgent question.

The following titles are good places to start in thinking about the place of media and media studies in a global context. 

  • Understanding global media. Terry Flew (2018). Palgrave Macmillan
  • China's media go globalThussu, D. K., De Burgh, H., & Shi, A. (Eds.). (2017). Routledge.
  • Media, geopolitics, and power: A view from the global southWasserman, H. (2018). University of Illinois Press. 
  • The Decolonial Turn in Media Studies in Africa and the Global SouthLast, Molo (ed.) (2020) MacMillan



Cultural and Creative Industries MA

Our MA in Cultural and Creative Industries enables you to examine and explore theoretical, analytical and practical approaches to understanding how culture, business and technology connect.

You unpick cultural industries, texts, identities and practices to understand the creative economy and what lies behind it.

Find out more about our Cultural and Creative Industries MA

What can I read to prepare?

  • Flew, Terry (2013) Global creative industries Hoboken: Wiley
  • Hesmondhalgh, David (2013) 3rd edition The cultural industries London: SAGE
  • Lee, Hye-Kyung and Lim, Lorraine (2014) Cultural Policies in East Asia: Dynamics between the State, Arts and Creative Industries Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Jones C, Lorenzen M and Sapsed J (eds.) (2015) The Oxford Handbook of Creative Industries Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • McRobbie, Angela (2016) Be Creative: making a living in the new cultural industries Cambridge: Polity.
Digital Media PhD

As a Digital Media PhD student at Sussex, you:

  • develop your research skills and knowledge and explore questions surrounding digital media and how it is transforming the world around us
  • participate in the Sussex Humanities Lab, which is dedicated to developing and expanding interdisciplinary research at the cutting edge of digital humanities and digital media
  • benefit from expert supervision in digital media and culture and join around 75 doctoral students from all over the world.

Find out more about our Digital Media PhD

See also

Media and Communications PhD

As a Media and Communications PhD student at Sussex, you:

  • develop your research skills and knowledge and explore how media impacts everyday life, politics and culture
  • work with expert faculty who will guide and supervise you throughout your research project
  • engage in the active research culture of the School, which has an international reputation for research.  Our research includes: the investigation of digital and other media in terms of their materiality, political economy and relationship to lived experience; media and cultural histories; and questions of representation, and protest. 

Find out more about our Media and Communications PhD

See also

Dominic's student perspective

Brendan Maartens

'Besides the excellent teaching and modules, I have benefited from access to a high quality academic library and fantastic resources within the School – both in terms of software and hardware. In fact, there’s more available than I could possibly use in my time on the course.'

Dominic Pates
Digital Media MA