Theory-Practice PhD Programs

My new research project: “(critical) practice-based,” or theory/practice, media studies PhD programs. What follows is just an unprocessed collection of resources. I’ll add to it as I find more stuff.

Critical Practice Media Studies/Design PhD Programs

  • Centre for Media, Culture, and Creative Practice at Birkbeck, University of London
  • Consortium on Creative and Critical Practice @ Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Digital Media PhD @ Georgia Tech
  • Practice-based PhD in Design @ Goldsmiths
  • University of East London SmartLab PhD Program
  • UCSC’s Film and Digital Media PhD program: “The Ph.D. program in Film and Digital Media challenges the traditionally conceived borders between creative and critical practice. The program enables potential dialogue between creative practice and theoretical knowledge as related forms of intellectual work and provides the conditions for students to realize a wide range of possible projects, including those that exist across the traditional divides of critical studies and production….We are particularly interested in candidates with demonstrated experience in some form of artistic production, and an interest in combining creative work with critical and theoretical study.”
  • USC’s Integrated Media Arts &Practice: “New to the School of Cinematic Arts in 2007, the interdivisional program in Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) situates technology and creative production alongside the historical and theoretical contexts of critical media studies. This practice-oriented Ph.D. program provides students with both practical experience and theoretical knowledge as they work to define new modes of research and production in the 21st century.”

7 replies on “Theory-Practice PhD Programs”

I figured you would be! Several students have asked over the years about PhD programs that, like our MA program, combine theory and practice. I thought it might be useful to draw all of my references together and keep adding to the list.

Hi Shannon,

Just a quick plug to note that Birkbeck, University of London also offers practice-based PhDs in media as well as arts management (e.g. museum studies, curatorial practice, etc).

You might also look up Fiona Candlin at Birkbeck, who did some research on practice PhDs a few years ago.


Check out USC’s new phd program.

Here’s the main USC link:
and a link to the imap website:

It’s a relatively new program at USC that I’ve had my eye on for a couple of years now. Henry Jenkins has just moved from MIT to USC and is involved in the “imap” program design. I’m new to the New School MA program; part of the reason I wanted to complete this program at the New School was to prepare for applying to USC’s imap program.

all the best,

oh wow, this is super interesting. I’ve been (sort of / hesitantly / slightly) starting to think about this as well 🙂 The UCSC program sounds great.

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