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PhD Programmes


CIM offers doctoral students the opportunity to carry out an interdisciplinary research programme of their own design. Through our wide in-house expertise, as well as the links we foster with other departments, we offer a stimulating environment that will challenge and support you throughout your study.

This programme allows you to think outside the box and pursue original and innovative interdisciplinary research. The PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies is our first degree, and it allows students to pursue research projects in line with the core aims of the Centre. Students applying to this programme will draw from more than one discipline in conducting their research, and often seek to combine or innovate at the level of research method. Contemporary challenges often fall between or cut across disciplinary expertise and this degree is designed to meet these challenges.

This programme is offered in collaboration with Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies (CCMPS). The programme is for students who wish to engage directly with the field of contemporary media. Students on this programme are able to combine research supervision with members in CIM and CCMPS and will have access to the research commuities of both Centres. If you wish to apply for this degree, you will need to apply through the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies.

This programme is offered in collaboration with the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities. The programme is for students who wish to engage directly with the field of urban science. More information about this degree, including application deadlines, is available via the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities website.

  1. Determine if you are eligible to apply for a PhD. Eligibility information is below. There are no deadlines to apply for entry to the PhD, but there are deadlines relating to scholarships. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship you will have to meet CIM's internal deadlines. Funding information is below.
  2. Consider how you will fund your research. Full-time PhDs typically last between 3 to 4 years. In order to fund your study, you may need to apply for a scholarship, loan, or rely on support networks. Whatever the case, a clear funding strategy is needed before you commence your studies.
  3. As part of the application, you will be asked to indicate possible supervisors. We will use this to help determine if we have the capacity and expertise to supervise your research, so please take the time to review our staff profile pages. You may be able to nominate one co-supervisor from outside CIM. If you wish to do this, it should be clear why this is the case in your application.
  4. Write your research proposal. Your research proposal should be around 2,000 words (and include references), but the focus is on quality. The proposal should be uploaded along with your application. Your proposal should consider: the main research question/s; the background context of the study and existing research; the discipline/s upon which the project will draw; theoretical frameworks (what theories with the work draw on and why?); methodological approach (i.e. ethnography, digital methods, GIS, discourse analysis); the topic, main examples or case studies; and any possible issues the project may have (such as access to data or specific archives).
  5. Organise the supporting documents. This will involve uploading your CV, academic transcripts, language test results (if needed) and referee information. We recommend that you let your referees know in advance that you intend to apply and send them your application materials so they are best positioned to comment on your suitability for the programme. When preparing your CV, you may wish to refer to the Top Tips for a Strong Application page on the Graduate School website.
  6. If you have any questions about the application procedure, contact the Director of Postgraduate Research (N dot Tkacz at warwick dot ac dot uk).

Note: If you wish to apply for PhD in Media and Communication, you will need to do so via the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies. If you wish to apply for the PhD in Urban Science and Progress, you will need to via the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities. When applying, please indicate that you wish to be supervised by members within CIM. For the degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, select the following options in the Warwick application system:

In the COURSE section select the following options:

Department: Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
Course Type: Research
Course: PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies

  • A strong research proposal that aligns with current research in the Centre.
  • Generally, we require our applicants to have obtained a 2:i undergraduate degree and Master’s (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. However, applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. CIM does not specify a background discipline. If you are unsure about how your previous studies map onto the British system, guidelines can be found through Warwick's International Office.
  • Two academic references; if you include your referees' email addresses on your application, they will receive an automatic email asking them to upload the reference, so you do not need to supply the reference letters yourself in the first instance - just supply the relevant contact details.
  • If English is not your first language or your previous studies have not been completed in English, you must have an IELTS score of 7.0 (Band B).

Awards Available

It is essential to consider how you will fund your studies and support yourself throughout the 3-4 years it takes to complete a PhD. Depending on the area and approach of your research, applicants from within the UK and EU are able to apply for a number of research scholarships, including ESRC scholarships for students within the social sciences, AHRC scholarships for students within the humanities and EPSRC scholarships for engineering and physical science students (Urban Science and Progress applicants only). International applicants (from outside the EU) may apply for the Chancellor's International Scholarship or a number of other scholarships. Full and up to date information about scholarships is available on the Graduate School's Funding page. While the Graduate School provides an extended list of scholarships, international students are strongly advised to consider home-country sources of funding in addition to the Graduate School sources. Further information about CIM scholarships and funding is available on our Funding Information page.
Further Details
Warwick Postgraduate Sanctuary Scholarships

Scholarships to support refugee, humanitarian protection and asylum seeking students in the UK.

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PhD Funding

PhD Funding is possible through a number of sources at Warwick.

Please note that students wishing to be nominated for a scholarship through CIM will need to have their full PhD application submitted by December 10th 2018. Common funding sources include:

Economic and Social Research Council scholarships for social science students (Home/EU only). Deadline for applications: 22nd of January 2019

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) scholarships for arts and humanities students (Home/EU only). Deadline: 14th of January 2019

The Chancellor's International Scholarship (Overseas) for any international students. Deadline: 18th January 2019

A longer list of PhD funding sources is available via the Graduate School Funding page.

International students are advised to consider local (home-country) sources of funding, such as local government scholarships.

Home (UK) students may also qualify for a Doctoral Loan.

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Postgraduate Loans

Home / EU students may be eligible to apply for a loan to support their study and living costs. Postgraduate Loans have to be paid back.

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  pablo_v_cim_42.png  "Completing my PhD in CIM was a greatand challenging experience, and I actually enjoyed the defence! This was largely due to the fantastic guidance of my supervisors and readers at CIM, and the unique research environment that brews in the Centre." - Pablo

Being part of CIM means being exposed to cutting-edge research that may look very different to your own project. Students in our current PhD cohort come from very different backgrounds and combine different research methods. Some work with data, while others are engaged in theoretical or design-inspired approaches. Others rely on ethnographic approaches or experiments. Being around a diverse cohort will expose you to the range of possible research methods, and enable you to have a better sense of the strengths and limits of your own research approach. For a sample of current research, visit our PhD student profiles.

Some of the topics currently being studied by doctoral students in CIM include:

  • Twitter, the City and the Gut: Re-Writing the City Landscape with Health-related Knowledge
  • Digital Theatres of Transparency
  • The Politics of Algorithmic Management
  • An Ethnography of Facebook and the Production of Value in a Political Campaign
  • A reconsideration of the notion of medium through the work of American metaphysician Wilfrid Sellars
  • "The authority of the steam": power dynamics of digital production in the Bitcoin blockchain
  • Meme Theory
  • An Exploration of Freedom and Surveillance in Cybernetic and Anarchist Approaches to Self-organization in Transhuman Techno-utopias
  • Intergenerational memory in practices of care in Ecuador: the cases of agroecological farming and traditional midwifery
  • Understanding Hashtags