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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. The diverse expertise and research interests of our academic staff can be found here.

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. Apply here (with link to our application system).

We also offer the joint a programme PhD in Media and Communication 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.

  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, please consult the Funding Information below and work towards the deadlines specified. We recommend that candidates submit their applications as early as possible.
  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. Try to identify a potential supervisor, and make contact with them before submitting your application. Details of our academic staff members' expertise and areas of interest are avaailable on our Staff Profile pages. If you require assistance identfying which member of staff is best placed to supervise your proposed research, please feel free to contact our Director of Postgraduate Research Studies (n dot calvillo at warwick dot ac dot uk)
  4. You may wish to nominate one co-supervisor from outside CIM. If you wish to do this, please make clear why this is the case in your application.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. If you have any questions about the application procedure, contact the Director of Postgraduate Research (n dot calvillo 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. Each year there are a number of different scholarships to apply for depending on the area and approach of your research (Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Social Sociences) and residential status (Home, EU, or International). Details about scholarships and other sources of funding is below.
Opportunities Deadline for applications Further Details
Economic and Social Research Council scholarships for social science students. 22/01/2020 Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) scholarships for arts and humanities students. Tbc for 2020 AHRC Midlands4Cities DTP
EU Chancellor's Scholarship for EU students from any disciplinary background. Tbc for 2020 EU Chancellors Scholarship
Alan Turing Institute Doctoral Program - Warwick Scholarships, for students researching core topics in Data Science or Artificial Intelligence. Tbc for 2020 PhD at the Turing
Monash Warwick Alliance Joint PhD Scholarships from any discipline (with some conditions.) Tbc for 2020 Monash Warwick Alliance
Warwick Postgraduate Sanctuary Scholarships, to support refugee, humanitarian protection and asylum seeking students in the UK. Tbc for 2020 Sanctuary Scholarships
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. - Please click here for information on doctoral loans.
The Chancellor's International Scholarship (Overseas) for any international students. Tbc for 2020 Chancellor's International Scholarship
Alan Turing Institute Doctoral Program - Warwick Scholarships, for students researching core topics in Data Science or Artificial Intelligence. tbc for 2020 PhD at the Turing
Monash Warwick Alliance Joint PhD Scholarships for students from any discipline (with some conditions.) Tbc for 2020 Monash Warwick Alliance
Warwick Postgraduate Sanctuary Scholarships, to support refugee, humanitarian protection and asylum seeking students in the UK. Tbc for 2020 Sanctuary Scholarships
International Postgraduate Scholarships: there are a number of country-specific scholarships available for international applicants. Various (see Further Details) International Postgraduate Scholarships
International students are also advised to consider local (home-country) sources of funding, such as local government scholarships. - -
Further information about these and other scholarships is available via the Warwick Doctoral College
“I’m extremely grateful to have done my PhD at CIM. I really don’t think I could have done my project, which was interdisciplinary by nature, anywhere else. At the same time, I think CIM’s interrogation of ‘methods’ changed my own intellectual outlook on how knowledge might be researched and produced. It helped that everyone was lovely and welcoming, too!"
- Scott

"CIM afforded me the space and freedom to pursue my research interests. I always felt fully supported and encouraged in an intellectual environment that was challenging, stimulating and diverse. Researchers, students and professors are all working on a variety of compelling projects and getting a glimpse of their interests and activities was priceless and very inspiring for me."
- Silvia

“CIM is a truly multidisciplinary environment and provided me with the expert advice of outstanding scholars to conduct research in the fields of political culture and online media studies that I was always passionate about. The academic and administrative staff were very supportive when I needed them most and provided me with the space and freedom to conduct a challenging and high-quality academic research project."
- Esteban

"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


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