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MPhil/PhD Research Degrees – Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute

Study for a higher degree by research in our diverse Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute (C3RI). We support a PhD research programme with over 40 students. You may be able to apply for funding from donor and funding bodies including the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Course length 3-7 Year(s)
Location City Campus

Course description

Study for your doctorate or MPhil at Sheffield Hallam’s Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute (C3RI). C3RI an inspiringly diverse multidisciplinary group which makes connections between the research traditions of • art • design and media production • communication studies • computing • engineering.

The Institute consists of two research centres • Art and Design Research Centre • Communication and Computing Research Centre.

We provide an environment in which each discipline can develop its own approach to research. At the same time we bring people together on questions that cut across traditional subject boundaries. You may be able to study abroad as part of the Erasmus programme.

Research activity at C3RI

C3RI is Sheffield Hallam University’s largest community of researchers, with over 100 academics, researchers and technical staff.

Our work covers basic, strategic and applied research as well as covering research into teaching and learning. Much of it is through partnerships with businesses and professional collaborators.

Research is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Board, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the European Union, commercial clients, charitable bodies and government.

We support a PhD research programme with over 40 students. The C3RI also maintains many knowledge transfer partnerships that support close collaboration between academics, researchers and industrial partners.

Design Futures

C3RI also houses Design Futures – a Yorkshire Forward Centre of Industrial Collaboration for Product and Packaging innovation.

Design Futures has had specialist design teams working exclusively on commercial consultancy services for several years. These teams have developed award winning, innovative solutions for many clients, some of which have been patented.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

A good first degree from a UK institution (normally a first or upper second), or the overseas equivalent, to register for MPhil only or MPhil with the possibility of transfer to PhD. Only holders of a relevant UK masters degree, which had a substantial research training element can apply for direct PhD registration.

Overseas applicants from countries whose first language is not English must normally produce evidence of competence in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 with 5.5 in all skills (or equivalent) is the standard for non-native speakers of English. If your English language skill is currently below an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English level.

The final thesis must be presented in English.

If you do not have such academic qualifications we may consider your application individually, based on your personal, professional and work experience, and other formal qualifications. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

PhD by confirmation – three to four years full-time, or five to seven years part-time

MPhil – two years full-time, or three years part-time

Start dates – September, January or May.

Typical modules may include

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Candidates are required to critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic, to demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to their chosen field and to present and defend a thesis by oral examination.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

As MPhil plus PhD candidates are expected to make an independent and original contribution to knowledge.


Each student is allocated a director of studies and a supervisor. Regular meetings between the student and supervisors are scheduled, with targets set for written and oral presentation of research progress.

Research training

All students are required to complete research training modules unless already studied as part of a masters degree. This has fee implications for part-time students, but is included in the full-time fee.

Training is followed by theoretical and textual research, analysis and writing, working closely with the supervisors. Students are expected to present seminar papers on their work and to submit written papers for comment. Students will also be expected to attend relevant seminars from the research seminar series.

Assessment Thesis followed by oral examination


Research degrees are a vital qualification for most academic careers and for professional specialisation within an existing or planned career. The rigorous analytical thinking they involve is also an attractive feature for potential employers of all kinds.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2017/18 academic year

Full-time – typically £4,195 a year
Part-time – typically £2,098 a year

Fees are aligned to Research Councils UK (RCUK) fees.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas.

International student

2017/18 academic year

Typically £12,400 a year

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Please complete an application form. For detailed information on how to apply, please visit our research pages or email c3ri@shu.ac.uk

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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