The PhD program in mass communication

PhD program in Mass Communication was launched by the Mohyla School of Journalism in October 2008.

It is one the first three PhD programs introduced by the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” Doctoral School that represent the first attempt to bring in doctoral studies of European standards in Ukraine.

The Program was launched with the financial assistance of Rinat Akhmetov’s “Development of Ukraine” Foundation.

The PhD program in Mass Communucation pursues an interdisciplinary research agenda through cooperation with other departments within the university, primarily those of sociology and political science, as well as with mass communication and journalism departments of foreign partners.

The four-year PhD Program offers a number of courses and research seminars for the doctoral students. There are interdisciplinary courses developed by the Doctoral School that mostly concern research methods, research project development and related issues. The Program also offers specialized courses on media and communication and various research seminars with guest professors.

The invited guest professors included:

Marta Dyczok Associate Professor, Departments of History and Political Science, University of Western Ontario
Alexander Motyl Professor, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University Newark
Sarah Oates Professor, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow
Katerina Tsetsura Associate Professor, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Oklahoma
Virginia Luzon Professor, Audiovisual and Print Communication Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona

International cooperation

In the course of the four years of the Program’s existence, it has managed to establish several partnerships and cooperation with foreign universities and scholars.

In particular, the Program initiated a bilateral agreement with the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) to grant a joint PhD degree to three PhD students after their dissertation defense. The students spent several months of research at the UAB and conduct their studies under supervision of two professors (one from NaUKMA and another from the UAB). The dissertation defense is scheduled for autumn 2012 at the UAB.

The Program has also engaged cooperation with the Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies at the University of Glasgow, as well as the Institute for Broadcasting Economics at the University of Cologne. Mohyla School of Journalism together with the Institute organized a conference series «Public Service Broadcasting. A German-Ukrainian Exchange of Opinions» in 2010.

PhD students’ activities

Duration of study at the PhD Program is four years. There are currently 12 doctoral students enrolled into the Program. The range of PhD research projects is wide and covers such issues and areas of studies as journalism ethics, construction of representations in media, new media and online activism, political communication, gender issues in media, health communication and others.

Doctoral students of the Program have been actively engaged in various academic activities:

  • Research visiting fellowships (Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Toronto)
  • Participation in thematic summer schools (e.g. International Summer School in Political Communication and Electoral Behaviour at the University of Milan; ECPR Summer School in Methods and Techniques at the University of Ljubljana etc.) and curriculum development sessions offered by the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
  • Presentation of competitive research papers in the established international and national conferences:
    • National Communication Association’s Annual Conventions (Chicago, 2009; San Francisco, 2010)
    • CRCEES IV Annual Research Forum (Universiy of Glasgow, 2011)
    • Graduate Student Symposium at the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto (2010, 2012)
    • Danyliw Research Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine, Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada (2010)
  • Publication of research papers and articles in:
    • peer-reviewed journals Public Relations Journal and Central European Journal of Communication;
    • working papers of the Institute for Broadcasting Economics at the University of Cologne;
    • conference proceedings;
    • a number of Ukrainian scholarly publications (Sociological Studies of Modern Society: methodology, theory, methods; Naukovi Zapysky NAUKMA etc.)

Academic achievements of the Program’s students have been recognized by different foundations. Several students were awarded grants from Rinat Akhmetov’s “Development of Ukraine” Foundation, as well as Lozynsky fellowships to the best doctoral students of the NaUKMA.

Expertise in post-soviet media systems and practices as well as research skills and experience of doctoral students made possible their participation in number of global research projects and cooperation with international organizations including the Freedom House, the International Public Relations Association, the Internews, the International Women’s Media Foundation, the Reuters Foundation.

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