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An aerial view of the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's


The Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies (CRMCS) was set up in 2000 to promote and maintain a lively and inclusive research environment for academics at the University of Sunderland who are working in and around media and cultural studies.

In the course of pursuing that goal, CRMCS has become increasingly outward looking, forging links with researchers in other universities, broader academic networks and non-academic organisations at national and international levels.

It has also resulted in our research having growing impact in the wider academic community and beyond, at the level of policy, as well as in industry, the legal system and the arts sector. See our Research impact pages for examples of our research.

Over the years we have also increased our externally-funded research activity, attracting grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Arts Council, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the European Union, Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) and the North Music Trust. Read more about our externally-funded research.

Our research activities, postgraduate research students and visiting scholars are spread across several areas of interest and engagement. To some extent these areas correspond to long-established academic fields or objects of investigation including media and communication studies, cultural studies and film studies, or work on texts and representation, audiences and reception, and industries and regulation.

Our research also cuts across these traditional categories in its concern with theory, history, technology, identity, power, place, practice, performance and globalisation. Read more about our staff, postgraduate research activity and researchers. Our postgraduate research supervision expertise is detailed on the postgraduate research degrees pages.

We host a fortnightly research seminar series every year, which presents a range of external speakers, both national and international. These have included Kath Albury (University of New South Wales, Australia), Deborah Chambers (University of Newcastle), Simon Frith (University of Edinburgh), Dan Hassler-Forrest (University of Amsterdam), Matt Hills (Cardiff University), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, USA), Peter Lewis (London Metropolitan University), Karen Lury (University of Glasgow), John Mercer (Birmingham School of Media), Jeffrey Richards (Lancaster University), Sean Street (University of Bournemouth), Helen Thornham (University of Leeds), Andrew Tolson (De Montfort Unviersity), Jason Toynbee (Open University), Meng Wei (Communication University of China), and Federico Zecca (University of Udine).

CRMCS also regularly hosts or jointly organises academic conferences and symposia. In recent years these have included Englishness Rising (2015), Young People, Privacy, Sex and Technologies (2014), Freedom and Censorship in the Media (2014), Radio Research (2013), Adventures in Textuality (2013), Marxism Matters (2012), Child Actors/Child Stars (2011), Doing Women's Film History (2011), and Feminist Television Studies in Post-Feminist Times (2010). These events attract keynote speakers and delegates from all over the world and often bring together academics and non-academics. Read more details of our past and forthcoming events. We also run special Postgraduate Research Days aimed at our MA and PhD students, at which they are encouraged to present their research alongside our own and visiting academics. Postgraduate students are actively encouraged to become involved in the organisation and running of these events as part of their research training.

At CRMCS, we also host co-editorship of the international peer-reviewed academic journal Porn Studies, which was set up in 2014, is co-edited by Professor Clarissa Smith and published by Routledge.

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