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Community based media production, strategies of social impact and distribution.

   School of Arts and Creative Industries

About the Project

What are the effective strategies community based, collaborative and participatory media production (and other forms of alternative production) practice can employ to create maximum impact in terms of social issue based content? This project aims to explore the spectrum of production asscated with community based media to consider the different contexts for distribution and exhibition.

Is impact most effective when distribution occurs locally to the audience of participants? Or does broader, regional, national and international distribution effect change and impact? What are the strategies community based filmmakers are employing on an international scale and what are the factors provoking production? Is production professionalised within broadcasting or filmmaking practitioners, is it located with international development contexts and are there factors emerging from new media technologies - mobile phones, online distribution, apps which facilitate new forms of social impact production?

The PhD will ask what are the effective distribution strategies and where are they factored during the production process? How does distribution work within community media contexts and what are the sources of funding and marketing behind it? The PhD research will enquire into the conflict between measuring social impact and the production of works of art or which can be described as locating their value through process as well as generating social capital.

Applications are expecially welcome from proposals which have a gender based interest and which include Pacific and/or African continent contexts. Themes may also include impact of coronavirus and local contexts for dealing with lockdown, social and econmijc impact.

The PhD application fits into a broader body of practice and research of supervisors, Dr. K MacLeod and Dr. A Scott which encompasses UK & International contexts of community based media as well as broadcast television. We welcome applications to develop the themes outlined above.

Practice based applications are welcome for supervision.

Applications are welcome for part time and full time study.

Academic qualifications
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Visual/Social Anthropology, Sociology, TV/Film Production, Mass Communications, Development Studies, with a good fundamental knowledge of Film/TV production, community based media, participatory and collaborative media, documentary practice and visual anthropology.

English language requirement
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
• Experience of fundamental Community contexts of media production
• Competent in Film/TV/Video production
• Knowledge of Community based Media
• Good written and oral communication skills
• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
• Good time management

Desirable attributes:
Professional experience of TV/Film/Community based production; MA degree in production or development related subject; interest in gender; background/ experience of international development; arts management and community based contexts.


Bell, D., 2006. Creative film and media practice as research: In pursuit of that obscure object of knowledge. Journal of Media Practice, 7(2), pp.85-100.
Gordon, J., (ed.) 2009. Notions of Community: A Collection of Community Media Debates and Dilemmas, Peter Lang: Oxford.
MacLeod, K., 2015, ‘I film therefore I am: process and participation, networks and knowledge – examples from Scottish community media projects’ in Atton, C. (ed) Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media, London: Routledge.
Scott, Alistair, (2017) Representing Scottish communities on screen
Chapter 4 in Community Filmmaking: Diversity, Practices and Places
Edited by Sarita Malik, Caroline Chapain and Roberta Comunian
Published by Routledge

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