Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now Attend the Virtual Global Study Fair | Register Now

Understanding Diversity in the Scottish Screen Sector: The Role of Perception and Education in Unblocking Talent Pipelines (PHDBCI2021001)

   Business & Creative Industries

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof N Higgins, Ms Khadija Mohammed, Dr I Sorensen  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The University of the West of Scotland in partnership with the University of Glasgow, SGSAH, SFC and BBC Scotland are offering a 3.5 year fulltime funded PhD.


The UK screen sector faces a crisis of representation. Recent research reports identify a lack of diversity on and off screen that result in limitations on the kind of stories that end up on screen, in a self-fulfilling representational loop. Breaking this cycle involves a transformation in the talent pipelines that attract diverse creatives into the industry.

The 2018 Workforce Diversity in the UK Screen Sector Evidence Review, recommends that current research should seek to integrate quantitative and qualitative studies, stating that, “smaller scale qualitative studies would allow in-depth analysis of the relationships, processes and practices behind statistics.” To date only limited qualitative research has been undertaken within the Scottish screen sector.


The Project

This project sets out to explore the diversity challenge in the Scottish screen industries, asking how to facilitate and ensure equal representation among the storytellers and programme makers of tomorrow? The project will seek to identify barriers to entry into the screen industry as well as shortcomings in the existing approaches to attracting and retaining a more diverse workforce in Scotland.

 Working with the BBC, we anticipate that the research questions will be addressed through employing an intersectional methodology, specifically by undertaking (a) a critical literature review and analysis of existing data and reports on diversity within the Scottish screen industries, with reference to BBC Scotland, (b) a qualitative study amongst Scottish BAME school pupils and their parents on perceptions of the screen industries and the BBC (c) a critical review of existing screen education, training opportunities, talent schemes and outreach initiatives in Scotland. Based on the outcomes of this research we would expect the project to propose initiatives as to where, when, and how, interventions should be deployed to best address the accepted position of a lack of diversity within the Scottish screen sector.

The PhD will be based in the Creative Media Academy (CMA) at the University of the West of Scotland (Paisley campus). The student will be supervised by the director of the CMA, Professor Nick Higgins and Khadija Mohammed of the School of Education, University of the West of Scotland, in addition to supervision from Dr. Inge Sorenson of the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at the University of Glasgow and Sandeep Gill, Project Lead on People and Culture at BBC Scotland. The student will have the opportunity to be based at the BBC Scotland Pacific Quay, Glasgow site for 6 months of the 3.5 year studentship.

This Applied Research Collaborative PhD study (ARCS) is funded in part by the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities (SGSAH), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), University of the West of Scotland and University of Glasgow.


More information and applying

We particularly welcome applications from Scottish Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates. UWS is committed to creating a diverse workforce and to improving employment opportunities for ethnic minorities in Scotland.

The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings for 2021 measures universities’ success in delivering against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and has placed UWS as first in Scotland and fifth in the UK for SDG 10 – reducing inequalities.

Informal inquiries to Professor Nick Higgins ([Email Address Removed]) or Khadija Mohammed ([Email Address Removed]) but applications can only be accepted through the UWS online system (

Please state on your research application and in your research proposal that you are applying for a Studentship and please quote the Studentship name and reference number.


Closing date for applications: Friday 21st May 2021

Interviews are provisionally scheduled: Wednesday 2nd June 2021 (date/time to be confirmed)

Start date: October 2021

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs