PhD students

I am an experienced supervisor of PhDs, having with worked with over 40 PhD students as supervisor, external examiner, internal examiner/independent chair. My supervisory interests broadly cover media and cultural studies, popular music, cultural politics, and include practice-based research. You can get a sense of my specific interests by looking at my publications and projects elsewhere on this website. Do get in touch with serious ideas—I always respond to doctoral enquiries.

I have very few students at the moment—having fairly recently (December 2014) moved from one institution to another. So I am looking to build up a cohort of PhD students at University of East Anglia. Get in touch!

Current PhD students

Robbie McDermott (UEA) is working with me on popular music and disability, with specific reference too musicians with missing or non-functioning limbs.

Here is a clip from BBC Breakfast television in May 2012, of one of my ex-students, Deborah Gabriel, discussing the  British honours system, and its relation to ‘Empire’.


University of Salford PhDCompletions, and a glimpse of their careers

  • Annabelle Waller (Salford 2015). Meta-TV in Practice (PhD by Published Work: portfolio of reality television programmes as director / producer. Staff candidate). Dr Waller is Senior Lecture in Digital Media Production at University of Salford.
  • Nick Katuszonek (Salford, 2014). Jazz, Pop, Improvisation, and the Role of the Contemporary Musician. Dr Katuszonek is an improvising drummer who has performed across the UK and Europe for the past 15 years. He is a Senior Lecturer in Drumkit at Leeds College of Music, and has been Visiting Lecturer at Stavanger Conservatoire.
  • Lloyd Peters (Salford 2014). Media Practice and New Approaches to Mise-en-Scène and Auteur Theory in Broadcast Radio (PhD by Published Work: portfolio of BBC Radio 4 plays as author + critical thesis. Staff candidate). Dr Peters is Senior Lecturer in Media and Performance at Salford.
  • Deborah Gabriel (Salford, 2014). Blogging While Black and British: An Exploratory Study on the Use of Blogs as Social, Cultural and Counterhegemonic Practice. Dr Gabriel is a lecturer, researcher and journalist. She is founder of Black British Academics, as well as an Ambassador for the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. She took up a new post as a lecturer in marketing communications  in the Media School at Bournemouth University in September 2014.
  • Tom Sykes (Salford, 2014). Jazz for the iPod Generation: Music Distribution, Festivals, and Digital Technology. Dr Sykes is Lecturer in Music at Liverpool Community College. He is also a violinist and piano player.
  • Everette Ndlovu (Salford, 2014). The Role of Diasporean Media in Facilitating Citizen Journalism and Political Awareness in Zimbabwe. Dr Ndlovu currently teaches media theory and production in several Manchester Further and Higher Education institutions.
  • Mary Oliver (Salford, 2013). The Digital Performer: Performance, Technology, and New Performance Paradigms (PhD by Published Work: portfolio of live performances as performer + critical thesis. Staff candidate). Dr Oliver was Reader in Performance at Salford, and took up a new Chair as Head of Media at Manchester Metropolitan University shortly after her PhD viva.
  • Ira Yusof (Salford, 2013). The English Premier League in Malaysia: The Symbiotic Relationship Between the Media Industry and Football Fandom. Dr Yusof is a lecturer in media at Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
  • Jack Harbord (Salford, 2012). The Minstrelising Discourse of 21st Century Rap Music (MPhil target award). Jack has a teaching post in creative musicianship at Leeds College of Music, and recently completed a PhD at Salford developing his MPhil work, which I co-supervised the early stages of.
  • Shara Rambarran (Salford, 2011). Innovations in Contemporary Popular Music and Digital Media, and Reconstructions of the Music Industry in the 21st Century. Dr Rambarran is currently Visiting Fellow, teaching popular music, culture and theory, at Queen’s University Canada’s UK campus, the Bader International Study Centre, Sussex. She is editor of Journal of the Art of Record Production, and co-editor of the collection Handbook of Music and Virtuality (Oxford University Press, 2015).
  • Nicola Smith (Salford, 2010). Performing Fandom on the British Northern Soul Scene: Competition, Identity and the Post-subcultural Self. Dr Smith is currently a Lecturer in Sociology and Popular Culture at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
  • PhD stampNicola Spelman (Salford, 2009). All the Madmen: Anti-Psychiatry, Popular Music and the Myths of Madness. Dr Spelman is a Lecturer in Popular Music at the University of Salford. A book drawing on her doctoral thesis, Popular Music and the Myths of Madness, has recently been published by Ashgate.
  • Beate Peter (Salford, 2009). Jung on the Dancefloor: The Phenomenology of Clubbing. Dr Peter is now a Lecturer in the Institute for Performance Research at Manchester Metropolitan University.
  • Diane Fare (UCLan, 2002). Dr Fare went on to be a Temporary Lecturer in English and American Studies at UCLan.

External examinerships

I have acted as external examiner for 15 or so PhD candidates. These have been from the following universities: King’s College London, Durham, Plymouth, Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds, Monash, Sussex, Napier, Cardiff, University of West of England. And in these disciplines: Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Film, Music, American Studies, Sociology, Literature.

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4 thoughts on “PhD students

  1. George Post author

    Andile, thanks for getting in touch. Interesting career! I’m happy to discuss the possibility of PhD work with you, and advise on your proposal. Get in touch with me via email at, and think about drafting some ideas for me to look at. George

  2. Andile Meshack

    Hi Prof.
    Whenever I search for Community Music and “Free jazz” on the internet your name comes up amongst other names like Lee Higgins etc. but it comes as no suprise to me because I once met a friend who saw me playing saxophone and improvising “freely” and after we had a chat, and when I told him I’m an MA graduate in Community Music from the University of Limerick’s IWAMD, he suggested that I meet you in England. Perhaps he found some similarity between what you did and what I was doing. Now I have just read from your website all what you are doing academically and socially, I find that you are a jazz and community music musician/writer/researcher and health/gardening and a professor. Well, I am not a professor but I wanted to study for a PhD after finishing my MA in Community Music in 2008 at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Some of my tutors were Dr.Lee Higgins and Karie Veblen. I have been in music for more than twenty years, first in South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria, Botswana, Swaziland etc and later in Ireland after performing in most European countries with a South African Musical in 1996 – 1998. In !998 – 2002 I studied Popular Music and Jazz in N.Ireland/Rep.of Ireland. I play saxophones, little guitar/African singing, little piano, and drums. I like to improvise and I thought of doing PhD research on – Improvisation and Rhythm: African and Asian society’s use of rhythm as a cultural tool for communication, dance and music. Dr. Lee Higgins’s PhD dissertation has inspired me and I was thinking of studying for a PhD in Community Music. I’m afraid that it seems CM music is linked to and is depended on grants or funding and therefore I wanted to get into formal music education PhD which I find it that it will actually make me to get into school or university teaching where I would use my CM facilitation skills in addition to a set curriculum. I don’t like to be unemployed at this stage in my life as a musician. I have researched a lot about formal/informal music education and I found that informal education was the one used by jazz musicians in America, Africa and other countries, perhaps through oral traditions. Would you consider giving me some advice on how to go about improving my prospects as a prospective candidate for a PhD degree in this 2014 academic year or would you also consider being my supervisor. Presently I have just moved house from Dublin to Lisburn, N.Ireland. I am willing to relocate and live anywhere in the UK where there is an opportunity for me to pursue my studies and a chance of meeting and performing with other musicians.

    With best wishes

  3. Gemma Royce

    Hi George, Hope you are well. We spoke at the beginning of the summer, and have previously spoken a number of times. I am now on the PhD scheme at Essex Uni – and yes studying the UK Music Festival – calling for a Sociology of Festivals, applying Becker and Fonarow (and the like).
    I am keen to meet you – and either pick your brains, finally put a face to the voice I have heard over the phone, and maybe discuss the possibility of ‘external examiner’.
    Do you ever head down to London? If so please give me a shout.
    Kind regards Gemma Royce

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