Research Students, GTAs and GRAs

Research Students, GTAs and GRAs

Below are contact details for our research students, which will soon include links to their current research work and interests.

Research Students

To contact research students call the office number: 0116 252 5344

Raheemat A Adeniran
Akintayo Adetokunbo-Edmund
Lawrencia Agyepong
Fitaha Aini
Serena Bilanceri
Oluwafunmilayo ‘BodeAlakija
Genevieve Bosah
Paul Caruana
Alejandra Castano Echeverri
Yuanchen Xue
Claudette Hawkins
Sofia Zainudin
Diyana N Kasimon
Josh McLeod
Tunde Olugboji
Kelechi Onyemaiobi
Ohgogho Uyi Osazee-Odia
Afnan Qutub
Jantiga Supapong
Janet Couloute
Wei Cui
Callum T.F McMillan
Ioanna Ferra
Flavio Garcia da Rocha
Asia Khoja
Christos Kostopolous
Ali Makke
Fred M'Membe
Sarah Penger
Amelia Reigstad
Patricia Routh
Lidia Salvatori
Mirjam Abigail Twigt
Ken Wang
Zhao Yupei
Kartini Kamaruzzaman
Nuhsodah Wanapia
Michael Raphael Wilson
Diretnan Dusu Bot
Jessica Martin

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Andreas Anastasiou
Hannah Ditchfield
Anna Zsubori

Graduate Research Assistants

David Moss
Dafni Mangalousi
Sandra Kaulfuss
Maria Nerina Boursinou

Maiya Al Habsi


Title of PhD

Offering a New(s) View of the Arab world:
A study of the production of Al Jazeera


Brief description of PhD research

The project aims to examine the significant differences between Al Jazeera and other news provision in the Arab region in relation to journalistic understandings and practices in the news production domain. Its specific aim, to explore how Al Jazeera news outputs are shaped in accordance with this unique news form, is new to Arab news studies generally, as an approach that developed more recently in UK news scholarship. This approach rejects assumptions that news programmes and their production can be understood as homogenised and standardized, respectively, and embraces news differentiation as an important aspect of the Arab news ecology. The project will introduce the unique characteristics of Al Jazeera news programme, commenting on their ongoing formation in accordance with journalists’ understandings of their communities’ culture, audience images, knowledge of ongoing politics and experience of political pressure and how such a news form shapes and delimits the progressive possibilities of the programme. Additionally, the project uses a quantitative and qualitative  methodology which combines the use of observation, in depth interviews and content analyses in the effort to capture the connection between professional understandings, practices and the shaping of the news programme.

Conference paper

‘Producing a New(s) View of the Arab World? Studying the Professional Knowledge and Practices of Al Jazeera Journalists’. (Al Jazeera Imagined Audience). Presented at ECREA Journalism Studies conference, Pamplona, Spain, July 2011.

Year of study

Second Year


Dr Julian Matthews

Oluwafunmilayo ‘BodeAlakija

Media & Communication,

Bankfield House, 132 New Walk

University of Leicester,

Leicester LE2 7JA


MA, Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1988)

BA, Theatre Arts, University of Benin, Nigeria (1985)

PhD Title

Home, Belonging, Identities and the Role of Media among Nigerian Diaspora in London:

An Ethnography of Little Lagos, Peckham.

Brief of PhD

Currently researching how first and second generation members of the Nigerian diaspora in Peckham construct home, belonging and identity and what role the media play in their articulation of these concepts. The study seeks to identify the different identity discourses and practices in Peckham using post-colonial theory on cultural hybridity.

Year of study:  Second Year


Dr Mirca Madianou and Dr Jessica Bain.

Career Experience

I lecture at the Department of Mass Communication, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Nigeria. (2004 to date).



Oso, Sulaimon and Alakija, Funmi (2008) “Corporate Social Responsibility in the Nigerian Business Sector” in Oso, Lai and Ajayi, Yemi, Corporate Social Responsibility of Business – Principles, Practice and Perspectives, Coordinated by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Ogun State Chapter.


Banjoko, Wole; Togunwa, Lekan; and Alakija, Funmi (2009). Handbook on Research Writing. Abeokuta: Primus Prints and Communication.

Amos, Kolawole and Alakija, Funmi (2005) Oral and Written Communication: A Discourse. Abeokuta: Eternity Publishers.

Otunba, Taiwo G.; Odedeji, Adeoye; Alakija, Funmi; Raufu, Goke (2009) Sociology of the Media. Lagos: Meek Associates.

Alakija, Funmi (2008) Basic Concepts in Critical Writing.  Abeokuta: Campus Publications.

Conference and Seminar Papers

Alakija, Funmi (2008) New Journalism and the Future of Professional Journalism Practice in Nigeria. Department of Mass Communication, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Press Club.
Alakija, Funmi (2007) Preparing for Examinations: What to do: Avoiding Examination Misconduct/Malpractice and Its Implications; May 31(AMACOS – Association of Mass Communications Student Seminar)
Alakija, Funmi (2007) Steps in Research Writing. (AMACOS/ Department of Mass Communication organised Seminar for the Final Year Students, 2007)
Alakija, Funmi (2006) Avian Flu: Responding to a Pandemic through Awareness, Sensitization and Mobilization Campaign, June 20 to 28(Ogun State of Nigeria FADAMA project)

Conference Participation

UNESCO´s Communication and National Development – ACADA Model Workshop. Nigeria, 2006.
ICT and Digital Technology Competence Training. University of Lagos, Nigeria, 2008.
Publication Seminar, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, October, 2007.

David Moss

David Moss profile

PhD Student in Media and Communications and Politics and International Relations

Graduate Research Assistant, 'Fair's Fair Project', 2012-2016


Link to profile:


MA, University of Kent, Philosophy (2010-2011)

BA(Hons), University of Cambridge, Philosophy (2006-2009)



When, how and why individuals' political judgements are, are conceived as or otherwise involve moral judgements.


Professor Peter Lunt (Media), Dr Philip Cook (Politics)


Democratic Architecture, Bangor Visions Conference: Paradise Lost? The World of 2050, University of Bangor, June 2013

Philosophy and Real Ethics: Realism and Moralism, Ideals and Reality in Social Ethics, University of Newport, 2013

Must Knowledge of God be Based on Reasons?, Tyndale Philosophy of Religion Conference, 2010

Qualitative Not Quantitative: Alternative Methods in Empirical Philosophical Investigations, Experimental Philosophy Group Third Workshop, University of Nottingham, 2012

Public Lectures

'Are "right" and "wrong" just matters of opinion?', Leicester Adult Education Centre, 28th June 2013


2nd in Young Philosopher of Religion of the Year, Tyndale Fellowship, 2010


My background is in Philosophy, where I have worked mostly on Political Philosophy and Meta-ethics. My thought has been and continues to be strongly influenced by the work of Wittgenstein. During my Masters year I trialled the use of qualitative interviews in an 'experimental philosophy' project to look at the meta-ethical status of individuals' moral discourse.

I am now conducting empirical research through the use of in-depth interviews to investigate whether individuals (UK citizens) think of political questions in moral terms, and why they do when they do.

Faith Kibere

Faith Kibere photo

MA, International Design & Communication Management, University of Warwick (2011)

BA, Communication (Cum Laude) (Print Media), Daystar University, Kenya (2010)

Dip, Communication, Daystar University, Kenya (2007)

Contact: Media & Communication Department,
University of Leicester,
Bankfield House, 132 New Walk,
Leicester LE2 7JA


PhD Title

Facebook for Development? An ethnographic study of the relationship between the youth and new media in Kibera, Kenya

Brief of PhD

There is vast anecdotal information and research literature on ICTs and their vast potential for development in the Global South. However, site-specific user centric studies that focus on the social, political or cultural context of the use of technology are rare. Consequently, the main aim of this empirically grounded research is to contribute to the emerging literature on ICT users. The initial focus of this study was a case of engagement between young Kiberans and community exchange crowdsourcing platform Voice of Kibera (VOK). However, the results of a yearlong ethnography comprising 22 in-depth interviews evidence the enthusiastic engagement of young Kiberans with Facebook as opposed to the local VOK that promises empowerment. This contribution enriches the ongoing expansion of ICT4D literature from the ‘hard’ socio-economic ends of technology to a holistic view of the use of ICTs. It also challenges the assumption that marginalised or ‘vulnerable’ groups in the Global South are avid users of technology for communal socio-economic empowerment or political gain by illuminating this case of youthful Kiberans who use Facebook for fulfilling individual aspirations.

Year of study:

Third Year


Professor Peter Lunt and Dr Paul Reilly


Conference Participation

ICTs, Media and Social Change in Africa Conference at University of Westminster
Panel Presentation in New Media, Participation and Social Change in Africa group
Title: Mobile Phones and the Expansion of Capabilities
Friday 15 June 2012
New Directions in Media Research Conference at University of Leicester
Panel Presentation in Media and Development group
Title: Mobile Phones and the Expansion of Capabilities
Wednesday 13 June 2012


Peter Mhagama

Previous Education

2004: Master of Arts - Culture, Communication and Media Studies
Institution: University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
2003: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - Culture, Communication and Media Studies
Institution: University of Natal, Durban, South Africa

1999: Bachelor of Education (Humanities)
Institution: University of Malawi (Chancellor College)


Research Title:

Community Radio as a Catalyst of Development and Social Change: A Case study of Community Radio Stations in Malawi

Brief Overview of the Thesis

The research investigates how community radio catalyses development and social change in the community. Using case studies of Nkhotakota and Mzimba Community Radio stations in Malawi, the research investigates this issue at two levels; firstly since community development involves the empowering of local people through the provision of information and skills, the research investigates how programming of local development news or information to the community empowers listeners to become knowledgeable. Empowered with practical knowledge local people are able to bring about positive behaviour change in their lives and change in the community in general. Behaviour change is achieved as a direct result of the development news transmitted through the radio which equips them with practical information and skills to enable them tackle developmental challenges faced in their lives and in the community. Community radio helps local people to examine and identify problems in their environment such as health and sanitation, education, agriculture, human rights, HIV/AIDS etc, and provides solutions of dealing with those problems at the local level.

Secondly the research examines how participation in the media encourages or facilitates participation in decision-making about issues that affect people in the community. Participatory programmes encourage democratic participation in social issues or public life, give voice to the voiceless, and empower marginalized people to represent themselves. This results in collective identification of community problems and finding solutions to those problems. When ordinary people take power onto themselves, they create a different kind of power structure which propels them to approach development from the bottom to the top. This is in line with the participatory communication theory which promotes the reduction of the gap between media producers and receivers, between development agents and recipients. This, however, does not mean the annihilation of power by the development agents or media professionals, instead the research suggests an integral approach to community development or partnership. In other words both top-down and bottom-up approaches are needed if meaningful development and local people’s empowerment is to be achieved. Community radio, therefore, makes listeners become active participants in the process that aims to change their marginalized situation and provides a space where the role of information and the role of participation in development are contested.

Year of Study

Third Year


Professor Peter Lunt and Dr Katie Moylan


1. Book Chapter
Mhagama, P. 2011. ‘Has the penetration of communication media in traditional societies helped to bring about development?’ In D. W. Lutz, P. M. Shimiyu & G. N. Osengo (eds). Rethinking Integral Development in Africa. Nairobi: Consolata Institute of Philosophy. Pp 128-139.

2. Journal Paper
Mhagama, P. and Kanyag’wa, M. 2011. ‘State of Media Freedom in Malawi’. African Communication Research. Volume 4, Number 2, September 2011, pp 285-300.

Conference Papers

1. Mhagama, P.M. 2013. Why is community participation elusive in community radio practice? Paper presented at The Radio Conference: A Transnational Forum, University of Bedfordshire, UK, 9-12 July 2013.

2. Mhagama, P. 2013. How the combination of Community Radio and Mobile Phones is Giving Marginalised People a Voice to bring about Social Change and development. Paper Presented at the 2nd Annual Conference on New Directions in Media Research, 14 June 2013.

3. Mhagama, P.M. 2008. Challenges of using African languages for development in Africa vis-à-vis globalisation. Paper presented at the 4th ADALEST conference held at the University of Botswana, Gabarone – Botswana from 7-9 July 2008.
4. Mhagama, P.M. 2007. How does language construct meaning?: An analysis of HIV/IDS message dissemination through the mass media. Paper presented at the 7th National Language Symposium on African Languages for Africa’s Development held at Hippo View Motel in Liwonde, Machinga, Malawi from 12-16 November 2007).

5. Mhagama, P.M. 2006. How globalisation affects Third World countries: A case of the centre/periphery debate being rewritten. Paper presented at an International Conference on 'Africa, Globalisation and Justice' held at The Catholic University of Eastern Africa - Kenya from 17 –19 May 2006.

6. Mhagama, P. M. 2006. The role of language and communication in development. Paper presented at the 6th National Language Symposium on “Literacy for Development: The Role of African Languages” held at Sun ‘n’ Sand Holiday Resort in Mangochi, Malawi from 11-13 September 2006.


May 2011, I received the Commonwealth Scholarship Award to study for a PhD in Media and communications Research at the University of Leicester

Andreas Anastasiou

Andreas Anastasiou photo



Teaching Fellow / Doctoral Candidate




  • PhD Media and Communication, University of Leicester (UK), 2013-2018
  • MA Communications, Media and Public Relations, University of Leicester (UK)
  • BA Economics, American College of Greece

Research Interests:

Journalistic professionalism; news values; comparative journalism cultures; patriotic bias in the news; representing the ‘other’.

PhD Working Title:

Selecting the news: a cross-national comparison of values, factors and criteria

Brief Description of Research Project:

This research project is a comparative study of relationships between micro and macro factors at play during the process of news selection, as these are observed in three countries of varying journalistic cultures, media environments and socio-political context: the United Kingdom, Sweden and Greece (Hallin and Mancini, 2004). Within each of the observed countries, analysis is conducted at an inter-organisational level, in order for norms and trends prevalent in their journalistic fields to be identified and explained (Benson, 2005).

The empirical data required for a meso-sociological analysis, that is for identifying and explaining power factors (internal or external to the newsroom) influencing the process of news selection, is collected through a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods (O'Cathain et al., 2007; Plano Clark and Badiee, 2010; Bryman, 2012): a survey via questionnaire (Rea and Parker, 2005) and focused group discussions respectively (Kitzinger, 1993), the participants in both being professional journalists in the three countries.

The research design involves a particular innovation, as in the focus groups there is a ‘news selection game’ played by the participants (Buckalew, 1969; Eldridge, 1993; Philo, 1993), where regular editorial meetings are simulated. The quantitative component of the mixed methods methodological approach is used for the establishment of patterns or correlations of factors and the extent of prevalence that can attributed to anecdotal accounts. The qualitative one offers explanations with respect to the direction of causal relationships; it also allows a deeper view into the dynamics of (not-easy-to-describe or not-easy-to-confess) relationships of journalists with their sources and other social actors.


Lecturing and leading seminars for undergraduate and postgraduate modules, such as:

  • Advertising Research Methods (module leader)
  • Writing for Public Relations
  • The Production of News
  • Theoretical Concepts in Journalism
  • Journalism Practice
  • Journalism and Social Issues
  • Comparative Journalism Studies
  • Mass Communication Theory
  • Contemporary Issues in Media & Cultural Studies
  • Analysing Communication Processes

Also providing online academic support for the MA in Mass Communication programmes via Distance Learning.

Research Groups:

PhD supervisors

Dr Roger Dickinson, Dr Julian Matthews

Year of study


Conference presentations:


Relevant links

Claudette Hawkins

PhD student at the University of Leicester researching Repeat Victimisation in Online Mass Marketing Fraud

Claudette Hawkins

Research Interests

Online Mass Marketing Fraud, Repeat Victimisation, Social Support, Social Interaction and Coping

PhD Media and Communication University of Leicester 2013-2016

MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management University of Leicester 2009-2011

PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) Nottingham Trent 2005-2006

BA Hons Journalism University of Lincoln 2001-2004

PhD Title and brief description

Repeat victimisation in online mass marketing fraud

My research interests are in the areas of online mass marketing fraud, repeatvictimisation and social support. My research focuses on the perceptions and experiences of people who have been defrauded online, particularly those who have been defrauded more than once. The research is specifically interested in understanding the impact of online mass marketing fraud and how people cope with this experience. The research is also interested in understanding the role of both positive and negative social interactions in the support process.


Presentation ‘‘New Direction in Media Research’ Conference at University of Leicester (2014)

Poster Presentation New Direction in Media ResearchConference atUniversity of Leicester (2013)

Moderator New Direction in Media Research’ Conference at University of Leicester (2013)

Poster Presentation Cyber Psychology Conference at De Montfort University (2013)

PhD Supervisors:

Professor Adrian Beck

Dr Maria Rovisco

Lidia Salvatori

Doctoral Researcher / Graduate Teaching Assistant



Currently working towards a PhD in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester

MSc Comparative and Cross Cultural Research Methods (Sociology), University of Sussex (UK)

BSc Social Sciences, University of Pisa, Italy

BA Social Work, University of Pisa, Italy

Research Interests:

Feminism, social movements and activism, social media, sociology of religion.

Brief Description of PhD Project:

My research project investigates how feminist politics is mediated by and through social media.


Leading seminars for undergraduate and postgraduate modules, such as:

●       New Media and Everyday Life

●       Media Research Methods

●       Media and Globalisation

●       Strategic Communication Management

Research Groups:

Media and Gender Reading Group

Interdisciplinary Gender and Sexuality Research Cluster

Other activities:

Member of the Athena SWAN Self Assessment group at the School of Media

PhD supervisors

Dr Galina Miazhevic and Dr Athina Karatzogianni

Conference/workshops presentations:

Transnational feminism: drawing connections between feminism in Italian and Post-Soviet spaces at Sex Power Love and Money: Media and sexualisation of everyday in the post-soviet spaces, School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester

Digitally mediated transnational feminism: a case study of Italian speaking feminists at Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: Postgraduate Perspectives, Interdisciplinary Gender and Sexuality Research Cluster, University of Leicester



Relevant links:


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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785

University of Leicester
Bankfield House
132 New Walk
United Kingdom

University of Leicester
107-111 Princess Road East
United Kingdom


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