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Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences at the University of Vienna

The Department of Communication at the University of Vienna in cooperation with the Centre of Doctoral Studies offers the possibility of reading for a PhD in Communication as part of the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences.

A doctoral thesis is an original piece of research of substantial length that makes a genuine contribution to human knowledge and sciences. It is therefore significantly different to a Master thesis and much more demanding. 

The programme is open to research which explores diverse contents, processes, effects, contexts and systematic research questions within the area of communication and media. Successful dissertations can be accessed here.

The Centre of Doctoral Studies at the University of Vienna offers potential doctoral students a structured overview of the requirements as well as the curriculum online. The website of the Centre of Doctoral Studies can be accessed here. Information on admission for graduates of universities other than the University of Vienna can be found on the website of the Student Point.
The University (UniDocs Programme) and some external organisations are providing funding opportunities for PhD students (see below).

:: UniDocs
:: Fellowships of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
:: FWF
:: Grants.at – General overview and database

In order to gain registration approval, prospective students have to write research proposal and present it to a special committee. This presentation is public. Further Information can be accessed here.

Dates and times of these public presentations can be accessed under Presentation at the Faculty. Generally two presentations dates are available per semester.

For the doctoral research field "Media Studies and Communication Science" the following is the doctoral advisory board.

When searching for a supervisor for their doctoral thesis, interested students are advised to read through the academic/research profiles of available professors and habilitated scientific researchers with habilitation respectively. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to direct your questions to the Centre for Doctoral Research.

For a successful presentation of your exposé, a close collaboration with your supervisor is essential. Your exposé should:

  • be formulated in a clear way
  • be well-grounded
  • be coherent
  • include leading research question and hypotheses
  • focus on the research aim.

Moreover, a clear elaboration on how the method-in-use enables answering the research question is crucial.

The presentation takes about 7 to 8 minutes.

Information about submission and review of the thesis

Form (information sheet) for the review of the thesis


Berger, A.A. (2000). Media and communication research methods. An introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks/London/New Dehli: SAGE.

Brosius, H.-B., Koschel, F., & Haas, A. (2008). Methoden der empirischen Kommunikationsforschung: Eine Einführung. 4., überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Deacon, D. (1991). Researching communications: a practical guide to methods in media and cultural analysis. London [u.a.]: Arnold.

Merten, K., & Teipen, P. (1991). Empirische Kommunikationsforschung: Darstellung, Kritik, Evaluation. München: Ölschläger.

Mikos, L. (2005). Qualitative Medienforschung: Ein Handbuch. Konstanz: UVK-Verlag.

O'Leary, Z. (2005). Researching Real-World Problems: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: SAGE.

Stacks, D.W., & Salwen, M.B. (Eds.) (2009). An integrated approach to communication theory and research. 2nd edition. New York/London: Routledge.

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