University celebrates 50th anniversary of UKs first mass communication research centre

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the University's Centre for Mass Communication Research – the first Centre of its kind studying mass communication and birthplace of the UK’s first media and communications Master’s degree.

Coinciding with the anniversary, our University will be hosting the 2016 conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) in July – an event which has not been held in Leicester since 1976.

The Centre for Mass Communication Research at Leicester was established in 1966 by James Halloran and attracted a diverse group of academics from various disciplines, leading to a multidisciplinary research approach. This ethos still exists in the Department of Media and Communication today and has been described as the ‘original hotbed’ of mass communication research by leading media theorist James Curran.

In 1978, the Social Science Research Council (predecessor of the ESRC) invited Halloran to design and deliver the UK’s first Master’s degree in media and communications, a degree which is still popular and relevant 35 years on.

James Halloran was IAMCR President from 1972-1990 and the Department continues to have strong links with the Association. Professor Halloran died in 2007.

The IAMCR conference theme for 2016 is Memory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward. The event this year is expected to host 1,200 participants from over 70 countries and will be hosted on campus at the University of Leicester from 27 – 31 July 2016 with plenary sessions also held at De Montfort Hall.

Watch a video produced by the Department which sees staff and students reflecting on significant milestones in 50 years of pioneering research and teaching below: