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Michael Munnik

Dr Michael Munnik

Senior Lecturer in Social Science Theories and Methods, Director of Learning and Teaching

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


Research Interests

My work concerns media and religion and, more specifically, the news media and Muslims in Britain. Where much of the scholarship in this area examines news content, I attend to the context in which the news is created. I am interested in media production analysis, qualitative research methods, journalist-source relationships, and diversity in the newsroom. Underpinning these interests is a sociological attentiveness to the connection between the religious and professional identification of journalists as well as the impact that can have on newsroom culture. I bring to this subject not only my skills and interest as a researcher but also prior professional experience, having trained as a journalist and worked in public radio in Canada.

Public writing

  • 'IPSO: Press regulator's "guidance" for reporting on Muslims is not fit for purpose' The Conversation. 26 November 2020.
  • Submission to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Religion and the Media. 24 April 2020.
  • 'Ramadan' and 'Ahmadiyya' Fact Sheets. Religion Media Centre. 2019.
  • '"Please turn on your mobile devices": Polling software in the classroom' Fruits of the Pedagogic Life. 6 November 2017.
  • 'Using Bourdieu to analyse journalist-source relations' Social Theory Applied. 8 May 2017.
  • 'Muslims Like Us is more like Geordie Shore than a real challenge to stereotypes' The Conversation. 14 December 2016.
  • 'My Academic Diary: Michael B. Munnik.' The Sociological Review Blog (The Sociological Review). 18 July 2016.
  • ‘Honour Your Valleys.’ Pubs and Publications: The PhD Experience (University of Edinburgh College of Humanities and Social Sciences). 28 August 2015.
  • ‘Occupation: Student.’ Pubs and Publications: The PhD Experience (University of Edinburgh College of Humanities and Social Sciences). 24 July 2015.
  • ‘Hooray for Doctor Daddy: Parenting and the PhD.’ Pubs and Publications: The PhD Experience (University of Edinburgh College of Humanities and Social Sciences). 19 June 2015.
  • ‘Scotland’s religious future.’ The Future of the UK and Scotland (University of Edinburgh/ESRC). 14 May 2014.
  • ‘Scottish... and something else? Arab Scots discuss identity on world radio.’ The Future of the UK and Scotland (University of Edinburgh/ESRC). 28 March 2014.
  • ‘Muslims debate the IndyRef: Distinctly indistinct arguments.’ The Future of the UK and Scotland (University of Edinburgh/ESRC). 21 March 2014.
  • ‘A lively engagement.’ Life and Work. 1 February 2014.
  • ‘Media need religion.’ The Presbyterian Record. 1 October 2012













Book sections



Dr Michael Munnik is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Postgraduate teaching:

  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Social Theory and Research Design
  • Dissertation (supervisor)

Undergraduate teaching:

  • Religion and the News: Conflict and Context
  • Themes and Issues in the Study of Religion
  • What Is Religion?
  • Independent Study/Open Choice Dissertation (supervisor)


Education and Qualifications

  • 2018 – FHEA - Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • 2015 – PhD Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (University of Edinburgh)
  • 2011 – MA Religion in Contemporary Society (King’s College London)
  • 2002 – BJ Combined Honours – Journalism and English Literature (Carleton University)

Career Overview

  • 2015 - Lecturer, Cardiff University
  • 2014 - 2015 Research Manager, Food Standards Agency
  • 2011 - 2014 Outreach PhD Candidate, the Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World, University of Edinburgh
  • 2006 - 2012 Convenor, Board of Directors, Presbyterian Record Inc.
  • 2001 - 2009 Broadcast Journalist, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Professional memberships

  • Sociology of Religion Study Group of the British Sociological Association (BSA)
  • Muslims in Britain Research Network (MBRN)
  • International Society for Media, Religion and Culture
  • International Association for Media and Communication Research

Committees and reviewing

  • Peer reviewer - journals: Sociology, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Contemporary Islam, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture, Russian Journal of Communication, No Foundations - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice
  • Peer reviewer - books: Routledge, Edinburgh University Press, Sage, Anthem Books
  • Publications and Communications Officer, Socrel (Sociology of Religion Study Group of the British Sociological Association) - 2017-present
  • Reviews Editor, H-SAE (Society for the Anthropology of Europe) - 2011-2018


I am able to supervise PhD candidates within a team supervisory relationship. I am interested in supervising graduate research in the following areas:

  • Muslims and journalism/the media
  • Religion and journalism/the media
  • Religion in public life
  • British Muslims and the public sphere

Current supervision

Laura Jones

Laura Jones

Research student

Radja Bouchama

Radja Bouchama

Research student

Shaista Chishty

Shaista Chishty

Research student

Tammy Preston

Tammy Preston

Research student

Paul Evans

Paul Evans

Research student

David Gifford

David Gifford

Research student