Dr Merris Griffiths

​School:​ Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy
​ Telephone:​029 2020 5598
​Room No:Q015



Research Groups:
  • Arts and Humanities Research Group (AHRG) – Contemporary Media
  • Education & Social Research Group (ESRG) – ICT in Education

  • FHEA
  • ITRA – International Toy Researchers Association

Research Interests:
  • Children's media and material culture
  • Creative research methodologies
  • Media literacy (policy and practice)
  • Sociology of childhood



Peer refereed journals

  • Griffiths, M. (2013): 'Locating commercial media in children's everyday lives: A comparative study of free-time activity preferences in the UK and USA', Participations 10(2), pp. 3-21
  • Davies, H. & Griffiths, M. (2012): 'Cysylltu methodolegau ymchwil academaidd â gweithgareddau busnes: Cynulleidfaoedd ifanc, cynhyrchu ym myd teledu a Phartneriaeth Trosglwyddo Gwybodaeth (KTP)' (Linking academic research methods to industry practice: Youth audiences, television production and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships), Cyfrwng 9, pp. 25-40
  • Griffiths, M. (2011): 'Favoured Free-time: Comparing children's activity preferences in the UK and the USA', Children & Society, 25(3), pp. 190-201, DOI: 10.1111/j.1099-0860.2009.00273.x
  • Griffiths, M. (2010): 'A critical review of David Buckingham's 'The Impact of the Commercial World on Children's Wellbeing'', Participations 7(1)
  • Griffiths, M. (2009): 'Small Town on the Big Screen: The Edge of Love and the Local Experience', Participations 6(2)
  • Griffiths, M. & O'Malley, T. (2007): 'Media Literacy in Wales: A Critical Review of Industry & Education Policies & Practices', Cyfrwng 4, pp. 7-23
  • Griffiths, M. (2005): 'Representations of Disabilities in S4C Welsh-Language Programming', Cyfrwng 2, pp. 7-31
  • Griffiths, M. (2005): 'Children drawing toy commercials: Re-imagining television production conventions', Journal of Visual Communication 4(1), pp. 21-37
  • Griffiths, M. & Machin, D. (2003): 'Television and playground games as part of children's symbolic culture', Social Semiotics 13(2), pp. 147-160
  • Chandler, D. & Griffiths, M. (2000): 'Gender-Differentiated Production Features in Toy Commercials', Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 44(3), pp. 503-520

Books/ book chapters

  • Griffiths, M. (2015): 'Children and Advertising' in Creeber, G. (Ed): The Television Genre Book (3rd Edition), London: BFI, pp. 124-126
  • Griffiths, M. (2014): 'Welsh-Language Children's Television Production: Applying Audience Research Methods'. In: Jones, H. (Ed), The Media in Europe's Small Nations. Cambridge Scholars, pp. 157-180
  • Griffiths, M. (2012): 'Hysbysebu a'r Plentyn – Gorolwg beirniadol o'r damcaniaethau a'r dadleuon allweddol' (Children and Advertising: A critical overview of key theories and debates). In: Gruffydd-Jones, E. (Ed): Ysgrifennu ar Ffilm a'r Cyfryngau, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, pp. 56-67
  • Chandler, D. & Griffiths, M. (2004): 'Who is the fairest of them all? Gendered Readings of Big Brother 2 (UK)'. In: Mathijs, E. & Jones, J. (Eds):  Big Brother International - Format, Critics and Publics. Wallflower Press, pp. 40-61
  • Griffiths, M. (2002): 'Blue worlds and pink worlds – A portrait of intimate polarity'. In: Buckingham, D. (Ed): Small Screens. Leicester: Leicester University Press, pp. 159-184

Professional / non-refereed publications

  • 2012: Final Project Report on the Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Boomerang+ Plc., summarizing findings and evidencing impact
  • 2004: Report to the S4C Authority, for the Compliance & Monitoring Unit, on 'Representations of Disability in S4C Programming'
  • 2004: Report to the S4C Authority, for the Compliance & Monitoring Unit, on 'Representations of Ethnicity in S4C Programming'
  • 2004: Report to the S4C Authority, for the Compliance & Monitoring Unit, on 'S4C Coverage of Party Political Conferences'

Conference  papers

  • 2014: MeCCSA – Media & the Margins, Bournemouth University

    Paper title: 'Minority language media and the impact of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP):  Reflections on the production and reception of Welsh-language children's television'
  • 2011: Cyfrwng – International Conference on Media & Culture in the Small Nations, University of Glamorgan

    Paper title (with Helen Davies): 'Exploring the Benefits of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP): Applying Academic Research Methods to Welsh-language Children's Television Production'
  • 2010: Invited speaker – SELL Research Seminar Series, Aberystwyth University

    Paper title: 'Exploring children's free-time activity preferences: Creative methods and cross-cultural comparisons',
  • 2010: 25th ICCP World Play Conference, Lisbon, Portugal

    Paper Title: 'Children's Free-time Activity Preferences: A Comparative Study in the UK & USA'
  • 2009: TFTS Research Seminar Series 2009-10, Aberystwyth University

    Paper title: 'Identity & The Edge of Love: Mapping audience responses & untangling local history'
  • 2009: 'Projecting the Regions: People, Identity and Place', Manchester Metropolitan University

    Paper Title: 'Small town on the big screen: The Edge of Love and the Local Experience'
  • 2007: Cyfrwng – Devolution and the Development of Media in Wales, University of Wales, Swansea

    Paper Title (with Tom O'Malley): 'Media Literacy in Wales: A Critical Review of Industry and Education Policies'
  • 2005: Invited Speaker – Phi Delta Kappa Research Symposium, School of Education, University of Montana-Missoula (USA)

    Paper title: 'Testing Children's Media Literacy Using Creative Methodologies'
  • 2004: Invited Speaker – Audiences: An ARPF Summer Seminar Series, Liverpool John Moores University

    Paper title: 'How children engage with advertising – A Multi-methodological approach'
  • 2004: Invited Speaker – New Creative Audience Studies Symposium, Tate Britain, London

    Paper title: 'Children drawing toy commercials: Using drawing as a research methodology for studying media understanding'
  • 2003: MeCCSA – University of Sussex, Brighton

    Paper title: 'Children drawing toy commercials: Understanding and media transference of television production features'
  • 2002: World Congress: Toys, Games & Media – Institute of Education, University of London

    Paper title: 'Polarised Play Worlds – Gender Constructions in Children's Toy Ads'
  • 2001: National & Cultural Identity in Children's Literature & Media – CIRCL, University of Reading

    Paper title (with David Machin): 'TV Nation: Television as Children's Main Point of Reference'
  • 1999: 'Identities in Action!', Gregynog, University of Wales

    Paper title: '"Pretend I'm him", said Bronwyn (age 7). Constructing self-identity through observing television characters'

Other publications (e.g. evaluations studies, published teaching materials ...)


  • 2011 (First broadcast on 22nd August): Interview with Trevor Fishlock, for Fishlock's Wales (ITV Wales): Film locations in Wales (as a result of The Edge of Love audience study)
  • 2009: Interview for The Western Mail (10th December): 'Net results of children's TV and web use in the spotlight'
  • 2009: Community report for the residents (and audience research participants) of New Quay, Ceredigion on The Edge of Love and the Local Experience
  • 2004: Interview for BBC Parenting Magazine (May Issue): 'Why do little girls like pink?'
  • 2003: BBC Radio Wales (10th August): Guest speaker on 'Round Table' discussion, The Jamie Owen Show
  • 2003: Interview for The Daily Post (4th August): 'If you box clever, TV won't do your kids any harm'
  • 2003: Interview for The Western Mail (24th June): 'New Kids on Tots' TV Block'
  • 1999: Interview for New Scientist (No. 2210, pp. 38-41): 'Toy Story'



2010-12: Knowledge Transfer Partnership (Reference Number: KTP007568) – Academic Supervisor. Funding of £82,585.00 from the Technology Strategy Board: 'To investigate 7-to-13 year old children's television viewing preferences and multi-platform media practices, and create a model for production and delivery of children's television programming'.


Merris joined the School of Education and Social Policy in September 2018 as Senior Lecturer in Education Studies. Her career in Higher Education began in 2000 when she was appointed to a lectureship in the School of Education at Aberystwyth University. Her PhD (completed in 2001) explored theories of gender identity formation in middle childhood, using children's toy commercials as a case study. In 2002, she joined the Department of Theatre, Film & Television Studies at Aberystwyth, specialising in children's media. In 2005, she was a Visiting Scholar at the School of Education, University of Montana-Missoula (USA), focusing on media literacy and undertaking fieldwork in elementary schools, before joining Swansea University as a lecturer in Childhood Studies from 2006-7. In 2007, she returned to Theatre, Film & Television Studies at Aberystwyth University, as Senior Lecturer in Media & Communication Studies.


Since the beginning of her career, Merris has accrued a range of leadership skills and experiences, developing knowledge and expertise in key areas of HE/education provision, with a particular interest in curriculum design and quality assurance. Most recently (2013-18), she was Director of Learning & Teaching (L&T) for the Institute of Arts & Humanities at Aberystwyth University, with overarching responsibility for L&T activities within and across seven departments. The nature of this role also enabled her to become skilled at change management, including effective L&T policy development and implementation.


Leadership experience also extends beyond the HE sector, to include industry-facing collaboration (Boom Cymru, S4C, and Ofcom) and work with major cultural institutions (National Library of Wales).

Further Information

  • 2019-22: External Examiner (MA Schemes) – Trinity St. David

    Previously: 2016 External Validator, University of Derby; 2011-14 External Examiner, University of Chester.
  • 2006-present: Peer Reviewer for Children & Society: The International Journal of Childhood and Children's Services (Wiley/Blackwell)
  • 2004-present: Advertising Education Forum – Global Academic Network (Member, UK)