Staff profile

Dr Daithi McMahon


Assistant Head of Discipline for Music & Performing Arts and Senior Lecturer in Media

Daithi McMahon


Film and Media


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


School of Arts

Research centre

Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre




Markeaton Street, Derby Campus



I am Assistant Head of Discipline for Music and Performing Arts and Senior Lecturer in Media in the School of Arts at the University of Derby. My professional practice is radio and audio drama as an award-winning playwright, radio dramatist and sound designer with a passion for telling stories of Irish history, culture and heritage including the experiences of the Irish diaspora. Alongside my media practice my research interests include oral histories and the study of diasporic communities, the political economy of radio industries, contemporary media consumption and digital/convergence culture. My first book Producing Audio Drama: A Practical Guide for Radio & Podcast is due for publication in 2026 with Routledge.

Teaching responsibilities

Through my posting at the Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris followed by positions in Ireland and the UK, I have gained diverse pedagogic perspectives which have informed my teaching practice. A central tenet of my pedagogic approach is collaborative, student-centred, research-informed teaching with students working across discipline to live briefs with external partners. I have worked in programme leadership at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and currently supervise four PhD students in projects across media, communication and cultural studies. I welcome informal queries from anyone interested in pursuing a PhD with me at the University of Derby in my areas of interest.

Professional interests

I love radio and audio in all its forms. I continue to write, direct, produce and executive produce podcasts, radio dramas and documentaries. I also have a growing interest in TV/film production including screenwriting for long-form TV drama and short and feature-length films and have a short film currently in development.

Research interests

My research focuses on three areas: radio and audio media practice, cultural history and heritage, and digital media industries – with the Irish diaspora and media practice as central themes. Through practice-based research, I focus on Irish culture, history and heritage subjects and disseminate this to public audiences through audio drama, audio documentary and oral histories. In my work, I aim to educate the public by producing outputs which incorporate novel methodologies, offer new perspectives on historic figures, and shine a light on hitherto neglected stories of the Irish experience.

Building on a broad knowledge base in radio practice, I have explored the production, dissemination, and reception of radio as a medium, and have developed a research specialism in the Irish Radio Industry. My research has expanded beyond Ireland to include the critical political economy of digital media, the changing consumption patterns of audiences, evolving economic models in an ever-shifting digital culture, and what change means for traditional public service broadcasters. 

I would be happy to hear from other academics interested in collaborating on future research projects in the above or related areas.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Conference Papers

Experience in industry

I am a multi-award winning and critically acclaimed playwright, director, performer, producer, editor and sound engineer with a wealth of experience in writing and media production, particularly in radio/audio practice. During that time I have built a strong body of radio productions in live and pre-produced formats with the bulk being radio drama, documentary or docu-drama productions. More recently I have moved into podcast production which has also incorporated my research activities. Below is a list of my work to date.

Media Practice Outputs

International experience

I have received a number of national and international honours, distinctions and prizes for the quality of my work. Below is a list of these:

Additional interests and activities

I have a keen interest in all forms of media and music and I'm an avid sports fan. I also enjoy travel, running and hillwalking.

In the media

From 2020-2024 I was a regular contributor to BBC Radio Derby and BBC Radio Gloucestershire, providing film and television reviews, as well as contemporary media industry analysis. I produce the UoD podcast series, For a Better Tomorrow which promotes the innovation and research activities of our academic colleagues and is an example of my initiative in contributing to this strategic aim. My professional practice in audio drama has been critically acclaimed in the Irish press and I have recently started publishing think pieces to share my work with a public audience. I am available as a contributor upon request.

Recent publications


Belong is an original radio drama by Fred O’Connor and Daithí McMahon about one man’s experience of homelessness in modern Dublin. It was first broadcast on the Newstalk radio station in July 2020.

William Melville – Eve of War

William Melville – Eve of War is an original radio drama about an Irish immigrant who became the first chief of the British Secret Service Bureau. It was written by Fred O’Connor and produced by Daithi McMahon. It was first broadcast on Radio Kerry in January 2016.