This highly regarded course offers a rigorous analysis of the political, economic, cultural and sociological factors which shape the practices and outcomes of mass media. It will give you the opportunity to study and research the main ways in which social scientists have analysed the role of the mass media and communication, and how to develop, evaluate and apply research to evaluate those theories.
The MA ensures that you will receive a relevant, well-grounded, high-quality education and skill base, and a clear and comprehensive understanding of communication and the mass media. It is designed both for those who already work in or want to work in the media, and for those who want to go on to pursue further academic research in media and communication.
Based on continuous assessment, the course is taught in lectures and seminars by the team from Westminster’s top-rated Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI). You will be part of a bustling, multicultural academic department which boasts a strong research culture. You will be able to attend the regular talks by outside speakers (academics and practitioners) on a variety of communication and mass media issues.
A taught module and group workshops in the first semester will guide you in conducting a major piece of independent research. This module will be supplemented by individual supervisions beginning from the second semester. The aim is to give you a guided framework within which you can demonstrate your ability to carry out advanced independent study and write it up in the form of a dissertation. The dissertation is a 15,000-word piece of original research on a topic agreed with your supervisor and related to the political, economic, cultural and/or sociological factors which shape the practices and outcomes of mass media, including media texts and the audience reception of them.
THEORIES OF COMMUNICATION
The module is intentionally eclectic. You will cover (in a loosely historical way) the arguments, advantages and problems of the main sociological, cultural and psychological theories about the media. It aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the most important ways of approaching the fundamental issues posed by the relationships between the media of communication and social and economic life. It will also enable you to understand the problems posed by different intellectual traditions, and to place those theories in their proper contexts.
APPROACHES TO MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH
This module will introduce you to the main methods of communication research. We shall look at how to undertake selective quantitative and qualitative methods, understanding and exploring the different stages of the social science research process from a definition of a research hypothesis, to data collection and analysis. We shall also look at the theoretical reasoning behind different methodological approaches to media and society, in particular the politics of social research.
Note: The University is constantly improving its offer to students. It is intended that some changes, such as practice options under new course titles, may be approved between printing this brochure and enrolment for this course. You are therefore advised to look at the website for updated details.
Graduates have found jobs in middle and upper management in the media industries, as well as in the broader private sector (eg consulting and advertising firms), the public sector (eg government ministries, regulatory authorities), international organisations and NGOs.
Students are encouraged to seek work experience in the industry and opportunities are regularly communicated by members of staff. This has often led to full-time employment once graduating from the course.
In addition, the MA course takes advantage of the vibrancy of the media environment in London. For instance, students are encouraged to benefit from events taking place in London, e.g. at Frontline Club.
Equally, there are a number of activities within the Department that give plenty of opportunities to students for networking which increases their employability. An example here is the University’s Communication And Media Research Institute (CAMRI) seminars every fortnight where leading researchers present their work. This extracurricular activity promotes networking among MA students and gives them an opportunity to meet PhD students, other research staff and visiting speakers.
Further networking opportunities are offered by the regular workshops and conferences which the various research centres within CAMRI organize and which our students can attend for free. These workshops and conferences bring together academic researchers, industry representatives as well as regulators and policy makers.
The MA course is well established and has a strong (inter)national reputation. Our students are very successful in gaining employment status, in many cases straight from graduating the course. Graduates have found jobs in middle- and upper management in media industries, as well as the broader private (e.g. consulting and advertising firms) and public sector (e.g. government ministries, regulatory authorities), international organisations and NGOs. Some graduates also continue to do PhD research. Success in their Masters degree has allowed many who have been in media jobs before joining the course to move into more senior roles within their companies or organisations and totransfer to new sectors of the media.
Graduates from the MA Communication have found roles in a wide variety of media and communications organisations including: CCTV, Xinhua News Agency, BBC World Service, KBS (South Korea).
This school offers programs in:
Last updated April 14, 2016