The MA in Social Media, Culture and Society offers a flexible interdisciplinary exploration of key contemporary developments in the networked digital media environment. It will benefit those seeking to develop their understanding of contemporary communication and its societal, political, regulatory, industrial and cultural contexts.
The MA in Social Media, Culture and Society provides students with the opportunity to focus at postgraduate level on:
- Studying the ways in which social media and the Internet shape and are shaped by social, economic, political, technological and cultural factors, in order to equip students to become critical research-oriented social media experts.
- Developing reflective and critical insights into how social media and the internet are used in multiple contexts in society, and into which roles social media can play in various forms of organisations that are situated in these societal contexts. The aim is that students are equipped to become reflective and critical social media practitioners.
- Gaining in-depth knowledge and understanding of the major debates about the social and cultural roles of social media and the Internet.
- Acquiring advanced knowledge and understanding of the key categories, theories, approaches and models of social media's and the Internet's roles in and impacts on society and human practices.
- Obtaining advanced insights into practical activity and practice-based work that relate to how social media and the Internet work and which implications they have for social and cultural practices.
SOCIAL MEDIA: CREATIVITY, SHARING, VISIBILITY
This module provides students with a theoretical understanding of the development, significance and contemporary uses of social media. It fosters both critical analysis and reflective practice in the networked digital media environment. Students will critically engage with key ideas of creativity, sharing and visibility in social media, and will participate in creative and reflective practice using leading social media tools and platforms.
A taught module and group workshops in the first semester will guide you in conducting a major piece of independent research or create a theoretically inspired social media artefact. 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 social media OR a social media artefact accompanied by a written report of approximately 7,000 words, in which the student critically reflects on their social media project, and grounds it in relevant theory.
CRITICAL THEORY OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET
This module provides an overview of the critical and theoretical analysis of how the Internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, file sharing, blogs etc) shape and impact on society, the economy and politics and how power structures in society shape the Internet and social media.
Students obtain skills to work as social media experts, either as social media and Internet researchers or as social media professionals in various types of organisations.
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 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, eg 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.
Graduates who have studied media and communication at the University of Westminster 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 (eg 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 to transfer to new sectors of the media.
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Last updated April 14, 2016