Master in Screen Cultures


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description



Why choose this program?

Screen Cultures lets you study how screens affect our understanding of the world, through the different screens of the cinema, television, computer and smartphone, their films, series, games, and social media.

As a Screen Cultures master student, you will acquire screen literacy. Since screen edges have become the edges of what we know, our central research question then, is: “How do the distinct qualities of screens and the conditions of viewing they afford, affect our understanding of the world?” Screen Cultures examines the screens that provide and prohibit access to our global realities and affect all aspects of our everyday lives. And our objective and vision are to challenge and ultimately change the way we view screens.

Among the objects of study are screens of all kinds and sizes, such as the cinema, television, computer and smartphone screens, their films, series, games, social media, GPS-enabled maps, workout stats, simulations and augmentations. Invariably, we will approach these objects with a focus on the cultures they are embedded in and that, in turn, evolve around them. Our research and teaching continuously reflect on the ongoing technological and cultural shifts tied to our everyday screen living.

Innovative teaching

Screen Cultures is an innovative, interdisciplinary Master of Arts program that combines insights from several fields at the Faculty of Humanities, such as media studies and art history. It has been developed as a response to this enduring cultural moment, offering its master candidates various systematic ways of analyzing, interpreting and reflecting upon it to become enabled to respond to it in turn in a positive, creative, socially productive and ethically sustainable way.

The Screen Cultures initiative offers teaching-driven interdisciplinary research on contemporary technological shifts within our screen cultures. Through selected courses and four accompanying research nodes, entitled Screen Histories and Theories, Screen Aesthetics, Screen Technologies, and Screen Politics, expert teams teach and develop new research directions and produce leading scholarship in unison and together with the students, aiming for lasting and highly advanced outcomes for both research and higher learning.

Cutting edge

Teaching comes with a high degree of integration of digital tools, designed to enable you to stay up-to-date in a rapidly changing media environment. It combines university courses – lectures and seminars, as well as mixed formats – with hands-on workshops, studio visits and opportunities for collaborating with screen content producers and institutions, such as Cinemateket in Oslo. You will receive training in peer-reviewing academic papers and articles, as well as in giving – and commenting upon – conference papers. Furthermore, there will be opportunities to participate in the production of screen simulations.

Seminars outside the classroom provide you with an extra dimension of experience and learning. This also goes for lectures in (cooperation with) cinemas, galleries, in living rooms or on public transport, for curating film series and participating in conferences. By offering such alternative arenas, we seek to broaden our students’ horizon, strengthen collective learning and engage you as equal members of the academic community. The program’s strong connection to current challenges makes it highly relevant, as it addresses the rapid changes in the media landscape and will equip you with practical skills for the workplace. Screen Cultures is a demanding program with high admission demands, fewer students and more one-on-one supervision, towards a more differentiated, personal learning environment. Exceptionally motivated students will be given the opportunity to realize their full potential.

Contemporary culture is screen culture

Stephen Monteiro (2017:1) claims in The Screen Media Reader that “Contemporary culture is screen culture, and it has become nearly impossible to separate our relationship with the screen from our sense of what it is to be alive”. Screens are sought out (cinema, television), chanced on (digital signage advertising), carried (smartphone, laptop) and worn (HoloLens, smartwatches and other wearable tech). We look at screens but we also touch them (smartphone), tapping, tilting and swiping to acquire a most diverse range of information. Screens determine how we experience the world around us, even ourselves. So much of our daily experience is screened, yet we rarely stop to think about its implications.

The program leads to a Master's degree in Screen Cultures.

Learning outcomes

Candidates who have completed their master's degree in Screen Cultures will have acquired the following knowledge, skills and general competencies:


The candidate:

  • has advanced knowledge of the histories, aesthetics, theories, technologies, and politics of screens, such as the cinema, television, computer, and smartphone screen.
  • can identify and assess issues pertaining to screens and the cultures evolving around them, in a critical and reflected manner.
  • has advanced knowledge within media and communication, as well as cultural studies, including critical and aesthetic theory and methods.
  • can apply his/her knowledge actively to develop the field of screen cultures further and explore new areas of research.
  • can analyze and interpret media texts and cultural artifacts pertaining to the field of screen cultures independently.


The candidate:

  • can carry out an independent research project within screen cultures under the supervision and in accordance with humanistic and social scientific norms for research ethics applicable to screen studies.
  • can assess relevant existing theories and approaches in researching screen cultures and work independently on practical and theoretical problems.
  • can use the methodological skills obtained from practical experience with different approaches to histories, aesthetics, theories, technologies, and politics within the field of screen cultures to carry out independent academic and professional work.
  • can within the field of screen cultures analyze and critically assess different sources of information to make scholarly arguments.

General competence

The candidate:

  • can use the general competence of writing scholarly about histories, aesthetics, theories, technologies, and politics within the field of screen cultures in other academic and professional fields.
  • can analyze relevant academic, professional and research ethical problems within the field of screen cultures.
  • can apply his/her knowledge and skills in new areas and advanced projects within the field of screen cultures.
  • can communicate the findings of his/her independent research project through the language, terminology and concepts of the field of screen cultures.
  • can communicate about academic questions, analyses and findings in the field of screen cultures, with specialists and society at large.
  • can contribute to a critical screen culture that changes the way we view screens.


Get your admissions requirements and application deadline for this program by following our guide.

Check your admission requirements and when to apply

Answer three questions in our admission guide on our website to get

  • your application deadline
  • admission requirements
  • which documents to submit
  • access to the application portal Søknadsweb

Program structure

Screen Cultures is an innovative master's program which provides students with four compulsory courses, and master's thesis supervision throughout the program.

The master's degree consists of:

  • 60 credits of compulsory courses/studies abroad and
  • 60 credits master's thesis

All courses in the program are taught in English.

The program offers an innovative structure where students start working on their master's thesis already in the first semester, and receive supervision continuously throughout the two-year period.


Compulsory courses and study abroad

The courses in the first and second semester (Screen Histories and Theories, Screen Technologies and Screen Aesthetics) are compulsory. The third semester could alternatively be used for international student exchange, provided that students take relevant courses (for instance similar to Screen Politics) abroad, or as a practice semester. The department will provide recommendations for the students wishing to explore this opportunity. The master supervision will also continue while the student is abroad.

The master's thesis

The master’s thesis is an independent research project. All students will be assigned a thesis supervisor at the beginning of the program.

Diploma and degree

The diploma is issued when you have completed the courses that meet the requirements for a degree.

Semester abroad

The program offers ample opportunity for you to study one semester abroad. Studying abroad will not only give you academic knowledge, but also improve your cultural understanding and understanding of how the very notion of screens is interpreted in other countries, and widen your network and cultural competence.

When can I go?

We recommend our students to take a semester abroad in the third semester.

Make sure that the program offered by the host institution contains the courses equivalent to the obligatory courses required by the program. More information about that will be given by the Department's section of studies.

Where can I go?

When choosing where to go, you may make use of the Department's exchange agreements, or other exchange agreements on the University's level. You are welcome to consult the Department's section of studies if you have any questions.

How do I apply?

Please consult the links above and direct your inquiry to the Department's section of studies.

Career opportunities

This master's program provides you with a solid interdisciplinary background which will prove useful in a wide range of professions, private or governmental sector alike.

  • Media institutions - television, online and print
  • Film production, distribution and organization
  • Information management
  • Performing arts
  • Public relations
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Academic research (Ph.D.) at UiO or other international universities

Start developing your career

You can write your master's thesis in cooperation with an external partner. Through this, you can get valuable contacts and a network that can be useful when you apply for a job after graduation. You can also prepare for working life along the way by participating in career fairs, job search and interview workshops, and career counseling offered to students.

Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo is among the leading humanities faculties in Scandinavia. The faculty, which offers courses in 70 subjects, has over 6,500 students and nearly 1,00 ... Read More

The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo is among the leading humanities faculties in Scandinavia. The faculty, which offers courses in 70 subjects, has over 6,500 students and nearly 1,000 members of staff. Read less