MA Media and Cultural Politics


Attendance
Part Time
Award
Degree of Master of Arts



This interdisciplinary course builds on the common interests of those who study media, politics, philosophy, economy, language and communications, and offers a unique perspective on media and culture. It will give you the opportunity to reflect critically on, and analyse the relationship between, culture and politics, most vividly illustrated today in the rise of identity politics, new social movements, and the increasing ‘mediatization’ of politics.

You will develop a broader understanding of politics, one that goes beyond its institutionalized expressions to include cultural practices and everyday life and will better appreciate the impact of contemporary culture and communication on society and political life. You'll study the media as institutions, texts and systems of communication, exploring their role in the exercise of political, social and cultural power, and will have the opportunity to develop skills for a career in media, creative industries, politics and related fields.

Overview

This MA reflects an important and developing area in the social sciences, the impact of which can be detected in the rise of identity politics and the new social movements, as well as in the emergence of an alternative, broader conception of politics, one that does not refer only to formal political agencies, but to the private realm and to cultural life more generally. The impact of cultural politics is apparent in the rise of nationalism, the politics of multiculturalism and the importance attached to media. It can also be witnessed in the debate about, and response to, globalisation.

WHY STUDY THE MEDIA AND CULTURAL POLITICS AT UEA?

This MA is different because it offers a genuinely inter-disciplinary approach to the study of cultural politics, building on the common interests of political scientists, philosophers, economists, literary theorists, historians as well as experts in media and cultural studies. The MA will give you the opportunity to analyse the changing politics of contemporary culture and communication, and to reflect on their effect on the conduct and character of social practice.

COURSES, CONTENT AND STRUCTURE

The MA lasts twelve months for full-time students and two years for those studying part-time. You will have seminars and lectures during the first two semesters and then over the summer you will work on your dissertation which is handed in at the start of September.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

Over the course of the MA, you will develop a variety of transferable skills. These include debating, giving oral presentations, team work, project work and essay writing. All students also take a module called Methods of Social Enquiry which is specifically designed to help you improve your research skills. This will enable you to write a better dissertation, but it will also be useful if you decide to take up a career in research.

DISSERTATION

The dissertation is a very important part of the MA. Students choose their own topic and are allocated an individual supervisor who gives advice on all aspects of writing and researching a dissertation. We also organise a Postgraduate Day when all MA students meet together to discuss their research.

COURSE ASSESSMENTS

Assessment is based on a mix of dissertation, essays, research papers and performance in seminars.

 

BRUSSELS TRIP

Most years, a trip to Belgium organised for MA students. The trip lasts four to five days, during  which we visit regional organisations, and meet with journalists and other media specialists, and you will be able to develop your media skills.

PRACTICAL MEDIA

We have recently introduced a new module, called Practical Media, which is designed to give you an opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art TV studio in Norwich. It is a chance to get advice from professionals and to take part in the production of a TV news programme.

CAREERS

The career centre at the University is an excellent resource, and it helps us put on special days for students studying our degrees in media, culture and politics. People working in the field come to the university and discuss their jobs and how they got into them. Recent graduates from our MA programmes have taken up jobs in a wide variety of fields, including: business, teaching, research, and journalism, as well as working for national and international organisations.

This course is also available on a full-time basis.

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 20 credits:

Name Code Credits

ISSUES IN MEDIA AND CULTURAL POLITICS

This module explores key issues within media and cultural politics. The module is divided into separate blocks and spread over two semesters. Each block deals with different aspects of media and cultural politics, including identity and power, communication and culture.

PPLM7014A

20

Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Students take one or two optional modules in their first year of study. Options chosen outside PPL must be approved by their Course Director.

Name Code Credits

BRICS - EMERGING POWERS IN GLOBAL POLITICS

This module examines how the large group of dynamic emerging powers are at the forefront of global change. The growing influence of these emerging global powers is a key component of the shifting world power. We are seeing new international governance through stronger regional blocs, new South-South alliances, the progress of international institutions such as the BRICS Development Bank, and pressure to change the distribution of power in existing intergovernmental organisations. Focus in this module will be on analysis of social, political and economic change underway in world order.

PPLI7011B

20

DEMOCRACY

This module draws on normative political theory and contemporary political science to consider how the concept of democracy has changed since it originated in ancient Greece and looks at the critiques of democracy advanced by critics and opponents especially in the 20th century. The ideas and values underpinning democracy will be interrogated and some recent solutions for today's 'democratic deficit' including electronic democracy and cosmopolitan democracy will be evaluated.

PPLX7001B

20

FREE SPEECH

The module examines one of the pressing issues of political theory, constitutional law, democracy, and media regulation: why is free speech important and what if any should be its limits? Students are introduced to some of the classic defences of free speech found in the writings of J.S. Mill and the judicial decisions of Oliver Wendall Holmes. Following on from this they will examine the question of free speech as it relates to freedom of the press and new media. Students will also explore the question of the limits of free speech, particularly in relation to hate speech. At this point students will have a chance to examine human rights instruments and laws pertaining to the issues, including the ECHR, the Human Rights Act 2008, and the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2008, as well as a range of legal cases from courts across the world. During the module the students will be exposed to a range of deeper ideological debates among liberals, libertarians, multiculturalists, and critical theorists. The approach will be multidisciplinary drawing on politics, philosophy, and law. Finally, the format of the module will be a two-hour class each week, comprising research-led teaching, seminar discussions, practical exercises, textual reading, balloon debate, and essay writing and research-skills mini-sessions. The module will rely heavily on formative feedback on presentation and essay writing skills, building to one assessed long essay and a seminar performance mark.

PPLX7007B

20

LANGUAGE ISSUES IN A GLOBAL MULTILINGUAL CONTEXT

This module focuses on language-related issues associated with the globalisation of communication and the media. It considers a range of materials - texts and their translation(s), multilingual sources of information (e.g. global news, consumer information, websites), products of audiovisual translation (e.g. subtitling, dubbing, voice over), IT mediated or processed texts, etc - to explore issues involved in the transposition and dissemination of (spoken and written) text into other media and other languages across different spheres of activity (e.g. media, politics, culture). Receptive knowledge of at least one language other than the mother tongue required.

PPLC7001B

20

MULTICULTURALISM

This module looks at the responses in political theory to the rise of multicultural societies in Europe and North America since the end of World War II. The aim is to introduce students to a range of contemporary theoretical perspectives on multiculturalism and to facilitate critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches. Theorists under examination will include: Parekh, Kymlicka, Taylor and Modood as well as major liberal alternative views; Barry, Rawls and Raz. The module will combine theoretical study with analysis of practical issues/case studies surrounding multiculturalism. Among the issues to be considered are the following: models of integration, group rights, institutional racism, Islamophobia, and the Rushdie affair. The module will also consider divergent policies adopted within European states (eg, France and Germany) and give attention to the attempts to operationalise multiculturalism in the UK in particular via the Parekh Report.

PPLX7003B

20

POLITICS AND MEDIA

Working from the assumption that the media are an integral part of modern political life, this module examines the way in which politics is represented in the media and reviews critically the argument about 'bias'. It also explores the arguments around the ownership and control of media, the increasing use of the media by political parties and the changing relationship between citizens and politics engendered by new communication technologies.

PPLM7002B

20

PRACTICAL MEDIA

The Practical Media module offers students an introduction to video news production as practised in Broadcast TV and, increasingly, online media. The module enables students to contextualise academic study and criticism of news gathering and presentation processes as well as gain first-hand experience of producing video news items using modern technology. The module introduces the skills of television news - story selection, report construction, news interviewing, shooting and post production. The module also teaches the skills of writing to picture for news. The module is first and foremost practical - the skills taught will enable students working in small teams to produce their own short TV news reports, which will be compiled into a TV format news programme. Production takes place on location and in the studio. Students will be required to work outside the taught periods on their production and post-production activities. PLEASE NOTE that this module is frequently oversubscribed, so priority will be strictly given to students on PPL Media courses.

PPLM7005B

20

PUBLIC PROTEST LAW

State authorities have an obligation to protect and facilitate peaceful protest - from temporary encampments to far-right rallies, from Pride parades to funeral pickets and wedding protests, and from 'Critical Mass' bicycle rides to prayer vigils in public places. This course will examine the ways in which law commonly seeks to regulate protest - what kinds of protest (including forms of direct action) are (or ought to be) protected? What kind of regulation is (or might legitimately be) permitted? How should the authorities respond to spontaneous and/or unorganized gatherings, simultaneous meetings and counter-protests, protests on private property?

LAW-7025B

20

PUBLIC RELATIONS, PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND THE MEDIA

This module enables students to develop an advanced understanding of the theory and practice of public affairs, interest intermediation, and the strategies used by interest, advocacy groups and others to influence the political process. As well as covering the main debates in the academic literature, it draws directly on the experience of practitioners and offers unique insights into this under-studied area of politics.

PPLX7005B

20

Students must study the following modules for 100 credits:

Name Code Credits

METHODS OF SOCIAL ENQUIRY

The module offers a basic training in social research methods, provided flexibly to meet different needs and interests. There are opportunities to learn skills in use of SPSS for statistical analysis of large datasets, interviewing, transcription, document analysis, research uses of electronic media, devising a research proposal, writing a research report and oral presentations. Students will learn to evaluate research methods from the perspectives of ethics, methodology and practicality.

PPLX7012A

40

PSI DISSERTATION

For all MA students registered in PSI except those undertaking a Dissertation by Practice . Students are required to write a dissertation of 10,000 words on a topic approved by the Course Director or other authorised person. The dissertation is to be submitted the first working day of September 2016.

PPLX7010X

60

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Students take one or two optional modules in their second year of study, depending upon the number they took in their first year. Please note that students are not allowed to choose 2nd year modules which they have taken during the 1st year of the course. Options chosen outside PPL must be approved by their Course Director.

Name Code Credits

AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

This module will use case studies of Southeast Asia, Central America and the Middle East to explore the reasons for American interventions and to assess their success or failure. It will offer an historical understanding of the assumptions and practices which lie behind contemporary US foreign policy-making. The module will introduce students to the institutions and processes involved in the making of American foreign policy.

PPLI7008B

20

ASIAN CINEMA

'Asian Cinema' is a category of films increasingly in evidence in diverse places ranging from cinemas to high street shops. Recent years have seen a variety of Asian cinema incursions into global film culture, from Bollywood in UK multiplexes to Hong Kong action styles used in the Hollywood blockbuster. Inherent within the label are debates of resistance, industry, art, technology and aesthetics that have held sway since the dawn of cinema worldwide. In this module we break down these discourses and address the significant cultural, economic and political influences that Asian cinemas have had, and indeed still have, within world culture.

AMAM7000B

20

BRICS - EMERGING POWERS IN GLOBAL POLITICS

This module examines how the large group of dynamic emerging powers are at the forefront of global change. The growing influence of these emerging global powers is a key component of the shifting world power. We are seeing new international governance through stronger regional blocs, new South-South alliances, the progress of international institutions such as the BRICS Development Bank, and pressure to change the distribution of power in existing intergovernmental organisations. Focus in this module will be on analysis of social, political and economic change underway in world order.

PPLI7011B

20

CONFLICT, CIVIL WARS AND PEACE

The number of violent intrastate conflicts has outweighed the number of violent interstate conflicts for more than five decades. Yet it was only with the end of the Cold War that academics and policy-makers started paying more attention to the possible causes and consequences of large-scale intrastate violence. Today, questions of effective conflict management, especially of large-scale civil wars, are among the top priorities of international development agencies. The aim of CCP is to critically assess the possible causes and consequences of violent intrastate conflicts as well as their implications for the wider development agenda. Key topics to be discussed in the module include distinctions of different types of conflict (week 1), core theories in the current civil wars literature (week 2), strategies and causes of terrorism (week 3), the role of gender during and after violent intrastate conflicts (week 4), the (contested) relationship(s) between natural resource wealth and civil wars (week 5), institutional approaches to conflict management, including power-sharing and territorial self-governance arrangements (weeks 7 and 8), the rationale and possible effects of third-party intervention in civil wars (week 9), and post-conflict reconstruction efforts, including state- and peace-building as well as transitional justice (weeks 10 and 11). Throughout the module, students will be expected to assess the strengths and limitations of central concepts and theories from the academic debate by applying them to relevant empirical evidence, such as e.g. the role of gender during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, the performance of Bosnia and Herzegovina's post-civil war power-sharing arrangement and the likely effects of federalism in Iraq.

DEV-7015B

20

DEMOCRACY

This module draws on normative political theory and contemporary political science to consider how the concept of democracy has changed since it originated in ancient Greece and looks at the critiques of democracy advanced by critics and opponents especially in the 20th century. The ideas and values underpinning democracy will be interrogated and some recent solutions for today's 'democratic deficit' including electronic democracy and cosmopolitan democracy will be evaluated.

PPLX7001B

20

EUROPE AND THE WORLD

This module examines the position of Europe in International Relations. Weekly lectures and seminars centre upon contemporary debates on Globalisation and Regionalism, Europe's trade relations with the US, China, Russia and the European neighbourhood, security strategies and responses to topical international conflicts like Palestine, Syria, and African civil wars, inter-regional co-operation among trading blocs in politics and commerce, relations with emerging powers and the Developing World, and environmental/energy issues.

PPLI7010B

20

FEMINISMS AND TELEVISION FROM WONDER WOMAN TO HANNAH HORVATH

This module is about the relationship between feminisms and the cultural history of (primarily) US and UK television from second wave feminism to the present. It thus charts the dialogue between feminism and television in Anglophone contexts from the 1970s through to the 2010s, focussing on flashpoint moments for feminism (e.g. the women's liberation movement; millennial postfeminism; the global financial crisis) and touchstone texts (e.g. The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Prime Suspect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, Girls, Scandal) that have resonated particularly strongly with female audiences (e.g. soap operas; lifestyle TV; women centred dramas), struck a chord with feminist concerns (e.g. work/life balance, sexual freedoms, empowerment, the politics of relationships/singlehood/friendship), and generated foundational criticism by feminist television scholars. It will be structured chronologically, and topics may include feminism and female audiences; action heroines on television; the figure of the female detective; women's work; intersectional identities (queerness, post-racial discourse, masculinities) and recessionary culture.

AMAM7009B

20

FREE SPEECH

The module examines one of the pressing issues of political theory, constitutional law, democracy, and media regulation: why is free speech important and what if any should be its limits? Students are introduced to some of the classic defences of free speech found in the writings of J.S. Mill and the judicial decisions of Oliver Wendall Holmes. Following on from this they will examine the question of free speech as it relates to freedom of the press and new media. Students will also explore the question of the limits of free speech, particularly in relation to hate speech. At this point students will have a chance to examine human rights instruments and laws pertaining to the issues, including the ECHR, the Human Rights Act 2008, and the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2008, as well as a range of legal cases from courts across the world. During the module the students will be exposed to a range of deeper ideological debates among liberals, libertarians, multiculturalists, and critical theorists. The approach will be multidisciplinary drawing on politics, philosophy, and law. Finally, the format of the module will be a two-hour class each week, comprising research-led teaching, seminar discussions, practical exercises, textual reading, balloon debate, and essay writing and research-skills mini-sessions. The module will rely heavily on formative feedback on presentation and essay writing skills, building to one assessed long essay and a seminar performance mark.

PPLX7007B

20

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

This module examines the study of security in the international system, through its roots in Cold War strategic studies to the development of the more broadly focused field of security studies today. The module critically analyses contemporary security issues and provides a sound theoretical base for considering practical issues of security, including new wars, intervention and terrorism. Themes are explored from theoretical perspectives and include security and the nation state, war and peace, new wars, alliances, democratic peace, securitisation, human security, the arms industry, religion and security and terrorism.

PPLI7006B

20

MULTICULTURALISM

This module looks at the responses in political theory to the rise of multicultural societies in Europe and North America since the end of World War II. The aim is to introduce students to a range of contemporary theoretical perspectives on multiculturalism and to facilitate critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches. Theorists under examination will include: Parekh, Kymlicka, Taylor and Modood as well as major liberal alternative views; Barry, Rawls and Raz. The module will combine theoretical study with analysis of practical issues/case studies surrounding multiculturalism. Among the issues to be considered are the following: models of integration, group rights, institutional racism, Islamophobia, and the Rushdie affair. The module will also consider divergent policies adopted within European states (eg, France and Germany) and give attention to the attempts to operationalise multiculturalism in the UK in particular via the Parekh Report.

PPLX7003B

20

POLITICS AND MEDIA

Working from the assumption that the media are an integral part of modern political life, this module examines the way in which politics is represented in the media and reviews critically the argument about 'bias'. It also explores the arguments around the ownership and control of media, the increasing use of the media by political parties and the changing relationship between citizens and politics engendered by new communication technologies.

PPLM7002B

20

PRACTICAL MEDIA

The Practical Media module offers students an introduction to video news production as practised in Broadcast TV and, increasingly, online media. The module enables students to contextualise academic study and criticism of news gathering and presentation processes as well as gain first-hand experience of producing video news items using modern technology. The module introduces the skills of television news - story selection, report construction, news interviewing, shooting and post production. The module also teaches the skills of writing to picture for news. The module is first and foremost practical - the skills taught will enable students working in small teams to produce their own short TV news reports, which will be compiled into a TV format news programme. Production takes place on location and in the studio. Students will be required to work outside the taught periods on their production and post-production activities. PLEASE NOTE that this module is frequently oversubscribed, so priority will be strictly given to students on PPL Media courses.

PPLM7005B

20

PUBLIC RELATIONS, PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND THE MEDIA

This module enables students to develop an advanced understanding of the theory and practice of public affairs, interest intermediation, and the strategies used by interest, advocacy groups and others to influence the political process. As well as covering the main debates in the academic literature, it draws directly on the experience of practitioners and offers unique insights into this under-studied area of politics.

PPLX7005B

20

THE BIG PICTURE: CONTEMPORARY HOLLYWOOD CINEMA

Hollywood has remained a dominant force in film production, distribution and exhibition in recent decades, despite competition from other local and transnational cinemas. This module aims to explore the success of the Hollywood system through a focus on the industry itself, and the films it produces, particularly those that have been most successful at the domestic and international box office. The module will, therefore, cover a range of relevant topics that may include: what kind of films does Hollywood invest in? Is financial gain the best lens to judge issues of 'popularity'? Who are the target audiences for those films? What is the role of the audience in receiving and popularising these hit movies? What is the relationship between domestic theatrical release, circulation in foreign markets and distribution in other media such as television, film, and DVD?

AMAM7011B

20

THE FOREIGN RELATIONS OF CHINA AND JAPAN IN THE MODERN WORLD

The module looks at the history of China and Japan from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. The attempts at modernisation, conflict between the two nations, their relationships with the Asian region and the United States are covered. Their contrasting attempts to develop in the postwar period are investigated. We also assess their current policies and the issues of importance to China and Japan in the twenty first century, and assess whether they can move beyond the legacy of this difficult history.

PPLI7007B

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Humanities or Social Sciences
  • Degree Classification UK BA (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not meet the academic requirements for this course, you may be able to study one of the International Graduate Diploma programmes offered by our partner INTO UEA. These programmes guarantee progression to selected masters degrees if students achieve the appropriate grade. For more details please click here:

International Graduate Diploma in Political, Social and International Studies

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Intakes

This course's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact university directly for further information.

Assessment

All applications for postgraduate study are processed through the Faculty Admissions Office and forwarded to the relevant School of Study for consideration. If you are currently completing your first degree or have not yet taken a required English language test, any offer of a place will be conditional upon you achieving this before you arrive.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the academic year 2016/17 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,150
  • International Students: £14,500

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £820 per month.

Scholarships and Awards

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has a number of Scholarships and Awards on offer. For further information relevant to Political, Social and International Studies, visit the Scholarships and Funding page for postgraduate students.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    Need to know more? Take a look at these pages to discover more about Postgraduate opportunities at UEA…

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515