MA Media, Culture and Society

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The School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies offers a wide range of MA degrees.

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Key facts

(Research Excellence Framework 2014)

"Postgraduate study enables you to understand current affairs and to broaden your knowledge on key debates"

In their words

Oliver Steward, MA International Relations

Explore the role of media in shaping and transforming society in the new global order as you study media of all kinds – news, film and social media – at all levels of operation, from economics and law to politics and culture. Our distinctive approach is highly interdisciplinary, meaning you will be taught by experts in media law, economics, political communication, social media and identity politics.

The MA Media, Culture and Society is inspired by the idea that, whether you are studying or working in the media, you need to be acutely conscious of how media, in all its forms, shape the way people understand and respond to their world. The course is designed to help you investigate and reflect upon how media and society are linked, and how each affects the other. You will be encouraged to explore the practical and professional implications of these links and be given numerous opportunities to develop skills that will enable you to work within media.

Overview

Benefit from UEA’s internationally renowned teachers and researchers in media and culture to gain an understanding of contemporary media from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. This course is characterised by the way it straddles several fields that are of crucial importance today, bringing together key aspects of modern media and approaching them from the perspective of politics, economics, law and international development. You will look at the role of media in global citizenship, at media law and economics, and at different media systems. Through your choice of optional modules (including practical media options) and your dissertation, you will tailor the degree to your interests, focusing on those aspects of media and society that you feel are most important.

Course structure

The MA lasts twelve months for full-time students (two years for those studying part time). You will attend 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.

You will get a firm, interdisciplinary grounding in media, cultural and social studies with the compulsory module Media and Society. This foundation is complemented by a tailor-made English-language module, Studying Media; in addition to introducing key study skills and debates in the discipline, these workshop sessions will provide a supportive environment for critical reflection and intercultural communication. You will also be able to choose from a wide range of modules, focusing on the areas that interest you. The choice offered may include: Crime, Violence and Disasters in the Global Media; and Public Relations, Public Affairs and the Media. We also offer a module which offers 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.

Your dissertation is an excellent opportunity to put your interests and research skills into practice by carrying out an in-depth enquiry into a specialist subject. You will be able to choose your own topic and will be allocated an individual supervisor to advise you on all aspects of writing and researching the dissertation. After Easter you will also be able to take part in our dedicated Postgraduate Day, which is a chance for you to discuss your research and dissertation progress with your peers. 

Skills and experience 

Over the course of this MA you will develop a variety of useful, transferable skills, including debating, giving clear and stimulating presentations, teamwork, academic and professional research, and essay writing. We also offer you training in research skills, enabling you to write a high-quality dissertation as well as giving you a sound basis that you can take with you into a career in research or further postgraduate study. 

You may also have the opportunity to take part in our annual trip to Brussels, which includes two or three nights in a hotel. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet journalists and other media specialists living in Brussels, and to develop your media skills.

As part of our postgraduate community you will have the opportunity to attend numerous events and talks during your time here. We regularly attract distinguished guest lecturers, among them Gary Gibbon, Political Editor for Channel 4 News; Anne McElvoy of The Economist; Owen Jones, author and columnist for The Guardian; Shami Chakrabarti, former director of Liberty; Michael Cockerell, BBC documentary film-maker; and John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons. Find out more and listen to some of these lectures at: www.uea.ac.uk/psi.

Assessment

You will be assessed on a mix of essays, research papers, performance in seminars and the dissertation.

Course tutors and research interests

We have more than 30 members of staff, all of whom actively engage with research in the field. We take an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approach in our work, linking theory to practice, to create a distinctive programme of research. This has given us a strong international reputation for research in a wide variety of areas, including international relations; international relations theory; international security; terrorism; human rights; religion; the US; Britain; the EU; Japan; Africa; the mass media; the new media; political communications; popular culture; identity politics; public administration and public policy; political theory; and political rhetoric.

Where next? 

Recent graduates from Political, Social and International Studies have taken up jobs in a wide variety of fields, including business, teaching, research, journalism and public relations, as well as working for national and international organisations.

In conjunction with UEA’s Careers Service we put on dedicated events for students studying on our media, culture and politics programmes. Here you will be able to hear from alumni and professionals working in the fields of media, politics and culture, benefiting from their experience and advice. 

 

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

MEDIA AND SOCIETY

How does media shape society? How does society shape media? These are key questions for anyone interested in the role of media today. Our aim is to provide you with a broad, current and inter-disciplinary understanding of the media and their relationship to society, and you will be taught by experts in media law, media studies, political science, and development. You will: - be exposed to many different approaches to the study of media. - learn about different media systems and how they are regulated and funded. - analyse media content and you will debate how best to research media effects. - encounter arguments about the digital divide and about the new global media political economy. - explore how media content is constructed, what factors and influences go to shape content and how content may be controlled and even censored. - look at the media industry, examining how it is currently organised and managed. - examine how media affects people and society. - have the opportunity to reflect upon likely future developments in the relationship between media and society. You will be able to develop your own ideas on these matters through the long essay that you write at the end of the module, supported in this by workshops and tutorials.

PPLM7009Y

40

PSI DISSERTATION

For all MA students registered on programmes 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 in the relevant year.

PPLX7010X

60

STUDYING MEDIA

This module is intended to provide you with an introduction to the key study skills in media and cultural studies. It will be particularly useful if you are unfamiliar with the British university system and its expectations. You will apply theoretical and methodological approaches to contemporary media texts and discuss recent scholarship on changes in the global media and cultural landscape.

PPLM7004A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

PRACTICAL VIDEO AND TV NEWS PRODUCTION

This module offers you an introduction to video news production as practised in Broadcast TV and, increasingly, online media. The module enables you 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. You are introduced to the skills of television news - story selection, report construction, news interviewing, shooting and post production. You will master the skills of writing to picture for news. The module is first and foremost practical - the skills taught will enable you, working in small teams, to produce your own short TV news reports, which will be compiled into a TV format news programme. Production takes place on location and in the studio. You will be required to work outside the taught periods on production and post-production activities. PLEASE NOTE that this module is frequently oversubscribed, so priority will be given to students on PPL Media courses.

PPLM7006A

20

UNDERSTANDING DIGITAL MEDIA

Digital technologies are often hyped as revolutionising society. You will be introduced to the ways in which the internet and other digital technologies are (and are not) affecting society from theoretical and empirical perspectives. This module is divided into three blocks: the first introduces the theoretical debates surrounding digital media; the second discusses how our everyday interpersonal relations are affected by digital media; the third addresses the impact of digital technology on media and politics. Topics covered include: the network society; social networking and virtual communities, surveillance, digital journalism and online activism.

PPLM7000A

20

Students will select 40 - 60 credits from the following modules:

Those students that have a UK media degree and who have the approval of their Course Director to opt out of compulsory module PPLM7004A, must choose 60 credits from Options Range B. Students who do not have a UK Media degree must choose 40 credits from Options Range B. If Practical Media PPLM7006A has been chosen, it is not possible to enrol on PPLM7005B.

Name Code Credits

BRICS: WORLD ORDER AND RISING NEW POWERS

The transatlantic axis that used to run the world can see its power slipping away. Can Asia lead the world? What would world under Pax Sinica look like and can it coexist with Pax Americana? You will examine how dynamic emerging powers - and not only the BRICS - are spurring global change. World history is not linear, there are ups and downs as well as twists and turns. China is re-emerging, the Indian Ocean Rim is again at the centre of world action as old trade routes are being renewed by emerging powers, and the US appears to return policies of isolationism. Former US Secretary of State Kissinger argues that the world is in a perilous condition, verging on international anarchy. The global economy's centre of gravity is shifting from West to East, the Global South increasingly challenges the balance of power of North Atlantic hegemony, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank points to alternative systems of global governance. Will international governance be transformed through stronger regional blocs, new South-South alliances, and the progress of international institutions such as the BRICS Development Bank?

PPLI7011B

20

CONFLICT AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

Can "cultural" differences cause conflict in communication? How are they to be resolved without prioritizing one culture over the other? In this module you will study conflict and conflict resolution strategies across different cultural contexts; a wide range of communication domains, e.g. everyday encounters, language at work, language in diplomatic contexts, language and social cohesion, language and racism, language and gender, and language in the globalization process, also with reference to your specific linguistic/cultural backgrounds. You will benefit from an interdisciplinary approach, which includes Face and Politeness Theories, Discourse Analysis and Intercultural Communication Studies. You will also better understand the conditions for cross-cultural misunderstanding and conflict and strategies of conflict escalation and resolution.

PPLC7008B

20

CRIME, VIOLENCE AND DISASTERS IN THE GLOBAL MEDIA

The news media across the world love violence and blood. From bank robberies, serial killers and school violence to earthquakes, riots and war the newsworthiness of stories associated with some form of human suffering, individual or collective acts of destruction, dominate news coverage. This module aimed at MA media and politics students examines the representation of these stories, the potential influence/effect on audiences, and their role in shaping consumer desires, public anxieties and broader perceptions of reality . It draws on existing empirical research in order to enable students to design their own research on media representations, as part of the module and in preparation of their final dissertation.

PPLM7017B

20

CRITICALLY QUEER: SEX, GENDER AND SEXUALITY

How are sex, gender and sexuality brought together to ensure the normative privileging of heterosexuality and the sex/gender binary? What possibilities are there for resistance to these norms? How does such resistance situate us socially, culturally, and politically? With queer theory as its focus and drawing on case studies from different fields - literature, film, drama and performance, politics, history, among others - in this interdisciplinary module, you'll examine sex, gender, and sexuality as effects of historically specific socio-cultural and geo-political power relations. Rather than approaching queer studies as a singular or coherent school of thought, you'll be encouraged to continuously problematise queer studies as a field and a mode of analysis, asking: What does it mean for theory, in particular, to be queer? What is involved in queering theory and being critically queer? What kinds of bodies or desires does queer describe? What are the promises of queer theory, and what are its perils? What is the future of queer? While doing so, you'll explore a variety of topics, such as politics of difference, representation and cultural production, performance and performativity, temporality and spatiality, subjectivity and embodiment. Overall, in this module, you'll problematise and challenge normalisations, hierarchies and relations of domination and explore the powerful processes and languages that attempt to fix sex, gender and sexuality as unchanging and universal.

HUM-7009B

20

FEMINISMS AND TELEVISION FROM WONDER WOMAN TO HANNAH HORVATH

You will learn about the relationship between feminisms and the cultural history of (primarily) US and UK television from second wave feminism to the present. Your module 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

You'll examine 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? You'll compare and contrasts the conditions of free speech in China, the UK, and the United States. You'll be 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 you'll examine the question of free speech as it relates to freedom of the press and new media. You'll also explore the question of the limits of free speech, particularly in relation to hate speech. At this point you 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. You'll 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. The format 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 assessment comprises of formative feedback on the presentation of an essay plan and summative assessment of two essays. The module compares and contrasts the conditions of free speech in China, the UK, and the United States. 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 assessment is as follows: formative feedback on the presentation of an essay plan; summative assessment of two essays.

PPLX7007B

20

GENDER AND POWER

Providing a conceptual overview of feminist research approaches, this module examines contemporary gender and power relations. You will examine both the formal and informal power structures that shape the experience of gender. Bringing together the fields of media and sociology, politics and cultural studies, you will explore the relationship between feminist theory and activism.

PPLM7015B

20

INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION IN PRACTICE

Do you wish to pursue a career in international management and relations, multilingual business, or international development? Are you interested in becoming a more effective communicator in other professions such as translation, interpreting, education, and cultural mediation? In this module we will explore the issues fundamental to intercultural communication (IC) in practical contexts. You will examine the different ways of thinking about effective communication in a variety of work/organisation-based environments. During the seminars/lecture series, invited practitioners will introduce you to how IC operates in specific organisations, including government agencies or in multilingual business management. On completion of this module, you will have developed the linguistic skills, cultural competence, and critical thinking required for the production of an extended research project in intercultural communication. You will also have acquired a sense of how cultural assumptions may influence communication with others from different backgrounds, and developed a greater willingness to enter into dialogue with the values prevalent in cultures other than your own.

PPLC7007B

20

MEDIA AUDIENCES

How do audiences engage with media texts? What approaches can we employ to understand the relationship between media and audiences? These questions are central to this module. Throughout the module you will explore a range of research traditions which seek to explain the ways audiences consume media. As well as gaining a firm grounding in different approaches in media audience research, you will engage in your own original research practice and be encouraged to reflect on its usefulness. We begin by critically exploring the main recent traditions for thinking about and researching media audiences, including approaches from mass communications, cultural studies, reception studies and the growing field of fan studies. Alongside this, you will be encouraged to reflect on the significance of the contexts which shape how audiences encounter, engage with, and respond to different kinds of media and cultural products (such as film, television, music, news, books, video games and live performances). To help grasp some of the key issues at hand, you will also read and evaluate original audience and reception research and be encouraged to assess what distinguishes good or strong from poor or weak research. As you study you'll put your new knowledge into practice by designing and conducting some audience research of your own, while gaining experience in communicating your ideas in seminars, as well as through written work and presentations.

AMAM7006B

20

POLITICS AND MEDIA

Working from the assumption that the media are an integral part of modern political life, we will examine the way in which politics is represented in the media and reviews critically the argument about 'bias'. We will also explore 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 VIDEO AND TV NEWS PRODUCTION

This module offers you an introduction to video news production as practised in Broadcast TV and, increasingly, online media. The module enables you 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. You are introduced to the skills of television news - story selection, report construction, news interviewing, shooting and post production. You will master the skills of writing to picture for news. The module is first and foremost practical - the skills taught will enable you, working in small teams, to produce your own short TV news reports, which will be compiled into a TV format news programme. Production takes place on location and in the studio. You will be required to work outside the taught periods on production and post-production activities. PLEASE NOTE that this module is frequently oversubscribed, so priority will be 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 and 'occupations' to far-right rallies, from Pride parades to funeral pickets, and from 'Critical Mass' bicycle rides to prayer vigils in public places. This module will examine what kinds of protest are, or ought to be, legally protected, and what kind of regulation might legitimately be permitted. How should the authorities respond to spontaneous or unorganized gatherings, simultaneous demonstrations, counter-protests, or assemblies on private property? The module seeks to provide a thorough grounding in the core standards governing the legal protection of the right to protest.

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

ANALYSING HOLLYWOOD CINEMA

'Hollywood' as an industry, cultural institution and maker of films has dominated the global cinematic imagination for decades. On this module, we investigate the history, production cultures and texts made by the US film industry from its classic period to contemporary filmmaking. This will include analysing Hollywood from a range of perspectives, which may include things like studio filmmaking, independent filmmaking, genre filmmaking and the blockbuster. In doing so we will discover the multiplicity of cinemas at work within the concept of Hollywood.

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-19th century to the present day. You'll cover the attempts at modernisation, conflict between the two nations, their relationships with the Asian region and the United States. You'll also investigate their contrasting attempts to develop in the postwar period. In addition, you'll assess their current policies and the issues of importance to China and Japan in the 21st century, and explore whether they can move beyond the legacy of this difficult history.

PPLI7007B

20

THE PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT OF PRIVACY AND REPUTATION

In the intrusive, multi-faceted world that exists today, with 24/7 media and an ever-expanding internet, the potential for damage to reputation and interference with privacy has never been greater. This module focuses on the various ways in which the law protects rights to reputation and privacy and examines ways in which the law can be used to manage reputations in this complex world. You will focus on the law of defamation, the laws relating to the protection of privacy interests, and the developing interplay between law and technology. While the approach taken by English law will form a significant part of the module's content, comparative study will also be made of the laws of America and other common law jurisdictions as well as the laws of the European Union and some specific European countries.

LAW-7004B

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. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Relevant Humanities or Social Science subject such as Media Studies, Journalism or Broadcasting
  • Degree Classification UK BA (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent

Entry Requirement

Media experience can be taken into account for those with a non-relevant humanities or social science degree.

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 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 2018/19 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,550
  • International Students: £15,800

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 £1,015 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

    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