Media Studies (Research MA)
The Research Master's in Media Studies curriculum
The Media Studies Research Master’s programme seeks to enhance students’ understanding of media as complex social and cultural phenomena in their historical and contemporary contexts.
Students can specialise in:
1) Film Studies
2) Television and Cross-Media Culture
3) New Media and Digital Culture
4) Archival and Information Studies
There is also the option to develop, in consultation with the programme director, a fully customised programme that straddles these disciplines and potentially includes a semester abroad.
Research Master's Specialisations
- Film Studies offers a theoretically rigorous engagement with the field of film studies and visual culture. The programme approaches the study of film as a multi-faceted phenomenon, one that plays a vital and ever-changing role in contemporary digital media culture.
- Television and Cross-Media Culture offers the tools to understand and evaluate the on-going transformation of media culture, and its impact on culture, politics and everyday life. It also takes television as a starting point in mapping the conceptual, social and cultural challenges that come with digital, mobile and social media.
- New Media and Digital Culture provides a comprehensive and critical approach to new media research, practices and theory. The study of digital media is continually refreshed with objects, spaces, platforms and apps, each seeking new users and niches: Snapchat, Medium, Tinder and Instagram operate alongside formerly ‘new’ media giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. Students gain in-depth knowledge in how to theorise such digital media objects and environments by learning to historically situate them in such perspectives as platform capitalism, data infrastructures, algorithmic governmentality, information analytics, interface critique and software studies.
- Archival and Information Studies is positioned at the intersection of information, technology, and people. It focuses on digital scientific and cultural heritage in libraries, archives and museums as well as alternative sources emerging on the (social) Web, and how these changes fundamentally affect our concept of “information.”
Media Studies programme structure
The Research Master's programme Media Studies comprises 120 ECTS credits:
- 30 credits MA Specialisation (first semester)
- 60 credits Research Master's core courses, electives, tutorials, summer & winter schools (second and third semester)
- 30 credits Research Master's thesis project (fourth semester)
Detailed course information
For detailed course information, please see:
The two compulsory courses constitute the backbone of the programme. The first core course, ‘Media Theory’, offers in-depth teaching of classic and contemporary media theory, while the second core course, ‘Research Practices in Media Studies’, explores how theoretical concepts and debates inform key research practices and approaches within media studies. In combination, the two courses prepare students for developing their own research projects.
Senior staff members offer tutorials on their specific areas of research, enabling students to benefit directly from these scholars’ expertise in, and knowledge of the discipline. Tutorials are given in small groups (max. 5 students). They are usually initiated by staff members, but may also be proposed and customised by students. Examples of tutorials on offer over the past years include: ‘Non-theatrical Film’, ‘Doing Digital Methods’, ‘Governmentality’ ‘Revisiting Star Studies’, ‘Spectral Cities’, ‘Theories With Heart’, ‘Protesting in the cloud’, ‘Adventures in Multimodality’, ‘From Paganism to the Post-Postmodern Condition’, and ‘The University as Media Assemblage’.
Students can choose electives from the national research schools (RMeS & NICA), as well as from the one-year Master's in Media Studies. With a few exceptions, students may also select courses offered by other Master's programmes at the Faculty of Humanities, or at other universities (please note that not every course is open to Media Studies Research Master's students).
The Master's thesis reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of an academic staff member involved in the programme. The student and academic adviser must mutually agree upon the subject of the thesis. The thesis writing process is supported by the Thesis Seminar and Conference course, which helps students develop their research and position this research in larger academic and public debates. The course is organised around peer feedback sessions, in which the students discuss their work in progress. It concludes with a one-day conference, organised by the students themselves.
Students who show exceptional promise during a regular or professional Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in the Research Master's programme. Once students are admitted to this programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their Research Master's degree. The Examinations Board determines which courses qualify for transfer.
Internships and studying abroad
For more information about available internships and the experiences of other student interns, see:
For more information about the possibility of spending a semester of the Research Master's abroad, see: