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Launch of new Centre for Social Media Research and MA in Social Media

Journalism and Mass Communication 05 March 2013

On 11 March 2013, the University of Westminster launches both a new Centre for Social Media Research (CSMR) and a new MA in Social Media.

The CSMR will conduct and coordinate research into social, cultural, and political-economic aspects of social media, and will also explore how social media might transform the practice of research itself.

The centre will be led by Professor David Gauntlett, and the MA programme by Professor Christian Fuchs and Professor Graham Meikle, who both joined the School of Media, Arts and Design in February 2013 to teach and research in the area of social media. They add to the existing strengths of Westminster’s media research community, which was top-rated in the last UK Research Assessment Exercise, joining other key social media researchers including Dr Anastasia Kavada and Dr Daniel Trottier.

Westminster’s MA in Social Media will welcome its first students in September 2013. “We’ll be using social media to explore theories and concepts,” said Professor Meikle. “Students will be blogging about course readings, posting online videos about ideas from their modules, sharing photo essays. It’s a rigorous theoretical degree and also an exciting and creative course.”

“Social media is a new frontier in theory and research,” said Professor Fuchs. “The Centre for Social Media Research is a leading environment for analyzing the implications of social media for society. The new MA in Social Media will be based on research-inspired teaching conducted by leading scholars in this exciting interdisciplinary field of inquiry”.  

Commenting on the new MA, Geoffrey Davies, Head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, said, “I’m very excited that we are adding this course to our excellent portfolio and have attracted such stellar names to teach on it. We already have postgraduates taking senior positions in social media and we can now equip them with an even greater knowledge.”

Asked whether ‘social media’ is a fashionable phrase with little longevity, Professor Gauntlett replied, “No, it’s actually a very good term for the kinds of media which are today transforming our social, cultural and economic worlds: media which rely on networks of human self-expression, where millions of people are creators rather than just consumers. As a phenomenon it’s quite new and it’s highly significant”.

The new Centre for Social Media Research will launch itself with a major international conference, Social Media, in London on 2-3 September 2013. The conference will be the fourth in Westminster’s Transforming Audiences series, held every two years since 2007, attracting key scholars and researchers from around the world.


View information about the MA in Social Media

Contacts:

Professor Christian Fuchs: c.fuchs@westminster.ac.uk
Professor Graham Meikle: g.meikle@westminster.ac.uk


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses which are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalism, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

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