Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £7,500 *
International Fees £14,500 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

The Media and Development MA is an interdisciplinary course that teaches main theories, concepts, case studies and practical media skills around the theme of media and development and its implications for less developed countries. The course will provide you with a unique blend of theory and practice teaching, aimed at deepening your knowledge of the history of communications within the development process of emerging economies. It will critically evaluate the impact of international and regional institutions from a critical political economic perspective. Teaching by academic staff, guest lecturers and other carefully selected staff from development organisations will provide you with an overview of the policies, actions and impact of state and non-state institutions within the area of communication media and development.

A distinctive feature is its emphasis on the practical role of communication media in development. You will participate in media production workshops and take part in our internship programme, offered in partnership with media and development organisations in London. As part of the work experience module, students participate in an extensive NGOs and media seminar series featuring experts and panel discussions. The work placement programme is in line with the University of Westminster’s strategy of nurturing of the critical practitioner.

The course team is led by Dr Winston Mano and includes Professor Daya Thussu, Professor Christian Fuchs, Professor David Gauntlett, Professor Naomi Sakr, Dr Anthony McNicholas, Dr Xin Xin, Dr Anastasia Kavada, Dr Maria Michalis, Dr Roza Tsagarousianou, Dr Tarik Sabry, Paul Majendie, Geoffrey Davies and Michaela O’Brien. Visiting Lecturers include Jackie Davies, founder and Director of the Communication and Development Network (C4D) (www.c4d.org), a community of professionals working in communication for development. As a peer network the C4D Network is aimed at communication for development practitioners plus allied development workers, donors, academics and communication experts from the BBC, UN and major development organisations. The joining criterion is an engagement in communication for development - either professionally or through academia. Students on the Media and Development MA have the option to join the C4D network and each can do a fellowship/internship with the network during the course.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Semester 1 (core modules)

A taught module and group workshops in the first semester will guide you in conducting a major piece of independent research. This module will be supplemented by individual supervisions beginning from the second semester. The aim is to give you a guided framework within which you can demonstrate your ability to carry out advanced independent study and write it up in the form of a dissertation. The dissertation is a 15,000 word piece of original research on a topic agreed with your supervisor and related to the political, economic, cultural and/or sociological factors which shape the practices and outcomes of mass media, including media texts and the audience reception of them. 

The module is intentionally eclectic. You will cover (in a loosely historical way) the arguments, advantages and problems of the main sociological, cultural and psychological theories about the media. It aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the most important ways of approaching the fundamental issues posed by the relationships between the media of communication and social and economic life. It will also enable you to understand the problems posed by different intellectual traditions, and to place those theories in their proper contexts. 

This module focuses on different theories and approaches to development. It considers key development theories and approaches such as modernisation, dependency and neo- liberalism and will provide you with an opportunity to critically assess their relevance to specific contexts in developing countries. 

Semester 1 (optional modules)

The module examines the various theoretical attempts to make sense and deal intellectually with social and cultural diversity, from assimilationism to liberal universalism, integration theories, liberal multiculturalism and the various strands of multiculturalism. It examines the concepts of pluralism, universalism, cosmopolitanism, tolerance and respect as they have developed in various theoretical contexts and assesses their implications in contemporary politics and culture. 

This module examines key developments in the media and communications industries associated with the logic of globalisation. You will explore the complex nature of the globalisation process, focusing on the emergence of both supra-national and sub-national developments and explore the relationship between new contexts of production and questions of collective culture and identity. 

The module gives students a basic understanding of the structures and practical abilities needed in news journalism. They will develop individual skills in study, research and writing and team skills in designing and writing for the web. The module aims to enable you to develop a critical understanding of how print, radio and TV operate; develop news-writing techniques for different media platforms; learn individual and team skills across different media platforms; acquire knowledge of ethical considerations faced by journalists; and design and develop a website in teams. 

As international regimes and national regulation become increasingly important in the creation and delivery of communications, it becomes necessary to understand how the two levels interact. This module will introduce you to those theories of policy making and international relations which provide tools for the analysis of communication policies, and their dynamic interaction at the national and international level. 

This module introduces students to the political economy approach to analysing the structure and performance of communication industries in capitalist economies. It identifies distinctive economic features of media and relates these to trends in the organisation of specific media industries, taking account of ways in which the economics of media have been affected by the spread of digital technologies. 

This module introduces the students to key theoretical perspectives on the cultural production and representation of race, ethnicity and migrancy and discusses the role of the media and journalistic practice in such processes. It provides a context for critical thinking and discussion about multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural issues associated with contemporary news media. You will study and research the stereotypes of people of colour, various ethnic groups, refugees and immigrant communities in the mainstream news media. The module will look at the influence, responsibility, and power of journalism in reporting diversity issues. The purpose of this module is to encourage student journalists to see, look at, report and reflect on the society they live in. 

Study Skills (no credits) If your first language is not English, or you have no experience of the UK education system, you will benefit from this module. You will be taken through the process of producing a piece of written work, from note taking to editing, so as to enable you to produce written work in accordance with current UK academic standards and practices. 

This module will introduce you to a range of broadcasting and telecommunications technologies, enabling you to assess the economic and political issues surrounding each technology. Topics covered include capital investment in networks, how and why technologies change, strategic interests and communications, and substitutable technologies and the creation markets. 

Semester 2 (core modules)

Students will be encouraged to take work experience during the course. With the number of charities and NGOs dealing with development in London, we expect students will get a placement with an organisation and we envisage them working in a communications role. Students on the media and development MA have the option to join the C4D network and each can do a fellowship/internship with the network during the course. 

Semester 2 (optional modules)

This module will introduce you to the main methods of communication research. We shall look at how to undertake selective quantitative and qualitative methods, understanding and exploring the different stages of the social science research process, from a definition of a research hypothesis, to data collection and analysis. We shall also look at the theoretical reasoning behind different methodological approaches to media and society, in particular the politics of social research and diversity issues. 

This module explores the challenges facing media organisations in the fields of strategy and innovation. It addresses the contextual nature of strategy formation, identifies and analyses key drivers of change within media industries, and examines the application of structured methods of planning in media product and service development. The module applies management concepts and tools to business and strategic challenges confronting public and private media enterprises across the globe. 

This module offers a critical assessment of the role of media in political mobilisation, social movements, dissent, wars, conflicts, elections, and political and social crises. The module considers the impact of different forms of censorship and regulation on social, political and cultural expression in the media. It also looks at the impact of the internet and new means of transparency and communications on journalism and activism in a range of circumstances from secure democracies through different kinds of political systems. 

Campaigning in the last century saw the mobilisation of large numbers of people to bring about political and social change. The political landscape has changed and the ways to influence it have grown. Major changes in society and technology now enable concerned citizens from around the world to come together online and take action on issues that concern them. Is there still a role for civil society organisations in this new environment or is online activism mapping out a new model for social change? Campaigning non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are, in some areas, the natural voice of dissent, but they too run the risk of being seen as part of the establishment. As trust in institutions declines, how can NGOS maintain their influence and change their techniques to deliver successful campaigns? What does the new political and campaigning landscape look like, what are the current techniques and how can you decide which is the best technique to use for your campaign? 

The module studies digital convergence and the role of policy and regulation in facilitating and controlling that process. The focus is on internet-related policy debates and concepts drawing mostly on developments in the USA, the European Union and the UK but with a critical awareness of the issues facing developing, transitional and small countries. It critically assesses competing arguments concerning the interplay between policy and technology and implications for market structures and business models, as appropriate. 

This module will present information for critical thinking and discussion about media representation of age, gender, sexual orientation and disability. The module will discuss ways of improving journalism practice in order to bridge social and cultural divisions. You will study and research the stereotypes of youth and the elderly, men and women, gay and lesbian communities and people with disabilities. The course will look at the influence, responsibility, and power of journalism in reporting these. 

This module presents and critically evaluates debates around social and faith/religious diversity, awareness of the issues surrounding the reporting of faith and faith communities in their societies. Through a series of lectures and workshops/seminars, it will encourage you to reflect on the various aspects of media and journalism practice in relation to religion and faith. 

You will examine both theoretically and empirically different aspects of the news creation, dissemination and reception processes. The module will look at the relevance of different traditions in mass media research to the study of news and will be based on a number of case studies. The module will focus mainly on contemporary practices, in both print and electronic media, but attention to historical and conceptual perspectives will also be given. 

Entry Requirements

You should have, or expect, at least a Lower Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent). If English is your second language you should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5, with 6.0 in each element.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

 

You should have, or expect, at least a Lower Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent). If English is your second language you should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5, with 6.0 in each element.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

Careers

Graduates apply for posts in development organisations based in London such as OneWorld, Oxfam, Save the Children, Red Cross, ActionAid, Panos, DfiD, Intermedia, BBC, Institute of War and Peace, Christian Aid and War on Want. Some students were able to build on knowledge, skills and their background in working for governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations (in Romania, Pakistan and India) and a range of international business organisations, including the BBC. The course also prepares students for further studies and for a higher degree, e.g., a PhD. Some students apply for PhD Scholarships advertised by the Faculty of Media, Arts and Design and they were all encouraged to join the Communication for Development Network (C4D) which meets once a month in London.

We are aware that the range of skills needed is exceptionally diffuse, and that students on the course hope to develop careers in a variety of fields in many different countries. We are also aware that we are preparing you for careers in a rapidly changing job market and the structure of the course allows you take advantage of change, and not to be its victim. It, therefore, would be misleading and unhelpful to place too much emphasis on acquiring a precise set of skills drawn from one part of the media and development sector. Finally, with a view to your professional development planning, the course is designed to give you a wide-ranging and critical knowledge of the development industry that you plan to enter.

 

 

 We have strongly developed links with media and development organisations such as UNICEF, UNESCO, C4D, BBC Media Action, Internews Commonwealth Public Media Alliance.

Our large network of alumni keep our name and reputation alive in the industry.

 

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £7,500 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

 

 

International tuition fee: £14,500 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cove

Course Location

The vibrant home of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, the Harrow Campus offers one of the richest portfolios of creative industry research and learning in Europe. The recent redevelopment of the campus has seen the creation of fluid, informal learning spaces, dedicated project and gallery spaces and a revamped library. For more details, visit our Harrow Campus page.

Contact us

Call our dedicated team on:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

Opening hours (GMT): 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

[email protected]

More information

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