Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £8,500 *
International Fees £17,000 *
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.

Core modules

This module provides guidance on how to conduct a major piece of independent research, supplemented by group work and individual supervision. Group work during Semester One orients students towards identifying and refining their individual research topic, which must be specific to their MA course and route. Dissertation/project supervisors are assigned at the start of Semester Two. Supervision takes place in Semester 2 and 3. The dissertation/final project is submitted by the end of August.

This module will provide you with a theoretical view of the concept of development and with the foundation for analysis of development policies in the communication sector. The course will consider the traditional role of communications in developing countries and analyse the spread of western corporations in telecommunications and mass media into the middle and lower income countries.

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. 

One Semester One module from the below:

Semester 1 (option 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 policy, politics and culture. The use of contemporary examples form media, politics and culture are an important aspect of learning throughout the module as students are expected not only to engage critically with concepts, but to also to reflect on the social and political realities of their own societies.
 

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. 

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 covers key perspectives on the cultural production and representation of social and cultural diversity with the focus on race, ethnicity and faith, in the media. It also discusses, examines and critically assesses the role of the media and journalistic practice within such processes. Particular emphasis will be placed in critically examining media stereotypes of people of colour, various ethnic and religious groups, refugees and immigrant communities in the mainstream news media. You will also identify existing, and produce more inclusive reporting and media alternatives to enable a fairer representation of social and cultural diversity in the media. In class and scheduled newsroom sessions you will engage with identifying and critically reflecting on existing journalism practice across the western world and producing more inclusive reporting and media alternatives to enable a fairer representation of social and cultural diversity in the media. You will also engage with critically assessing and analysing the existing and future role of social media in the possible democratisation of social and cultural diversity coverage in the media.

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 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. 

One Semester Two module from the below:

Semester 2 (option modules)

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. 

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. 

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 gender, sexual orientation, age 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 diversity issues. As part of the learning, students will have to produce their own documentary film on a topic relevant to the issues discussed in the module, and for this we offer training in the use of video-cameras, sound and editing.

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. 

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? 

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

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirments can be considered with lower qualifications if they have significant work experience.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.5 with 6.0 in writing and speaking.

Applicants are required to submit one academic reference.

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

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirments can be considered with lower qualifications if they have significant work experience.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.5 with 6.0 in writing and speaking.

Applicants are required to submit one academic reference.

More information

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 Careers and Employability Service is here to support you to achieve your full potential.
 
With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we provide you with a variety of opportunities to work and develop new skills. As a University of Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.
 
We can help you:
    •    find work placements, graduate jobs or voluntary experience related to your course
    •    discover international opportunities to enhance your employability
    •    write effective CVs and application forms
    •    develop your interview and enterprise skills
    •    plan your career with our career consultants
    •    gain insights into your chosen industry through mentoring
    •    meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events 
 
Find out more about the Careers and Employability Service.

 

Find out more about other employability initiatives at the University of Westminster. 

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £8,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each 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: £17,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each 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 our creative, media and digital courses, 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

Contact the Course Enquiries Team:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

[email protected]

Opening hours (GMT): 9am–4.30pm Monday to Friday

More information

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