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Course content

This course allows you to examine the construction of meanings, experiences, identities and relationships in various contexts of social life, through advanced study of media practices and consumption.

Course overview

This course is for people who want to explore the nature of the media and cultural power at an advanced level. There is a high level of engagement with theories of contemporary society, including cultural theory, modern television and popular culture.

Given the importance of theory, an important attraction of this Masters is Sunderland’s research specialisms. These include media power, sexualities, identities, and how technology changes the way we experience the world, as well as performance and distribution.
The MA is taught at the David Puttnam Media Centre on our Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s by staff from Sunderland’s Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies (CRMCS), which promotes a lively and inclusive research environment. As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to attend CRMCS’s regular research seminar series, which hosts both visiting and internal speakers discussing their latest research. You will also have the opportunity to benefit from the centre’s annual programme of national and international conferences, symposia and other research events.

You will focus on areas that you find particularly fascinating while contextualising your interests within the wider field of film, media and cultural studies. The course culminates in a dissertation on a topic that you negotiate with tutors.

Throughout the course, you will refine your powers of analysis and communication. These skills are highly valued by employers and will boost your employability. On average, postgraduates tend to find jobs more easily than people whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. They also achieve higher total earnings in the long-run.

Course content

The content of the course is shaped by your personal interests with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors. Modules on this course include:
Media and Cultural Studies 1 (60 Credits)
-Engaging with Theory: Key Thinkers, Texts and Contexts (30 Credits)
-Research Methods in Film, Media and Cultural Studies (30 Credits)

Media and Cultural Studies 2 (60 Credits)
-Consumption and Everyday Life (30 Credits)
-Special Topic: Film, Media and/or Cultural Studies (30 Credits)

Media and Cultural Studies 3 (60 Credits)
-You will complete a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Teaching and assessment

All modules are team taught, drawing on the wide range of research specialisms of our staff.

Co-taught with MA Film and Cultural Studies, this MA enables you to contextualise your own work within the wider field of film, media and cultural studies, as well as pursue your own specific interest in a particular area of the media. This approach is excellent preparation if you are thinking of continuing on to PhD level. You will also be able to specialise and pursue your own specific interests film via choice of assignment questions on the taught modules and via negotiation of topics in the Special Topic and Dissertation modules.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, workshops and group work. Via CRMCS’s research seminar programme, these are supported by a range of guest speakers from diverse academic and industry backgrounds. From stage 2 you will be expected to engage in a greater degree in self-directed study in preparation for the stage 3 dissertation. You will also have high levels of contact with tutors who give regular feedback and support.

Assessment methods include essays, projects, presentations, and a dissertation.

Facilities & location

Our David Puttnam Media Centre is home to the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies (CRMCS), which engages in world leading research, as well as hosting international visiting scholars, conferences, external speakers and two international refereed research journals.

Teaching rooms
We have well-equipped lecture and seminar rooms, with overhead projection and full internet access.

Cinema
There is a 203-seat cinema with full HD projection, 7.1 surround sound facility and the capability to play 3D feature films. We have a live Sky feed and off-air recording facility, including DVD and Blu-ray recording, plus extensive footage archive/library.

University Library Services
We’ve got a wide range of books, journals and e-books on relevant topics, with many more available through the inter-library loan service. The library buildings provide a variety of study spaces, IT facilities and experienced library staff during core hours, with online services and support available at any time off-campus. In addition, both the St Peter’s and Murray libraries offer 24/7 access during main teaching weeks.

TV studios
We have two TV studios complete with green rooms and control rooms. Equipment includes four Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane. We also have over 40 full HD tapeless field camera systems, comprising Sony EX1 and EX3 models, with associated location kits, lighting, field monitors and audio mixers.

Digital editing
There are 70 workstations with state-of-the-art HD Edit systems, including Final Cut Pro, Avid and Media Composer. There is also a digital audio postproduction area with four voiceover booths.

Radio studios
We have five radio studios including a transmission suite for Spark FM, our student-run community radio station. It broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a target audience of 15-24-year-olds.

Employment & careers

Postgraduates are highly employable and, on average, earn more than individuals whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. On completing this course you will be equipped for a range of roles in the media and cultural industries.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

Visit the Media and Cultural Studies - MA page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!

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