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MA in Media Practice for Development and Social Change

Course Description

This MA is unique in the UK, combining training in media practice with teaching in critical and engaged perspectives in international development and social transformation. Jointly taught between the Schools of Media, Film and Music and Global Studies, the MA is especially concerned with understanding media as a tool for social change and equipping students with technical expertise and analytical perspectives that will enable them to actively engage in social concerns and advocate for social change.

The MA focuses on relating media practice to social activism, collaborative action and participatory development strategies. With the increasing mediatisation of societies, the media is increasingly associated with democratisation, demonstration, and social justice, changing the role of media technologies in political life. These changes can be understood in terms of global scales of analysis (eg in respect of new information highways and media flows) and also in terms of influence on peoples’ intimate lives, for example in respect of changing understandings of gender, sexuality and social inequality. The MA focuses on media, development and social changes across these levels of experience.

Learning on the MA is experiential. Students acquire a range of practical media skills and are able to specialise during the course of the MA, for example, by specialising in photography, film or multi-media practice. Similarly students are able to orient toward core thematic and topic based fields, for example by focusing on poverty, environmental change, critical analysis of neoliberalism, media regulation as related to social justice, and post-development paradigms.

The course culminates in a professional placement, an independent media project engaging with real-world issues, or a written dissertation. As a student you:

-gain an understanding of how different media can and have been used in processes of social change
-experience practical applications and creative projects that will help you use media for change
-work in a lively, creative and international environment in which you learn from your fellow students, exchange ideas and skills, build on existing professional experience and acquire new skills, insights and impetus.

This MA may appeal to you if you already work for an NGO or are employed in the voluntary sector or media, or have other work commitments, as the two-year part-time study option has been designed to enable you to complete the course while being on campus only one day per week.


Assessment consists of a variety of practical media projects, critical reflection reports, presentations, essays and the final project in the form you have chosen: work placement, independent media project, or written dissertation.


The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Visit the MA in Media Practice for Development and Social Change page on the University of Sussex website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in an appropriate discipline. We also welcome applicants who do not have this academic qualification but who have work experience in the field of development or media. The latter applicants will be shortlisted on the basis of their CV and a personal statement to demonstrate analytical and writing skills. Overseas entrance requirements: View Website

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