From Al Jazeera to Hollywood, News Corporation to China Central TV, the media increasingly operate in a global context. This course offers a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to global media, and is designed for those who work in, or want to work in, the media industries.
You will examine key developments in the media and communications industries associated with the logic of globalisation, and explore the complex nature of the globalisation process in the media. You will gain a relevant, well-grounded, high-quality education and skill base, enabling you to develop a clear and comprehensive understanding of communication and the mass media.
Based on continuous assessment, the course is taught in lectures and seminars by the team from Westminster's top-rated Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI ). You will be part of a bustling multicultural academic department which boasts a strong research culture, and you will be able to attend the regular talks by outside speakers (academics and practitioners) on a variety of communication and mass media issues.
Core modules, semester one
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 developments, processes and outcomes in transnational media and communications, ranging from the sub-national to the supra-national, and/or their impact on cultures worldwide.
- Global Media
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.
Option modules, semester one
- Political Analysis of Communication Policy
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 communications policies, and their dynamic interaction at the national and international level.
- Political Economy of Communication
This module introduces 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.
- Study Skills (no credits)
If your first language is not English, or you have no experience of the British education system, you will particularly 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 British academic standards and practices.
- Technology and Communications Policy
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 of markets.
- Theories of Communication
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.
Core module, semester two
- Approaches to Media and Communication Research
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.
Option modules, semester two
- Chinese Media
This module is for you if you have little or no knowledge of the Chinese media, but nevertheless realise that for anyone interested in the media in the world today, some understanding of the biggest national media system is a necessity. The objective is to introduce participants to the Chinese media in the context of a world order changing on account of the growth in wealth and power of several countries, in particular China. The Chinese media are seen as a factor in this, and also as an example of a media system distinct from the Anglo-American, which has often been touted as a model of universal applicability
- Development and Communications Policy
The aims of this module are to provide you with a theoretical overview of the concept of 'development', and the opportunity to consider how it relates to empirical experience in communications in small and developing countries. You will be able to compare the experiences of a range of countries in attempting to retain cultural autonomy, in developing their own communications technologies and policies, in democratisation, and in exporting mass media content.
- Media, Activism and Censorship
This module offers a critical assessment of the role of media in political mobilization, 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.
- Media Audiences
This module begins with an overview of media audiences, and goes on to analyse audiences and media institutions, passive/ active audiences, media influence and effects, and ethnography and media audiences. The second part of the module is devoted to discussions of media and identity, fans, diasporas and new media audiences.
- Media Business Strategy
You will study media businesses and their challenges worldwide. The module will also provide an introduction at postgraduate level to business and strategic issues confronting international media enterprises, both public and private.
- Policies for Digital Convergence
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 Britain 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.
- Sociology for News
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.
Note: The University is constantly improving its offer to students. It is intended that some changes, such as practice options under new course titles, may be approved between printing this brochure and enrolment for this course. You are therefore advised to look at the website for updated details.
Graduates have found jobs in middle and upper management in media industries, as well as the broader private sector (eg consulting and advertising firms) and public sectors (eg government ministries, regulatory authorities), international organisations and non-governmental organisations.
At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.
Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster
work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.
We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.
A good first degree (equivalent to at least an Upper Second or a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA of 3.00) from a recognised university in a humanities or social sciences discipline and/or have relevant professional experience. Particular consideration will be given to mature applicants. The testing nature of the degree means that you must be able to write and speak fluent English. If English is your second language, you should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5 with 6.0 in each element. You may additionally be asked to write 500 words on a topic assigned by the University.