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Social Media, Culture and Society (MA)


Course Description

The Social Media, Culture and Society MA offers a flexible interdisciplinary exploration of key contemporary developments in the networked digital media environment. It will benefit those seeking to develop their understanding of contemporary communication and its societal, political, regulatory, industrial and cultural contexts.

The course provides you with the opportunity to focus at postgraduate level on:

- Studying the ways in which social media and the Internet shape and are shaped by social, economic, political, technological and cultural factors, in order to equip you to become critical research-oriented social media experts.

- Developing reflective and critical insights into how social media and the internet are used in multiple contexts in society, and into which roles social media can play in various forms of organisations that are situated in these societal contexts. The aim is that you are equipped to become reflective and critical social media practitioners.

- Gaining in-depth knowledge and understanding of the major debates about the social and cultural roles of social media and the Internet.

- Acquiring advanced knowledge and understanding of the key categories, theories, approaches and models of social media

- The role and impact of social media and the internet on society and human practices.

- Obtaining advanced insights into practical activity and practice-based work that relate to how social media and the Internet work and which implications they have for social and cultural practices.

Semester one

Core modules
- Dissertation Module
A taught module and group workshops in the first semester will guide you in conducting a major piece of independent research or create a theoretically inspired social media artefact. 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 social media OR a social media artefact accompanied by a written report of approximately 7,000 words, in which the student critically reflects on their social media project, and grounds it in relevant theory.

- Social Media: Creativity, Sharing, Visibility
This module provides students with a theoretical understanding of the development, significance and contemporary uses of social media. It fosters both critical analysis and reflective practice in the networked digital media environment. Students will critically engage with key ideas of creativity, sharing and visibility in social media, and will participate in creative and reflective practice using leading social media tools and platforms.

Option modules
Study Skills (No Credits)

Two elective modules from three topical clusters (any combination of modules is applicable):
• Theory and Global Political Economy of Media and Communication
• Media Politics, Regulation and Business Strategies
• Media, Culture and Everyday Life

Thematic Group: Theory and Global Political Economy of Media and Communication:
- Global Media
- Political Economy of Communication
- Theories of Communication

Thematic Group: Media Politics, Regulation and Business Strategies:
- Political Analysis of Communication Policy
- Technology and Communication Policy

Semester two

Core modules
CRITICAL THEORY OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INTERNET
This module provides an overview of the critical and theoretical analysis of how the Internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, file sharing, blogs etc) shape and impact on society, the economy and politics and how power structures in society shape the Internet and social media.

Option modules
Two elective modules from three topical clusters (any combination of modules is applicable):
• Theory and Global Political Economy of Media and Communication
• Media Politics, Regulation and Business Strategies
• Media, Culture and Everyday Life

Thematic Group: Media Politics, Regulation and Business Strategies:

- Development and Communication Policy
- Media, Activism and Censorship

Thematic Group: Media, Culture and Everyday Life:
- Media Audience
- Sociology of News
- Understanding and Managing Diversity in the Media

Associated careers

Students obtain skills to work as social media experts, either as social media and Internet researchers or as social media professionals in various types of organisations.

Employability

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.

Visit the Social Media, Culture and Society (MA) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Student Profiles
Scholarships

Entry Requirements

You should possess an Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent). If English is your second Language you should have an IELTS score of 7.0, with 6.5 in each element.

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Recipient: University of Westminster

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