Global Media and Culture - MA
Whether through social media, advertising, film, music or museums, the media (in all its forms) helps shape our understanding of the world. It exposes us to news, views and ideas that can negatively or positively sway our sense of self and the world around us, not to mention the media itself. This multidisciplinary MA in Global Media and Culture examines the links between contemporary media, culture, society and identity. It provides a fascinating insight into the changing global media landscape, examining how culture and media are produced, distributed and consumed across a wide variety of sectors and industries.
Month of entry
Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Media Studies
Fees for 2023/24 academic year
- UK - Full time £8,900 per year. Part time £4,900 per year.
International - £17,700 per year.
Duration of study
- Full time - 1 year, Part time - 2 years
Please note: this course is no longer accepting applications from international students for September 2023 entry
Why study Global Media and Culture at Keele University?
In today's globalised, digital world, the media - particularly film, television, the Internet and social media - has substantial power when it comes to motivating behaviour and forming attitudes to topics as diverse as vaccination, war or immigration.
The MA in Global Media and Culture studies the ways in which the media and creative sectors throughout the world operate and are influenced by historic, social, political, economic or technological factors. It also considers how the creative and cultural outputs of these burgeoning industries in turn shape our individual and cultural values and identities, for example, views on diversity or racism.
An ideal blend of theory and practice, you'll have opportunities to advance your knowledge and develop specialist skills in critical thinking, independent research, as well as hands-on media production and a systematic examination of four key media forms (photography, TV, cinema and new media),
Preparing you for careers across the cultural, creative, media and digital industries, the MA aims to cultivate your creativity from conception to production and even promotion. Previous students produced and organised a public screening of their documentary on an immigrant-owned Chinese restaurant, taking advantage of our state-of-the-art media facilities.
Media and cultural studies is an exciting and developing field that draws together theories and practices from a range of disciplines and capitalises on the broad expertise of our leading academics and practitioners across media studies, film and television studies, communication and culture, and English.
You’ll benefit from our close links with a wide range of local arts and cultural organisations, such as the New Vic Theatre, which ensures content remains relevant and up-to-date. We will examine how social, political and corporate attitudes to media, entertainment and culture have changed over time and how form, content and distribution has been affected as a result.
You’ll also be studying at a university where you can immerse yourself in a wide range of creative and cultural events and societies, courtesy of ArtsKeele, giving you access to valuable networks of professional contacts. The fortnightly Keele Hall Readings, for instance, last year featured acclaimed writer Okechukwu Nzelu, whose first book won a Betty Trask Award, and Caleb Parkin, self-proclaimed 'day-glo queero techno eco poet and facilitator'.
Other courses you might be interested in:
"I love how independently led the MA is, you can steer it to find and suit your own research interests, and the variety of teaching staff and modules allow you to find connections between all aspects of media and culture."
Incorporating a blend of theory, critical analysis, research and hands-on creative practice, this MA in Global Media and Culture provides a fascinating insight into the cultural and creative industries.
A multidisciplinary approach is reflected in the selection of optional modules, allowing you to engage in cross-subject study or focus more, for example, on critical theory and research or media production and practice. You can choose to undertake either a research-based Dissertation or a substantial Media Project for your final assessment, with access to our specialist media facilities, production equipment and software (no additional costs are involved).
To give you a strong foundation in media and culture, you will study three compulsory taught core modules, including the Globalisation, Culture, Media module. You will choose one optional module from four options in Semester 2, depending on which final assessment method you choose. This includes a work placement, for example, in a school, theatre, gallery, museum, or creative business. Students from this School have previously, for example, developed branding and social content for Baba Baboon, a promotional hub all about Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire.
The MA can be studied as either a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course, with a September start. You will complete 180 credits to obtain the master’s qualification.
Compulsory core modules
MDS-40018 Globalisation, Culture, Media (30 credits, Semester 1)
Focusing on the relationships between media and globalisation, you'll deepen your understanding of the influence and impact of processes of globalisation on contemporary culture and society. The module is split into two halves: the first half introduces key debates about the relationship between globalisation and the media. Core theoretical concepts and approaches are introduced, including postcolonial theory, critical race studies and theories of cultural imperialism; the second half of the module will apply these theories to a range of case studies. Topics explored may include: the global dynamics of the film industry; global digital networks and inequalities; and representations of race and ethnicity in the news media and cinema. Overall, the module will give you tools to evaluate critically the complex and shifting relationships between global economic relations, the transnational culture industries, and cultural politics.
MDS-40031 Doing Media Research (30 credits, Semester 1)
Prepares you to complete an independent piece of research. You’ll develop specialist skills in interviewing, surveys, literature searches and the mechanics of writing a postgraduate thesis, and learn to analyse and interpret meaning in texts, cultural practices, media and film analysis.
MDS-40028 Mediated Communications: Theory and Practice (30 credits, Semester 2)
The module aims to provide you with understanding of the communicative possibilities and limits of different media forms. It begins by examining broad historical shifts in the global media landscape, focusing on the recent emergence of hybrid media forms and convergent media systems. This will be followed by a systematic examination of four key media forms (photography, TV, cinema and new media), each examined across two workshops. These sessions will involve a combination of seminar-based teaching, group discussion of readings, analysis of media texts and technical demonstrations. The final workshop will be used for student presentations and feedback. You will engage in a range of directed and independent learning activities including engagement with readings and relevant media texts as well as group work and individual study linked to the assessment.
Optional core modules
When choosing your final method of assessment, you can opt for a Dissertation or a Media Project, both valued at 60 credits.
MDS-40014 Dissertation (60 credits, Semester 3)
The dissertation is a formal written academic project of 15,000 words, making it ideal preparation for future academic research at MPhil or PhD level or for the report-writing and scrutiny expected of senior management professionals. Taking inspiration from your own interests, and with support throughout from a supervisor with relevant expertise, you’ll choose a topic to research in the field of global media and cultural studies. As an example, previous students have used Beyoncé to examine the complexities of race in post-feminist media discourse, studied audience reactions to four popular ads aired during the Super Bowl and FIFA World Cup, and analysed the social media framing of the #TakeAKnee hashtag.
MDS-40015 Media Project (60 credits, Semester 3)
The media project involves the creation of a substantial media artefact; this could be a film, photographic work or an installation. You will be assigned a supervisor based on the medium in which you wish to work, with whom you’ll agree your subject matter. As an example, one previous project involved creation of a photomontage examining the work of social influencers. Other students have produced documentary films, for example, one focused on the experiences of people working in the British TV wrestling industry, while another examined the pandemic experience of international students studying in the UK.
Compulsory and elective optional modules
Please note that your choice of elective core modules (above) affects your optional module choices:
- If you choose the Dissertation (60 credits) module, you can pick one optional module to the value of 30 credits.
- If you select the Media Project (60 credits), you must choose the optional Creative Media Practice (30 credits) module.
ENG-40057 Work Placement in the Humanities (30 credits, Semester 1 & 2)
You have an opportunity to undertake a work placement in an environment where your research, analytical, and communication skills can be put to use in a meaningful way, such as a local museum, theatre, library, school, marketing company, PR firm, local newspaper or radio station. For example, you may research and produce materials to advertise or support an exhibit or performance, or you might be able to contribute material to the project itself, in the form of creative pieces or through education-based activities. You will gain valuable experience that you can apply in the future and gain a deeper understanding of what might be expected in collaborative projects.
MDS-40016 Creative Media Practice (30 credits, Semester 2)
Combining theory with hands-on experience, you’ll develop a stronger working sense of using film, video, photography or digital media. You will learn how to conceptualise, plan and manage a large media project. You’ll eventually pitch your creative project to tutors and peers.
FIL-40008 Crime in Neoconservative America Masters (30 credits, Semester 2)
Neoconservatism was a reaction within American culture and politics against the liberalism of the 1960s and faith in the ability of the state to address the socio-economic causes of crime. It sought to position the criminal as ultimately responsible for their actions. The consequences of this ideological hegemony have been a rejection of rehabilitative schemes and an increasingly punitive justice system. For example, with policies such as three strike laws for offences that are often nonviolent, mass incarceration, the public labelling and shaming of offenders, and the use of the death penalty as a deterrent. This module will explore US filmic and televisual representations of crime in relation to neoconservative ideology. It combines nuanced close reading of texts with historical and political contextualization in order to consider the ways in which issues of gender, race, sexuality, and class are addressed in films and television shows from the 1970s to the present.
ENG-40044 Postmodernism: Fiction, Film and Theory (30 credits, Semester 2)
Postmodernism represents an important body of critical theory that developed in the second half of the 20th century, and continues to have relevance in the 21st. It crosses a range of disciplines, but emphasises an interrogative, reflexive and eclectic challenge to many philosophical and aesthetic values and practices. On this module, you will explore the relevance and meaning of some of the ideas associated with postmodernism with respect to selected novels and films. You will assess the influence of key ideas on writers and directors and study the main themes and techniques used in postmodern fiction and film. The module also encourages a critically-informed assessment of the implications of postmodern thinking for contemporary notions of history, identity, sexuality, politics and consumer society. Fiction and film likely to be studied on the module include Julian Barnes, A History of the World in 10 Chapters; Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit; Martin Amis, Other People; Ali Smith, How To Be Both; The Hours (dir. Stephen Daldry); The Company of Wolves (dir. Neil Jordan); The Matrix (dir. the Wachowskis); and Mulholland Drive (dir. David Lynch).
MA Global Media and Culture at Keele University
Academic entry requirements
Undergraduate degree in Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Business Studies, Management or Marketing, or another appropriate Humanities or Social Sciences subject, with second class lower (2:2) or an international equivalent.
Applicants with other qualifications and appropriate experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
English language entry requirement for international students
The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
During your degree programme you can study additional english language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
Pre-master's in Business
The Keele University International College offer a one semester Pre-Master's in Business programme for international students who do not meet the traditional entry requirements for a postgraduate business degree at Keele University.
Please visit the Keele University International College for more information on how to apply, entry requirements and course details.
Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines, we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate course.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Please note, if your course offers a January start date, the January 2023 start date falls in the 2022/23 academic year. Please see the 2022/23 academic year fees for the relevant fees for starting this course in January 2023.
Planning your funding
It's important to plan carefully for your funding before you start your course. Please be aware that not all postgraduate courses and not all students are eligible for the UK government postgraduate loans and, in some cases, you would be expected to source alternative funding yourself. If you need support researching your funding options, please contact our Financial Support Team.
We are committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Please visit our scholarships and bursaries webpage for more information.
The MA can lead to careers across the media and cultural industries, including television, cultural development, mobile technology management, journalism, marketing and events management.
Graduates of this course have gone on to work in areas such as journalism and the media, and creative media industries, as well as marketing, human resources, and further postgraduate study.
As well as developing applied skills in media practice (including film-making and digital image manipulation), transferable skills, such as high-level communication, critical thinking and problem-solving are embedded within the programme to maximise your career opportunities.
On completion, you’ll be ideally placed to pursue further postgraduate studies at MPhil or PhD level. Supported by staff from the programme, some of our students have been successful in securing AHRC-funded PhD positions following the completion of the MA.
Positions may include:
- Advertising manager
- Brand manager
- Content designer
- Creative director
- Events manager
- Internal communications manager
- Marketing manager/consultant
- Media journalist
- Press officer
Teaching, learning and assessment
How you'll be taught
The principal purpose of the MA Global Media and Culture is to provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue a career in the media and cultural industries or prepare you for further study or research.
The emphasis of the programme is the critical and analytical study of the contemporary global framework of media and cultural studies, the production and continuation of localised cultural identities within a global context, and a theoretically-informed approach to the creative production of media texts.
We adopt a research-led and practice-based approach to teaching, which is generally delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, small group discussions, individual supervision and computer laboratory classes.
Workshops are used to develop practical production skills and computer laboratories for pre and post-production. You’ll have access to the editing suites, studio and industry-standard equipment and we pay particular attention to developing digital design and audio-visual production skills.
You’ll learn from leading researchers and external practitioners, gaining industry insights through guest lectures and field trips. Previous students have had talks from filmmakers producing content for BBC and Channel 4 and entrepreneurs managing their own feature film production companies.
You’ll be encouraged to take advantage of ArtsKeele, the University’s vibrant arts programme, comprising art, music, live poetry readings, performances, public lectures and other cultural treats. For example, Keele Creative Writing Anthology provides opportunities to hear live readings from published award-winning poets and novelists, previously featuring Helen Mort, Jenna Clarke and Caleb Parkin. While Keele Concerts Society organises a mixed programme of internationally acclaimed music on campus and at the New Vic Theatre. Recent performances included a trio of folk singers and one of the world’s finest classical guitarists.
How you’ll be assessed
Assessment is varied and includes the use of traditional essays, and reports with more creative methods, such as skills portfolios, reflective diaries, workbooks, presentations, communications plans, posters and practical projects. Most modules combine several forms of assessment.
Where possible, assessment is designed to reflect skills and practices in the workplace, including team working, idea generation, meeting deadlines and so on. In the core Globalisation, Culture, Media module, for example, you’ll prepare a poster presentation, with past students focusing on topics ranging from the UK TV wrestling industry to McDonald’s adaptation to markets across the world. This activity helps replicate the research and communication skills you will need in the workplace.
In Creative Media Practice, you’ll try your hand at media curation, preparing a multimedia presentation on topics such as documentary film representations of migrant communities and planning a photo essay examining the politics of masculinity in the gay community.
Keele Postgraduate Association
Keele University is one of a handful of universities in the UK to have a dedicated students' union for postgraduate students. A fully registered charity, Keele Postgraduate Association serves as a focal point for the social life and welfare needs of all postgraduate students during their time at Keele.
Hugely popular, the KPA Clubhouse (near Horwood Hall) provides a dedicated postgraduate social space and bar on campus, where you can grab a bite to eat and drink, sit quietly and read a book, or switch off from academic life at one of the many regular events organised throughout the year. The KPA also helps to host a variety of conferences, as well as other academic and career sessions, to give you and your fellow postgraduates the opportunities to come together to discuss your research, and develop your skills and networks.
Teaching on this course is delivered jointly by staff from Keele Business School and the School of Humanities.
KBS staff have extensive teaching, research and work experience in their fields. The School maintains a strong commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and research. Our staff members have substantial teaching experience and are committed to continuing professional development as academic teachers. Many of our permanent lecturers have PhDs or other higher degrees or professional qualifications.
The Media department is made up of leading experts in media, digital media, film and photography. Their specialist expertise spans topics as diverse as social movements and memory work, islamophobia and religion, globalisation and film, Hollywood cinema, French and Francophone film, non-Western cinema and Western minority filmmakers. They are actively involved in media production, have published films, books, research monographs and contribute regularly to contemporary discourse, through leading international journals, including Cultural Politics, Media, Culture & Society, Cinema Journal, and the Journal of Cinema & Media Studies, to name just a few.
Teaching team includes:
Dr David McWilliam (Programme Director), Lecturer – Prior to joining Film Studies and English at Keele, David taught at Lancaster University, Liverpool John Moores University, and Manchester Metropolitan University. An active member of the International Gothic Association, he works on crime, Gothic, neo-Victorian, and science fiction literature, film, and television in relation to contemporary politics, adaptation, monstrosity, posthumanism, and biopolitics. He has published in Gothic Studies, Violence in American Popular Culture, The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters, and the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. He is currently working on a monograph looking at manifestations of Gothic dissent in contemporary film and television in the context of neoliberal realism.
Dr Pawas Bisht, Lecturer– Pawas lectures in media, culture and creative practice. In his work as a researcher and experienced documentary filmmaker, he examines the intersections of media, memory and politics at both individual and collective levels. He has worked on diverse subjects including the Bhopal Gas Disaster, a portrait of the British designers Pat Albeck and Peter Rice, and an examination of the politics of Gulag memory on the Solovetsky Islands in Russia’s Far North.
Professor Elizabeth Poole, Professor of Media and Communications – Elizabeth’s expertise lies in media and religion, particularly, the media representation of Islam and Muslims, as well as the production and reception of content on diversity. This research has led to the publication of three books, and also informed public debate through her engagement with advocacy and parliamentary groups. Her recent work has focused on digital media, more specifically, how hate speech can be promoted and confronted on social media.
Dr Neil Archer, Senior Lecturer – After completing his MA in World Cinemas at the University of Leeds, followed by a PhD in French cinema at the University of Cambridge, Neil taught Film Studies at Anglia Ruskin University before joining Keele in 2013. He has published extensively on the practices and aesthetics of parody, the road movie and science fiction. His latest book examining English popular cinema in the contexts of the UK’s EU referendum and Brexit is being published by Bloomsbury in 2020.
Dr Rachel Wood, Senior Lecturer – Rachel joined Keele in 2021 and is the Programme Director for Media and Senior Lecturer in Media. Her research and teaching interests include the gendered body, social media influencers, ethical consumerism, popular feminism, and sex and sexuality. She has previously worked at a number of UK Universities after completing her PhD in Gender Studies 2015 at the University of Sussex.
Mandy McAteer, Lecturer – Mandy studied photography at the University of Westminster before gaining an MA in Contemporary Visual Culture at Keele. Her specialist areas of practice are moving and still image production. She is interested in notions of cultural identity, stigma, discrimination, the visual representation of marginalised groups, and the sense of ‘otherness’. As well as working in a commercial context for clients such as Amnesty International and Traidcraft, she has had numerous commissions for both moving and still imagery featuring subject matter such as mental health, refugees and Asylum Seekers.
The programme is taught in specialist facilities dedicated to our media and management programmes with access to professional media production equipment and software as part of the programme (at no additional cost).
Open 24/7, the dedicated Media Building houses extensive digital media production facilities, including film and photography studios and digital post-production labs with access to professional media production equipment and software as part of the programme. They include:
- Two Apple Macintosh labs with industry standard software such as Premiere Pro, Photoshop, QuarkXPress, Motion, Sound Pro and Live Type.
- A range of professional digital video, photographic and sound equipment.
- A professional photographic studio and print finishing room with large scale print equipment.
- An exhibition space and workshop for the design of multimedia installations
- A sound recording booth for voiceovers and podcasts.
- A screening room with specialist surround sound environment.
Keele Business School
You will also study in Keele Business School’s new home – the Denise Coates Foundation Building – a state-of-the-art facility complete with 220-seat lecture theatre, a ‘think lab’ study space, data laboratory, cafe and business lounge.
Home to our accounting, business management, economics, finance, HRM, international business, management and marketing programmes, our Business School is the first to be located on a Science Park. As well as new teaching spaces, our building is unique in that it is also home to the Smart Innovation Hub, a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which includes space and support programmes for innovation-led businesses, providing opportunities for students and staff to work collaboratively with entrepreneurs and business owners, gaining invaluable networks and experience. You’ll have access to the University’s business support and study alongside innovative companies that are based in the building.
If you choose to study business and management modules available, you’ll have access to the Bloomberg Suite with all its economic, financial and business real-time data, world news, analyses and reports from the world’s biggest financial organisations. You can choose to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) certificate free of charge, an eight-hour e-learning, self-paced course which covers economic Indicators, currencies, fixed income and equities.