by Robert S. Balan
Don’t you hate it when you read biased articles or news that bring little to no value or, even worse, misinform? Wouldn’t you like to see more truthful advertisements that are not trying to trick you into buying one thing or another? Don’t you feel many movies and scenarios lost their meaning or creative soul?
If you have a well-developed critical sense and don’t settle for believing any piece of information that’s being thrown at you, a Master’s degree in Media Studies might be the perfect degree for you. You’ll learn how to uncover and share the truth, understand how media organisations work and find a niche where you can make a positive impact.
Media Studies degrees: what to expect?
Media Studies degrees analyse the content, history, and impact of various media (especially mass-media) on our society. You can split Media in two categories:
- Contemporary media: movies, video games, social media, etc.
- Traditional or legacy media: television, radio, print media, etc.
During courses, students analyse media institutions and channels. They discover differences between the past and present and explore how the digital age has changed the way media organisations function. Future Media graduates might also approach degree subjects like smartphone culture, online advertising, and how they’ve changed our online and offline communication.
There are 4 key concepts in Media Studies:
- Media language – different ways to create meaning or send a message through text, image, audio, etc.
- Representation – how different media institutions interpret and describe an event or situation
- Audience – understanding who consumes media, why, and how to create content that appeals to a target audience
- Institution – the organisations that create media and how their funding and ideology impact their work
Media Studies subdisciplines
Media Studies is a more general degree, overlapping with disciplines like Anthropology, Psychology, Cultural Studies, and Political Science. If you want to narrow your focus, you can study a Media subdiscipline. Each link takes you to the available Master’s programmes on our portal:
What can I do with a Media Studies degree?
We know you won’t apply for a degree just because it is interesting or cool. You’re probably wondering what you can do with a degree in Media Studies. The answer?
More than you think. Media Studies graduates can find job opportunities in Marketing, Broadcasting, Photography, and other areas. While the list is long, here are some of the most popular Media Studies careers and the average annual salaries in the United States, according to Glassdoor:
- Digital Marketing Specialist – 60,000 USD. Work in the marketing industry and help companies grow through brand awareness and the promotion of products and services.
- Media Planner – 54,000 USD. Analyse data and conduct research to create action plans and strategies for advertising campaigns.
- Public Relations (PR) Specialist – 58,000 USD. Create and maintain a favourable image for your client (individual person or organisation), especially during a crisis.
- Social Media Manager – 55,000 USD. Manage a company’s marketing and advertising on social media through planning and strategy creation, SEO, and reputation management.
- Web Content Manager – 64,000 USD. Ensure the content of a website (e.g. articles, images, videos, reviews) has a clear structure and meets quality standards and the users’ needs.
For more jobs available to Media Studies graduates, check out the Graduate Prospects website.
Media jobs outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Media & Communication jobs are expected to grow 4% by 2028 in the United States alone. This is not surprising at all. Why?
With the increase in fake media and the trustworthiness of mainstream media being questioned, a growing number of people want to find the truth for themselves and share it with the world.
Interesting facts about Media Studies
You might have heard about the concentration of media ownership. But what is it?
To cut a long story short, it’s the process through which a small number of people/companies buy smaller organisations and take control of most mass media. For example, in 2012 there were only 6 large companies controlling what people read, watched, or listened to in the United States. These companies are:
- General Electric (GE)
- Time Warner
Media Studies admission requirements
We’ve listed below some of the most common documents you need to provide during the application process. Some universities and colleges will require more, others less. For example, not all universities ask students to have work experience for a postgraduate degree in Media Studies.
Bachelor’s degrees in Media Studies
- Minimum English language test scores: IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL 70
- Academic transcripts
- Minimum GPA
- Personal statement
Master’s degrees in Media Studies
- Minimum English language test scores: IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 85
- Bachelor’s degree in Media, Communication, or a related field
- Minimum GPA (usually 3.0)
- Letters of recommendation
- Work experience (1-3 years)
- Writing sample
Best Media Studies universities
QS Rankings by TopUniversities
- University of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands
- University of Southern California, in the US
- London School of Economics and Political Science, in the UK
- University of Zurich, in Switzerland
- LMU Munich, in Germany
World University Rankings by THE
- Stanford University, in the US
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the US
- University College London, in the UK
- National University of Singapore, in Singapore
- Peking University, in China
Tuition fees for Media Studies degrees
The highest tuition fees are in North America (the US, Canada) and Australia. While you can find some Media Studies degrees that cost under 10,000 EUR/ year, the average tuition costs are around 20,000 EUR/year. Some Master’s programmes demand as much as 48,000 EUR/year.
You can find affordable (under 3,000 EUR/year) or even free Media Studies in European countries, such as:
Keep in mind that in most countries free Media programmes are only available to EU/EEA students. To avoid confusion, always check if tuition fees apply to students from your country of origin.
Online Media Studies degrees
Firstly, flexibility. Studying online means you’ll be able to create your own schedule. It doesn’t matter if you’re an early bird or a night owl. You can study and work on assignments whenever you’re most efficient. Online classes are always available, and you can watch them multiple times if needed.
Secondly, an online Media Studies course also means you can keep your job and use the online classes to upgrade your skills and get that promotion. It doesn’t matter what priorities you have besides studying. Online degrees allow you to find a balance between personal and career goals.
If you’re interested in an online Media Studies degree, most are offered by universities from:
Online Bachelor’s degrees
Online Master’s degrees
Is a Media Studies degree worth it?
We live in a world oversaturated with information. Almost anyone can write or publish anything they want. On the one hand, this allows people to express themselves freely and share their thoughts on world events, problems, and plans.
On the other hand, it’s easier than ever to promote fake news or write biased articles that are based on personal beliefs and interpretation rather than verified facts.
The world needs Media specialists with solid ethical principles and a deep desire to find the truth and share it as it is, without distorting it for personal or corporate gains. So, what are you waiting for?