The MA in European Media Studies aims to respond to the growing need for a course that goes beyond outdated divisions between theory and practice, creation and reflection and different national definitions in the international knowledge, job and product market. The course and the qualification have been designed to be interdisciplinary to deal with the new ‘mixed’ professional fields that increasingly require intercultural media skills. Theoretical and historical knowledge, creative know-how and aesthetic judgement are the aims of the degree.
In order to use the special strengths of the higher educational institutions involved as much as possible, each of the partner institutions in the programme is responsible for specific aspects within the framework of co-operative teaching and research. The questions raised and the methods used are different. A consistent focus on giving students intercultural media competence – and that also means knowing about the difference between various cultures of knowledge, such as art and science – is the basis for all concerned.
The MA in European Media Studies lays great importance on the academic profile of its courses and projects. The variety of fields offers space for acquiring a grasp of the state of research and an intensive discussion of the most recent developments in culture and media studies. The emphasis is laid on questions of media philosophy, aesthetics and media art, and also on the investigation of media configurations and the aesthetic reflection of media strategies. It is not so much individual media that form the focus, but rather the ideas of ‘mediality’ or ‘digitality’ serve as a basic principle for analysis. Visuality is given particular importance, as are text-image relationships and narrative processes. Practical projects give students an insight into the most recent developments in the field of media production, digital art and the production of interactive games and work orientated activities.
The courses offered by the University of Potsdam specialise in the areas of media theory and the analysis of methods of representation, whereas the Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) concentrates in the fields of multi-media concepts, the non-linearity of digital media and the creation and analysis of complex media environments. The course is marked by a high level of project work. Great weight is put on supervised independent research work that combines theory and practice. It is possible to continue from the MA programme into a PhD course.
The course is divided into ten modules, all of which have to be completed within a certain time.
Module 1: Medium and 'Mediality'
This introductory module deals with different definitions of media and theories of the media, including media philosophy. Participation in one seminar with a term paper is obligatory. Students can choose to join two further seminars.
Module 2: Configurations of the Analogue and the Digital
At the heart of this module are theories of analogue and digital media and the investigation of interfaces and their creation.
Module 3: Visuality, Narrativity, Performativity
This module deals with the analysis of the main media means of representation that are connected with the key concepts of visualisation (making visible, symbolisation), narrative and its relation to temporality and movement (e.g. in text and film) and performance and presentation.
Module 4: Medial Design and Production
This introductory module contains the analysis and conception of multi-media contexts and projects largely in digital media and its historical predecessors. Knowledge of the design principles that apply throughout the media will be included, and up-to-date media technology will be used and analysed.
Module 5: Non-linear Narration
This module offers a deeper look at the conception and creation of non-linear structures in digital media. The dramaturgy and organization of ‘multi-media’ narrative forms, as well as the necessarily time-based means in non-linear and interactive contexts are at the heart of this module.
Module 6: Medial Environments
This module is dedicated to closed media environments and communications. Specific examples of such environments are developed and analysed. This relates to physical and spatial contexts as well as closed or spatially divided contexts.
Module 7: Experimental Research
The aim of this module is the development by students of an experimental research project. Experimental research is to be understood as the investigation of issues by means of media processes, including research, a literature summary, conception, choice of media format and carrying out the project. The projects are completed in the context of obligatory seminars.
Module 8: Interdisciplinary Supplementary Studies
The interdisciplinary complementary course serves to deepen things studied in module 1-3 by allowing the choice of a focal point for students’ studies, and by further project work. Media studies courses from anywhere in the Berlin-Potsdam area can be used.
Module 9: Colloquium
The MA in European Media Studies course lasts for four semesters, including the writing the time for preparation of the Master’s thesis. The course is divided in such a way that 90 points are given for modules 1-9 and 30 for the Master’s thesis.
The Master’s thesis (preparation time 20 weeks) can be in the form of an academic paper or an academically supervised project. It is written in the course of a colloquium and is rounded off with a presentation and oral exam.
After successfully completing the course the University of Potsdam in conjunction with the Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) Potsdam will award the degree of ‘Master of Arts’.