The Master of Arts in Media Studies is an innovative programme offered by Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and the University of Limerick. The programme takes place on both campuses and will run during the day time in 2015-16. Students can avail of the fine study and recreational facilities on the South Circular Road and in Plassey. Some flexibility with regards to the scheduling of classes may be possible to facilitate students who are working full time, so please let us know your needs when you apply.
The programme meets a demand for postgraduate courses in the specialised area of Media Studies outside the greater Dublin area. Members of the Department of Media and Communication Studies in Mary Immaculate College also supervise a large number of research masters and PhDs. We have a generous assistantship and scholarship scheme and we are more than happy to explore options with potential students from a variety of backgrounds.
Programme Aims and Objectives
The programme familiarises students with current issues and developments in Irish and international mass media and mass media theory, situating the analysis of Irish media within the context of post-Independence Irish society, culture and identity.
Students develop the ability to analyse structures, trends and developments in the mass media and to undertake research, using a variety of methodologies, on key aspects of media production, texts and consumption.
The programme also aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to advance to doctoral degree studies and to enhance career opportunities in the media industry and other professional fields.
While the course is mostly theory driven, some modules offer tuition in and assessment based on production. For example, some students learn to make a radio documentary and to master multi-track sound editing. The option to complete the masters by writing a full film script rather than a traditional dissertation has proven popular in the past, particularly with those coming from an industry background.
Programme of Study
The MA programme is interdisciplinary, drawing on theories and applications from a range of academic fields, including sociology, history, cultural studies, literary theory and linguistics. It seeks to analyse the historical, social and cultural contexts in which the media have been produced; how meaning is generated through the interplay of image, word and sound in media texts; and how the media impact upon their audiences as well as being invested with significance by those audiences.
Fulltime students complete six modules over two semesters and those taking the programme in part time mode can divide this load over four semesters. Students also complete a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words on an approved topic. Alternatively, students may opt to write a film script, under close supervision and this has proven very popular in the past.
The programmes teaching and learning methods include lectures, seminars, presentations by guest lecturers, individual consultation with relevant lecturers, guided reading and written assignments. Classes will be taught during the day in 2015-16 in almost all cases but lecturers understand the demands working for a living places on students and we are happy to hear from you about your work schedule and home life needs, when you first apply.
Students are required to attend a series of postgraduate research methodology seminars as part of the preparation and presentation of dissertations, and to submit dissertations by the stipulated deadlines.
Full time mode (one year):
Students must complete 6 modules, over two semesters. These make up 50% of the course requirements, the dissertation/film script options make up the remainder of the marks. The following is the full suite of modules that students may draw from, the course team chooses the modules to be offered each year based on students' interests and on institutional resources.