- Entry requirements: Related 2:1 degree (or equivalent)
- Full-time: 12 months
- Part-time: 24 months
Streaming platforms. Viewing on-demand. The past decade has seen a digital transformation in how screen-based media is produced and accessed. On this MA you’ll explore the evolution of film and television and discover contemporary ways of reaching and inspiring audiences.
From cinema premieres of Hollywood blockbusters to independent documentaries distributed online, screen-based media is operating in ever-changing conditions of production, dissemination and consumption.
Streaming platforms and services have provided competition to, and exciting opportunities for, existing content channels. Cult television shows can be defined as much by the passionate support of their fans as they are by their storylines. Meanwhile, the remit of public service broadcasting is being re-examined and redefined like never before.
This is the context for a programme that examines the historical evolution of film and television and assesses their shifting place in both contemporary media industries and popular culture.
Studying the complex ways in which screen-based media interacts with different cultures and societies, you’ll discover current media trends on a global scale.
Strongly interdisciplinary, the course brings together elements of film, communication, media, sociology, policy studies and political economy.
You’ll learn media research techniques from experts with specialist knowledge in screen studies, film, television, social media, video games and global entertainment.
A combination of real-world insights and practical knowledge will equip you with sought-after skills for a career in the screen industries, as well as the broader media and creative industries.
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.
If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.
Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.
Screen Cultures A introduces students to the diversity of cultural contexts and histories that have shaped the formal, industrial, institutional, and political meanings of cinema. The module examines both dominant/institutional and marginal/alternative screen cultures in relation to the formation of screen industries, histories, movements, and cultural identities.
Researching Screen is a research methods module aiming to demonstrate both the fundamental principles of academic research design and the ideas and philosophies that underpin it as well as showcase certain philosophical, theoretical, methodological and analytical approaches that have been utilised in the study of screen media. The module is organised in 3 blocks.
The first block includes sessions that that are broadly about research design across the academic spectrum and delivered to all PGT students in the Department. It will include important introductory sessions and will be delivered by staff across the various research clusters in the department.
Block two and three are subject specific and focus exclusively on research approaches that have been informed by theories, philosophies and disciplinary traditions associated with the field of the arts, humanities and cultural studies. These include approaches that are centred on the study of the visual image as text (semiotics, narrative, style) on relevant contexts around industrial and cultural aspects of screen media (political economy to cultural approaches to industry research), on media specific models of analysis (games and television) and on audiences and fans.
Blocks two and three will be delivered by a number of colleagues in the Screen and Film Studies research cluster who will demonstrate research methods based on their own expertise.
This module will be of particular interest to students interested in big data and how it is collected and used in modern society; in the politics and policy questions around social media; and in the interactions between media, platforms, and citizens. It will introduce students to the study of online media and platforms, with a particular focus on ‘big’ social trace data. As well as developing their understanding of how Internet-based media systems work, students will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of using big data for social science research, and engage with key online political communication policy questions.
This module introduces students to the study strategic communication by discussing its fundamental theories and concepts. Case studies will be presented and discussed which refer to strategic communication practices with a particular focus on crisis communication, issue and reputation management.
Since strategic communication is a multidisciplinary area of study, the module will deal with theories and models originating from different academic traditions such as (strategic) management, discourse studies (including semiotics, pragmatics and rhetoric), public relations, corporate communication, marketing and advertising.
This module introduces major data science techniques and their role in communication. The full data lifecycle is considered, with a focus on data collection, processing, analysis and visualisation. The emphasis of the module is to develop technical skills in coding and its application within data science, but the wider context of how data are generated and used in communication and media is also considered. The main assessment is a piece of coursework, where students describe and apply the methods covered in the module. There is also an in-class test. By the end of the module, students will have a level of knowledge in coding appropriate to select and use data science methods to investigate and solve problems in communication
The module examines a range of interconnected issues concerning the politics/media relationship. It offers a critical overview of the ways in which the media have been studied and discussed in relation to political processes and explores the key aspects of contemporary theory and research in politics and media. Part one is devoted to theories and debates about the politics and media relationship. It examines different ways of making sense of the relationship between the state, the public, and the media and questions surrounding media power and media audiences. Part two focuses on specific cases and controversies in the media-politics relations. It explores the changing relationships, representational forms, power dynamics, and impacts of media performance in selected forms of contemporary ‘conflict’.
To understand contemporary media and its place in social and cultural life we need to understand past media, not only as historical origins or predecessors of the new, but in order to understand how change is produced, experienced and negotiated. This module will consider processes of ‘remediation’, ‘transmediality’ ‘intermediality’ , as well as the recurrence of past ideas, forms and sensibilities in the present; arguments about planned obsolescence, newness and innovation; critiques of progress and theories of technological and media change; ideas of maintenance, residual and emergent media. The module will introduce you to key theoretical and historiographic approaches, from German media theory and ‘media archaeology,’ to Benjaminian, phenomenological and everyday life approaches. ‘Media’ includes both communication and storage media and as extending beyond the practices and technologies we might normally consider (computer based media, film, television, radio, photography, video games and so on) to include neglected and ‘grey’ media associated with everyday experience (databases, telephony, fax, photocopying, photobooths, etc). The module is both concept and topic-driven with lectures and seminars focussing on key theoretical texts, and testing out concepts on a range of different media examples.
Screen Industries A examines the industrial logic of particular media industries that produce entertainment reaching audiences through the mediation of screens. The module focuses primarily on the film and television industries with references to the video game industry. Organised around 4 blocks – Key concepts, People, Structures and Power – the module investigates the relationships between technologies, economics, policies, politics and the social and cultural contexts that shape these media industries and their products. Using examples from various geographical contexts and drawing on a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives, Screen Industries A provides a pathway through which students can understand and appreciate the complex and multi-faceted nature of some of the key contemporary media industries
Argumentation is a communicative activity in which reasons are given to justify an opinion and persuade an audience to accept it. As such, argumentation plays a decisive role in media discourse, corporate and political discourse and all other forms of strategic communication. Good argumentation promotes strategic decision-making processes, help building sustainable and ethical persuasion, enhance public trust in organisations, political institutions and news media.
While argumentation is naturally oriented at reasonable and ethical persuasion, public influence is often pursued via fallacious and unsound arguments or even non-argumentative tactics of manipulation (e.g. fake news, power, ideology, violence) creating serious threats to democracy, economic stability and prosperity, social justice and citizens’ trust.
This module aims at providing students with conceptual and analytical instruments from argumentation theory and rhetoric which will enhance their ability to critically examine business, public and media discourses and to understand issues of persuasion and trust in strategic communication and media discourse.
This module will provide students with skills to understand, analyse and master the role played by Artificial Intelligence in Communication. It will introduce students to core notions to identify what components of our daily communication practices are affected by AI, how the reshaping of the communication processes happens through different technologies and how we can check their evolutions being aware of their potential risks and opportunities. At the end of the module students will be able to answer questions such as: who are we communicating with when we write online? How are (chat)bots and conversational agents changing our interactions? Why social and new digital media are affecting news consumption habits? The module will be taught following "active learning" methodologies.
In addition to learning about the algorithms that influence the development of online social systems, students will critically address key questions around the political and economic consequences of online platforms. The course emphasises a hands-on approach to studying algorithms in practice, developing students’ programming skills to implement and explore their effects.
Branding is now pervasive in society. Communicating a positive image and building a good reputation to create a strong brand, have become key objectives not only for global private corporations selling products, but also for countries, cities, regions and even neighbourhoods (place branding); public, cultural and religious institutions (corporate branding); and individual celebrities (self-branding). The module examines branding in its multiple instantiations, as a set of socio-cultural communicative practices and processes, which rely on very fundamental socio-cultural dynamics. In the module, we will consider the complex process of brand management from the definition of a brand and branding strategy to the elaboration of brand narratives, taking into account the increasingly digitalised media landscape and the participatory, two-way communication context where organisations and individuals operate. Thorough the module we seek to understand how identity, public opinion, reputation, and branding are negotiated at the intersection between top-down corporate communication and more grassroots or networked forms of expression. The module combines insights from business studies, social psychology, anthropology and cultural studies, introducing students to branding from a critical strategic communication perspective, focusing on power struggles, contradictions and dialogic relations. Besides offering students a good overview of key concepts and tools for strategically managing brand communication, the module includes a critical reflection on key issues and debates relating to the societal and ethical implications of branding practices, especially in relation to the prominence of promotional cultures in today’s democratic societies.
This module builds on the skills developed in the Introduction to Data Science module to explore more advanced data visualisation techniques. Methods covered include multidimensional plots, geospatial maps, animations and interactivity. The focus of the module will be on using data relevant to communication and media, but consideration will also be given to critiquing and applying visualisation methods more generally. The module is assessed by coursework, where students will demonstrate the skills developed on the module by collecting and visualising data in an area of their choosing. By the end of the module, students will be able to select and apply visualisation techniques suitable for a range of data.
This module will examine digital media from the audience’s perspective. It will consider contemporary debates on the changing audience’s practices and the attention economy. Students will be introduced to the notions of the audience as a user and as a producer of media in the digital age. The module will focus on digital news audiences as well as the audience of entertainment platforms (like Netflix and Spotify). Different audience research methods like tracking data, surveys and focus groups will also be discussed.
This module will offer a cross-national comparative perspective on the state of journalism around the world, journalists’ perceptions of their role in society and the contextual factors that influence journalistic roles and performance. Only 14% of people in the world live in counties with free media so it is important to appreciate that the news media might play different roles based on the nature of the political system, the respective media systems and the relevant cultural and societal differences. The extent to which the news media can act as the fourth estate is to a large extent determined by these contextual factors but also by audiences’ expectations about the role of journalists in their society. A range of case studies will be used throughout the module.
This module explores the relationships between politics, economics, and mainstream media. The traditional, 20th century business models of news media have collapsed, prompting news organisations to make redundancies and to consider new ways of financing their activities. As a result, significant concerns have been raised about their sustainability as well as the wider role that news media (should) play in democratic societies. Furthermore, social media platforms and search engines have become the new gatekeepers, directing attention to news (and the knowledge, understandings, and attitudes shaped by news consumption) based on algorithms and audience members’ self-selection into disparate groups. In this module we will be looking at the ways in which media content across a variety of platforms and channels is being shaped by economic considerations and neoliberal ideology and how this creates tension, and sometimes outright contradiction, with the public and democratic role of mass media (including social media platforms) in open societies.
This module takes as its central starting point the idea of media as forms of social and cultural practice. That is, it is concerned with the way media forms and digital (and non-digital) media technologies shape our everyday experiences of the world, whether in terms of our sense of self and identity, the everyday rhythms that structure our lives, the way we move through or apprehend the everyday spaces we variously inhabit, or the sensory, affective and material impacts of media on our embodied sense of being-in-the-world. By placing its focus on media practices and the everyday, the module draws from recent debates in so-called ‘non-media-centric media studies’ and related perspectives from anthropology, cultural studies and cultural geography which examine not so much the meaning invested in the content of media texts as the performative question of what it is we do with media, and what it, correspondingly, does with us. In a contemporary world where the mediatisation of everyday life seemingly extends to every sphere of routine activity (such that at times we hardly recognise its presence at all), the project of scrutinising and critically reflecting on the relationship between media practices and everyday life has never been more urgent.
This module will focus on the immense changes that have occurred in the field of television with a view to understand the nature, role and function of the medium in the 21st century. Focusing on industrial, institutional, representational and textual issues it will engage with questions such as: the changing nature of television studies as a discipline; its changing role from home to mobile entertainment; the impact of VOD and on-demand services; the ways form and consumption of tv are changing; formats and transnational production; reboot, remake and cult television; and issues of representation as part of changes in TV formats, production and consumption.
This module considers what it is to think philosophically about the nature of film. It critically discusses philosophical approaches to the medium. It examines the thinking of philosophers, critics and filmmakers on vital issues encountered when discussing film as art. It considers the importance of film and its relation to other art forms. It familiarises students with works by key filmmakers, and encourages students to engage with these works. The module will enhance students’ abilities to think critically about fundamental issues surrounding film, and about what philosophers, critics and filmmakers have said about the medium. It is taught through weekly seminars (1 hour per week) and film screenings. Assessment is by one 3,000 word essay.
This module aims to introduce students to historical and contemporary media practices and approaches within visual culture, including museum exhibitions, cultural interpretations, institutional policies and artistic interventions in the city. The module will examine a broad range of modes and methods to investigate the promotion and representation of culture and national heritage, the transformations of these activities over the years, and their analysis within media studies and cultural theory. Students will read and discuss past and present activities of cultural institutions and artistic activists, as well as theorisations of art and anthropology museums, World’s Fair exhibitions, cultural programmes and other visual and cultural media. Students will examine different conceptions of museums, sites of memory, and cultural events as potential arenas of public transformation, de-colonisation, community activity and public fora. The module will more broadly address social and ethical questions; concepts and practices of cultural appropriation and representation; ideas of power relations and self-reflexivity; and definitions and conversations around ‘otherness’ within and beyond contemporary cultural institutions.
The dissertation is a self-contained piece of individual and original research, offering the student the chance to study in depth a topic that interests them guided by a member of the Department’s academic staff as their supervisor. Teaching and learning takes place through one-to-one tutorials. The key aims of the module are: to enable the student to construct an extended and original research project on an appropriate topic which is clear and realistic in scope and seeks to make a distinct contribution to the student’s chosen field; to develop independent research skills; and to develop professional standards for the presentation of research material. It will usually be related to a topic covered in the student’s Masters programme and can be tailored so that the research is relevant to a future career. Research for the dissertation will usually be standard academic qualitative or quantitative research, but depending on your programme (and with permission of your programme leader,) you may also be able to produce a more practical investigation in collaboration with an organisation, involving a consultancy project or a placement experience, or engage with more experimental methodologies. Meetings with supervisors are organized by the student and fortnightly meetings are recommended, although the number of meetings will vary, depending on your individual requirements and dissertation topic.
You will be taught through weekly workshops held on campus. These usually last for two hours per module per week. The workshops combine lectures, seminars, in-class activities, short screenings, moving image analysis and other relevant activities.
Class sizes for Master’s programmes in the Department of Communication and Media tend to be small but numbers can vary depending on optional modules choices. A typical class in Screen Studies will include between 10-20 students.
You will primarily be assessed through coursework. This will include academic essays, research proposals, annotated bibliographies, pitches on case studies, writing for wide readership publications, television viewing journals, comparative text analysis and a final dissertation. Other assessment formats may apply also depending on your choice of optional modules.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
The Department of Communication and Media is a friendly and close-knit department with well-established systems to support you to make the most of your abilities. As such, we will get to know you and treat you as an individual, providing support and guidance from your very first day.
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The MA Screen Studies provides rigorous academic training in the broad interdisciplinary field of screen-based media.
You’ll develop the professional skills and research techniques that are sought after by employers in the screen industries, the broader media and creative industries, and beyond.
The programme opens up career opportunities which include working for:
You’ll also have a strong platform from which to progress to further research at PhD level.
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)|
|Full-time place, per year||£9,650|
|Part-time place, per year||£4,825|
|Full-time place, per year||£20,350|
|Part-time place, per year||£10,175|
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.
If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and Postgraduate Loans.
We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.
Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
|Postgraduate entry requirements||
You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree or above, or equivalent, in an appropriate field of study. For example, Communication, Media, Film, Languages or any other subject informed by an Arts and Humanities tradition. Other subjects will be accepted if combined with appropriate experience.
Graduates of non-UK universities will need to have achieved comparable results. All cases will be judged individually on the basis of information provided on the standard university application form plus academic references. All applications are considered on their individual merit. At the time of application, we will discuss potential research topics with you in order to identify a suitable dissertation supervisor and to assist in the choice of taught modules.
If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, you could be eligible for a Pre-Master’s course. This is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. It’s a specialist preparation course for postgraduate study, and when you pass the Pre-Master’s at the required level with good attendance, you’re guaranteed entry to a University of Liverpool master’s degree.
You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.
|English language qualification||Requirements|
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
Standard Level (Grade 5)
|TOEFL iBT||88 or above with minimum scores in components as follows: Listening 19, Writing 21, Reading 19, Speaking 23.|
|INDIA Standard XII||70% or above from Central and Metro State Boards|
|Hong Kong use of English AS level||C|
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Last updated 26 April 2023 / / Programme terms and conditions /