The MA in Media, Data and Society is designed for students who have an interest in the risks and the opportunities that emerge from the increasing use of digital data in our society. The programme aims to provide you with an introduction to the approaches that are used for the collection, the analysis, and the storage of digital data, such as data mining and machine learning. It also aims to develop a critical skillset for understanding and questioning the political, economic, moral and societal implications of the use of digital data in contemporary society.
The programme has a strong interdisciplinary focus, with elements from communication studies, computer science, and sociology. It aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of the dimensions that permeate the use of digital data. We will focus on topics such as big data capitalism and surveillance, the changing digital audience practices, and digital media infrastructures; as well as methods that allow you to use tools for digital data collection, digital media analytics, and data visualisations.
The MA provides a critical and technical overview on digital data, but it is also intended to answer the needs of students who wish to master skills and expertise as a means to building a career in the field of digital media and data analysis; and improve employability skills for a career in the broader digital sector or for further academic research on the topic.
Why Communication and Media?
Communication and Media is a close-knit community of dedicated, innovative teachers and researchers that extend a warm welcome to postgraduate taught and research students. You can benefit from a personalised approach which treats you as an individual and encourages you to become involved in the life of the department. Our approach enables a productive dialogue to be created between and amongst our postgraduate community and our staff, so that we are all engaged in the pursuit of excellent scholarship and research and, more broadly, making a contribution to the development of our field.
The Department of Communication and Media employs over 30 permanent staff who work on a wide range of interdisciplinary research on topics including: digital and social media; political communication and journalism; media history and theory; film and screen; strategic communication; cultural studies and cultural anthropology; photography; computer games; television and magazines; global entertainment, and global events. We have a strong specialism in issues of social media, screen studies, media and everyday life, and gender and sexuality, notably LGBTQ+ inclusivity across television, film, magazines and online media. Another key specialism is multimodal and critical discourse analysis, making use of large datasets and new computational and machine learning techniques to analyse communication patterns across digital platforms.
Our six master's courses draw on the expertise of our staff research groups: the Culture, Space and Memory research group houses cultural/anthropological research around memory and material cultures, photography, everyday life, media arts, mega-events and the spatial humanities, and partners with cultural organisations such as museums and galleries; the Discourse, Data and Society group brings together ground-breaking work in multimodal studies, artificial intelligence and data analytics with expertise in critical discourse studies, language and argumentation; the Media, Politics and Society group responds to urgent political challenges around the spread of misinformation and ‘fake news’, online harms, digital news audiences, democratic deliberation, human rights and climate change; the Screen and Film Studies group boasts an unusually comprehensive approach to film and screen that includes industrial and institutional aspects, stardom and performance, and encompasses Hollywood, American independent cinema, documentary, cult television, animation and virtual reality. There are also shared themes such as populism and politics, gender and sexuality, cultural labour, digital cultures and social inequalities.
These groups run regular research seminar series – currently the Liverpool Film Seminar, the Media and Politics Seminar Series, the Strategic Communication Leaders seminar series and the Keyword Conversations – in which postgraduate students are encouraged to participate.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), we were ranked 4th in the sector for outstanding (4*) research impact, and 10th for research environment classified as world leading (4*).
Immerse yourself in a city known as a political and creative force. What better place to immerse yourself in the subject than Liverpool, a city with a reputation as a political and creative force, with a thriving production sector and a unique cultural heritage? The Department has close links to cultural industries and venues in the city, some of which collaborate with us in offering assessed work placements as part of our programme of study.