The MA in Screen Studies is designed for you if you have an interest in both the industrial and economic aspects of contemporary screen based media (especially film and television) and in the complex ways in which they interact with societies and cultures on a global level. Whether it is blockbuster films from Conglomerate Hollywood; independent documentaries that are distributed online; streaming platforms and services that provide competition to and new opportunities for existing content; public service broadcasting that redefines its remit; or cult television shows that are defined as much by the practices of their fans as they are by their storylines, screen-based media operate in ever-changing conditions of production, dissemination and consumption.
The programme aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of the industrial and cultural dimensions that permeate screen-based media. Focusing on both the historical evolution of film and television and their shifting place in contemporary media industries and cultures, it aspires to help you understand the complexity of current media trends on a global scale while also cultivating transferrable skills related to media research, applied knowledge, real world insights and practical experience, all strongly informed by digital-led approaches and tools. Strongly interdisciplinary, the course brings together elements of film studies, communication studies, media studies, sociology, policy studies, political economy and others.
The MA provides excellent preparation for a research degree in a Department with a strongly established “Screen and Film Studies” research cluster, 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 screen industries, and to improve employability skills for a career in the broader media and creative industries sector.
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.
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.