SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

MA Global Media and Postnational Communication (2018 entry)

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  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


This programme focuses on the dynamic developments in media and communications within Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It examines the growing significance of these regions as the locations of new media players and new cultural genres, of complex audience involvements with mediated communication and as the sites of critical and creative responses to globalization processes. It challenges Eurocentric approaches to the study of media and provides a unique opportunity to study the media and communications environments of the non-Western world.

Students consider the dynamics of globalization and its critiques, the roles and nature of communications technologies and mediated content within these processes, and consequent changes in the nature of political, economic, financial, social and cultural activity. They develop advanced knowledge and understanding of the theoretical, methodological and empirical issues involved in the analysis of non-western media and communications within historical and contemporary contexts, and explore media dynamics in global civil society. A particular focus is the role that media have played in both defining and challenging processes of nation-building and providing spaces for the articulation of other forms of identity-formation, including those among minority ethnic, diasporic, exilic and refugee populations.

The programme suits anyone with an interest in non-Western media and communications; journalists who wish to take time out to analyse critically their profession; NGO and development practitioners who wish to better understand the role of media in political and social change; and students who wish to continue on to MPhil/PhD research in Media and Communications.


Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Featured events

1 Year Full Time, 2 or 3 Years Part Time



Introducing Global Media and Communications

Dina Matar: Centre for Media and Film Studies

Global communications and digital technologies are at the centre of intellectual and public debates around the role of media in society in the 21st century.  Dr Dina Matar, Chair of the Centre for Global Media and Communication underlines the relevance of the MA Global Media and Communications at SOAS University of London.

What does the course involve?

With the expansion of digital technologies and other changes in global media institutions, forms and content, there is a need to recognise and critically address the concomitant transformations in social, cultural and political lives, particularly in the Global South. The MA Global Media and Communications at SOAS engages with critical debates around these transformations, the political economy of the media, the digitalisation of the global and the relevant debates around nations, identities, representation, voice, empowerment and disenfranchisement, as well as protest movements in the digital age.  The degree offers a unique opportunity to consider these issues using critical theories and solid methodological approaches, while also opening options in international journalism, political communication, media and the Middle East, critical media, media and development, as well as other modules offered across the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and across SOAS.

What kind of students will the course appeal to?

Prospective students will typically be interested in pursuing careers as practitioners, managers, consultants, policy advisers and entrepreneurs in the creative and cultural industries.  Others are more concerned with developing academic research in the expanding field of global media, political communication, media and development and critical journalism studies.

What is special about the programme at SOAS?

The course allows students to pick modules that fit their interests while at the same time providing students with the theoretical and methodological skills to address some of the most pertinent questions in modern times, the increasing mediation of lives. The regional focus offers students the chance to meet leading experts on politics, development, international relations, culture and traditions of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  Alongside critical analysis and regional expertise, students can choose from a number of practical hands-on modules, in sound recording, podcasting and broadcasting, that will enable them to enhance their skill-set.

What facilities are available?

SOAS offers strong interdisciplinary support for the study of media including the Centre for Media and Film Studies and the Department of Anthropology.  We offer off-site visits to media institutions, invite media and other speakers to our popular research seminars, and offer practical digital training workshops at the end of term two each year. Further, the Library houses a major collection of books and journals on world media, as well as extensive audio-visual materials.

What do students do after graduating?

The course provides a focused, knowledge-based approach to transformations in global media and digital technologies in a global context as well as expert knowledge in media in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.  It also provides students with the ability to read, write and assess critically in the fields of media and communication, film and the arts.

Students of Media Studies at SOAS have found employment in broadcasting and print, film and video production, international development, UN agencies such as UNDP and UNICEF, public relations, political marketing, human rights, as well as in education.

Recommended reading

Toby Miller and Marwan Kraidy, Global Media Studies, London: Polity, 2016.

David Singh Grewal, Network Power: The Social Dynamics of Globalization, Yale University Press, 2008.

Daya Thussu (ed.) Internationalizing Media Studies, London: Routledge, 2009.

Philip Howard, The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Information Technology and Political Islam. Oxford University Press, 2010.

John Thompson. Media and Modernity, Polity, 1995

David Faris, Dissent and Revolution in the Digital Age, London: I.B. Tauris, 2014.


Students must take 180 credits comprised of 120 taught credits (including core and option modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.

In choosing their courses, MA students are advised to pay careful attention to the balance of coursework across the two terms. In particular it is important to ensure that each term you have three taught courses. However much you might wish to take a mixture of courses that requires more coursework in one term than the other, it is most unwise to attempt to take four courses in one term and two in the other. Experience has shown that students simply cannot manage the load during the heavy term with the result that they either do very badly, fail or are unable to complete the courses in question. As a result Directors of Studies for the degrees and the Faculty staff will not approve a selection of courses which results in an imbalanced workload. An imbalance of courses between terms is only possible with the written permission of the convenor of the degree .

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Media Studies 15PMSC999 60 Full Year

Taught Component

Core Module

All students will take the following core module:

Module Code Credits Term
Global Media and Postnational Communication: Theoretical and Contemporary Issues 15PMSC003 1.0
Compulsory Module

All students will take the following compulsory module:

Module Code Credits Term
Qualitative Research Methods 15PMSC033 15 Term 2
Guided Options

All students will take the modules to the value of 30 credits from list of Media studies modules running each year (below)

Open Options

All students will take the modules to the value of 45 credits from list of recommended options below or from open options list if approved by programme convenor

Students may select 30 credits from SOAS online-learning modules. This is subject to approval from the programme convenor

List of modules (subject to availability)

Media Studies
Module Code Credits Term
International Political Communication 15PMSH009 15 Term 2
Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 15 Term 2
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 15 Term 2
Topics in Global Digital Cultures 15PMSC034 15 Term 2
Studies in Global Digital Cultures 15PMSH029 15 Term 1
Studies in Media, Information Communication Technologies and Development 15PMSH019 15 Term 1
The Transnational News Environment: Production, Representation and Use 15PMSH006 0.5
Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 15 Term 2
Other Options

Module Code Credits Term
Podcasting 15PMSH022 15 Term 2
Cinemas of Asia and Africa
Module Code Credits Term
Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 15 Term 2
Censoring Japan: A Socio-Cultural History of Japanese Television 15PJKH034 15 Term 1
Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 15 Term 2
Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 15 Term 2
Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 15 Term 1
Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 15 Term 2
Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (PG) 15PCHH001 15 Term 1
New Taiwan Cinema and Beyond (PG) 15PCHH002 15 Term 1
Social Anthropology
Module Code Credits Term
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15 Term 1
Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term
Civil society, social movements and the development process 15PDSH001 15 Term 1

Please check with the module convenors about prerequisites.

Religions and Philosophies
History of Art and Archaeology


Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning


A postgraduate degree in Media from SOAS gives students expertise in media, communications and film production within a global framework.  It is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate. Media and Film Studies students develop a portfolio of transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and creative capacities including communication skills, interpersonal skills, team work, flexibility and dedication.  Department graduates have gone into a wide range of careers and to complete research degrees.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Associated Press
Breakthrough Breast Cancer
British Film Institute
Comic Relief
Cordoba African Film Festival
Discovery Communications
European Commission
Hackney Film Festival
Institute of Ismaili Studies
International Channel Shanghai
Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
Royal College of Art
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers
United Nations
Zanan TV

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Research & Communications Manager
Senior Publicist
Events Manager
International Program Coordinator
Creative Assistant
Communications Officer
Policy Advisor
e-Learning Co-ordinator
Director of Academic Studies
Staff Writer
Online Editor
Public Information Officer
Video Journalist
Product Manager

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

A Student's Perspective

If you have ever wondered why you are the only person you know who is remotely interested in the Sogdian language, Achaemenid legal codes or Biblical references to the playing of the lute, take heart. SOAS is waiting for you.

Fiona O’Cleirigh

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