SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

MA Global Media and Communications (2020 entry)

Previously titled MA Global Media and Post-national Communication

  • Q&A
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment


The MA Global Media and Communication is unique in that it offers a critical appraisal and critique of Western Media and Communication theories and approaches through focusing on the complex specificities of Asia, Africa and the Middle East and their diasporas. Drawing on the grounded expertise of staff, it offers a specialised study of the global media environment in relation to Asian, African and Middle Eastern societies and cultures, together with rigorous training in and questioning of contemporary media and communication theory.

We ask what concerns and hopes the people of the regions we study have; how should we address comparatively the global role of mass and digital media in contemporary politics and conflict, as well as processes of exclusion, inequalities, development, participation and empowerment. By considering how, where and by whom media is produced, consumed and used, students 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. Students will address alternative ways to situate mediated articulations of agency and subjectivity in non-Western contexts through engaging with various texts challenging the hegemonic claims of mainstream Western media theory that insists the rest of the world subscribe to a narrow exclusive vision of the world.

The SOAS MA Global Media and Communication will appeal to students with a variety of backgrounds and objectives:

  • those coming from a media or journalist background who wish to engage more deeply with global media and communication theory in relation to regional specialisation, especially, but not exclusively, the societies of Asia, Africa and the Middle East; 
  • those coming from Asian, African or Middle Eastern Studies who wish to incorporate the study of global media and communication into their own areas of expertise; and 
  • those having previously trained in other disciplines, such as Anthropology, politics, international relations,  Religious Studies, History, etc.
  • those wishing to pursue further study through doctoral research

Prospective students should contact the MA Convenor, Dr Dina Matar (, at an early stage of their application in order to seek advice on the most appropriate options for study.

Please note that not all optional modules are available every year; more information can be found on the "Structure" tab and in the online module sign-up system.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with a high 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

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, compulsory and option modules) and a 60 credit, 10,000 word dissertation. All students must take the core modules in addition to Qualitative Research Methods in Media and Communication.

Further options include a wide range of media and media-related courses from a comprehensive list offered by the Centre for Global Media and Communication and other constituent units in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. All courses are assessed via written assignments.

Module Code Credits Term
New Taiwan Cinema and Beyond (PG) 15PCHH002 15 Term 1
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Media Studies 15PMSC999 60 Full Year
Taught Component
Core Modules

All students will take the following core modules:

Module Code Credits Term
Topics in Global Media and Communication 15PMSH037 15 Term 2
Theoretical Issues in Global Media and Communication 15PMSH036 15 Term 1
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 modules to the value of 30 credits from List 3 below
Modules to the value of 45 credits from List 4

List of modules (subject to availability)

List 3
Media Studies
Module Code Credits Term
International Political Communication 15PMSH009 15 Term 2
Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 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
Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 15 Term 2
Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 15 Term 2
Podcasting 15PMSH022 15 Term 2
Prejudice, Conspiracy and Misinformation: Understanding Media in a Post-Truth Environment 15PMSH038 15 Term 1
List 4
Cinemas of Asia and Africa
Module Code Credits Term
Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 15 Term 2
Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 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
Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia 15PMSH026 15 Term 2
Censoring Japan: A Socio-Cultural History of Japanese Television 15PJKH034 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

Teaching & Learning

  1. Ability to address the role of global media in Asia, Africa and the Middle East without pre-assuming media are all powerful
  2. Understand the theoretical underpinnings and debates on the role of media and communication in politics, social lives, cultures and transformations.
  3. Address the dynamics of the global, the regional and the local in a continuously changing media environment.
  4. Be able to analytically disaggregate economic, political, social and cultural strands of global media and communication in a neo-liberal environment.
  5. Address the role of the media in identity formations, representations and cultures.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  1. To be critical and precise in their assessment of evidence, and to understand through practice what documents and electronic sources can and cannot tell us. Such skills should improve and be refined throughout the programme.
  2. Question theories and interpretations, however authoritative, and critically reassess evidence for themselves. Students will learn how to question and challenge the Euro-centric dominant global media and communication approaches and provide evidence-based critique that takes into account different histories, including colonial and post-colonial histories, of media and communication in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These skills should improve and be refined throughout the programme.
  3. Critically interrogate situated empirical examples of specific media and communication practices in Asia, Africa, Middle East
Subject-based practical skills
  1. Communicate effectively in writing
  2. Retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of conventional and electronic sources
  3. Communicate orally to a group. Listen and discuss ideas introduced during seminars and classes.
  4. Practise research techniques in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes.
  5. Have developed some new competencies in digital media production and dissemination
Transferable skills
  1. Write good essays and dissertations
  2. Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing
  3. Understand unconventional ideas
  4. Summarize your arguments in a coherent and critical way.
  5. Study a variety of written and digital materials, in libraries, on-line and research libraries of a kind they will not have used as undergraduates.
  6. Present material orally to a group.
  7. Have developed a range of on-line competencies


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

The Centre for Media and Film Studies has been a turning point in my academic, professional, and epistemological life. I will never read, watch or receive information or media products as before.

Osama Salameh

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