SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

MA Global Media and Digital Cultures (online)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply


Overview and entry requirements

The MA Global Media and Digital Cultures (online) is a unique interdisciplinary programme; it offers critical grounded knowledge of global media and digital cultures in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with a focus on the dynamics between media and politics and diplomacy, media and social/political change, media and development, media and conflict, media and representation and media and identities. The degree prepares students for jobs in the media and communication sectors, government agencies, non-governmental organisations, UN bodies and international organisations.

Taught by leading scholars and drawing on SOAS expertise in the Global South, this MA programme provides students with a non-Eurocentric approach to addressing some of the key debates in contemporary lives – populism, hate speech, fake news, access and representation, inequalities (with a specific focus on gender and minorities) and transnational communities and diasporas. The course will expose students to the main discussions around the role and impact of global media players, including the tech companies on digital economies and futures.

Our research in film and media has been ranked in the top 20 in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, with more than a third of our research publications assessed as 4* (world-leading). See Centre for Global Media and Communications

Who should apply

Designed for recent graduates as well as professionals who are looking to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for careers in the media sector as well as in PR, communication systems and companies, government, education, NGOs and the UN.

Start of programme: April and October

Mode of Attendance: Online Learning

Entry requirements

  • The MA Global Media and Digital Cultures is designed for recent graduates as well as professionals who are looking to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for careers in the media sector as well as in PR, communication systems and companies, government, education, NGOs and the UN. Applicants do not need to have an academic degree in media and communication. However, a genuine demonstrated interest in media and its role would be an advantage.

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Mode of delivery

Our modules are centred around learning via the discussion forums. Each week, the Associate Tutor introduces the topic and provides some relevant recordings to help students with the readings. In addition, the module convenor holds monthly meetings with students to discuss the main issues arising.


All students will take a compulsory Dissertation with a value of 60 credits.

Taught Component

All students will take two compulsory modules, one core module, and one guided option.

Core Module
Module Code Credits Term
Global Media and Digital Cultures (online) 15DISD014 30
Compulsory Modules

You will select one of the following

Module Code Credits Term
Digital Diplomacy (Online Module) 15DISD205 30
Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media (online) 15DISD239 30
Guided Option

All students will take one guided option from List A below.

List A

Module Code Credits Term
Gender, Conflict and the Middle-East (Online) 15DISD206 30
Global Citizenship and Advocacy (Online Module) 15DISD009 30
Muslim Minorities and the State: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Online Module)
Muslim Minorities in a Global Context (Online Learning) 15DISD004 30
Cultural Diplomacy (Online Module) 15DISD222 30
Diplomacy and Power: International Actors in the Middle East (Online Module) 15DISD223 30
Contemporary Themes in Media and Religion (online) 15DISD238 30
Media and Development (online) 15DISD237 30
Contemporary Global Issues in Media and Gender (online) 15DISD235 30

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

This programme is taught 100% online through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

In the VLE you will have access to learning materials and course resources anytime so you can fit your studies around your existing commitments. For each module, students will be provided with access, through both the SOAS Library and the University of London’s Online Library, to all necessary materials from a range of appropriate sources.

A key component of the student experience will be peer to peer learning, with students engaged in discussion forums with the support of their dedicated Associate Tutor

Study timetable

A Study Timetable is provided for each module and for the overall programme to help you to organise your time.

The programme is broken down into two study sessions per year (starting April and October). Each subject module lasts 16 weeks, followed by a research mini module lasting 8 weeks.

Timeline of Distance Learning MAs: Global Media and Digital Cultures (PDF)

Sample study timetable
Activity Duration
Subject module 16 weeks
Reading weeks 2 weeks
Research mini module 6 weeks
Reading weeks 2 weeks

This 26 week cycle is replicated twice yearly beginning in April and October.


Each module is assessed by five written online assessments (‘e-tivities’*) comprising of 30% of a module’s assessment, the remaining 70% is a 5,000 word essay as the final e-tivity. The assessments within the e-tivities provide formative and summative feedback to students as a means of monitoring their progress and encouraging areas in which they can improve.

* An 'e-tivity' is a framework for online, active and interactive learning following a format that states clearly to the students its 'Purpose'; the 'Task' at hand; the contribution or 'Response' type; and the 'Outcome' (Salmon, G. (2002) E-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning, New York and London: Routledge Falmer.)

Research training and dissertation

Research training is a key feature of this programme, the dissertation module is presented in four parts – mini research modules -, which will follow each of your module sessions.

The dissertation, a 60 credit module  is assessed by the submission of a 1,500 word research proposal (dissertation research module part 2) accounting for 15% of the modules mark. The remaining 85% of the module mark will be based on the mark obtained for the submission of a written dissertation of no more than 15,000 words, excluding the bibliography and appendices (dissertation research module part 4).

Engaging in the dissertation research module is a requirement for all students to complete the programme. 

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

MA/MSc PGDip* PGCert*
£12,000 See below See below

*PGDip and PGCert are available as exit awards. Interested students should get in touch directly with the course team.

Pay as you learn

Our online programmes can be paid in full at the time of enrolment or on a pay as you learn basis. Pay as you learn means you pay for modules prior to enrolment (£3,000 each).

Postgraduate loans

If you have been a resident in England for three years you may be eligible. For more information, please see Fees and Finance..



Graduates from the Centre for Global Media and Communications gain expertise in media, communications and film production within a global framework. Graduates develop a portfolio of transferable skills including communication skills, interpersonal skills and team work, which are highly respected by employers.

Recent Centre for Global Media and Communications graduates have been hired by:

  • Africa Mediaworks Ltd.
  • Al Jazeera
  • Associated Press
  • BBC
  • Breakthrough Breast Cancer
  • British Film Institute
  • Channel 5
  • Comic Relief
  • Cordoba African Film Festival
  • Discovery Communications
  • Equality Now
  • Hackney Film Festival
  • International Channel Shanghai
  • Internews Europe
  • Merlin
  • Novus
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Royal College of Art
  • The Institute of Ismaili Studies
  • Unilever
  • United Nations
  • Westminster City Council

Find out about our Careers Service. 

A Student's Perspective

I consider myself fortunate for the knowledge I gained at SOAS; more importantly, for the unique perspective this institution provides which can be unnerving, but is essential for anyone, especially from Global South who seeks to understand the social and political impact of this new media age

Aly Belail


How to apply 2022

Start your application (opens in a new window)

Deadlines for applications

Application and enrolment deadlines as well as session start/end dates can be found on our Online and Distance Learning key dates page.

Your completed application will be reviewed by a member of academic staff. If your application is successful, we will send you an official offer within ten working days and you will be asked to submit the relevant supporting documentation. Once in receipt of our offer, we recommend submitting your documents immediately.

Supporting documentation for applications

1. Degree certificates

We require documentation confirming the award of all qualifications listed in your application, which can either be your certificate or academic transcript. This must show: the name of the university, programme studied and the grade/classification you attained. If your university cannot issue official documents in English, we will require a certified translation in English of your degree certificate/transcript.

You can send us either original or certified copies of your documents. If you send original documents and you would like these to be returned to you, please state this in your covering letter.

If you send certified copies, please ensure that each document has been stamped and verified by one of the following:

  • British Council official (find the location of your nearest British Council office)
  • Local British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission
  • Notary Public
  • The issuing university (in the case of academic qualifications)
2. Copy of an identification document

This must be either your passport or birth certificate. This does not need to be certified, and may be sent to us via email.

Note: If your name as stated on your academic documents does not match that given on your identification document, we will also require documentary evidence (such as a marriage certificate) that supports your change of name.

3. Copy of English language proficiency certificate

If your degree was not taught and assessed in English, you will need to submit evidence of your English language competency. This should be either an IELTS or TOEFL certificate (you will need an IELTS overall score of 7.0 including 7 in both reading and writing). This does not need to be certified and may be received via email.

4. References

We may also request that you provide us with references in support of your application. They should be from an individual who knows you on an academic basis. However, if you graduated more than three years ago we will accept a professional reference.

Your reference should include an opinion (in English) on your academic and personal suitability for the proposed programme of study.

Please note that, if necessary, we reserve the right to verify your qualifications with the relevant awarding body and to request further information from you about your background.

5. CV

Please include a detailed CV that lists your employment and educational background including dates.