Digital Media and Society, a specialisation within the Master Programme in Social Sciences, offers students the advanced tools to understand and analyse how contemporary media are shaping – and being shaped by – the economy, politics, culture and organisations in society. The programme at Uppsala University prepares students to work as media/internet researchers or media professionals.
Why this programme?
Contemporary digital media such as the Internet, the mobile phone, the computer and social media (Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) shape our everyday lives, working lives, economy, politics and culture.
The goal of this programme is to introduce and develop a critical and reflective perspective on the role of digital media in society. The programme focuses on the economic, political, cultural and organisational impacts of digital media.
The Master’s programme provides students with an advanced level of knowledge and skills in the empirical research methods, theories and ethical reasoning that are important for investigating and analysing digital media in working life and organisations.
The programme also offers a solid foundation and preparation for doctoral research in the area of digital media and society. While not a practical programme, it does offer advanced knowledge that prepares the student for a career as a digital media professional. It teaches creative and critical thinking capacities that are needed by students in their future careers and for becoming individuals who seek to contribute to shaping and creating a good society.
The programme leads to a Master of Social Science (120 credits) with Media and Communication Studies as the main field of study. After one year of study it may also be possible to obtain a Master of Social Science (60 credits).
Name: Yemame Alsayfi From: Uppsala Programme: Master Programme in Social Sciences – Sociology
How did you choose your programme?
– I wanted to study more, I was neither bored with studying nor ready for working after my Bachelor´s Degree in Human Resource Management and Working Life, so I decided to study some more. This programme was what I was qualified for and I wanted to study some more Sociology. Student life felt luxurious as new parent – a great freedom and flexibility compared to a full time job.
What is it like to be a student at Uppsala University?
– Studying at University requires self-discipline, planning and structure – you will learn the rest gradually. It is also very flexible. Studying is great, learning a lot and develop yourself is wonderful.
What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University?
– Uppsala universitet is a trustworthy higher education institution. It is good to know that you get an education that are highly valued in society, which increases the chances of being able to choose the work that you want.
Describe what a normal day is like at your programme
– I have two versions a normal day: one with self-studies two times a week and one with och lectures or seminars for two hours followed by self-studies. I often study at home. If I need to achieve much one day I go to the library, preferably the quiet reading room at Carolina Rediviva. I often get distracted by other things when studying at home... At scheduled times I usually stay afterwards, go to the library and have lunch with my classmates.
What is something unique about your programme?
– Reading and writing. We read a lot – you learn to focus on what is important. There is also a lot of writing – most of the degrees are in form of academic papers. At our programme there are many freethinking persons who loves arguing about different things and we have many lively discussions at the seminars. Sociology is a broad discipline and you can choose study orientation quite freely after interest, as long as related to society.
How was your first exam?
– My first exam was an academic paper of ten pages. I was terrified at first but it proved to be fun during work. There is often a public examination as well which is nervous.
What is your reason for studying and your ultimate goal?
– I have three ultimate goals. The first one is my personal development – to develop my arguments and opinions, a kind of self-realization. The second one is to get a job and an opportunity for development at work and the third one is studying in itself – the value of that lifestyle. Sometimes I feel like a time millionaire, even though I spend a lot of time on my studies it is a quality of life to be able to plan my own time.
Describe student life! / What is your experience so far?
– I live a most untypical student life compared to the normative image of a student. I do not have a student card and I do not spend much time with other students. I live a regular family life but student life goes well with that. My best memory is the feeling of liberation when I handed in my Bachelor´s essay 39 weeks pregnant.
Three quick questions Favourite place in Uppsala?
– Same favorite place as in my childhood, Röbo and Gamla Uppsala
Favourite student tradition at Uppsala University?
– I have no idea.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
– I hope we will have another child and another house to live in, and I will have a meaningful and developing job.
The programme consists of one semester of advanced core courses (30 credits) that focus on the theoretical knowledge and empirical skills required for understanding and analysing digital media and society.
One semester (30 credits) is made up of basic social science skills courses that are taught together with the other specialties in the Master Programme in Social Sciences. Another 30 credits are elective courses that you choose from various courses. An internship at a company or with a researcher at the department is an option for the elective courses. The Master’s thesis (30 credits) is the programme’s final stage.
The programme is offered in Uppsala.
Courses within the programme
The four core courses are: Semester 1 Digital Media, Culture and Society Digital Media and Organisation
Semester 2 Global Perspectives on Social Change and Digital Media Digital Media, Participation and Agency
The four skills courses cover: Quantitative Methods Qualitative Methods Philosophy of Science and Methodology Social Science Methods and Research Design
The education is academically based and is deeply rooted in empirical research, theory and critical reasoning.
You are supported in developing your methodological skills, theoretical knowledge and critical judgment capacities in relation to topics that concern digital media and society.
You are expected to take increasing responsibility for your education as the training progresses, and to gradually acquire professionally relevant and research-based knowledge and skills.
The Master’s programme is taught in English and students are expected to master English for writing, presentation and discussion. Upon completing the programme, you should have gained broad and specialised knowledge and academic skills in the main field of study, learned to independently and critically identify, problematise and contextualise processes of change at different levels of society, gained advanced knowledge and skills in how to formulate problems, how to conduct investigations and how to communicate the results verbally and in written form, and be able to carry out your own project work based on solid social scientific analysis.
After completing the specialisation in Digital Media and Society, you will also understand the major challenges and opportunities that digital media and information and communication technologies (ICT) pose for society, democracy and processes of social/societal change in all parts of the world, will have obtained two types of research skills: empirical research methods, and theoretical and critical reasoning for a reflective analysis of society(ies) and the role of digital media in them, and will be able to analyse and work with the Internet and other digital media by applying acquired empirical and theoretical skills.
Digital media is shaping almost all aspects of our professional and working lives. Learning to understand and master digital media in society in our Master’s programme will give you an excellent preparation for work as a digital media researcher in the growing and innovative field of digital media and society studies or as a digital media analyst in research organisations, private companies, public administration, international organisations and civil society organisations, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
Career opportunities include work as: Internet researcher, digital media researcher, information society researcher, research manager, research administrator, digital media industry consultant or digital media expert in public service, government institutions, civil society organisations, NGOs or international development organisations, ICT consultant and policy expert, knowledge manager, information broker and knowledge work in the public or private sector, work in the new media industries/creative industries.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is:
90 credits within the social sciences or a similar field of study; and
documented written independent academic work (i.e. one or several academic essays or papers).
Language requirements All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:
IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90