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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TweetThis! Course : MA in Social Media

Is the MA in Social Media for me?If you are a media or cultural studies graduate, have experience in the web, PR, or marketing industries, and want an opportunity to explore the emerging area of social media through scholarly research or practice, then: yes.

What does the MA in Social Media involve?
"Social media" in the context of Internet technologies is itself a relatively new term which broadly correlates to the concept of Web 2.0. "Social media consultancy" as a profession is being shaped by the early proponents of the field.

There is a dichotomy within this nascent industry. On the one hand established businesses are seeking to co-opt the tools of social media and use them for commercial gain; on the other third sector organisations are making use of these tools to build complex and conversational communication strategies for minimal cost.

This MA programme will explore the techniques of social media, consider the development and direction of social media as a creative industry, and will contribute new research and knowledge to the field.

Birmingham has a thriving social media scene and this scene is fast becoming an industry. It is therefore wholly appropriate that this programme should be based within Birmingham School of Media, where students will have access to a peer group and active community of social media practitioners.

The research-based nature of this MA draws upon the expertise of the Interactive Cultures research unit based in the Birmingham School of Media (http://interactivecultures.org/). Our established and innovative work with music and radio industries, policy, cultural entrepreneurship as well as the practices of social media will inform class work and the directions of individual scholarship.

Teaching takes place in small groups. There will be a mixture of lectures, seminars, research workshops, presentations and field-trips. In exploring and innovating in research in social media you will work with other students and engage with professional practitioners, interacting and disseminating ideas through websites, blogs, Twitter and other social media as well as at networking events.

The taught postgraduate phase of the course will comprise modules that explore social media from a cultural studies perspective and explore political economy, social enterprise and social media organisations. The Masters component entails a substantial piece of independent study and the origin of either a social media production project of an original piece of research in the form of a 15000-word dissertation.

Will I do placements as part of the MA Social Media?
The MA has a strong thread of individual personal development planning, supporting your studies and enhancing your career ambitions. To this end you will undertake a work placement/internship with an organisation that uses social media or is exploring social media. This will aid your engagement as a researcher (from the inside) as well as finding ways in which your postgraduate skills and learning can be applied outside of academia as well as in the pursuit of further research (for those who wish to develop down those avenues). The Birmingham School of Media has a variety of strong contacts in the creative and cultural sector, regionally, nationally and internationally which will aid in finding appropriate placements and exploring work in these industries.

What will I be able to do when I've finished the MA Social Media?
  • Become a social media consultant (and understand what that means);
  • Develop innovative and low cost communication strategies for third sector organisations using social media tools;
  • Develop innovative and alternative media projects;
  • Work with existing mainstream media organisations as they develop social media strategies;
  • Enhance your skills and contribute to the development of new professional practice in PR, marketing communications and web design;
  • Continue to develop a scholarly interest in social media as part of a further research degree;
  • Contribute to the development of the social media industry.
  • What are the entry requirements?
Applicants should possess a prior degree (or equivalent) at 2:1, or above, or have considerable experience in a related field and be able to demonstrate outstanding ability and potential. Good spoken and written English are vital. IELTS level 6.5 is a minimum. Applicants should have sound academic skills (research, writing, presentation), an interest in ideas and their application and some basic competence in IT skills (word-processing, Internet activities etc). Above all, applicants need to have an inquiring mind an aptitude for finding things out, sharing and communicating ideas and a desire to develop as an independent and self-motivated thinker.

How do I apply?
For information on applications or to apply now visit the visit the Applications page.

The video below, from WXWM, outlines how Course Director Jon Hickman sees the MA. To contribute your own thoughts, post something somewhere on the web with the tag #masocialmedia

Source: http://www.bcu.ac.uk/courses/media/socialmedia

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