You learn to understand how social media platforms, mobile devices, organisations, and their institutional and political frameworks shape our culture through the production, distribution, and use of information. You will examine the relationship between culture and technology and you will learn the latest tools and methodologies which enable you to explore how information travels.
In this programme you will be introduced to the basic concepts of Media Studies and the most important features of contemporary media. You will choose to major in one of two specialisations: Cultural Information Studies or New Media and Digital Culture. Alongside the core programme, you may choose from a range of electives or opt for another specialisation in the form of a minor. You can also decide to study abroad for a semester or do an internship.
The first year
The first year of the programme offers a broad, general overview of the entire discipline of Media Studies.
- You will learn how we constantly interact with and through digital media in our everyday lives.
- You will take courses covering a broad range of topics and introducing you to the basic concepts of Media Studies and the most important features of contemporary media.
- From the start, you will have the opportunity to choose the topics that most interest you.
- You will explore and analyse contemporary issues in media studies in small, research-oriented seminars.
The second year
At the start of the second year of the programme, you will choose to major in one of two specialisations:
- Cultural Information Studies
- New Media and Digital Cultures
Cultural Information Studies
We live our lives in an information culture. We spend our time informing others, being informed, sending information, being categorised by our information, having our information bought, sold and stolen. Most of us own various devices that are designed to create, access, store and share information. But how does all this work, and what are the consequences of all this information in culture?
Cultural Information Studies is dedicated to the study of media and society through its information fabric and information practices. It is centred on the application of scientific research methods to the digital, using data-driven research tools and methods. It fully embraces computational tools, not only as objects of study, but as a powerful tool for research and analysis.
The programme consists of three closely connected areas:
- Principled research: You study modern information practices aiming for a fundamental understanding of the underlying principles, capturing key concepts, problems and models that may date back to the analogue age or even to centuries ago.
- Scientific methods: You learn a wide range of empirical research methods, enabling you to measure key aspects of media, information use, its users and the impact on them, as well as to extract meaningful patterns and insights from massive datasets.
- Coding and open data: You explore coding from a Humanities’ perspective, addressing the principles of programming and providing you with the computational means to manage, process and interrogate data as well as the digital skills to design custom-built research tools or other applications.
New Media and Digital Culture
Digital media are by now ubiquitous and pervasive: mobile media keep us constantly connected, and wherever we go we retrieve, generate, and transmit data, often without being aware of this. The rise of digital media has had profound effects on the way we work, communicate, act, and think. Digital media have also brought new cultural artefacts, as well as new methods for gathering and processing massive amounts of data.
The New Media and Digital Culture track is dedicated to the critical study of the impact of digital media on culture and society.
The programme consists of three closely connected areas:
- Critical digital cultures and media theory: You study media theories and histories and transformations in culture and society brought about by digital media, web and mobile cultures, locative media, ubiquitous computing and digital aesthetics. Some of the topics are new artistic and cultural forms, such as the digital book, smart cities and media genealogies.
- Digital methods: You will explore the possibilities for research into online data cultures and, in particular, the potential of platforms and search engines for cultural, artistic, and empirical research interventions. This component focuses on ‘digitally-born’ objects like hyperlinks, tags, ‘like’ buttons and tweets, as well as on specific digital methods, techniques and strategies such as folksonomies and crowdsourcing.
- Practical: The programme also comprises a strong practical component, because knowledge of and experience with web culture and the ability to study and use web-based applications like blogs, wikis, and software tools are considered as critical skills for academic digital media experts.
The third year
In the third year of the programme, you can tailor the programme to your own interests.
- You can choose to specialise in a second major, opt for a minor in a related field or an altogether different discipline, or take electives in a wide range of subjects.
- You also have the opportunity to use your elective credits to study abroad or do an internship for a semester.
What does the field of Media Studies entail? What are the similarities and differences between the two programmes? Why choose Media Studies instead of Communication Science? What sort of workload should I expect? Questions such as these will be answered during this in-depth webinar.
Please note: This is the study schedule of the shared programme of the first year of the Bachelor's Media and Information. View the UvA Course Catalogue for the programmes of the specialisations for year 2 and 3.
Media and Information: Living InformationPeriod 16
Analysing Digital CulturePeriod 1Period 212
Media and Culture: Media Culture in TransformationPeriod 26
Doing Media Studies 1Period 36
Media TheoryPeriod 46
Media ResearchPeriod 4Period 512
Current Themes in Media StudiesPeriod 56
Doing Media Studies 2Period 66
Minor and electives
Next to your regular courses and your specialisation, you will also have 30 ECTS worth of space to fill by doing electives, a minor, an internship or by studying abroad.
In theory, any course can be taken as an elective, from courses offered by the Faculty of Humanities to those offered by other faculties or even other universities. Most programmes offer separate electives.
A minor is a cohesive teaching programme that consists of 30 ECTS. Doing a minor is not mandatory. However, it may be a good way to prepare for a Master’s programme or for a certain profession.
Internship and studying abroad
The programme allows for you to do an internship and/or to study abroad for a period of time.
You can enrich your study programme as well as your CV by doing an internship. This will allow you to gain experience at an organisation in the field of Ancient Studies and gives you an impression of the job opportunities they offer.
The UvA is closely involved with international programmes involved with cooperation and exchange within Europe, the United States and Canada. This gives you the opportunity to study abroad for a period of time.
Double Bachelor's and Honours programme
Would you like to be challenged even more? You can choose to do two Bachelor’s degrees or follow the Honours programme.
Double Bachelor’s in Humanities
The Faculty of Humanities offers the possibility to obtain a degree from two different Bachelor's programmes. By means of exemptions you can obtain two degrees with a reduced effective workload. The double Bachelor's is intended for motivated students who are looking for an extra challenge and/or a broader perspective during their studies.
Highly-motivated students may qualify to take part in a selective Honours programme. This programme accounts for an additional 30 ECTS and will help familiarise you with various other aspects of academic research and prepare you for a subsequent Research Master's degree.
Learning and assessment
Media and Information is a three-year Bachelor’s degree of 180 ECTS credits. An academic year accounts for 60 credits that are spread across two semesters, with each comprising two 8-week blocks and a 4-week block. As a Bachelor’s student, you are expected to spend an average of 42 hours a week on your studies.
- In your first year, 12 to 15 of those hours will be spent attending lectures, while in your second and third years you will have approximately 8 to 10 hours of class. The remaining time will be spent on self-study, preparing for lectures and seminars, completing coursework and assignments, as well as exams.
- You will attend both lectures and small group seminars. Lectures generally introduce the main topics of the course, discussing and explaining course readings and literature. In the seminars, you will work closely with your fellow students, collaborating on assignments, presentations and talks.
- You will be tested by means of written and oral exams, presentations, essays, reports and assignments. Your final grade for a course is determined by the results you receive for each of these.