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The Bachelor's Media and Information provides you with the skills necessary to engage with contemporary themes such as surveillance, big data, digital archiving, citizen journalism and the metrification of everyday life.

Programme structure

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: Information Cultures 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:

    • Information Cultures
    • New Media and Digital Cultures

    Information cultures

    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?

    Information Cultures 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.
  • 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.
  • Honours programme

    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.

Detailed course information

Visit the UvA Course Catalogue for a detailed overview of the Media and Information programme, including which courses you can take and when they take place.

Study Schedule: Information Cultures

Study Schedule: New Media and Digital Culture

Accreditation and academic title

 

The Bachelor's programme Media and Information forms part of the broad label Media Studies. The quality of this programme has been positively accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that after successful completion of the programme you will receive a recognised Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and the title Bachelor of Arts (BA).

Read more about accreditation