Address the image world, find out how images create meaning, and discover what you can do with what you see on this eclectic MA programme
If this degree were a film we’d be watching the beginning and the end. We think, like Walter Benjamin, that it’s in these moments – in their inception and their obsolescence – that you see the utopian possibilities of a form or social movement.
The questions we ask
- Are we in the midst of a beginning? What can we learn now from visual culture’s past? What’s happening to our bodies when we play a video game? What are the gestures involved in everyday life? How do our bodies relate to technology?
- These are the kinds of topics we analyse on this MA. We want to go beyond the borders of a traditional film studies degree so we go back to the beginning of film history to explore what it meant to fashion yourself in an image, or for a society to see itself in an image. Then we explore how images gain meaning now, and where they’re going next.
The processes we use
- We’re interested in the evolution of the image, but also image culture. As photographs and films constitute more and more of our communication, we encourage students to try to put their thought into audio-visual form for some modules. For the MA’s Media Arts Pathway, you can make your own piece of work and submit it as part of the final project, the dissertation. Production values are not the focus for us. We’re interested in what you do with an idea.
The approach we take
- We think learning is about trying to get hold of something you don’t know yet; wrestling with ideas you’re unsure of so as to work critically and imaginatively across multiple media forms. While we do look at films, we also investigate such things as contemporary gallery work, the city’s screens, computer and phone interactivity to reconsider our relationship to images.
- We study our heritage of image taking and making not just to discover how that relationship has changed over time, but also to find jumping-off points for our own experimentation and try to create something new.
- As part of the University of London you also have the chance to explore one option from the MA Film & Media programmes at other universities.
- The Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies has been ranked 2nd in the UK for 'world-leading or internationally excellent' research (Research Excellence Framework, 2021) and 12th in the world (2nd in the UK) in the 2022 QS World Rankings for communication and media studies.