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MA in Media Studies (MAMS)

Note: The 'At a Glance' section below is indicative only.

Available: Full-time/Part-time

Level: 9

Duration: 1 yr FT/2 yrs PT

Location: MIC Limerick

Delivery Mode:



50% by thesis or film script and 50% by successful completion of 6 modules mostly assessed by essay.

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question

Programme Overview

The Master's in Media Studies (MAMS) at MIC is an innovative programme that offers students the opportunity to study a wide range of contemporary media topics at an advanced level. These include streams in Film Studies, Audio Studies and Cultural Studies. All courses are taught by internationally acclaimed researchers with practical knowledge of the media industry and the small group sessions facilitate collaborative learning, both theoretical and practical. The programme enables graduate students to develop a deeper understanding of the field and provides the foundations for their own original research and career development.

Key Features

The MA programme is interdisciplinary, drawing on theories and applications from a range of academic fields, including sociology, history, cultural studies, audio studies, film studies, gender studies, digital media theory, literary theory and linguistics. It seeks to analyse the historical, social and cultural contexts in which the media have been produced; how meaning is generated through the interplay of image, word and sound in media texts; and how the media impact upon their audiences as well as being invested with significance by those audiences.

Teaching takes place on the MIC campus and the modules offered depend on student choices and the availability of lecturers in any given semester. The one-year MA is delivered over three semesters (but alternatively there is an option to complete it over two years on a part-time basis).

The programme familiarises students with current issues and developments in Irish and international mass media and mass media theory, situating the analysis of Irish media within the context of post-Independence Irish society, culture and identity and examining developments in international media in their political, cultural and social contexts. Students develop the ability to analyse structures, trends and developments in the mass media and to undertake research, using a variety of methodologies, on key aspects of media production, texts and consumption.

MIC media student sitting at production desk
MA in Media Studies
Learn more about this innovative and interactive MA programme from MIC.
MIC media student sitting at production desk
MA in Media Studies
MIC student John Joe speaks about his experience on this master’s programme.

Career Opportunities

The programme aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to advance to doctoral degree studies and to enhance career opportunities in the media industry and other professional fields.

All students undertake six taught modules, split over two semesters (full-time) or four semesters (part-time), and the focus of the final, summer semester is upon individual research and dissertation preparation. Students complete a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words on an approved topic.

While the course is mostly theory driven, some modules offer tuition in and assessment based on production. For example, some students learn to make a radio documentary and to master multi-track sound editing. The option to complete the Master's by writing a full film script rather than a traditional dissertation has proven popular in the past, particularly with those coming from an industry background.

The programme’s teaching and learning methods include lectures, seminars, presentations by guest lecturers, individual consultation with relevant lecturers, guided reading and written assignments.


Dr Rosemary Day, Programme Coordinator and Head of Department of Media and Communications

T: +353 61 204327


Programme Content

Programme assessment is 50% of grade for a dissertation of 20,000 words (or agreed alternative) and 50% for successful completion of six modules from a wide suite of choices.

Please note: Students who do not undertake a dissertation but complete the six taught modules can graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Media Studies.

The following is the full selection of modules that students may draw from, the course team chooses the modules to be offered each year based on students' interests and on institutional resources.

This module explores key conceptual issues and perspectives in contemporary media theory. Using the 'circuit of culture' as a framing device the module examines aspects of the political economy of media and culture, perspectives on media production and the lived experience of work in the media and cultural industries, media form and aesthetics, the cultural politics of representation in media and popular culture, and approaches to the study of media audiences and cultural consumption.

Radio has been neglected by academic researchers and theorists worldwide but this is changing as the rise of podcasting has led to renewed interest in telling stories through sound. The skills required for successful podcasting and the lessons learned in one hundred years of experience in making compelling audio form the bulk of the learning in this module. The Irish experience of radio provides most of the examples offered and the three sectors of Irish radio are described and analysed. The module focuses on sound, on the role of speech and of music in radio’s output, on programming formats and genres, on the production and listening processes, on radio’s unique relationship with its audiences and on the potential of radio as a tool for social and educational development.

Covering the main developments in Irish Film history, this module concentrates mainly on the period from 1978 to the present. It examines the key themes and tropes defining Irish Film today, focusing on how Irish Film has negotiated the tensions and interplays between global economic and cultural forces and tendencies and the need to represent and critically explore the ‘local’ in Irish culture and society. Key themes are the critical assessment of Irish film-makers’ attempts to plot a course between the historically divergent definitions of ‘film as art’ and ‘film as business’ and an examination of a number of new approaches to Irish film theory which have developed over the last decade.

Sound, whether in the form of music, noise pollution, or natural ambience, as commercial product, artistic or political gesture, has received increasing academic attention in the last decade. This module will introduce the key current debates about sound, drawing upon approaches developed in the fields of media studies, music, critical theory, musicology, ethnomusicology and psychoacoustics. Students will be encouraged to engage with a diversity of theoretical perspectives and methodological research techniques.

The module will employ detailed case studies from a diverse range of sound media, enabling a thorough exploration of their technological, aesthetic and social histories. Examples may include the exploration sound media technologies, the relationship between image and sound in film, experimental sound art and the soundscape movement. It will focus on the social construction of sonic environments, such as workplace 'muzak' and sporting events.

This module introduces students to the research methods which are specific to mass media research, as well as more general social science research methods. In addition to these specific foci, students will be required to familiarise themselves with a variety of academic papers in current mass media research journals which utilise the specific methods under investigation. By applying these methods themselves in a variety of research projects, students will acquire the ability to write up research correctly in a form appropriate to the method in use as well as becoming accomplished in the application of these methods as required. Students will be introduced to the process of preparing a research dissertation. Skills taught will include preparation, project planning and time management. Approaches to preparing a review of relevant literature will also be taught.

This module provides students with a critical understanding of professional screenwriting in industry contexts. It entails engagement with critical debates about the role of the screenwriter and the contemporary script. It introduces students to the art and craft of screenwriting; providing a knowledge of role of the writer in the contemporary screen industries and considers EDII issues in the script development and production process. The principles of drama from concept to page; the development of a theoretical understanding of form and structure; a familiarity with the visual and aural strategies required to communicate with screen audiences are all covered. Students develop a critical understanding of the differing requirements in writing for features, short film and television drama; they encounter a variety of approaches in the creation of a story world and in the creation of character and characterisation; design of dialogue; dramatization of scenes and the mastering professional formatting and style.

The academic study of popular music has become the focus of growing attention in media studies since it emerged in the 1970’s. As a mass-produced and broadcast medium, popular music has been the object of seminal theoretical works, particularly in relation to sub-cultures, gender, politics and consumption. This module will follow the development of popular music studies as a distinct discipline, explaining its engagement with contemporary theoretical currents and historical contexts. Several key areas such as identity formation and community will be explored in detail through case studies, and the module will lead towards current debates on fandom, interactive and creative music technologies.

This module evaluates current theoretical debates concerning the history, specificity and cultural meanings of television drama. It compares, contrasts and assesses a variety of critical approaches to the analysis of television drama’s production, social circulation, consumption and meanings. Syllabus topics include the following: the evolution of form and aesthetics in early television drama of the 1940s and 1950s; the divergent and changing industrial and social contexts of drama production; conceptualising the history of television drama; ‘doing television textual analysis’ - an overview of critical approaches; the impact of channel branding, DVD technologies and ‘television on demand’ on the changing experience of audience reception; US network TV versus subscription TV drama; the politics of gender, class and race in contemporary US television drama; television writers as ‘authors’; contemporary television audiences - the significance of fandom; memory, affect and identity in in television fandom - psychodynamic and related perspectives.

This module examines the implications of the growing interdependence of sport and media for the practices and meanings of sport as a range of popular cultural activities, and for the place of sport in various social relations of power. Drawing upon a variety of approaches from cultural studies, sociology, history and geography, it explores the historical emergence and influence of sport media and their impact on sport; the nationally and internationally varied political economy of sport and media; the discursive construction of and interplay between gender, race and nation in media representations of sport; and the roles of mediated sport in the expression and experience of individual and collective sport fandom. Case studies will include Irish and international examples and will range from film to print and broadcast media.

News and News Media
Researching Irish Media Audiences
Sociolinguistics of Irish Media
Women and Ageing in Popular Culture
Community Media Engagement
The Development of Irish Media: A Theoretical Overview

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have:

2.2. in relevant degree or media industry experience.

Some flexibility with regards to the scheduling of classes may be possible to facilitate students who are working full-time, so please let us know your needs when you apply.

Click here for English language requirements.

How to Apply

EU Applicants

Applications for the MA in Media Studies are now open.

To apply, please complete all the steps below:

  1. Download and complete the application form here (application fee Payment Ref Number required).
  2. Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee here using Stripe, and return the completed application along with the supporting documents below by email only to

What to include with your Application

You will be required to send:

  1. University transcripts and certificates
  2. If English is not your first language/language of qualification, you will require:
  • English translation of transcript/qualification
  • Your English Language Competency Certificate (Academic IELTS or equivalent)

Applications will close at 5pm on Monday 5 August 2024.

Non-EU Applicants

You are advised to contact the MIC International Office before applying:

E: or T: +353 61 204988/ +353 61 774790

What to include with your Application

You will be required to send:

  1. University transcripts and certificates
  2. If English is not your first language/language of qualification, you will require:
  • English translation of transcript/qualification
  • Your English Language Competency Certificate (Academic IELTS or equivalent)

The  application fee is €50 and is non-refundable

Transferring from another 3rd Level Institution

The transfer route into MIC depends on the content overlap of your new and old course and the number of places on the new course in the year you apply. Before submitting an application you should contact where we will consider your case with the relevant Head of Department of the course you wish to transfer to.

EU/Non-EU Status Assessments

The designation of a student as being from the EU or a Non-EU country determines the fees they will pay at MIC, i.e. there may be cases where a non-EU national acquires EEA citizenship during the course of their third-level studies and would qualify for EU fees for example. 

Click here for more information on EU/Non-EU assessments which will be conducted by MIC International office to determine status.


For Postgraduate Fees click here

US Students please note that you can apply for Federal Aid.

EU Applicants:
061 205160 / 204348
Non-EU Applicants:
+353 61 204988 / +353 61 774787

Ask a Question

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question