MA Media in Development


Read more about this programme on the school's website

Programme Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time

This programme challenges the assumptions behind the media and development industries and development studies and offers new ways of thinking about the issues. The approach balances critical theoretical analysis of the hegemony implied by the ideas and practices of development with the practical issues surrounding the use of contemporary media, including notably digital technologies.

It draws on media theory, practical knowledge and experience, alongside critical debates within and about development, to challenge assumptions about the role of media and development industries. Students combine critical theoretical analysis of the role of media in development with a focus on practical issues surrounding the use of media, including digital technologies.

The programme differs from other degrees in the field by placing the onus on the role of media to further the development agenda, especially post the Second World War. Students benefit from the unique position of the Centre for Media Studies as a specialist institution for the study of media in the global south.

It is designed for those with an interest in global media and development, including media and development professionals seeking alternative ways of thinking about their roles. It provides an excellent foundation for MPhil/PhD research.

The online module sign-up system guides students through the available modules.
Please note that not all optional modules are available every year.


As well as academic expertise, MA Media in Development graduates from SOAS gain a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek. These include; written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to research, amass and order information from a variety of sources. This postgraduate degree provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.


Students must take 180 credits comprised of 120 taught credits (including core and option modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.


  • Dissertation MA Media and Development

Taught Component

Core Module

All students will take the following core module:

  • Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Media, Information Communication Technologies and Development

Compulsory Module

All students will take the following compulsory module:

  • Qualitative Research Methods

Guided Options

All students will take the modules to the value of 30 credits from list of Media studies modules running each year (below)


Open Options

All students will take the modules to the value of 45 credits from list of recommended options below or from open options list if approved by programme convenor

List of Modules (subject to availability)

Media Studies

  • International Political Communication
  • Media Spectacle and Urban Space in East Asia
  • Topics in Global Digital Cultures
  • Studies in Global Digital Cultures
  • Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications
  • Theoretical Approaches to International Journalisms
  • Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media: Networking, Connectivity, Identity
  • Theoretical Issues in Media and Cultural Studies
  • Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Global Media and Post-National Communication
  • Theoretical issues in Global Media and Postnational Communication
  • Topics in Global Media and Postnational Communication

Options in Other Departments

  • Social Anthropology
    • Anthropology of Development
    • Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective
    • Medical Anthropology in Global Perspective
    • Culture and Society of East Africa
    • Culture and Society of West Africa
  • Politics
    • Government and politics in Africa
    • Comparative politics of the Middle East
    • Politics of Globalisation and Development
  • Development Studies
    • Aid and Development
    • Civil society, social movements and the development process
    • Gender and Development
  • Music
    • Music in Development
    • Sound Recording and Production
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
    • Censoring Japan: A Socio-Cultural History of Japanese Television

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read Less
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