Media are at the heart of contemporary life. From social media to print, from websites to television, from search engines to apps: our understanding of the world is shaped by media.
Media have a major impact not only on how we communicate with one another, but also on how societies are organised: culturally, politically and economically. This academic programme therefore studies the informative and social function of media and conceives 'culture' in its anthropological definition: as the ideas, customs and social behaviour of particular (groups in) societies.
You will acquire knowledge and a variety of theoretical perspectives on the way different media platforms are structured, how they operate and how they relate to each other; how media systems are underpinned politically and economically; and how patterns of media use, production and content develop and change. You will learn to apply and critically reflect on different types of academic research methods on a variety of topics. In addition, you will also get acquainted to the professional fields related to media, develop your professional skills to help you perform in media-related internships and jobs.
The programme's distinctive features are:
Very diverse and exciting
I had a hard time finding the right study. Luckily for me, that year Media Studies was introduced in Groningen. What I really like about this study is that it is multidisciplinary. This means that you use different disciplines when studying media phenomena. Sometimes you use a cultural approach, sometimes more of a sociological approach, an economic approach etc. All these different angles and perspectives make the study very diverse and exciting.
Within this study, you are quite free to write essays and papers about subjects of your own interest. For instance, I was fascinated by the satirical news shows in the United States (like the Daily Show) which are able to inform and motivate (young) people to participate in politics and current news events. Due to their motivating abilities, these shows are able to influence the public agenda. In the Netherlands, the Dutch satirical news show Zondag met Lubach (ZML) is starting to become quite popular. Therefore, I investigated whether ZML has agenda setting abilities as well and really enjoyed doing research about this topic.
In short, media is becoming such a huge part of our daily lives and therefore it is relevant but also interesting to study these phenomena!
Online Marketeer at NDC Mediagroup
'I work for a newspaper publisher as an online marketer. News media, especially print media, are still in the transition towards digital business models that started a couple of years ago. It's my job to examine our current digital news products and advise on their development, as well as to introduce new digital initiatives.
The job combines my fields of interest; online marketing and journalism. My desk is in the middle of the newsroom, an atypical but interesting office environment. The field is developing so rapidly and I really feel I'm at the forefront of the reinvention of journalism.
The University of Groningen taught me how to think. Not that it told me what to think, but my courses and professors provided me with a thinking-structure so to speak. It changed my perspective on literature, art, culture, and life in general.
I enjoy what I do, but student exchanges and a year of studying abroad gave me an appetite for new environments as well. I'm ambitious in the sense that I like to grow, learn and be successful. How, where and when? We'll see.'
PhD student in Media Studies
While writing my master's thesis, I discovered my passion for research. Now I'm working towards a PhD in Media Studies, and my research project is on the relationship between media and collective memory.
Media are extremely important to how we remember and how cultures operate. On the one hand, media provide 'the first draft of history'. On the other, we use all kinds of media - from statues to movies - to memorialize important events. My question is how these processes change in the context of 'new' media like Facebook and YouTube.
Next to my studies I've always written for various magazines, did camerawork for the university newspaper and I was the president of a student sport club. My dream would be to continue teaching and doing research at a university. I'd like to combine this with minor jobs at advisory boards for media and maybe one day have my own column in a major newspaper or magazine.
I'm interested to see how much media influences our society and us as individuals
Hi! My name is Patricia Zayan and I am half French and half Dutch. I grew up in many different countries across the world such as China, Cuba, Indonesia and Kenya amongst others. As I was exposed to many different cultures and people from an early age on, my interests mainly include the learning of languages, discovering new cultures and traditions and first and foremost food! I love cooking and eating and especially trying out new dishes and exploring new flavours.
I chose to do Media Studies for a variety of reasons. As most of us know, media is now-a-days everywhere; wherever you look and whatever you interact with, there will be a link with media. The interesting part about that is to see how much media influences our society and influences us as individuals. I am also really interested in the more business side of media; that is how media can increase the popularity of a business and increase revenues and sales profits.
I chose Groningen because both my parents lived here when they were university students and they really enjoyed their time here. They remembered Groningen as a lively student city with a lot of activities to do and buzzing with young and vibrant people, and they were not wrong. Furthermore, the testimonies of alumni of the university only increased my desire to go, with RUG ranking in the top 100 universities in the world when I decided to come here, it only seemed like the most fitting option for me.
As most people at my age, I am not quite sure what I want to be when I’m ‘older’, however I do know that I would like to get a master’s degree in International Business after my bachelor. I hope to find a job where I can travel the world as much as possible and, in my own way, contribute to society.
The best advice I can give to all prospective students is to approach one of us if you have any doubts or questions. The reason I say this is because when I was applying I lived all the way in China so attending open days was definitely not an option. On top of that I was too scared to actually email anyone for advice or help and I can tell you it would have made my move a lot easier had I actually done that. Finally, if you start feeling nervous and stressed out, don’t forget that there are thousands of students going through the same process as you and that it will all be ok in the end.
Learning about the information era in which we live
I moved from Germany to the Netherlands to study International Business Management in Rotterdam. I wanted to learn more about how to set up your own business, but IBM turned out to involve a lot of maths, so it wasn't really for me. I dropped out of the degree programme during the first semester and went to work for a while on social media marketing at a webshop.
In marketing, you have to know how to get through to your audience, so I started looking for a degree programme focused on the future, something new. Media Studies really grabbed my interest! It’s a completely new programme and I have to say it’s exceeded my expectations. What I really like about Media Studies is learning about the information era in which we live and how powerful and influential the media are. For example, we don’t choose what news we read any more – instead, we have apps that do that for us. In the “social lab” we analyse our own media use, which makes us all the more aware of the media’s influence. To study Media Studies, the most important things are to be a critical thinker, to not just take what you see in the media as fact and to be able to think outside the box.
I eventually chose Media Studies because I am interested in the digitalisation of the modern world, its related impact on society and the new online worlds that emerge.
My name is Nathalie Fridzema and I am a Dutch student currently in my third years of Media Studies. Besides being a student ambassador, I am also active in the board of Network of Arts, as student assistant for the board of cluster 5 and as mentor guiding and teaching first years of the BA. Next to my university life I manage a local tattoo shop where I am also currently learning to become a tattoo artist myself.
In high school I never was sure what program to choose. I was drawn to the different cultural, political and economic aspects of the social science field and I went to information days for international relations, multiculturalism, communication etc. These programs did not have the complete package for me. In 2016 I discovered Media Studies, a new program that just started in 2015, and it immediately got my attention. I eventually chose Media Studies because I am interested in the digitalisation of the modern world, its related impact on society and the new online worlds that emerge. I also wanted to study something which was international and interdisciplinary. I am very happy with my choice because this BA program gives you the opportunity to explore what exactly it is that you like and to specialize further from there.
I liked how Media Studies starts with a broad, general focus on media in the first year, and ends with a defined and personalized focus, through a profile and a minor.
Hello, my name is Bart Talens. I am 24 years old, and the student ambassador, mentor, and member of the education committee for the Media Studies programme at the University of Groningen. I love sports and music. In addition to my studies, I am active in the student football association and I work in the kitchen of a restaurant in the city.
In my first year at the university, I studied History, because I wanted to do a Bachelor's degree that would allow me access to the Master's in Journalism. Through a first year course I came into contact with the Media Studies department. The content and practice of this course perfectly matched my expectations and interests, so I decided to switch. I liked how Media Studies starts with a broad, general focus on media in the first year, and ends with a defined and personalized focus, through a profile and a minor.
Are you at secondary school and want to know what studying at university is like? The Media Studies programme is offering a web class! This online course from the University of Groningen is specially designed for secondary school students.
If you are interested in an Media Studies web class, register here.