Media Communications MA

Media Communications MA Hybrid Program

Webster University Leiden's Media Communications MA program explores the relationship between changing technology and changing cultures, including research, government, media, business, and communication. The Media Communications MA hybrid program is designed for media, communications, or technology professionals looking for career advancement and to enhance their credentials, the program is designed to be flexible and to accommodate the time constraints of working professionals. Media Communications MA hybrid program consists of a mixture of traditional face-to-face courses taught on campus and online courses through the Webster Worldwide Online Learning Center allowing you to take advantage of course offerings from anywhere in the world, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Sean M. Leahy, MA
Head of Department of Media Communications & Fine Art

Message from the Department Head

We strive to provide a great balance of theoretical understanding and hands on practical experience in the rapidly evolving realm of Media Communications.

Required Courses

MEDC 5000 Media Communications

Students examine communications theory and its application to mass media. The course introduces students to the graduate program and describes program expectations as well as introduces research methodologies used throughout the program and discusses academic preparation for MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications. Therefore, students must take this course even if they have academic and/or professional experience in media communications. Prerequisite: Students should have an educational background or professional experience in media communications, or they must enroll in 6 credit hours of additional preparatory undergraduate coursework, as determined by an academic advisor.

MEDC 5310 Media & Culture

This course examines the mass media as it reflects and influences the attitudes, values, behaviors, myths, and preoccupations that define a given culture. The course considers the functions of mass media in society and the effect on the individual. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000

MEDC 5350 Media Organization & Regulations

The student examines the legal structure of the media communications industry. The course focuses on the formation, rationale, and implications of policies that form the basis of media law and regulation. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000 Media Communications.

MEDC 5360 International Communications

This course focuses on the history, issues, and future of international communications. The class considers individual media systems, including different understandings of the role of the media, freedom of press and information in different areas of the world, parity between distribution of news and the shaping of the public mind, international stereotyping, and international propaganda. The course also examines the relationship between national and global media systems and the role of international communications in the development of the new world order. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000 Media Communications.

MEDC 5400 Media Production Management

This course exposes the student to the principles of management, planning, and execution of media-oriented activities and events. The student examines the role and functions of the producer of media-oriented projects: pre-production organization and research; proposal writing; scheduling; budgeting; and staff, crew, and talent coordination. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000 Media Communications.

MEDC Elective

One additional core course from MEDC electives, as determined through consultation with an academic advisor.

Elective Courses - 15 credits/5 courses

JOUR 5345 News Writing & Reporting

Writing for journalism is intended to give the student an understanding of the various genres of journalistic expression, including the hard-news story, feature story, and investigative story, as well as interpretive and explanatory journalism. Additionally, students are introduced to the trends of journalistic writing, from yellow and tabloid journalism to muckraking and the new civic journalism. Students can expect a number of writing/reporting assignments in this course.Cross-listed with MEDC 5345. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000 Media Communications.

MEDC 5010 Introduction Graduate studies: Advanced Thinking & Writing

This course is an introduction to graduate studies that provides students with knowledge and skills in three important ways to maximize academic success as a graduate student. The course will focus on critical thinking and advanced analysis skills, basic information on academic research and library searches, and advanced writing. The course will also offer a brief introduction to effective online learning.

MEDC 5290 Issues in Media Communications

Current and significant issues in media communications are examined. The course focuses on existing theories and practices, with emphasis given to new and emerging topics in the field. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000 Media Communications. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs, not to exceed 6 credit hours.

MEDC 5390 Practicum/Internship

Students undertake, with the supervision of a qualified professional, an approved internship in a media-related setting. The work experience involves professional media duties. The academic experience involves attendance at seminars and written work. The outline of duties and evaluative methods are established by the student and the internship mentor and approved by the mentor prior to initiation of the program. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 21 credit hours in the MA in media communications program, including MEDC 5000 Media Communications; meeting program criteria; and permission of the internship coordinator and the director of Graduate Studies. Note: Internships should be directly relevant to students' course of studies, emphases, and majors.

MEDC 5460 Media Research

This course introduces students to the major research methodologies, communication theories, and topics of study within media research. Theories, models, and methods are applied toward the development of research projects. Students discuss and examine qualitative and quantitative methods of media research employed by various aspects of the media. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000 Media Communications. MEDC 5310 Media and Culture strongly recommended.

MEDC 5600 Introduction to Interactive Communications

A practical introduction to interactive media. This course addresses concept, design and production strategies, technical aspects of production and publication, and practical applications of interactive media in educational, commercial, and public environments. Students create flowcharts, treatments, and scripts, and publish their final project as a design document. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000 Media Communications.

MEDC 5610 Video for Interactive Communications

The production of short segment video bytes for interactive applications differs significantly from conventional video production. Video production for nonlinear access is discussed, and tools and methods are examined. Students are responsible for the planning and development of a series of video shorts. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 Media Communications and MEDC 5600 Introduction to Interactive Communications or permission of the instructor.

MEDC 5630 Visual Design for Interactive Communications

Integration of traditional commercial art techniques into dynamic interactive modules is the focus of this course. Proper visual cues for response, efficient use of color, and logical design of decision points are examined in detail. Still-frame images from live video are used in combination with graphic design. Human factor issues in the development of interactive media are analyzed. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 Media Communications and MEDC 5600 Introduction to Interactive Communications or permission of the instructor.

MEDC 5650 Special Topics in Interactive Media

This course addresses current and significant issues in interactive media and interactive communications. The course focuses on existing theories and practices, with emphasis on new and emerging topics and technologies in this field. The course topics could include computer-based training, games and entertainment, journalism on the Internet, and interactive narrative writing. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 Media Communications and MEDC 5600 Introduction to Interactive Communications recommended. Can be repeated once for credit if content differs, not to exceed 6 credit hours.

Capstone Course - 3 credits/1 course

MEDC 6000 Seminar on Media Communications

In this course, students are expected to synthesize and integrate the learning experiences acquired in all graduate media communications courses and to evaluate current media communications research topics relative to a particular area of interest. Techniques used to accomplish these goals may vary, but students should seek to add to the body of media communications knowledge with all capstone research papers. Papers used in previous courses cannot be resubmitted or repackaged in order to meet the requirements of this course. However, it is acceptable to continue researching ideas which students may have pursued during their degree program, building on them to complete the large, comprehensive paper required in this capstone course. Students are encouraged to have their capstone research paper topics approved prior to the start of class. Prerequisite: Completion of all other graduate courses in program. This should be the last course taken before graduation. Any exceptions must be approved prior to registration by submitting a program option request to be signed by the director of Graduate Studies and the dean of the School of Communications.
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