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Media Studies


The Institute of Media Studies in Marburg offers three cultural studies degree programmes that deal with the history, theory and analysis of various media. Media are understood as factors shaping society and culture both historically and at present. The course contents focus on film, television and digital media. Medial transfer processes and structures of media organisation are also analysed. In contrast to communication studies, our degree programmes deal with the theory, history and aesthetics of media.

Media studies is a relatively young subject with interdisciplinary elements. It has interfaces with historical and systematic disciplines and with disciplines from cultural studies and the social sciences. It also frequently addresses the conflicting priorities of theory and practice. While certain courses focus on practical relevance (e.g. project seminars or the practical module), the curriculum is mainly analytical and theoretical. The degree courses do therefore not provide a practical media training proper (e.g. as a director, screenplay writer, director of photography or journalist). Instead, they deal with acquiring the ability to (critically) reflect on the media, its content, aesthetics and practices. By imparting historical, aesthetic and theoretical focuses, our degree programmes thus train for a future career in the various fields of media and cultural activities. Students acquire broad knowledge of the media and their history, they gain organisational and communicative skills, develop professional routines in procuring, evaluating and processing information, and learn how to work in a structured, systematic, independent and team-oriented manner.

The Department of Media Studies offers three different degree programmes:

B.A. Media Studies: the Bachelor’s degree programme Media Studies addresses prospective students who wish to pursue a career in culture-oriented occupational fields. In this six-semester programme, students acquire basic knowledge of the history, aesthetics and theory of audiovisual mass media. Teaching focuses on film, television and digital media. Internships and practical exercise classes give students the opportunity to balance their academic training with creative and organisational practice.

B.A. Art, Music and Media: the Bachelor’s degree programme Art, Music and Media: Organisation and Communication is a cooperation of the Departments of Art History, Musicology and Media Studies. The six-semester programme provides basic theoretical and historical knowledge in the fine arts, in music and audiovisual mass media. Accordingly, the degree programme covers a wide range of topics and does not merely take the individual disciplines and media into account. In accordance with the interdisciplinary orientation, the focus is on viewing the different branches of study’s research fields in their overall context.

M.A. Media Studies: the Master’s degree programme The Media and Cultural Practice: History, Aesthetics, Theory provides advanced training in academic and practical work in film and television, digital media and multimedia configurations. It comprehends media as cultural and symbolic forms whose history, social conditions and effects as well as aesthetic structures are to be analysed and communicated.

The institute

The relatively large number of professorships with different focuses (film, television, digital media, audio-visual transfer processes, media organisation) and the staff associated with each of them ensure that Marburg’s media studies cover the entire scope of the subject. Students of media studies can thus choose from a broad range of topics and focus on their own fields of interest.

In addition to hosting several (also international) academic events regularly, the Department of Media Studies is also part of a strong network with the media culture landscape in and around Marburg. In cooperation with the city of Marburg, for instance, the Marburg Camera Award ceremony is held once a year. Students may contribute to the organisation of the Marburg Camera Award and the Marburg Camera Talks as part of a course. Outside of the curriculum, the Open Eyes film festival or the cinema programme Traumakino, for example, provide opportunities for students’ initiative.

Another real-world connection is the editorial board of the media science journal MEDIENwissenschaft: Rezensionen/Reviews, located at the department. The journal links journalistic and critical practice to theory construction in media studies.

The department has its own computer game laboratory (Gamelab) where personal experience in dealing with computer games in an academic manner can be gained simultaneously to courses in ‘Game Studies’. In addition, the department’s media centre provides technical equipment (e.g. workstations for cutting and cameras) with which students can themselves try the handling of media technology on their own initiative or in the context of exercise classes.