Study Plan

Course Title 
Course Code
Credit Hours

First Semester​ ​
Communication Research Methods
​3 Credit Hours 
Mass Communication Theory
​3 Credit Hours 
English Language for Media 
​0 Credit Hours 
​Issues in the Study of Social Sciences and Humanities  
​3 Credit Hours 

Semester​ ​

Program Elective Course
3 Credit Hours
Program Elective Course
3 Credit Hours
Program Elective Course
3 Credit Hours
Program Elective Course
3 Credit Hours

​Third Semester 

Arab Media Cultures

3 Credit Hours
​Interdisciplinary Course 
3 Credit Hours
​Interdisciplinary Course 
3 Credit Hours
Program Elective 
3 Credit Hours

Fourth Semester

​Elective Course from DI
Dissertation - Media and Cultural Studies

​ 6 Credit Hours 
Total Credit Hours 

​ 42 Credit Hours

 Elective Courses

MACS 622 Critical Approaches in Media and Cultural

This course will examine the development of media and cultural studies as a discipline, highlighting its theoretical origins and its contributions to cultural and media critical analysis. A key objective of the course is to introduce students to the discourse around de‐westernizing media and cultural studies as both a historical process and an academic endeavor that connects media and cultural theory to sociological and philosophical questions that are emerging from Arab academia.

MACS 623 Global Visual Cultures: Art, Aesthetics and Criticism

This course engages with key debates in the field of visual cultural studies, with a specific focus on art theory and practice. It examines the intersection between art, aesthetics and politics in the Middle East and beyond. The course explores the reasons behind the global proliferation of art circuits and critically assesses their implications on aesthetic trends and art criticism.

MACS 624 Media Representations and Post-Colonial Studies

This course examines media representations of race, class, gender and sexuality. It assesses how identity is negotiated and constituted through different media including film, the press, photography, advertising and art. The course will use postcolonial theory as a framework for the analysis of media representations and will look at the construction of stereotypes through media discourse.

MACS 625 Media Activism in the Middle East and North Africa

This course looks at the role of civil society groups in the MENA region and how they have appropriated different media platforms from which to voice their demands. The course explores how social media have facilitated alternative spaces for different social movements, transforming the way we understand and conceptualize key concepts, such as the public sphere, doing politics, and citizenship.

MACS 626 Media and Communication: From the Press to Web 2.0

This course explores how media technologies have evolved over time and explores how media historians, sociologists, anthropologists and political scientists have studied the ways in which the media have shaped the modern world. It critiques the discourses of technological determinism whilst acknowledging the impact technology has on social transformations. The course will introduce the histories of the press, radio, television and the Internet beyond a chronological approach, emphasizing the interdependent relationships between the social, the cultural, the political and the economic.

MACS 627 The Political Economy of Communication

Ownership, Management and Regulation: This course provides the students with a strong grounding in media economics and the theories of political economy. It explores the importance of the political economy approach to the study of communications. This includes questions around media ownership, funding structures, and their implications for media policy, regulation and censorship. It also explores how media economics are directly linked to the stratification of society and the dissemination of information.

MACS 628 Media Audiences and Users

The first part of the course reviews a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, focusing on and critiquing key debates on media audiences and the second part will be devoted to discussions around old media/new media, modernity/post-¬‐modernity and identity politics. The purpose of this course is to engage students with theoretical and empirical research on media audiences; to critically examine and evaluate the different methodological approaches to the study of media audiences; and to contextualize audience theory and research from a transnational perspective.

MACS 633 Ethics and Law in Contemporary Journalistic Practice

This course critically engages with key issues around journalistic practice today. Given the developments in media technology and the changes in the political economy of the media, this course rethinks journalistic practices in relation to issues around credibility, objectivity, legitimacy, censorship and freedom of speech. The course encourages students to creatively re-¬conceptualize media law and ethics in light of new developments in the media.

 Core Courses

MACS 611 Communication Research Methods

This course introduces students to media and cultural research techniques and methods. It prepares students to produce a substantial piece of research in the field of media and cultural studies. The course examines the historiographies of knowledge production and research within the field. It focuses on the histories, uses, and limitations of empirical research. The course teaches students how to conduct research using different empirical methods.

MACS 612 Mass Communication Theory

This course examines many of the most prominent media theories developed over the past 100 years. The course focuses on theories of news production and influence, television and other entertainment media effects, attitude change, behavioral change, and political communication. Powerful-effects, limited-effects, middle-range theories, normative frameworks, and critical and cultural approaches will be explored.

MACS 613 Rethinking Arab Media Cultures: An Anthropological Perspective

This course introduces students to novel and innovative modalities of studying media and visual cultures in the Arab region. It invites students to examine the relationship between everyday life, cultural and media institutions and cultural production. This course has a practical component, which entails visits to institutions including news networks, galleries, museums, production houses, film theatres, and music concerts.

MACS 001 English Language for Media

This course focuses on specialized English language terminology for media students. Students will learn to read, understand, interpret, and translate highly technical English language media texts.

Thesis - 6 credits

Semester Four of the program (i.e. the second semester of the second year) will be devoted to the researching and writing of a thesis on a topic related to the program. This will be an opportunity for students to focus on an area of study of their choice, demonstrating the knowledge and skills they have acquired during the preceding three semesters. Students will be assigned academic advisors to supervise their research. The thesis examination consists of two parts; a marked assessment of the thesis (12,000-18,000 words) by two examiners and an oral defense in front of an examination panel comprised of the same two examiners.