The Media and Cultural Studies program aims to re-think the role of media in the Arab world and enrich debates taking place on various levels in media and cultural studies. In accordance with the Doha Institute's mission of integrating teaching and research to better prepare its graduates to become academic researchers and capable professionals, this program will train the next generation of high caliber Arab media and cultural studies scholars. 

Overall, the program emphasizes research training to enable students to conduct empirical and policy-driven research on Arab media production, cultures and institutions.  Program courses address research methodology, media theory, media representation, Arab media cultures, visual culture, media audiences and users, the political economy of mass media, and media ethics and law, among other areas. The program's cross-disciplinary courses contribute to broad understanding of relevant study areas in the social sciences and humanities.

Mission of the program: 

The Media and Cultural Studies MA program is to be completed over two academic years and consists of a total of 42 credit hours. In all, students register for eight 3-credit Media and Cultural Studies program courses (for a total of 24 credit hours). As outlined below, these eight Media and Cultural Studies courses include three core program courses and five program elective courses. In addition to these eight Media and Cultural Studies courses, students register for three 3-credit extra-disciplinary courses (for a total of 9 credit hours), one 3-credit free elective course, and a 6-credit MA thesis.

The Media and Cultural Studies (MACS) program examines the role of media in a globalized world by studying rapidly evolving communication venues, including traditional, new and social media. Our students will acquire expertise in both cultural studies and social science approaches to the study of the ever-changing global media environment and be prepared to carry out both qualitative and quantitative research underpinned by diverse theoretical perspectives. The MACS program seeks to help students acquire the skills necessary for pursuing media and cultural studies research in the Arab world and beyond.

Program Structure

A. Program Requirements: 

1- Core Courses (9 Credit Hours): 

·       - MACS 611 Communication Research Methods

·       - MACS 612 Mass Communication Theory

·       - MACS 613 Rethinking Arab Media Cultures

2- Elective Courses (15 Credit Hours): 

·       - MACS 622 Critical Approaches in Media and Cultural

·       - MACS 623 Global Visual Cultures: Art, Aesthetics and Criticism.

·       - MACS 624 Media Representations and Post-Colonial Studies

·       - MACS 625 Media Activism in the Middle East and North Africa

·       - MACS 626 Media and Communication

·       - MACS 627 The Political Economy of Communication: Ownership, Management and Regulation

·       - MACS 628 Media Audiences and Users

·       - MACS 633 Ethics and Law in Contemporary Journalistic Practice

3- Specialized English Language Course (non- credit Course)

The School may offer a number of non-credit bearing courses, which must be taken as a condition for graduation when required by the relevant program. Students must successfully pass the assignment for each course as a condition for graduation. These courses will also appear on the student's transcript but will not contribute to the student's GPA.

B. School Requirements (12 Credit Hours): 

1- Cross Disciplinary Course - (3 Credit Hours):

All SOSH students must successfully complete two non-credit core compulsory courses offered at the School level as a cross-disciplinary introduction to the study of the social sciences and humanities.

2- Interdisciplinary Courses - (6 Credit Hours):

Each program allows students to enroll in courses of special interest, and of a cross-disciplinary nature, which are offered jointly with one or more other programs. Courses offered as interdisciplinary courses may vary and are dependent on faculty availability, student demand and registration capacity.

All students will choose two courses of 3 credits each from the list of interdisciplinary courses. Please visit the "Interdisciplinarity at SOSH" page for more details about these courses and their descriptions.

C. Non-restricted Elective - (3 Credit Hours):

Students may choose one course of 3 credits from any program in any of the Schools/centers in the DI (including SPADE and CHS). For this course, students may take an extra-disciplinary course from another SOSH program, or MACS 626 (Media and Communication: From the Press to Web 2.0), or a different MACS course that they haven't yet taken. Students may opt to take their non-restricted elective course in their third semester instead of their fourth semester.

D. Thesis - (6 Credit Hours):

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.