MA Television and Cross-Media Culture – Call for Applications open


International Call for Applications

MA in Media Studies: Television and Cross-Media Culture


The Master’s in Media Studies: Television and Cross-Media Culture puts the changing media landscape at the centre of attention: What happens if television – with its programme schedules and live events – is complemented and partly replaced by more flexible, mobile, and heterogeneous media? How do these crossmedia transformations affect the experiential dimension of contemporary life? How do aesthetic transformations and technological developments converge around issues of knowledge production, representation, cultural identities and political crises?

Nowadays, all social and cultural practices are shaped by a mix of different media and by the ongoing innovation of new media forms and media technologies. In the past, the knowledge we had about the world and the topics we discussed with friends were very much defined by the enormous reach, synchronicity and strict temporality of television programme schedules. While TV with its reality shows, spectacular live events and transmissions of global catastrophes is still of major importance, its impact and meaning changes as it is complemented and partly replaced by social media, mobile phones and ‘second screens’. From personal friendships to political election campaigns, from education to commercial forms of entertainment – all are characterised by a complex interplay of different media forms, which all contribute their own specific dynamics to social and cultural practices. Our programme combines seminal texts by humanities scholars like Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Jane Feuer and Mary Ann Doane with the leading-edge scholarship of Stella Bruzzi, Amanda Lotz, Mark Andrejevic, Jaimie Baron, Anna Munster, and many others.

Themes and topics

The Master’s in Television and Cross-Media Culture provides students with in-depth knowledge in contemporary cross-media culture, viewed from historical, theoretical and critical perspectives, and applied to such topics as:

  • the history and mediation of the relationship between private and public
  • political agency of audiences and users across different media dispostifs
  • economic and technological contexts of cultural production
  • aesthetic forms between story-telling and interface
  • popular and professional knowledge production through media

A sample of topics covered by successful MA students can be found at:

The programme does not train you in producing media content. Instead it teaches you how to identify the most important dynamics of our media culture and how to conceptualise them in a critical and meaningful way. This will allow you to participate in ongoing debates around the relationship between media and society, and furnish the conceptual tools necessary for engaging in professional activities within media production, and media culture generally.


The course curriculum is designed as a fulltime, one-year programme of 60 EC and consists of:

  • Core courses (30 EC)
  • Elective courses (12 EC)
  • MA-Thesis (18 EC)

The language of the core courses, department electives, and MA-Thesis is English. Students write their papers and thesis in English. Only the study adviser can, by way of an exception, give permission to write in Dutch.

MA TV track Core Course 1: Society and Infrastructure

This course introduces the students to the most important developments in contemporary cross-media culture. It analyzes television and new media as changing infrastructures of communication and exchange. The impact of these transformations on society will be discussed with reference to three key areas: transformations in the public sphere, cultures of production, and reality and subjectivity.

MA TV track Core Course 2: Aesthetics and Practices

This course introduces the students to the main transformations of media aesthetics and media practices in contemporary cross-media culture. It analyzes how the form and the use of cultural products on television and in digital media change and which dynamics structure the newly developing aesthetics and practices. Topics studied include TV’s flow and seriality, the relation between television and art, the place of the body in cross-medial practices of perception and interaction, the construction of the past in contemporary televisual and crossmedial media forms.

Research Seminars and Electives

In Research Seminars and Electives students gain an in-depth knowledge in key areas of current media (e.g. Quality TV, Documentary, Sound Culture, Mobility, Urbanism). Recent seminars have addressed such diverse topics as “Performance in Documentary Television,” “Media Garbage,” and “Television as Play.” Students are encouraged to participate in contemporary debates and develop their own research projects.

Detailed descriptions of the courses can be found here:

Upon completion of this programme, students will have learned how to provide well-informed, well-founded and practical criticism of television and cross-media culture. This allows graduates to pursue a career in television and media companies as researchers, consultants, script readers, editors, archivists and production assistants, in cultural organizations, festivals, museums, and in teaching.

Professional Specialisation

The MA programme offers a professional specialisation for Dutch-language students interested in studying television and film from the perspective of the media industries and the fields of film and television production. More information on this option are available (in Dutch) here:

Application Deadlines

March 1 (applicants with an international BA degree)

May 15 (applicants with a Dutch BA degree)

February 1 (for scholarship applications)

More details:

Student Body and Amsterdam

The student body of the programme includes UvA and non-UvA students from other Dutch universities, and a substantial proportion of international students. The city of Amsterdam is a major cosmopolitan urban centre with a rich cultural life including major media festivals in film and television. It is close to Hilversum, the hub of Dutch television broadcasting which has spawned numerous global television formats. Amsterdam itself is the location of numerous production companies and affiliates of international broadcasters, with whom our students can pursue internships.

Academic Staff

(clickable link):

Dr. Carolyn Birdsall (TV History, Radio/Sound Technologies, Material Culture)
Dr. Sudeep Dasgupta (Critical Theory, Media Aesthetics)
Dr. Joke Hermes (Audiences, Feminist Media & Cultural Studies)
Dr. Jaap Kooijman (Star Studies, US Pop Culture)
Dr. Erik Laeven (Adaptation, Intermediality, Media Practice)
Dr. Toni Pape (TV Aesthetics, Seriality, Participatory Media, Reality TV)
Maarten Reesink (Dutch TV, Reality TV, Animal Studies)
Dr. Leonie Schmidt (Media and Islam, Globalization Studies)
Dr. Markus Stauff (Digital Culture, Media Sports)
Dr. Mark Stewart (Fan Studies, Media Industries)
Dr. Jan Teurlings (TV Production, Reality TV, Political Economy)
Prof. Dr. Jose van Dijck (TV, Social Media, Media History)

Research Master’s in Media Studies (RMA) 

Promising students with research potential  already admitted into the Television and Cross-Media Culture track of the 1 year MA have the option of applying for the two-year Research Master’s in Media Studies after one semester in the programme at the earliest.

The Television specialization in the RMA is ideal for students interested in a substantial research-oriented degree, and those interested in pursuing a Ph.D. An RMA student follows the two Core Courses (Society & Infrastructure; Aesthetics & Practices) of the MA television track, two core courses in the RMA, and a combination of electives offered within the department and the faculty. The RMA also offers the possibilities for an international programme (2 semesters abroad) in collaboration with universities in London, Paris, Lille, Liège, Milano, Udine, Barcelona, Bochum, and Frankfurt.

More details on the RMA programme and courses can be found here:


Rolling admissions from November 17, 2015 to March 1, 2016 for Fall 2016 admission. Scholarship application deadline: February 1, 2016. More details here: