These are the insights and experiences our students want to share with you after graduating from the MA in International Studies in Media, Power and Difference:
2020 Graduates (5th Year)
I enrolled in this master with previous knowledge about social issues, such as gender, speciesism, or classism, and with a certain idea of the connection between them. I decided to take this program to get a theoretical perspective on these topics. The master has outgrown my expectations by far: I accessed a deep and solid theoretical knowledge about all of them that allows me to have a much clearer view on social issues, their complexities and how they are related. Now I have the tools I personally needed to orient my career towards advocacy and change. Not only have I learnt about them, but the program also gave us the opportunity to contribute to academia with our personal perspectives, which I believe to be very necessary. The professors are reachable, sensitive and open to listen and make us part of the learning. I’d definitely say my experience in this master has been fully satisfactory.
Thought-provoking. Engaging. Illuminating. These are just some words I would associate with my experience taking the Master’s in International Studies on Media, Power and Difference. The program has a selection of distinct courses that all fit within the common themes, giving it variety in terms of content without losing focus on the overarching values at the core of the Master’s. Much of what is covered is relevant and up to date with current day issues, whilst a classroom environment of students from various backgrounds, both ethnically and professionally, makes for refreshing and rewarding discussions. Coming from South East Asia, the content can at times seem Euro-centric however, that only demanded I bring my prior knowledge and experiences to discussions. Ultimately, the master’s provided me an opportunity to departure from my familiar surroundings, rethink what I once thought, enrich my academic research abilities and offer me new ways of engaging with the media representations being proliferated today.
I believe education should challenge students to think critically. While many programs offer critical perspectives, this master is one of the very few with a dedicated course in critical animal studies. As such, it covers a major blind spot in much of critical academia, which fruitfully challenges both thinking and action. The teachers of the program convey these perspectives in a personal, attentive and compassionate way. The small group of students quickly won my heart and created an immediate feeling of community in a city where I didn’t know anyone. If anything, I would wish for this program to last another year to fully digest the learning and build on the established connections.
When I decided to return to school and pursue a masters, I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for and the MA in International Studies on Media, Power and Difference checked all the boxes. The programs focus on the global impacts of media and the thorough examinations of the ways in which it is constructed and influenced by larger forces has completely shifted my perspective. Coming from NYC and having studied and worked in the field of communications for so long, I knew I would love Barcelona and that this was the program for me. What I was not expecting was how deep of a bond our cohort would develop with one another. I feel very fortunate to have spent the last several months expanding my knowledge on some of the most important issues facing our world, with the support of the most impressive classmates and professors.
I have my bachelor’s degree in Engineering, and I worked in the tech industry for seven years. Before applying to MA in Media, Power, and Difference, I had a chat with one of the graduates from the program. Similar to me, she had seven years of working experience at the time she applied to the program. When I asked her what she got out of this program, she said that the program made her see the world through different lenses. After my talk with her, although I wasn't sure what she exactly meant by her answer, I decided to apply for the program. Today, coming closer to the end of my year in the program, her reply strongly resonates with my feelings and thoughts. I believe three aspects of the program granted me different lenses. The first one is the structure and content of the program. The program is structured in such a way that each subject focuses on a different vulnerable group. The content of each subject draws attention to our current social problems from a critical perspective. The combination of the structure and the content compels the students to face their biases and work through them. Secondly, the teachers have a strong passion for their respective fields. They are inspiring, encouraging, and they support the students both academically and personally. The last aspect is the students of the program who have created a small family for me in Barcelona. All the students have truly diverse backgrounds, different stories, and ambitions, which encourages you to explore while making you feel supported. I recommend the program who dares to work through their biases and would like to do this with the support of an inspiring community.
2019 Graduates (4th Year)
On the one hand, I have to highlight the well organised this MA is. We had a well-set calendar for each course, teachers that were attentive and helped you with any issue and courses that complements each other without seeming repetitive. I think that's important because the more well arranged the courses are, the more you can take advantage of them and their contents. On the other hand, this master made me growth both professionally and personally. I wanted a MA that could introduce me into the research field, and this one did. And not only by providing me a methodology that I lacked, but also interesting topics such as Animal Studies, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies and other fields worth to discover because of their aim to make positive impact. Also, in the personal side, I feel different than a year. I'm more concerned about oppressions and more able to detect them in different aspects of life, not only in media. Doing this master is like putting on new glasses.
The Master's in International Studies on Media, Power and Difference is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to deepen her or his knowledge about journalism, communication and social sciences. The program manages to combine these different academic domains to a very fruitful and interesting curriculum, with lectures given by extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable professors. Furthermore, the program combines practice with the academic literature in such a way that while you read the literature you can immediately connect it to the 'real world' and your personal future. The many guest lectures by people working in the fields of journalism and non-profit organisations contribute greatly to this important aspect of the masters. Lastly, the people who are following the masters are of great cultural and geographical diversity, all with very interesting backgrounds which also brings a great deal of academic diversity to the master's program. To conclude, I can recommend this master's to anyone who wants to improve their academic and practical knowledge and is pursuing a career in any of the above-mentioned fields!
The media representation of the oppressed ones has been a really full intellectual and revealing experience. The subject “Critical Animal and Media Studies” open your eyes to see how many prejudices we have against non-human animals and the role of media to create them. I learned strategies and many ways of how to defend the other species interests and the reasons—ethical, environmental, justice... —to do it.
This master program is for everyone who has the courage to look beyond what you take for granted and to question your own believes about the world we live in. It offers a unique combination of critical subjects that will bring your awareness to some of the most crucial issues and problems, often ignored by the media. The atmosphere of the master is very familiar, classes are small and offer lots of space to discuss and reflect the issues taught and encourage you to share your personal experiences and views. The master is truly international with people from all over the world, which makes discussions even more interesting. We really became a small family here and I found incredible friends. Teachers are very interested and engaged with every student on an individual level and support and let you explore ideas in your writing. I think it is the perfect one-year master for all those who look for something "more" in the communication environment and are not afraid to confront uncomfortable truths.
I studied Media & Communications as an undergraduate and had spent a few years working in the creative industries before undertaking this MA. Although I enjoyed it all, I knew I was looking for something more, and MPD gave me exactly that—a uniquely well-rounded, interdisciplinary, intersectional and ethically-minded approach to topics which will be relevant for whatever I end up doing after the course finishes. I feel lucky to have spent a year with other students from hugely diverse backgrounds, researching and discussing issues which, more than ever, affect us all.
2018 Graduates (3rd Year)
I belong from one of the remotest regions of Pakistan called Baluchistan. I have worked as a journalist and taught journalism at the University of Baluchistan. In 2016, I won a home government scholarship and I was required to take admission in any university which should be among the top 500 universities in the world. I choose UPF because of its good ranking and the title of the Masters, “Media Power and Difference” looked very attractive to me and it was according to my interest level as I am very much interested to know how media cover the powerful and the weak. For me there were two best experiences of studying this Masters, one was that it provided me with the opportunity to interact with students of 17 nationalities and the second was the system of examination. Normally students after studying different courses have to memorize notes and use to give papers. But here, instead of memorizing notes, we have to write research articles and essays which have improved my research skills a lot. It reminds me of the saying of Albert Einstein, “Education is not the learning of facts, it is the training of the mind to think.” This practice indeed made me think a lot and I think this should be the real aim of education. In the end, I would consider studying this masters as one of the greatest decisions of my life and I believe it will enhance my skills in journalism and teaching when I will return to my home country.
This program is excellent for all those who are looking to expand their knowledge on media from a political economy and cultural studies perspective and paying special attention to the importance of the representation of diversity. This Master will provide you insight into several important fields such as media ethics, gender awareness, animal rights or global justice, war and poverty in the media. I would especially recommend the course on Critical Animal and Media Studies as it will raise your awareness of the plight of the most disempowered of the oppressed groups: the non-human animals.
I would say that is a very unique master’s program that really stands out from all the other ones I considered, both internationally and also here in Barcelona. The reason for that is the compilation of the different subjects that the master offers. From power and gender diversity in the media to global justice, war and poverty in the media it really gives you a cross cutting and honest approach to various topics that might be considered “taboo” but in turn is so important to study—especially in the role of the media. The program gives voice to the voiceless and looks at different global affairs with a critical perspective of how these topics have been portrayed by the media. A very positive aspect of the master is that you are welcome to focus your academic work on relevant topics of your own interest—this gives you a unique opportunity to research something that you are genuinely passionate about. Due to the topics of discussion in class, you can really get to know your classmates well and recognise how the media works in different parts of the world, as the class consist of various nationalities and cultures giving you a wider perspective. Lastly, I would like to mention that as a student on the course you really feel that you are “seen” with professors wanting to get to know you and your background and it is a professional environment where you can always ask questions and receive the help and support you need.
Critical animal studies is the face of a coin that not only I did not know, but that has influenced my life without being fully aware of it. The connection of this subject with emotional, rational and objective aspects, has surpassed—by far—my expectations, it has changed my life positively.
I have completed my bachelor’s in communication and Mass Media, so coming into MPD program, I more or less knew what the academic setting would look like. What I certainly didn’t know is how much diversity we’d have in the classroom, and to which extent my horizon would expand when it comes to different world views and prospective. One of my favourite classes was “Global Justice, War and Poverty in the Media”, which, broken down into regional case studies, allowed us to map media settings across the world, and learn how to integrate concepts of justice and fair representation into communication practices—a skill very much needed in the communication field today.
It was essential, to acknowledge the necessity of Intercultural Communication, the central theme of this Master, to contribute to a peaceful living together beyond national and cultural borders. From then on, the uniqueness of each individual can be recognized, equality established and so, the intercultural exchange in the society enabled.
I studied Agricultural and Landscaping Engineering at the Universitat de les Illes Balears. I became politically involved in the grassroots social movements such as the anti-globalization movement, environmentalist movement or the movement for the rights of the indigenous people in México. Later on, in 2011, I joined an international animal rights organization where I worked as a campaign coordinator. In that moment, my professional and vocational life took a turn focusing in the defense of the voiceless, the non-human animals. All that experiences made a deep impact on my mind and I was unable to disassociate my concern for animal rights from other social justice issues and the program of the MA in International Studies in Media, Power and Difference was the best chance to develop my current interests and concerns with a new approach in critical media studies: Can natural history films shape our understanding of the free living animals? How can we put the concern for animal rights on the agenda of the media? and how animal rights advocates should avoid sexist and colonialist discourse in our movement and look for the best way to spread animal ethics in non-western cultures?
2017 Graduates (2nd Year)
MPD allowed me to apprehend, to feel and to live. The inspiring theories and tools that MPD offers allowed me to read and understand media content—and therefore a social view—in a critical and open-minded way. But above all, MPD made me embrace the complexity of the question related to the vulnerable collectives of our society that are at best muted or at worst ignored. I have to say that it was not easy at all to experience the transition—of seeing things in a more critical and open-minded—at the end of the Master as it confronted me to myself.
The MA in media, power and difference has been an inspiring academic training about the power of communication and media representation to shape our worldviews. I learned how representation is inextricably connected with the oppression of those considered different, "others". This master provided me with a lot of theoretical tools to better understand the world we live in, and to do it with a critical, open—and also compassionate—mind. What is more important, the international nature of the program gave all of us the opportunity to share with people from very different places and backgrounds and learn from fruitful discussions. The master did not only bring me a deeper understanding of global inequalities such as sexism, colonialism or speciesism, but inspired me to create projects that challenge hegemonic representations, create truly diverse communities and promote restoration for our planet and all human and nonhuman animals who suffer from oppression.
After graduating from Translation and Interpretation Studies, I was looking for a program that would expand my previous field and add another layer into my curiosity towards intercultural communication, media and society. In that sense, the MA in International Studies on Media, Power and Difference was beyond my expectations. It has provided me with various theoretical and analytical tools on topics that are very relevant to our daily lives such as gender equality, global justice or critical animal studies. Moreover, this learning process occurs in a very international environment with people from all over the world and different backgrounds, thus becomes a very interesting and eye-opening experience. It’s also worth mentioning the teachers who make that possible. They are very passionate about their research topics and will be there to support you, inspire you and encourage you to broaden your perspective and thinking. So I feel privileged and lucky to have spent a year in this program and met amazing people that became my closest friends over time.
From the very start of our first class, I instantly knew that I have chosen the ´Perfect´ master’s degree program. From day one I have bonded with other students in the class and all lecturers, although we all came from different continents and cultures. We were blown away by the professionalism of our teachers and also guest lecturers.
2016 Graduates (1st Year)
A truly inspiring and empathy-rich program that teaches diversity and similarity of global and glocal populations, advocating for their rights and fair representation.
The MA in International Studies on Media, Power and Difference has enabled me to develop the necessary tools to critically analyse the messages coming from the media. Through different approaches, this course helped me gain awareness about the importance of adopting ethical and responsible attitudes when communicating or researching on social issues. At the same time, the fact that students generally come from different cultural backgrounds deeply enriches the understanding and debate around each topic of study. It seems remarkable how in this master the “lecture” becomes somehow the practical field where through reflection and dialogue it is possible to establish an intercultural communication among all students. Through the empathy towards the “other”, this course enhances the beginning of a journey of self-knowledge and personal learning that leads to critical asses to what extent your actions match the values you may ideally defend.
Strongly influenced by critical and intersectional thought, this master's program provided me with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills to further my career in advocacy journalism and communication for the non-profit sector with a focus on gender and intercultural communication. An appropriate choice for both media practitioners, social activists and future researchers alike. A genuine, ground-breaking program that also integrates the emerging academic field of critical animal and media studies.
From sex and species through to social class and social responsibility, the program covers some of the most critical frames of diversity across traditional, digital and other new media. I believe one of the strengths of the program is the diversity of students it attracts internationally, which means the presence of relevant global issues as well as international media practice is always in the classroom. Without a doubt, the master has provided me with the focus for a career in research or to continue working in the education or NGO sector.