Digital Cultures and Industries Track Program Requirements

The MA in Global Communications, Digital Cultures and Industries Track program is a 48 credit Coursework and Research Masters taken over the course of three semesters, followed by either your thesis or a 3-6 month internship. The program is composed of four core courses (16 credits) and six electives (24 credits). The final 8 credits for the completion of the degree requirements are obtained by taking an internship or writing a thesis.

Core Courses (16 credits)

CM5001 Global Communications

This course introduces students to major theories and practices of communications research, particularly those dealing with the globalization of media and culture. Students learn a mixture of approaches: rhetorical, quantitative, ethnographic and textual. They learn how various disciplines—economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, and rhetoric—deal with these issues. They also study a variety of research methodologies, learn how to create research projects and develop thesis-writing skills.


CM5004 Global Digital Cultures

This course provides an introduction to key topics and theories in the study of the Internet and other digital media as cultural and social phenomena. Four main themes guide our approach: space and networks; bodies and identities; objects and practices; and economics and politics. Within the contexts of globalization, we will place particular emphasis on interrogating transformations made possible by the pervasion of digital media, but also restrictions and contestations that arise. Students will develop their individual interests in relevant topics with an independent research project.


CM5015 Social Media: Networks & Strategies

This course examines the social, economic and political implications of Web-based social networks like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Particular emphasis will focus on how ‘social capital’ is being transformed by online social networking, leading to new forms of identity construction, status, and power. The course also assesses the disruptive impact of social media on established models in media, marketing, and politics from citizen journalism and branding campaigns to global diplomacy and cyberwar.


CM5018 Digital Tools In Context

This theory/practice hybrid course will enable students to build a foundation of practical digital skills while critically exploring how they are implemented. Students will develop competence with a selection of data tools and be prepared for greater digital literacy. In parallel, the use of these digital tools will be problematized in relation to recent cultural, economic and political transformations.


Track Electives (16 credits)

Choose four of the following courses:

CM5002 Brands And Belief

This course examines the evolution of critical advertising and brand analysis with a particular emphasis on learning how people come to identify with and believe in brands. It includes an analysis of how brands work as systems for producing differences between themselves by creating imaginary possible worlds associated with brands. Students learn tools of semiotic and linguistic analysis in analyzing brands and how they relate to each other. Each student completes a communications audit of a brand examining all aspects of its communicative strategies from package design to employee behavior, clothing, architecture, and shop design. The course will also examine how branding now has extended beyond consumer brands to such areas as NGOs and politics (political parties as brands and politicians as brands).


CM5026 Politics & Economics Of Global Media

This course examines the dynamics of the global media system. Students will gain a critical awareness of how international flows of information, entertainment and lifestyle values play a powerful role in shaping cultural and political realities. The concept of "soft power" is key in examining the influence of Western pop culture, whether as "imperialism" or as "globalization". The course examines soft power in various forms: Hollywood movies, television series, pop music, Disney cartoons, fast food such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds, and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The course also analyzes the influence of non-Anglo-American pop culture — from Turkish soap operas to Latin American "telenovelas".


CM5028 Advanced Video Production

(Video Production Practicum) This course is intended to give students an opportunity to understand the production process from development through the finished product, from both the theoretical and practical viewpoints. Therefore, during the course of the semester, students will be expected to produce several types of video projects: short videos, ‘limbering up’ exercises, commercials and PSA’s; participate in production of elements for class group projects; and complete a final project in the student’s choice of genre.


CM5060 Visual Culture, Theory & Communication

This course explores the power of visual forms of media and communication in forming and transforming our world and society. Through a transcultural survey of materials, contexts and theories, students will learn to study the visual as a place where meanings are created and contested, and understand how culture, ideology, and social norms and values can be conveyed through images. We will engage film, photography, museum exhibitions, advertisement, news reports, and consider the transformation of these media in a globalized digital environment. The rising power of digital vernacular images – images made by ordinary people in ordinary situations – is one of the subjects to be considered. We will address the impact of social media on the redefinition of community and identity, and on the transformation of politics and branding. Ultimately, students will deploy “tactics for studying the functions of a world addressed through pictures, images, and visualizations”. They will learn how visual theories extend across cultures, how visual practices shape the physical and cultural conditions of vision, and how visual media impacts our identity and environment in fundamental ways.


CM5062 Digital Media Writing Practicum

This course will create a “newsroom” setting encouraging critical thinking about the media. The course will examine how the Internet has revolutionized journalism, story telling, and the media industries more generally. Students will study, analyze and discuss these trends as well as write about particular issues – thus developing their own voices and “brands” as writers and media professionals. Students will maintain blogs and their work will be published and curated on the student media website where they will appear as blogger/columnists. Another component of the course will emphasize career development: each student will produce a professional-grade online profile and portfolio through blogs and social networks


CM5080 Visual Design Practicum

This course is an intensive introduction to the basics of design principles for a variety of communications strategies. Through hands-on lab time with step-by-step instruction, students will learn the fundamentals of working with Adobe Creative Suite in order to create their own brand and its accompanying visuals. Presentations by professionals working in various fields of design and communications will familiarize students with their first-hand experience. Design literacy is essential to all areas of communication, whether in traditional print, digital media, websites or video. This class will focus specifically on the relationship between image and text, providing students with a solid foundation for any further study of graphics or web design they may wish to undertake in the future, as well as training students to interact effectively with professional designers.. The class will be comprised of lecturers on the fundamentals of design, presentations by and workshops with working professionals, and hands-on lab time to learn practical technical skills as applied to students’ individual branding projects. It suits students who plan to work in advertising, NGOs, branding, global advocacy or any other field of communications. Design literacy is an essential skill, indispensable for the effective communication of any organization’s message. Students will gain appreciation of graphic design; learning how typography color, composition, photography, illustration, etc. work together to produce effective conduits of information.


CM5091 Topics In Global Communication

Topics change each semester- see the current Academic Schedule for current course descriptions.


CM5020 Magc Module

Topics for these intensive, practical modules change every semester.


CM5016 Digital Advocacy: Within/ Without Borders

This course analyzes the rhetorical-cultural aspects of global advocacy, such as how to fashion persuasion that speaks to multiple national, ethnic, religious and political audiences about issues of transnational importance and which have the same or similar persuasive goals. Case studies will be used to move back and forth between theory and practice, where studying the practice will inform the theory, and vice-versa. The course will answer important questions for global advocates.


Open Electives (8 credits)

Chose two courses from all Global Communications offerings and selected Graduate School offerings.

Internship or Thesis (8 credits)

End-level completions are either a thesis or internship. 

CM5098 Internship

In the last semester of their studies students may choose to complete an Internship (instead of a Thesis) with a corporation, international organization, government body or NGO - requires a 50-60 page report and represents 3/6 months' work. Registration of the internship is subject to the MA Program Director's approval. Please contact the Internship Office for more information.



CM5095 Thesis

At the end of the course work students have the option of completing a thesis or an 8-credit Internship. In the last semester of their studies students may choose to complete a 14,000 to 20,000 word thesis (instead of an Internship). Additional paperwork available in the Office of the Registrar is MANDATORY for registration of the thesis.



Credit Model

Core Courses 4 4 16
Track Electives 4 4 16
Open Electives 4 2 8
Internship or Thesis 8 1 8


3 core courses 3 core courses 2 core courses Internship/Thesis*
1 elective course 1 elective courses    
16 credits 16 credits 8 credits 8 credits



3 core courses 2 core courses 3 core courses Internship/Thesis*
1 elective course   1 elective course  
16 credits 8 credits 16 credits 8 credits




3 core courses 3 core courses 2 core courses
1 elective course 1 elective course Internship/Thesis
16 credits 16 credits 16 credits


* The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however—many students choose to take additional time for these components. 
** A special note:  U.S. Federal regulations state that AUP students receiving federal loans cannot do their Internship or write up their thesis in the United States. Students can only complete an Internship in the United States when it is not in pursuit of their degree.

See the tuition and costs for this program.