MA in Global Communications, Visual and Material Culture Track


The optional Visual and Material Culture Track (VMC) within the Master of Art in Global Communications (MAGC) offers an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural consideration of the increasing importance of visuality and interactivity in today’s world.

Students acquire in-depth knowledge of visual theories, contexts, and practices and their relationship to the global media—and develop critical thinking about the cultural forces behind visuality as a communicative practice.


Vision and visuality: more than meets the eye

Social, political, and economic conditions shape seeing and the production of objects and events for visual consumption. Reaching beyond traditional understandings of media and communication, we examine such things as imaging systems, screen practices, data graphics, architecture, tourism, performance, gaming, body ornamentation, race, gender, and sexuality—and all of these on both a global scale and within regional traditions.

Incorporating non-Western contributions to the field, this track combines a critical approach to theoretical and scientific understandings of vision and visuality with a rigorous consideration of the functions of the viewer, object, and environment in specific circumstances.


Ideal candidates—and outcomes

Students pursuing this track will likely have studied or worked in art, anthropology, cultural studies, psychology, design, publishing, marketing, image-based journalism or film—or be interested in pursuing careers in those fields.

The VMC track prepares students for professional careers in communications or further graduate study.


Structure of the specialized track

As in the regular MA in Global Communications program, coursework can be completed in three semesters, including the summer. The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however—many students choose to take additional time for these components.

The program requirements for the MAGC Visual and Material Culture Track are as follows:

  • Three core courses (12 credits)
  • Three core electives (12 credits)
  • Four elective courses from the general Global Communications graduate course offerings (16 credits)
  • Final project: thesis or internship (8 credits)

Core courses focus on the fundamentals of global communications and the physical and cultural conditions of vision. You may explore how people come to identify—and believe in—brands, or  study representations of gender in a globalized media environment.

As for electives, you have the choice of several practicums, including in video, broadcasting, branding, and advertising, as well as courses as diverse as identify formation to color as communication in marketing and art.


Coursework and Research Masters

The MA in in Global Communications, Visual and Material Culture Track is a 48 credit Coursework and Research Masters that can be completed in one calendar year. The length of the internship or thesis may vary, however—many students choose to take additional time for these components.  Coursework and Research Masters at AUP open up international horizons and enable career-transition through an extensive range of classes blending theory and practice. Students develop precision in their problem-solving skills through challenging hands-on modules and the choice of an internship or a personalized research project.


Join us

If you’re interested in the cultural forces behind visuality, forming new ways of conceiving and structuring visual events and interactivity, and producing original research on topics of visual culture, communication and media, the VMC track may be right for you.