First year study programme in Aarhus

The aim of the first year is to give students the analytical skills needed to identify and analyse cultural, political, and technological challenges to and opportunities for journalism across the globe. Moreover, the courses in Aarhus are designed to prepare you for your specialisation and thesis work in the second year. In order to realise that aim, the courses in Aarhus will combine theoretical, methodological and practical perspectives.

Thus, the introductory course will brace you to study the challenges and possibilities posed by digitalisation processes, combining a practical, skill-centred focus with an academic, research-centred one. Then, in the subsequent research modules you will use this knowledge to collect and analyse data, to assess the quality of research products and to develop journalistic products in relation to these critical reflections. Finally, in the last course you will either focus on a particular topic, addressing the challenges and opportunities facing contemporary journalism, or use your journalistic skills in practice during a one-month internship.
See below for more information.

Please note that changes to the focus of courses and to the course content may apply.

The Challenge of Digital Journalism

Academic and practical approaches
In the introductory course students will learn both to manage different digitalised media products and be introduced to the basics of researching the interrelation between journalism and digitalisation processes.

Practically, students will learn to work journalistically with new media platforms and to widen their digital mindset.  Academically, they will be trained in researching relevant theoretical literature, writing a literary review and phrasing research questions. Furthermore, fundamentals of crafting research designs will be introduced.

Public Opinion and the Media

Theory, methods and practice
This course aims at understanding the relationship between public opinion and journalism. Building on their own inquiries, students will collect and analyse data, and report results in accordance with academic standards. Moreover, course participants will be trained in journalistic reporting of complex issues across different journalistic formats with a particular emphasis on storytelling and feature journalism.

Specifically, Public Opinion and the Media covers three central themes: (1) the origins of public opinion and the role of journalism and the media; (2) qualitative and quantitative research methods to study this relationship; (3) the use of existing studies and methodological tools in producing and improving academic and journalistic content.

Journalism, Media and Cultural Globalisation 

The overall aim of this course is to introduce the students to a number of different approaches to understand the interrelationship between processes of cultural globalisation and products of journalism and media.

Thus, Journalism, Media and Cultural Globalisation will focus on three specific key issues: (1) Strengths and weaknesses of different research-based approaches for understanding media, journalism and journalistic practices in a comparative perspective. (2) Cross-cultural contexts and their broader implications for journalism. (3) The integration of academic deliberations and practical, professional journalistic outputs in reflections of the processes described in points 1-2 above. 

In accordance with the overall purpose of the Master’s degree, and with what the two preceding courses have prepared participants for, students will here be trained in combining journalistic skills with academic insights.

Elective: Key Issues facing Contemporary Journalism or Internship

Key issues facing contemporary journalism: Challenges and Opportunties
The number of electives will vary in accordance with the number of students to ensure the optimal didactic settings. Each specific course will be designed in order to enable students to concentrate on a topic, relevant for the overall aim of the programme. The topic(s) will fall within three areas, each constituting a focal point for the challenges and opportunities facing journalism today: Society, Technology, and the Market. The topic(s) can have a theoretical or a practical focus or seek to combine the two. The specific topics offered will be introduced to the students within the first semester. 

Internship
Instead of an elective, students can arrange a short-term internship position enabling them to train their knowledge and skills and gain more hands-on experience. It is the students' own responsibility to arrange the internship. Internships may be taken anywhere in the world, however visa restrictions might influence the possibilities. The programme coordinator at Aarhus University must authorise and vouch for the quality of the internship. 

Second semester alternative - study at one of the prestigious credit awarding universities across the globe

Selected students will have the unique opportunity to substitute their second semester courses (30 ECTS) in Aarhus with courses taken at one of the prestigious credit awarding universities situated across the globe. Information about this opportunity will be provided after course start in Aarhus.

Aarhus University and the Danish School of Media and Journalism, Denmark
Semester 1
  • The Challenge of Digital Journalism - academic and practical approaches
    10 ECTS
  • Public Opinion and the Media - theory, methods, and practice
    20 ECTS
Semester 2
  • Journalism, Media and Cultural Globalisation
    20 ECTS
  • Key Issues facing Contemporary Journalism (elective, can be replaced with an internship)
    10 ECTS
Second semester alternative, at Credit Awarding Universities across the globe, for selected students
30 ECTS