Course code: 3GJ323
Course name: Practical-Theoretical MA Thesis
Semester: Starts autum, goes over two semesters
Academic year: 2021–2022
Credits: 45 ECTS Credits
Single subject: No
Required prerequisite knowledge
- 3GJ303 Research Methodology
- 3GJ321 Thesis Preparation Seminar
- In addition, as the main rule, 75 ECTS credits of the programme must have been completed. Exceptions to this rule may only be made in circumstances where minor parts are missing.
Also note that students choosing 3GJ323 must possess a relevant undergraduate degree which includes practical skills in journalistic production; alternatively be able to demonstrate relevant professional experience equal to such training.
Relevance within study programme
GJ 323 Practical-Theoretical MA Thesis is part of the MA Programme in Global Journalism at NLA University College. It takes place in the third and fourth semesters of the programme, immediately following the proposal submitted in the preceding Thesis Preparation Seminar (GJ 321).
GJ 323 Practical-Theoretical MA Thesis is an alternative to GJ 322 Theoretical MA Thesis. The practical-theoretical MA thesis is an independent and individual project where the student demonstrates skills to carry out a small-scale research undertaking within Global Journalism, and where the final thesis consists of a combination of a media production and a theoretical treatise. The thesis is the realization of the research proposal developed in GJ 321 Thesis Preparation Seminar. An internal advisor will be appointed for each student.
Learning outcomes descriptors
- comprehends the field data gathered for the MA project
- has thorough knowledge of the specific theoretical framework applied in the MA thesis
- knows the theory and principles behind a chosen methodology
- can assess key areas of the academic discussion related to the theory chosen for a research project
- can make arrangements and gather field data based on a research proposal
- is able to make necessary choices as the project unfolds
- can pursue the chosen methodology for a small-scale research project
- can present field data in a media production and engage theoretically with the findings in a written report
- can communicate research findings and arguments in such a way that they are accessible to the general public and at the same time academically sound
- is able to consider ethical issues pertaining to the research project
- is able to carry out a small-scale research project
- can write a report pursuing a theoretical argument
- is able to generate new knowledge within Global Journalism
See information below.
Teaching and learning methods
The course is organized on an individual basis according to the strategy for the chosen research project. In general, the organization will consist of three parts, assuming that method and theoretical framework have been decided in the preceding Thesis Preparation Seminar. The first part of the course, say 4 to 6 weeks, usually consists of fieldwork in accordance with the research proposal. The second period consists of editing of the collected media material as well as data analysis. The third period, which is the longest, represents the finalizing of the media production and the writing of the treatise. The student meets with the advisor throughout the project, and is expected to keep in touch via electronic means when on fieldwork.
The practical-theoretical thesis is an independent and individual project. That the project is independent, means that it is a result of autonomous efforts where the student takes responsibility for all choices made during the work. That it is individual, means that the thesis may only be submitted as one single person's product, and group submissions are not allowed.
The Guidelines for the master's thesis in Global Journalism outlines the details for the thesis and the thesis work. The topic of the thesis must be within the field of Global Journalism, which in most cases demands that the candidate conducts fieldwork in a geographical and cultural environment other than one's own.
It is important to be aware that even if the practical-theoretical MA thesis includes a media production, the bulk of the work should be on the theoretical reflection emerging from the media production rather than on the production itself. The production is meant to serve as a point of departure for the theoretical discussion of the thesis. The media production may highlight, exemplify or discuss the theoretical issue of the thesis. The production shall belong to the documentary genre, broadly speaking. Purely commentary genres will not be accepted. The production should be of such quality that it could be published or broadcasted for either television, radio, newspaper or web. That the production is of high quality implies that it should meet professional standards for both the final product (technical quality, narrative structure etc.) and the treatment of content and sources (investigation, source criticism etc.).
It is required that students choosing practical-theoretical MA thesis must possess necessary professional skills for the production. Students can only expect limited professional assistance during the production.
No instruction is offered. Supervision is given in either English or a Nordic language.
App. 1350 hours.
There are no lectures offered in GJ 323. The student is required to meet at least three times with the advisor during the project period. The only compulsory submission in the course is the MA thesis, which comprises of a media production and a theoretical treatise.
Grading, coursework requirements
The assessment of GJ 323 is based on one compulsory item: Practical-theoretical MA thesis, comprising of a media production and a theoretical treatise
Both the media production and the treatise must follow requirements outlined in the Guidelines for the master's thesis in Global Journalism. As for the treatise, the recommended length is 20,000 words (approximately 40 pages), +/- 25%. The word count includes all text, introductory pages, footnotes, reference list etc., but excludes appendices. The treatise and the media production may be produced in either English or a Nordic language. The language does not have to be the same for the two parts.
The combined thesis (i.e. the treatise and the media production together) will be assessed by an examination committee composed by two members; one internal and one external. The committee decides on a joint grade for the two parts of the thesis, after which the candidate is required to defend the thesis orally before the examination committee. The committee will question the candidate about both the media production and the theoretical treatise. The performance in the defence may confirm the grade, alternatively adjust the grade one step up or down. This in turn constitutes the final grade for the thesis.
Permitted aids under examination
The thesis is assessed according to the standard A-F grading system..
The treatise and the media production may be produced in either English or a Nordic language. The language does not have to be the same for the two parts.
Annual course evaluation in accordance with the quality assurance system for NLA University College.
The student may not defend his/her MA thesis until all other courses in the programme (75 ECTS) have been completed.
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