Graduating in Media Studies

Ifat Ghazia

The Centre for Media Studies at SOAS University of London is unique in the world in its focus on media, information and communication in the Global South. It offers an eclectic mix of postgraduate degrees whose non-Eurocentric approach offers fresh directions to examining the contemporary world.

Programmes available include MA in Critical Media and Cultural Studies, MA Global Digital Cultures, MA in Global Media and Postnational Communication, MA Media and the Middle East, MA Media in Development, and a recently introduced qualification, MA International Journalisms.

Understanding journalism is crucial in today’s mediated world. The MA International Journalisms draws upon the unique positioning of SOAS in higher education in order to examine contemporary journalistic representations of the Global South and how they relate to different cultural, political, technological and historical contexts.

A recent graduate of the MA Media in Development course, Ifat Gazia, describes how she first came to study at SOAS and outlines her future ambitions now that she has completed her degree.

“Growing up in Kashmir, I was exposed to the politics of war at a very early age. My primary school was next to a military camp, and my childhood was a struggle for existence in a region where terrorist acts, curfews, and political violence were commonplace. My great passion during these years was for writing stories, and this developed into an interest in journalism. I started sending articles to magazines and entering writing competitions, and it was with a great sense of pride that I saw my first byline attached to a printed article.

“I was writing grassroots, human-interest stories, but I was becoming frustrated at not being able to make a difference to the lives of the people I was writing about. It was at this same time that I first became aware of SOAS. I kept being told that SOAS was the place for me. At the time I had no relevant experience or qualifications; I did not even possess a passport, but I met a member of the SOAS Student Recruitment team in Delhi and he encouraged me to make an application.

“It has been a long journey, but I have now completed my studies in London. I have enjoyed being able to learn a wide range of subjects at SOAS, and with this knowledge comes the chance to do whatever you want in life. SOAS opens minds and broadens the spectrum of opportunities.

“Having completed my degree, my short term plans are to find a job with an International Humanitarian Organisation, ideally one where I can use the knowledge of Information and Communications Technology that I gained at SOAS in a community based project in Kashmir.

“In the longer term, I would like to do further studies in International Affairs and Development at SOAS or a similarly diverse institution. My aim is to contribute to making this world a better place by making a real difference to the lives of people living in underdeveloped communities.”

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