The academic team was in no doubt that there is sufficient demand for such a course, which according to Hepp is the only one of its kind in Germany. But they had not anticipated that there would be so many applicants right from the start. Despite a short application period of just under two months, 148 applications were received for the 20 places on the course. “We had a good spread of applications from around the world,” says Hepp. To be accepted on the course, applicants needed an above-average grade in their Bachelor’s degree, knowledge of media and communications research, good English skills and a persuasive application letter: “We want students that fit the course and have the proper motivation.”
Students can look forward to an interdisciplinary programme that links communications and media science with computer science, educational theory, religious studies and film studies. “This is a topic that can only be taught properly if you include skills from all areas that are also concerned with this field. The topic is too far-reaching to restrict the content to individual aspects,” Hepp emphasises. At the same time, the field of media and communications is moving fast, which is why the ZeMKI course is not geared to a specific career. Instead, it equips students with the skills to analyse these fast-changing processes. “Considering the speed at which things change in this field, it would be counter-productive to approach it any other way. We are encouraging lateral thinking,” he explains. Once they have completed the MA, these lateral thinkers can choose from a wide range of career paths. They can join the research community or traditional media, of course, but there is also a growing demand among political parties, associations, public bodies and commercial enterprises for experts who can help with an organisation’s positioning in the digital age.
Hepp believes that the local economy will also benefit from the expertise of the alumni in the future. “We are open to international perspectives,” he says. Experience from other courses shows that there are always a few students who remain in the region once they have completed their course. “They can often provide a new perspective on things, especially if they have come from other countries. That can only be of benefit to the local economy,” he concludes.
Dr. Leif Kramp, Tel.: +49 421 218-67652, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org