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Frequently Asked Questions about the Master's Program Media, Society and Communication


Application and Admission

What requirements must be met for admission?

The Transcript of Records of the BA course or the certificate for the elective package "Media and Communication" (at the University of Innsbruck) should show that the applicants have already successfully completed courses covering the following:

  • 5 ECTS-Credits from the core area of media and communication theories
  • 5 ECTS-Credits from the core area of methods in empirical social research
  • 5 ECTS-Credits from the core area of digital communication
  • 5 ECTS-Credits from the core area of current discourse in media and communication studies
  • 10 ECTS-Credits from the core area of social communication and medial change


At the University of Innsbruck, these courses are held in the elective package "Media and Communication" – in German. To attend these courses, knowledge of German is required. For graduates from the BA Sociology and BA Political Science, methods courses will be recognized as equivalent (e.g. "Applied Methods in Social Science" and "Statistics" if the BA Sociology or "Applied Methods in Social Science", "Qualitative Social Research “ and “Quantitative Social Research and Basics of Statistics” in the BA Political Science). For all other courses from these two BAs at the University of Innsbruck, a case-by-case examination will be undertaken – for example for courses from the introductory and advanced modules in the BA Sociology, from the "PM Structures and Change in Modern Societies" or the "PM Life Environment - Life Forms: Individual and Society “ in the BA Political Science, or the elective package “Comparative Studies: Literature – Culture – Media” in the BA in Comparative Literature. This list is not exhaustive, it serves only as an example. The transcript of records will be thoroughly checked to ensure that the requirements are met.


To compensate for significant differences in subject matter, supplementary examinations (maximum 30 ECTS credits) may be prescribed, which must be taken by the end of the second semester of the master's program. Students who enroll in the relevant courses in the BA elective package of the Department of Media, Society and Communication must note (when registering for the respective course) that they have to make up for the course as part of the supplementary examination for the MA program. This is taken into account when admitting students to these courses.


Since you are applying for a MA program in which English is the language of instruction, you must provide evidence of English language skills of at least level B2 at the time of application. For details, click here.


How can I apply and what documents are required?

Applications are only accepted when submitted online. To apply, you will need a Transcript of Records that reflects the completion of courses amounting to at least 30 ECTS from the subject area of Media Studies or Communication Studies, including social science methods (see above). When applying, you will be asked to state on a separate sheet which course(s) you think should be recognized toward these 30 ECTS. Also, you will be asked to state to which of the core areas you believe each of these courses fits (e.g., core area of media and communication theories, see above). Also, evidence of English language skills will be required (see above).


When can I apply?

The general admission period for the winter term 2023/2024 begins on July 11, 2023 and ends on October 30, 2023. The admission deadlines for the summer term 2024 and the following terms will be announced here.

Separate admission deadlines have been set as follows: June 15, 2023 for non-EEA citizens and stateless persons; September 5th, 2023 for third-country nationals.

Please note that courses in the 2023/2024 winter term will start on October 1, 2023. Thus, postponing the begin of studies until the end of the admission period would result in having missed some introductory sessions. For courses that entail a continuous assessment, attendance is compulsory from the first session. It is therefore strongly recommended to attend the courses in full.


When can I begin to study in this MA program?

You can begin your studies both the winter and summer term. If you start in the winter term, it is advisable to attend the courses as recommended in the Course Sequence. Starting the program in the summer term makes some changes will result in some changes in this course structure. Specifically, you will begin be taking the courses planned for the second term. It's only in your second semester (i.e., during the winter term) that you will be able to take the courses that were originally planned for the first semester.


Which electives must I attend in order to acquire the ECTS for the master's degree?

To earn ECTS counting towards your Master's degree, you may only attend MA-level elective courses. To get a sense of what these courses might be, please consult this list; it entails the elective packages as well as the interdisciplinary and generic competencies that were offered in the summer term 2023.

Does this MA program have admission restrictions?

Currently, the MA program does not have any admission restrictions. Fulfillment of the admission requirements is decisive for admission into the program. If these requirements are not met, admitted students will be given a total of two semesters to complete the missing courses. After the application documents have been checked, those applicants who meet the requirements will be admitted.


What does “conditional approval” mean?

In case you must catch up on some courses from the BA elective package „Media and Communication“ as an admission condition, you must complete them within the first year of study. You will be expected to proactively notify Admissions when requirements have been met for final admission to occur. This must be done by the end of the first year of study. It will not be possible to start the second year of study otherwise.


While I'm still studying toward my bachelor's degree, I would like to make sure now that I'll meet the admission requirements for this master's program. What can I do?

You will want to ensure that you attend the relevant courses in a media, communication or social science program – toward the 30 ECTS mentioned above. Those studying toward a bachelor's degree in social science at the University of Innsbruck are recommended to attend the courses of the elective package "Media and Communication" in full during their bachelor's degree.



I still need some advice before I can determine whether this MA program is right for me. Whom can I contact?

Please contact the Central Student Advisory Service. This is the first point of contact for all questions about studying at the University of Innsbruck. If you have specific questions about admission or if you have problems with the online application, please contact the Admissions Office.


What knowledge and skills can I acquire during my studies?

You can use this program to deepen and extend your academic professional training. As a graduate, you will master the theories, methods, and tools of media and communication studies. You will be able to independently plan, carry out, and evaluate scientific and applied studies of media and communication. Upon graduation, you will possess sound analytical and problem-solving skills. These skills will enable you to conduct scientific work even in new or unfamiliar contexts, to assess scientific knowledge and apply it in new research-related contexts, and to work on relevant problems in your respective  professional field outside the university.

As a graduate of this program, you will be able to understand (and challenge) the dynamics of digitization and networked media systems, and associated intricacies – in society, politics, business, public administration, culture and everyday life. In a context characterized by change – whether in media, communication, or society overall – you will be able to deal with questions related to the functions of media (be they the social, cultural, political or technical) and with those pertaining to sustainability and diversity. The program will enable you to do so independently, critically and in a differentiated manner. You will understand the ongoing digital transformation, which is of central importance for enabling and securing democracy, social self-determination and sustainable development. You will be able to apply your knowledge to finding solutions. You will be in a position to critically reflect on the ethical and social consequences and requirements of using your knowledge. You will understand complex media constellations and be able to successfully deal with unpredictable work or study contexts. You will be able to convey the knowledge and skills you will have acquired in the master’s program in a comprehensible manner.

During the program, you will have the opportunity to attain/deepen general skills that go beyond subject-specific knowledge. This includes the following:

  • the ability to present factual knowledge in a clear and accurate manner,
  • the ability to combine analytical and critical thinking with creative/design approaches,
  • the ability to take an independent critical position towards scientific and popular views, theories, ideologies and dogmas,
  • the ability to reflect on gender issues in media and communication studies and to make sense of the results of contemporary gender research,
  • the ability to anticipate future trends and keep up with new technologies and related challenges.

As a graduate, you also have (meta)cognitive strategies at your disposal, in particular organizational techniques and elaboration strategies, which will enable you to acquire new knowledge and additional skills independently.

Who imparts this subject-specific knowledge and skills to students?

The professors and academic staff of the Department of Media, Society and Communication are the ones primarily responsible for imparting knowledge and skills to students. Few courses, especially those with a strong practical focus, are held by external lecturers with many years of practical experience.


What career path can I pursue after completing this degree?

During the program, you will develop skills that will enable you to take on managerial positions in professions pertaining to media and communication. In addition, the program will enable you to undertake media-related activities in companies, NGOs, organizations and administration. Examples include the following:

  • media and cultural work as well as institutional media work (e.g. for publishers, media companies, broadcasters)
  • applied media, market and public opinion research
  • public relations and media/communication consulting
  • media/communication management and content/ program management
  • evaluation of communication services, media strategies and media campaigns
  • media policy
  • media education and training in the fields of media and communication
  • publishing and book trade, journalism

What workload can I expect?

About six courses are offered each semester, each lasting 90 minutes. These are usually rewarded with 5 ECTS each. Each ECTS point corresponds to a workload of 25 hours. You can expect a workload of around 125 hours per course. After deducting the time you spend in class (90 minutes per unit, approx. 15 units per semester), there are around 100 hours left for self-study, exam preparation or the preparation of term papers / research reports. With six classes per semester, you can expect about 10 hours a week for attending courses and about 30 hours for self-study. This is thus a full-time program. In case you need to catch up by attending additional courses from the elective package "Media and Communication" in (one of the first) two semesters, the workload will increase accordingly.


What courses can I expect in this program?

The current course catalog can be found here. You can find an overview of the compulsory and elective modules in the curriculum of the program (§ 8). The recommended course sequence is recorded here.



Is this an in-person or online program?

This is an in-person program that may contain online / blended learning elements.

Which learning management system do you use?

We use the university's OLAT system (= Online Learning and Training), into which you log in with your credentials.


Is there a way to study one semester abroad as part of this program?

This is possible and recommended, as the University of Innsbruck maintains numerous international contacts. You can find more information about this here.



How will my performance in this program be measured and evaluated?

Credit points (ECTS) are awarded for all examinations within the program. One ECTS credit point corresponds to a workload of 25 hours (60 minutes). You will be able to register fort he exams via LFU:online.


I have already completed media or communication science courses elsewhere. Can I have these recognized?

Yes, this is possible as long as those courses match those offered in the program in terms of content and scope.


Where can I find the examination regulations?

The examination regulations are included in the curriculum. Please find there all regulations pertinent to the program.


Will I have to purchase certain devices or software for the program?

No, a standard notebook will be sufficient for most purposes. If no open-source solutions are available for specific software, campus licenses will be made available.


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