Course Description

Course Structure

Core Courses (3 credits each)

This course will examine the complex structure and evolution of the modern media. It will focus on the organization, practices and problems of the media and their impact on audiences and society in today�s globalizing world. It introduces the contemporary developments associated with the globalization of media and economy. The changing political economy of the media and the relevant global perspectives will form the core topics of the course.

This course critically looks at the ways of understanding media in Bangladesh. It will outline the development of the Bangladeshi media in colonial and postcolonial contexts. It aims to position the role and functions of various local media institutions alongside social and political institutions in contemporary Bangladesh as well as in the then East Bengal and East Pakistan. The relevant social theories of media (e.g. culture industry, public sphere etc.) will also be applied in order to deepen the understanding on the condition of various media in Bangladesh.

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the media as discourse(s) as well as the relationship of various discourses with the media, focusing in particular on issues of gender, class and ethnicity. Taking the media as discourse, this course introduces a range of ways of conceiving, composing and reading representation in order to analyze the media texts. Students will be oriented to different approaches to the analysis of verbal/print and audiovisual texts. These would include: understanding media texts as narrative and ideology, and then to the discourse processes involved in the interpretation and production of such texts and to audience discourses about particular media texts.

This course is designed to give the students an understanding of the importance and scope of media research and analysis. The focus will be on the contemporary approaches to the analysis of media institutions, interpretation of media texts and the interrelationships between media, culture and society.

Area Courses (3 credits each)

This course explores the legal, ethical and economic imperatives of the media. It examines the current and historic conflicts between journalists, government and the legal establishment. Issues such as libel, privacy; prior restraint against publishing news, protection of sources, the right to gather news and national security are explored. Other issues include fairness in journalism and balanced reporting, and ethical considerations in the setting of the news agenda. The relationship between the media and corporate bodies as sponsors/advertisers will also be explored. A major purpose of the course is then to give the students a nuanced understanding of how the media are reporting the events contesting or complementing the economic, ethical and legal parameters within which it operates.

In last one decade or so the visual media have gone digital, and the range of such media got widened significantly. Such media now include not only film, television and video, but also the Internet, computer, video games, mobile phone and electronic billboards. The course gives a brief introduction on how the increasing digitalization of the visual media is changing the everyday use and consumption of popular culture in contemporary societies. Thus the course introduces questions about the extent to which digital media signal a transformation in power, politics and subjectivity. The course would also survey the political, social, technological and economic events that are shaping such changes in cultural consumption at the national and international levels. It incorporates critical explorations of contemporary concepts such as information society, convergence, virtuality and hypertextuality.

This course focuses on role of human and media communication in health and population. The first part of course examines the role of human communication in organizational and societal contexts as well as deals with various influential models of behavior change communication. The second part looks at the role of media communication in health promotion. It acquaints students with the use of mass media in promoting health and population issues.

The course looks at the role of communication in rural development. Starting with the theories of rural development (e.g. Chambers, Sen) and participatory rural appraisal, it furthers the debates of Development Communication ranging from diffusion of innovations to culture, development and change. The topics to cover include Indigenous Communication process; Communication between Development Practitioners and Stakeholders; Organization Communication; Group Communication; Gender Communication; Intercultural Communication; Communication Problematic; Martial development; IT and Telecommunication; Communications and Information Flows into the Design and Conduct of Development Programs.

This course looks at the politics and economics of media within the wider framework of political economy. It critically assesses the role of the media in a society especially through interconnections of media with the State, political organizations and the civil society. It introduces students to key frameworks, such as nation-state, public sphere, and media as industry, related to the debates on political economy of media. This course focuses on the political and economic contexts of production, distribution and reception of the media and thus outlines the perpetual constraints for any mass medium to serve as a pro-people, independent ‘watchdog’. Areas of study include the political economy of news production, media convergence, media ownership and diversity and impact of economic deregulation on the media. .

This course takes a critical look at the macro-environments and complex micro-architectures of media economics and management. It examines different issues including the role of advertising,the main economic characteristics of broadcasting, the flows and counter-flows of international trade(broadcasting, film, digital contents and image) and the economics of newspapers in the post-modern geo-scape. It is designed to take a broad perspective on the strategies that bolster horizontal and diagonal expansion in the media, the economic architecture of networked new media along with the key geopolitical and economic features of media. This course will also focus on how the global and local media are being managed successfully amid stiff business competition.

Specialization Courses (3 credits each)
Courses marked with * may be offered as supervised reading courses

The course is designed to take a broad survey of the significant events taking place in the political, social, cultural and economic spheres at national and international levels. One of the chief purposes is to give the students a deep understanding of how the- media are reporting the events.

This course enables the students to learn a variety of journalistic skills and techniques needed to work in the print and broadcast news-media. Students are introduced to reporting and interviewing techniques, interpretive and investigative reporting as well as several areas of specialist reporting — economics and business, public affairs, crime and court, medicine and science, the arts, etc. The second half of the course covers the principles and practice of the many-layered editing process in a newsroom. Students will learn about different types of editing – from big-picture assessments to basic desk-editing — and will put some principles into practice through assignments.

This course will enable the students to produce news items and documentary program for radio. This will allow them to learn interviewing, reporting, writing, editing, and delivery skills. Students will also complete one original short radio documentary. It will be evaluated throughout the production process in terms of the originality of subject, story development, use of sound, writing, editing, vetting and production. Areas of study include Radio in Bangladesh, characteristics of Radio as a mass medium, research and scripting for Radio, presentation, news policy and practice, the radio documentary, phone-ins and discussions, and ethical issues.

This course teaches reporting with a camera. Students will learn photo reporting for a newspaper as well as the photo essay that explores one subject at length. The technology of transferring the digital photo for the Web will also be studied.

The course gives a brief introduction to the fundamentals of cyber media and the advantages and disadvantages of cyber journalism. It lays emphasis on writing news stories, features and articles on the web, presentation and layout of web newspapers and magazines, advertising on the web, circulation of web newspapers, future of web journalism. Audio and video conferencing.

This course enables the students to learn the skills necessary for producing a long piece of work. These include interviewing for a magazine story, structuring a long piece and selling the work to the editors. Students learn the editorial roles on a magazine – writing, editing, photo editing, copyediting, fact checking – in preparation for work in magazine journalism.

This course will look at the essential approaches to multimedia authoring, including animation, interactive scripting, application integration, platform compatibility and Internet delivery. It will build upon the basic knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, and Flash. Students will work with relevant concepts and software to gain a better understanding of the functionality and integration of Internet multimedia-authoring programs with assorted browsers. The students will explore online uses of JavaScripts, and Flash in the fields of entertainment, streaming video, simulations, e-commerce and the main objective of this course will be to make the students understand the concepts, tools and social dynamics involved in the creation of effective and expressive interactive web media.

This course focuses on the advanced skills of newsgathering. It is intended to provide the students with practical glocal (global plus local) knowledge and the essential journalistic reporting skills needed for a career in press, online media and in the field of broadcast journalism. This postgraduate module will introduce the students to a wide range of current software and digital newsgathering hardware used for print, radio, TV and online journalism. This course will also help the students to develop a critical understanding of journalism practice, theory and concepts. It will examine the constitutionally guaranteed ‘freedom of speech and expression’, the code of journalistic ethics, media-government relations and media-military interfaces alongside critical evaluation of ’embedded journalism.’ It will also equip the students with print media editing techniques alongside editing skills needed for TV reporting and writing for news-related website or blogs.

This course is a hands-on advanced level course, on the basics of media production in print, video, web and digital photography. This course focuses on the digital integration of various formats. This course will provide the students with specialist knowledge on production, management skills related to digital multimedia, and a thorough foundation in screen-based design principles.

This course covers a wide array of digital audio and video editing topics, such as audio formats, microphone placement, mixing techniques for stereo and surround sound, sound effects, audio web content, digital audio editing, audio for video productions, multi-camera editing, color correction, hi-definition conversion, mixing for surround sound, ADR and film scoring.

This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of Web site development and management. The students will be provided training on diverse forms of web related skills and knowledge, including HTML, DHTML, XML, graphical Web building tools (Macromedia Dream Weaver and others), multilevel site planning and construction, navigation schemes, basic interactivity (via JavaScript and CGI), information organization, Web site management and the delivery of basic multimedia content. This course also focus on various advanced levels of Web development and its related software, including Adobe Flash CS3, Flash MX, ActionScripting, Javascript, DHTML, Web animation, streaming content (both audio and video), and more.

This course aims to introduce a history of world cinema especially by tracing the developments of film medium mainly in Euro-American context in the late-nineteenth-to�late-twentieth century period. The growth of television will be traced from the 1940s.

In this course students will learn about the aesthetic and technical elements at work in making television and video documentaries, methods of scripting, directing and producing a television or video documentary, advantages of using video for making documentaries, shooting with a single camera, shooting on-location, lighting and sound recording on the spot, sound-recording in the studio, editing and post-production of television and video documentaries. This course is designed to introduce students seeking a career in television and video production, and to provide a solid practical basis for further study.

This course introduces the students to the characteristics of narrative programmes for television. It will enable them to gain practical skills needed to direct and produce a TV drama. Each of the students will individually write and produce a short television drama. This course thus covers the scripting, photography and editing techniques in television drama and provides students with an exposure to hands-on work in television industry.

This course is designed to study cinema and television as popular-cultural institutions in today’s globalized world. It will survey the three major film industries of the world, namely Hollywood, Hong Kong and Bollywood or Bombay cinema. Each of the three international film industries will be studied closely. Alongside the cinemas, the course will also analyze the contemporary challenges to national identity brought forward by the global television groups/channels such as MTV, STAR and ZTV.

This course offers certain perspectives on the issues in film and television studies. Here the different theoretical frameworks and methods of film and television criticism will be discussed. The course investigates histories and foundations of film and television theory and criticism.

The debates on the idea of authorship in cinema and some well-known film-authors will be studied in this course. It will examine the films of selected film authors and the social contexts of their films.

Master’s Thesis/Media Production Project

Students with experience and/or interest in creative media, may apply for doing a 6-credit media production project with a 3-credit term paper instead of doing a standard thesis. The media project has to be a substantial one and approved by the Department before the student can initiate the project. Some of the projects may be as follows:

  • Series of Investigative Reports on a particular issue (at least 4)
  • Series of Newspaper Features on a particular issue or geographical/cultural area (at least 4)
  • Series of web-based photo essays on a particular issue or geographical/cultural area (at least 4)
  • Production of a printed magazine or a Web-based magazine/e-Zine on a particular topic
  • Production of a Multimedia Presentation/CD-ROM on a particular topic that includes texts, photographs and graphics created by the student
  • 23-min. Television program (e.g. talk show, street show etc.)
  • 23-min. Television drama/Telefilm
  • 25-min. Documentary Film on a social or environmental issue
  • 25-min. Corporate/Promotional/Educational Film
  • Series of Television Commercials on an imaginary product (at least 3)
  • Series of Print Media Advertisements for an imaginary product (e.g. Newspaper Ads, Posters, Billboard Designs etc.) including campaign plan and market research
  • Photography Series on two social or environmental issues (at least 20 photos on each topic)
  • Any other project approved by the Department.

Alongside the media project, the students will write a term paper (of 5,000 words) reflecting on the planning, production and post-production aspects of the media project and how it relates with the theoretical underpinnings as discussed in relevant courses.
Similar to the standard thesis, the media production project and term paper will be worked out under the supervision of a senior IUB faculty member (Supervisor) with expertise in the field of research/creative media. The student, with the approval of the supervisor, shall develop a suitable media production idea by the end of the second term (third term for programme 2) and write and defend a proposal for media production by the end of the third term (fifth term for programme 2). The research and production of the media project must follow a recognized methodology and must be completed by the end of the fourth term (sixth term for programme 2). Within one month of that the student has to screen or display the media project and defend it in public.

The Master�s Thesis will be an original work researched and written by the student on a topic covered by the courses taught in the programme. The thesis will be worked out under the supervision of a senior IUB faculty member (Supervisor) with expertise in the field of research and to be chosen by the student. The student, with the approval of the supervisor, shall choose a topic for research by the end of the second term (third term for programme 2) and write and defend a proposal by the end of the third term (fifth term for programme 2). The researching and writing of the thesis must follow a recognized methodology and must be completed by the end of the fourth term (sixth term for programme 2) and defended within one month after that in a public defense.
The total length of the thesis shall be at least 75 pages (on A4 size 80gm offset paper with proper margins, typed with double space and 12 pt. Times New Roman fonts) or about 18,000 words. It must be bound in hard covers. The front cover should be sober and in single colour and shall contain the title of the thesis on the top in large fonts, the name and identity number of the student in smaller fonts in the middle of the page. The bottom of the page shall contain the words “Master’s Thesis” and below this the phrase “Submitted to the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Independent University, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the MSS degree in Development Studies” in smaller fonts. Seven copies of the thesis must be submitted to the Registrar, who will retain the original for records and send five copies to the members of the defense committee and one copy to the IUB Library. In case of revisions (see below) five copies of the revised version must be submitted to the Registrar, who will send three copies to the examiners, one to the IUB Library and retain one for records.
The thesis will be examined by the Examination Committee comprising of the Supervisor and two other experts in the field, one of whom must be from outside the IUB. The examiners will be selected by the Supervisor in consultation with the Director, SLAS, prior to the proposal defense. The proposal shall be defended before the examination committee. IUB faculty members and graduate students may be invited to participate in the proposal defense.
The Defense of the Thesis shall be done in public with the Director, SLAS, as the Chair. In case the Director, SLAS, happens to be the Supervisor, the defense shall be chaired by the Director of another school. The other members of the Defense Committee shall be the three examiners and a representative of the Trustee Board. The Vice Chancellor and the Pro-Vice Chancellor may be invited to sit in but they will be non-voting members. The Supervisor, in consultation with the Defense Committee members, shall select a date for defense of the thesis and inform the Registrar of the same. The Registrar will organize the defense and invite the members of the Defense Committee and the Vice Chancellor and the Pro-Vice Chancellor to the defense. Other faculty members and graduate students can attend but may not participate in the proceedings.
The Defense shall run for at least one hour, of which fifteen minutes shall be given at the outset to the student to present the thesis. This will be followed by at least 30 minutes of questions (by the members of the Defense Committee) and answers (by the student) at the end of which the Defense Committee shall meet in camera to finalize their judgment of the thesis. The judgment will be made known to the student immediately thereafter. The Thesis shall be judged unanimously as 1. Pass, 2. Pass with specified revisions to be made, and completed within next one month. 3. Fail. In case of revisions the examination committee must be satisfied with the changes made.