Why in Utrecht
Comparative and historical
The international Master’s programme in New Media & Digital Culture builds upon Utrecht University’s many years of experience in researching the impact of technological innovations on audio-visual media. The programme examines new media in their context as present-day manifestations of cultural, social, political, and economic developments that have known similar expressions in different media technologies at different times — all the while recognising that new media demand new and alternative research methods with which to analyse these developments. Our students are well-trained in taking the many different cultural and historical contexts of new media into account. Throughout the programme they are challenged to critically reflect on what exactly is ‘new’ about new media.
Interdisciplinary and international
The programme uses a broad yet clearly delineated approach, drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives from media studies, communication studies, cultural studies, game studies, philosophy, anthropology, history, art history, gender studies, and political science. Our students come from a wide variety of countries, such as the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Indonesia, the United States of America, and Switzerland. Their educational backgrounds range from media studies, sociology, and communication studies, to philosophy, and literature.
You will be given the unique opportunity to test your acquired interdisciplinary skills in the programme’s compulsory research internship. A defining feature of New Media & Digital Culture at Utrecht University, the research internship challenges you to translate theoretical knowledge into everyday practice. This could mean you will help Utrecht media labs SETUP and Impakt create new media festivals, advise Microsoft on changing their internal communication, strategically develop Vodafone’s new social media campaign, or go abroad and work at Vamos or Starlize in Berlin. Have a look at our student-curated website to get an overview of where our alumni have done their internships, and click their connected LinkedIn profiles to see how this has helped them find a job within relevant fields of work.
The Utrecht New Media Scene
Our Master's programme has produced successful graduates who now help shape debates and policies on digital culture and its future. Their continued involvement in our programme (as internship workplace supervisors or advisors) is typical of the Utrecht new media scene. This makes studying here a great experience, because you will be surrounded by peers who have intellectual interests and career paths similar to yours. Moreover, with Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague only a train ride away, Utrecht sits at the centre of all other important new media hubs in the Netherlands. This will enable you to connect quickly with potential research, debate, and business partners.
With many opportunities to explore Utrecht’s creative industry and participate in ongoing research collaborations, this Master involves students as quickly as possible in social and academic discussions on new media. Ad-hoc seminars and workshops (offered by 'underground university' initiative Skip Intro), data analysis projects (organised by the Utrecht Data School), and Game Studies Summer Schools (hosted by the Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play), provide ample scope to boost your new media profile.
Our lecturers are internationally recognised as experts in their fields. The core lecturers of the Master's programme in New Media and Digital Culture include:
Joost Raessens holds the chair of Media Theory at Utrecht University. His research concerns the ‘ludification of culture,’ focusing in particular on persuasive, serious, or applied gaming (in relation to global issues such as climate change, refugees/migration), on the playful construction of identities, and on the notion of play as a conceptual framework for the analysis of media use. Raessens is book series editor of Games and Play (Amsterdam University Press) and editorial board member of Games and Culture (SAGE).
René Glas is Assistant Professor in New Media and Game Studies. He teaches and writes about game culture and history, fan and participatory culture, deviant play, serious/pervasive games, and media comparison. Glas is a founding member of Utrecht University’s Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play.
Ingrid Hoofd is Assistant Professor in Media and Culture Studies. Her research focuses on, among others, the contemporary relationship between new media activism and online politics, the aesthetics of new technologies, the transformation of higher education, and neo-liberal globalisation, from a critical and feminist perspective.
Imar de Vries is Assistant Professor at the Department of Media and Culture where he teaches media archaeology and semiotics of communication. Imar studies innovation discourses of wireless technologies, social media, and augmented reality from a media-archaeological perspective.
Michiel de Lange is Assistant Professor in New Media Studies, and co-founder of The Mobile City, a platform for the study of new media and urbanism. His interests lay in the field of (mobile) media, urban culture, identity and play. His current research includes the NWO project The Hackable City, about the ways digital media shape the future of city making.
Mirko Schäfer is Assistant Professor in New Media and Digital Culture. His research interest revolves around the socio- political impact of media technology. His publications cover user participation in cultural production, hacking communities, politics of software design and communication in social media.
Karin van Es is Assistant Professor of Television & Digital Culture at Utrecht University and a Senior Researcher at the Utrecht Data School. Her current research focuses on the challenges of the digital context to traditional television.
Stefan Werning is Associate Professor in new media and game studies. His research focuses on digital game studies, popular media culture and the implications of economic transformations on media use.
Niels Kerssens holds a PhD in media studies and is researcher and lecturer at the department of Media and Cultural Studies at Utrecht University. His current research is part of the field of critical data studies and investigates contemporary big data phenomena through historical methods.
Anne Kustritz is an Assistant Professor in Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. Her teaching focuses on convergence, cultural studies, and new media ethnography. Her scholarship focuses on fan communities, transformative works, digital economies, and representational politics.
Jasper van Vught is an Assistant Professor in the department of Media and Culture Studies at the Utrecht University. His research interests include game theory and methodology, game ethics, game history, games and narratology, film studies, and digital media theory.
Choosing Utrecht University means choosing one of the best universities in the country. Several renowned international rankings place Utrecht University among the 100 best universities in the world. The teaching environment at Utrecht University is international: half of the Utrecht Master's programmes are taught in English. The existing and former academic staff of Utrecht University include twelve Nobel Prize laureates. Read more about Utrecht University.