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Media Technology (MSc)

Introduction

 

The Media Technology Master of Science (MSc) programme is a place where students, artists and researchers are allowed to formulate their own scientific questions. Encouraged to translate personal inspirations and curiosities into their own manageable and compact research projects.

The programme recognizes creativity as an important factor in scientific innovation. It aims to be a place where students, artists and scientists do research by creating innovative solutions, inspired by results and principles of science. To achieve this, the curriculum focuses on creative exploration and on the understanding of science and technology. The programme encourages its students to draw from the knowledge available throughout Leiden University and the ArtScience programme of the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague.

Keywords throughout the programme are creativity, technology and scientific research. The programme’s goal is to stimulate innovation and creativity in scientific research by innovative application of technology. One might say that Media Technology delivers autonomous scientists, just as art academies deliver autonomous artists.

The programme prepares students for any future career involving creative and critical thinking, and in particular prepares them for a future in scientific research. Upon graduation from the programme, students are awarded a Master of Science (MSc) diploma from Leiden University. Alumni hold positions ranging from PhD researcher to creative entrepreneur. The creative industry in general is a common workplace for alumni. Basically, any job in which creative and scientific thinking are combined is appropriate.

Science is meant to generate knowledge, in a rational and sensible way. Many research methods exist to do this. We believe that science by creating can play an important role alongside other methods. By applying technology in fresh ways, one learns new things. New methods and alternative insights are discovered. We see this as a valid and productive way of doing research.

As a result, student projects in which actual products are realized are important in the Media Technology MSc programme. However, the process of researching while creating the product is as important as the product itself. The projects always lead to a working end-product or proof-of-concept that contains a media component: visual, auditive or otherwise. Most often, a scientific paper is also produced that describes the scientific advancements resulting from the project. Students are encouraged to submit these papers to international journals, conferences, and arts festivals.

The programme is completely taught in the English language, enabling participation of students and lecturers from many different nationalities. All lectures, discussions, and reading materials within the program are in English.

The Media Technology MSc programme at Leiden University is a full-time programme that takes two years. However, by investment of an appropriate amount of extracurricular time, the programme can be finished within 20 months. It is a relatively intense study programme and students should be prepared to study full-time.

The programme consists of three semesters and an extension. Each semester focuses on specific issues. During the first and second semesters students take a number of basic courses and do several projects. For details, see the curriculum.

Within the Media Technology curriculum a portion of the total credits can be obtained by following elective (free choice) courses. Throughout the academic year there are many electives available within several faculties and studies of Leiden University and the ArtScience programme of the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts. Students are encouraged to use these opportunities for achieving their personal study goals, by taking elective courses in for instance Computer Science, Psychology, Art History, Linguistics and Philosophy.

Besides courses, student projects are important in the Media Technology MSc programme. Many courses contain a project in which teams of students put their gained knowledge into practice, commonly resulting in some physical installation. In such projects, students must also research existing knowledge, and write papers that motivate their projects and discuss the results. See example projects in the project gallery.

Throughout the second semester a project is scheduled in which students create innovative concepts that result in an actual product. The process of researching while creating the product is as important as the product itself. All projects start from their own theme, and the resulting products are exhibited to the general public in an exposition.

Graduation takes the form of a similar research project in which the scientific aspects are prominent. Graduation theses within the Media Technology programme are publishable scientific papers, not lengthy dissertations. Students are encouraged to submit their graduation papers to international journals, conferences, and art festivals. Examples of publications and exhibited works by students can be viewed in the publications and exhibited work galleries.