The Institute of Media Studies links research and teaching with practical work. While rooted in science, the teaching offered is also aimed at providing students with the necessary professional skills to ensure that theory and practice complement each other. The aim of the course is to ensure that students acquire occupational skills.
Educational goal: to acquire professional skills
“Media” as a field of work is constantly changing. The Institute of Media Studies offers courses and lectures that address the various communications and creative professions (types of journalism, PR, media research etc.) to provide students with the information they need to make their own professional decisions; students are guided by qualified lecturers who are active in the fields of journalism, advertising and/or PR themselves.
Rather than imparting vocational skills in the sense of individual techniques that quickly become outdated, the study programmes offered by the Institute of Media Studies prepare graduates for a career in their chosen profession. Studying at the Institute of Media Studies gives students significant advantages over those who are limited to specific areas of occupation as the result of having received more trade-based training. Past Graduates in Media Studies of the University of Tübingen now work for various major magazines and newspapers, TV and radio, in media management, advertising agencies and media research everywhere.
Professional skills as a goal call for an intelligent combination of theory and practice. This is achieved primarily through teaching/research projects, editorial units, internships, and the lecturers' numerous and varied contacts in the professional world of the media.
The starting point for a teaching/research project is a current research question or task. How are requirement profiles for prospective journalists changing? What are the consequences of the amateur journalism of Internet bloggers for the profession? What strategies do celebrities use to draw attention to themselves in the society ruled by the media? Students explore the field using various scientifically and journalistically relevant research methods (interviews, the data collection, customer surveys). Rather than ending up in the “waste-paper bin”, the results are published and sold under real market conditions, for instance in the form of a book, a film, a website or an advertising campaign. So teaching/research projects are the exact opposite of didactic dry runs. They offer a way for students to learn under real conditions, providing them with a “business card” that will benefit them when they embark on their professional careers. Two examples of current teaching/research projects:
- “Casting as a life form” – an interview seminar with actors and observers from casting and reality shows
- Participation in the “Junior Agency Competition”, in which students collaborate with a communications agency to process a task for a client
The editorial units offer practical media courses in the field of print, online, TV and radio. Students learn the various journalistic methods by for e.g. writing an Internet report, editing a radio contribution, researching a report aswell as presenting a television program. The Media Competence Center provides the necessary TV and radio studios. The experienced media lecturers and journalism practitioners who run these courses give the students valuable insights into a working day in the media world, and this is also often where the first contacts for subsequent careers are made.
Working as interns during their studies introduces students to the daily work and technical requirements of media production under real conditions. A three-month internship during the study course is a requirement, and the Institute of Media Studies recommends and supports further internships and freelance involvement in editorial offices and agencies. Every chair has contacts in the industry that will help students to find an internship. Internships and other offers from media practices are included in the teaching.
The Institute of Media Studies has many and varied contacts in editorial offices, TV and radio stations, PR and advertising agencies, market and media research companies. In particular, it has had a very close association with SWR-Studio Tübingen for many years. Furthermore, profiled media practitioners and decision-makers from TV channels and radio stations, publishing companies and agencies lecture at the Institute every semester, providing students with valuable insights and useful contacts.
Tübingen media lectureship
Tübingen’s media lectureship is a nationally renowned link between the university and the public. It was founded in 2003 by the Institute of Media Studies at Tübingen University and SWR-Studio Tübingen. It encourages the next generation of journalists, and reinforces the contacts between SWR and the university. Workshops and lectures by leading media representatives with project work and shared events are designed to combine theory and practice, science and application. Past guest speakers include: Peter Voss (2004), Claus Kleber (2005), Frank Plasberg (2006), Maybrit Illner (2007), Patrick Leclercq (2008), Giovanni di Lorenzo (2009), Alice Schwarzer (2010), Frank Schirrmacher (2011), Hans Leyendecker (2012), Ulrich Deppendorf (2013), Mathias Döpfner (2014), Miriam Meckel (2015), Sascha Lobo (2016) and Georg Mascolo (2017).