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Department of Media and Social Sciences

The Department of Media and Social Sciences offer academic programmes within, and do research on, media, sociology and political science as well as change management and energy, environment and society.

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Facts
Employees

57

Head of department

Oluf Langhelle

PhD candidates

12

Students

900

The society needs people with knowledge about the environmental issues.

About the department

The world and the Norwegian society are facing great challenges. In a world filled with social differences, globalisation and digitalisation, energy and environmental challenges and crisis, we depend on updated knowledge about how the society is organised, in a historically perspective and today.

We also need knowledge about how the society can be better organised in the future, so that we can contribute to solve societal challenges.

The world and society we are a part of, is complicated. It never stands still, and it continuously develops, both nationally and internationally. We therefore need social scientists who understand the political and social processes within a society, and who possess knowledge about sustainability, power structures and responsible leadership. We also need competent journalists, media producers and documentary filmmakers, who can tell stories from our society, in a professional manner. It is this type of knowledge the Department of Media and Social Sciences equip our students with before we send them out in the real world, ready to contribute to the society and public debate.

The department offers one-year studies as well as bachelor and master programmes, which all give a great foundation to understand and affect the society we are a part of. If you wish to continue with your studies after a master’s degree, you can apply for PhD studies at The Faculty of Social Sciences.

There are about 60 highly qualified employees at the Department of Media and Social Sciences. In total, they teach about 900 students.

Contact:

The staff at the Department of Media and Social Sciences are situated in the third floor of Elise Ottesen-Jensen’s House. The Head of department is Oluf Langhelle, and the Office manager is Anne Helliesen.

More from the department

Master's students at the Faculty of Social Sciences can now apply for publishing scholarship

A publishing scholarship of 45 000 NOK may be yours if you want to write an article version of your master's thesis.

The potentialities of digital technologies in surviving violence

The project ‘Safety and Resilience through Digital Practices’, will examine the potentialities of digital technologies f...

Populism, a necessary challenge for democracy?

The research group aims to understand how socio-political practices and processes work in interaction and changes.

Academic programmes

The Department of Media and Social Sciences offer several studies within social sciences, which give you knowledge about the complex society we live in.

A social science degree makes you well equipped to critically reflect upon issues on an interpersonal, institutional and societal level. In addition, the media programmes teach you how to unveil criticisable issues, and which methods you can use to gather and communicate information that enlightens and engages people.

As a social scientist, your broad knowledge can be used in various jobs within many fields. Within the different academic programmes, you can make choices that lead your career prospects in the direction of your own interests.

Previous students have gotten jobs within organisational development, leadership, politics, administration and the consultant and media industry.

At the Department of Media and Social Sciences, you can study:

  • Communication (one-year programme)
  • Sociology (one-year programme and bachelor programme)
  • Political Science (bachelor programme)
  • Television and Multimedia Production (bachelor programme)
  • Journalism (bachelor programme)
  • Change Management (master programme)
  • Documentary Production (master programme)

Research

Knowledge about the various processes within the society is crucial for the society to move forward in the right direction. The researchers at the department dive into issues related to challenges we face in the modern society, and they critically bring new knowledge that gains the development of the society, to the table.

The research at the Department of Media and Social Sciences is aimed towards central challenges that can be reflected in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

How is for instance the digital transformation affecting the society, both socially and politically? Is the information given by the authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic comprehended differently by men and women? What can we do with the environmental challenges? How can we contribute to develop the society in a more sustainable way?

The department has expertise on an international level within different fields, and our researchers cooperate with other researchers and partners – locally, nationally and internationally.

Project

Changing news landscapes in Scandinavia

The Scandinavian media model is under pressure. Investigating these pressures across the region provides new insight into the structural framework conditions that change people’s everyday media use.

The Scandinavian countries share a number of characteristics in their media systems that come under pressure due to the digitalization of society.

Business models are challenged by social media such as Facebook and Google, ownership structures concentrate, and media regulations and support systems face new claims to legitimacy. Programmatic advertising and algorithmic news production and curation increase the pressure on journalism and its organization.

This research project investigates how digitalization impacts the features of the Scandinavian media model, including the state/private balance, regulatory framework conditions, local newspaper structures and the role of public service broadcasting.

You can read more about the project at their page: Changing news landscapes in Scandinavia

Research group

Populism, a necessary challenge for democracy?

The research group aims to understand how socio-political practices and processes work in interaction and changes.

The re-emergence of populist mobilization has had significant implications and pose a major challenge to political communities, as well as political science, sociology, media and gender studies. The research group on populism, anti-gender and democracy gather researchers across disciplines to study and conduct research on both right-wing and left-wing populism, anti-gender developments and its effects on democracy.

Their goal is to build a point of contact for the interdisciplinary and international intellectual community for academics working on populism, to facilitate innovative research as well as to seek external funding for collaborative research projects on populist politics. The research group hosts the Fringe Talk Series to draw on recent debates on populism, polarisation and democracy.

The leader of the research group is Hande Eslen-Ziya.

You can read more about the project at their page: Populism, a necessary challenge for democracy?

Project

Improved risk communication during pandemics

The PAN-FIGHT project studies how to fight pandemics with enhanced risk communication. Messages, compliance and vulnerability during the COVID-19 outbreak are central themes.

The purpose of PAN-FIGHT is to identify any correlations between risk communication and individual vulnerability during the COVID-19 outbreak. In the project the researchers intend to map the authorities’ risk communication practices in Norway, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Further, they will investigate how different population groups in these countries have translated risk communication messages into adjustments of their daily routines.

In addition to nationality, the researchers will pay particular attention to the significance of gender, as well as factors such as age, income, cultural background, household composition and home location. Based on their findings, they will develop new risk communication strategies that are socially, culturally and geographically sensitive.

The project is lead by Associate Professor Kristin S. Scharffscher.

The project consists of five separate, but interconnected work packages. Hande Eslen-Ziya at the department of media and social sciences are leading one of the work packages called "Gendered dimensions of pandemic risk communication".

You can read more about the project at their page: Improved risk communication during pandemics

The department management

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Instituttleder
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The department administration

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Seniorkonsulent
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Rådgiver
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Rådgiver
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Seniorkonsulent
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Lærling
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