Today we welcomed students attending the first Masters course in Media Psychology in the UK. We met at the MediaCityUK campus at Salford Quays where the course is based. In the morning, we talked a little about the essentials – course aims, course modules, industry focused research projects, blackboard, social media, and potential opportunities for work experience in media psychological research. We talked a lot more about our media interests – our consumption, what our media use says about us and what interests us beyond media. Students are coming to the MSc from very diverse personal and professional pathways, all united by a common interest in media and by the two key ingredients for academic success: enthusiasm and curiosity.
In an optional activity, some of us went to an exhibition at BlankSpace in Manchester city centre. We met up with Micah Purnell, a local artist, who is one of our industry partners for the course. We walked to BlankSpace past one of his projects, Print and Paste (see below), which is just off Oxford Road opposite the old BBC building. Print and Paste is a curated outdoor art space committed to reclaiming city advertising space for positive messages and art for all….a brand free zone!
We went to his exhibition “No one is exempt from its grip”, part of What have I done to (de)Serve this?, a collection of contemporary works exploring the successes and failures of capitalism. Below are pictures of us at Micah’s installation, which consists of birdcages each with a different object relating to modern life: a roll of £50 notes, an iPad, and skin tanning/whitening products. Unfortunately, the exhibition has now finished but if you want to find out more, there’s a good write up of the event on the MancunianMatters blog here. We would like to thank Micah for keeping the exhibit open one more day for us. If you want to keep up to date with him, you can follow him on Twitter: @MicahPurnell.
For us, this experience confirmed that getting out of the classroom to consider media in everyday life is vital to teaching and learning. It’s healthy to get out and about and beyond the text book. We are planning to go to more events and different places in the future.
After visiting Blankspace, it was back to campus for library induction – not as fun but an important and necessary part of study.
Today was a very rewarding day. We had a fab time and we hope our students did too. We are really looking forward to the coming year and are in no doubt this will be an enriching experience for all of us!
P.S. The new team members of UKMediaPsych will be introducing themselves soon:)