Stockholm media Master’s helps Brazilian student get PhD place

Stockholm media Master's helps Brazilian student get PhD place
Brazilian student Laura Aguir has used her Master’s in Media and Communications from Stockholm University to earn a position studying for a PhD in Belfast.

Having already completed a journalism degree in her home country, she chose to further her studies in the Swedish capital for a two-year Master’s Degree from Autumn 2009.

“I already knew I’d like to continue studying and do a Master’s degree,” says Laura. “Because I had lived in Ireland a few times since I was 15, it was naturally the first country of choice. However, I have a cousin who is half Brazilian and half Swedish – she always told me great things about Sweden and Stockholm. I ended up applying to GMIT in Galway and Stockholm University and was accepted in both courses,” she says.

The decision to choose Stockholm University was largely based on the Swedish institution’s teaching methods:

“I decided to go for Stockholm University’s Master in Media and Communication firstly because it was a taught course – while the one in Ireland was only research – and also because I believed it would enable me to get a more international perspective of media.”

Like many foreign students, this aspect was key in Laura’s decision-making process. The University and Sweden as a whole have a good reputation on the international stage, something she thought would stand her in good stead in her future career.

The two-year programme that Laura took is designed to prepare students for independent research or for a professional career within the media industry. It was the academic aspect in particular that appealed to her she says, and the course would be an ideal step to continue her studies with a PhD.

Given the nature of her work and the good reputation enjoyed by Stockholm University, Belfast proved to be an ideal next step.

“I am doing my PhD in Media at the University of Ulster. It is about documentary making in post-conflict Northern Ireland,” she says.

“I think coming from Stockholm University helped me to get the PhD and the funding for it as the University carries more weight than a Brazilian university. Furthermore, my time there also taught me a lot about being an academic in Europe and helped me improve my English. It certainly gave me the confidence to apply for a PhD, publish papers and talk in conferences,” adds Laura.

For her PhD research, Laura is making a documentary film, which combines practice and theory, giving her the work experience she will need to get a job in the media. Her research will also be invaluable if she chooses instead to follow an academic career path, for instance in teaching.

Laura Aguiar is just one of the many students who have gone further afield after taking a master’s at Stockholm University. The strong reputation it enjoys goes beyond the Nordic region. In an ever more competitive environment this gives it an edge.

“If someone is looking for an ‘academic’ Master’s programme to further their knowledge about how the media works in several parts of the world, then I would say this is a very good programme.”

“I think the University offers a very good structure and international environment for anyone interested in undertaking a Master’s degree and it has great libraries and other resources, like free Swedish classes, an amazing campus and it is very well renowned worldwide,” says the Brazilian.

Article sponsored by Stockholm University

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