RUST5/VENS10 Media and the Arctic (POMLFCS3) 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period II Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Russian Studies
Faculty of Communication Sciences

General description


Briefing 1 October 2018 at 14-15, Pinni B4075

Online pre-assignments: 1 October – 23 November 2018 (40 hours)

Lectures: 26–30 November 2018 (8 hours)

Collaborative work in small groups: 26–30 November 2018 (32 hours)

Independent project work: 3 December 2018 – 31 January 2019 (55 hours)


There will be a briefing for the participants accepted onto the course on Monday 1 October 2018 at 2 pm in Pinni B4075.


Contact teaching will be organised as an intensive Master Class between 26 and 30 November 2018 at the University of Tampere. The venues will be announced at a later date. The schedule for the week:


Day 1: Mon 26 November 2018, 10 am – 5 pm

Day 2: Tue 27 November 2018, 9 am – 9 pm

Day 3: Wed 28 November 2018, 9 am – 5 pm

Day 4: Thu 29 November 2018, 9 am – 5 pm

Day 5: Fri 30 November 2018, 9 am – 3 pm


The Master Class will also include a voluntary evening programme and networking.



Enrolment begins on Monday 13 August 2018 at 10 am.

Enrolment ends on Friday 14 September 2018 at 4 pm.

Enrolment form: <>.

The course is intended for students of the University of Tampere, students of TaRC’s Finnish, Russian and Chinese partner universities (see <>) and media professionals, teachers, and researchers. The public events on 26 and 30 November are open to everyone.

The course is mainly targeted at students completing their master’s studies. Doctoral students can also apply for the course, as can students who are in the later stages of their bachelor’s studies and can provide sufficient evidence of their professional skills.

To apply for the course, please complete the enrolment form before 4 pm on Friday 14 September 2018. Please reserve adequate time for completing the form, and state clearly why you want to take the course. During the Master Class, the participants will work intensively on one of the three course topics:

  1. Arctic Environmental Journalism
  2. Global Connection of the Arctic
  3. Visual Representations of the Arctic

On the enrolment form, the applicant should indicate two preferred topics.

The applicants will be informed by 28 September 2018 as to whether they have been accepted.

A maximum of 40 students will be accepted onto the course. Students who are writing their thesis on themes connected to media and the Arctic are most likely to be accepted. In addition, a maximum of 10 working media professionals will be invited via grants provided by JOKES (Journalistisen kulttuurin edistämissäätiö).



Teacher responsible: Mika Perkiömäki, <>

The principal teachers are Markku Heikkilä, Head of the Science Communication Unit of the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland (Rovaniemi); Anna Kireeva, Head of Communications at the Bellona Foundation (Murmansk); Thomas Nilsen, Editor of the Independent Barents Observer (Kirkenes); and Alexei Popogrebsky, film director, screenwriter and teacher of directing at the Moscow Film School. Contributing teachers are Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek, political scientist and researcher at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland; Vlad Strukov, Associate Professor in Film and Digital Culture at the University of Leeds.


Learning outcomes:

After completing the course, the participants will recognise factors influencing international debate that relate to journalistic duties and the media industry in the Arctic region. The participants will be able to analyse discussions related to the Arctic region and evaluate various journalistic means of managing conflict‑sensitive topics. The participants will have gained deeper knowledge of the chosen media environment and have developed expertise in questions of substance and working methods that relate to the media and the Arctic region.

The course provides an in-depth analysis of the way the media represents and mediates the Arctic region, and an examination of the changes and challenges taking place in the area. The participants will acquire knowledge about global media and the issues related to the Arctic region, especially in the Scandinavian and Russian Arctic regions. The participants will conduct their own media projects during the course.


General description:

The Arctic is becoming the focus of worldwide interest due to climate change and the utilisation of the region’s natural resources. It has seen the emergence of new industries, environmental pressures and geopolitical tensions. Meanwhile, academic and public discourse and the media are facing the challenge of finding adequate ways to discuss developments in the region.

The course includes an international event “Media and the Arctic: Master Class in Tampere, Finland, 26–30 November 2018”, organised by the Tampere Research Centre for Russian and Chinese Media (TaRC). Six distinguished and accomplished journalists and media professionals will join teachers from the University of Tampere to share their expertise with students and media professionals in an intensive, one-week Master Class.

The coursework will consist of pre-assignments, five contact teaching days, and a journalistic or other media-related final assignment dealing with the themes of the Master Class. Attendance on all five days and active participation in one of the workgroups is required.

Pre-assignment: Before the intensive contact teaching week, the participants are required to familiarise themselves beforehand with the course material, which includes readings, visual materials and video lectures on current research related to Arctic topics. The material will be made available via an online learning environment.

Day 1: The Master Class begins with a joint workshop for all participants to collaboratively reflect on the pre-assignment material. Day 1 also includes an open seminar, where the principal/supervising teachers will give keynote lectures based on the topical issues of the week and their experience as media professionals. The seminar functions as the opening discussion for the following three days.

Days 2–4: The participants work intensively in small workgroups. Supervised by two teachers, each group will consider one of the main topical issues of the course in greater depth. The three issues are ‘Arctic Environmental Journalism’, ‘Global Connections of the Arctic’ and ‘Visual Representations of the Arctic’. The teachers are responsible for planning the teaching methods used in the workgroups. These methods may include expert meetings, guided and independent reading and information gathering, analysis exercises, preparing journalistic articles, etc.

Day 5: At the end of the week, the students will present the materials produced by their workgroup in an open seminar. The week concludes with a panel discussion held by specialists of Arctic issues related to Russia, China and global topics. The discussion will also include comments on the students’ work and the complex field of the Arctic.

Final assignment: After the Master Class, the learning outcomes will be evaluated as agreed upon with the teachers. To successfully complete the course, the participants are expected to deliver a piece of independent written work related to their own field; this can be a journalistic article on the themes of the Arctic region along with an analysis of the knowledge obtained during the course, or some other type of written work. The final assignment should be returned via the online learning environment by the end of January 2019. The final assignment also includes giving peer feedback on other participants’ final assignments.





Evaluation criteria

Participation in all the contact teaching days and active participation in one of the workgroups. Completion and submission of the pre-assignment and the final assignment by the given deadlines.


Study material

The participants will be granted access to the study materials via an online learning environment by the end of September 2018.


Further information

The course will be taught with a major focus on discussion, critical thinking, and individual and collaborative work. The course will be taught in English; no knowledge of any other language is required.

The course is free for students of the University of Tampere and TaRC’s partner universities.

For more information, please contact the TaRC personnel at the Faculty of Communications, University of Tampere:

Coordinator Mika Perkiömäki <>

Senior Lecturer in Journalism Ari Heinonen <>

Researcher Dmitry Yagodin <>

Professor of Russian Language and Culture Arja Rosenholm <>

Professor of Journalism Heikki Luostarinen <>


The course will be beneficial for students with a background in Russian studies, politics, communication, media, journalism, intercultural communication, visual studies or Eastern European studies. However, students with backgrounds in other disciplines are also welcome. 

The course home page: <>.


Mika Perkiömäki, Teacher responsible

Homepage URL


1-Oct-2018 – 31-Jan-2019
Lectures 8 hours
Independent work 55 hours Web-based
Group work 32 hours