University to Offer Masters in Facebook

By Daniel Macht
|  Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009  |  Updated 12:15 PM PDT
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University to Offer Masters in Facebook

OMG University, or a godsend?

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Imagine receiving college credit for laboring over your "25 Random Things About Me" Facebook post.

The UK's Birmingham City University  will unveil a new Master's degree in social media next fall semester - but critics say the major in MySpace isn't a serious course of study.

The progam aims to teach students how to set up blogs and scour sites like Facebook, Twitter and Bebo from a business perspective, Britain's Telegraph.co.uk reported

"Virtually all of the content of this course is so basic it can be self taught," Birmingham-based student Jamie Waterman, 20, told the Telegraph.

Jon Hickman, the program's designer, disagreed. He said that the courses were designed to appeal to students who weren't tech savvy to begin with.  

"During the course, we will consider what people can do on Facebook and Twitter, and how they can be used for communication and marketing purposes," he said.   

Despite critics' claims that the program is essentially a  "Masters in Facebook," Birmingham City University online journalism lecturer Paul Bradshaw countered that the debate - largely taking place in social media platforms itself - proved the program's usefulness.

“It’s about an academic exploration of communication," Bradshaw told BirminghamPost.net.  "We are surrounded by all these websites and they are increasingly becoming a part of our commercial and business life.”

One group of students who could prove likely allies: majors in philosophy and communications.

They'll soon have new buddies to draw heckles from their peers.

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