Content & Media Strategy

M Content & Media Strategy, Master’s Degree, Full-time

Would you like to learn how media content can contribute to organisations and their stakeholders? Are you interested in developing content and media strategies which help organisations to achieve their communication goals in a meaningful way? Do you want to earn a master’s degree while doing so? This course allows you to do just that!

  • The only master programme with a focus on content and media strategies. 
  • The programme is developed in collaboration with the industry. 
  • A motivated core team of lecturers with extensive experience in teaching and practice.
  • The programme was developed based on design based education principles.
  • Government-funded, annual tuition fee.
  • Embedded in the strong educational infrastructure of NHL Stenden. 

    Developments in digital media and the ensuing changes in consumer behaviour compel organisations to engage in a dialogue with their internal and external stakeholders. Traditional theories and applications of communication no longer suffice. That is why organisations are focusing strongly on the creation and distribution of media content in achieving their goals. 

    This has led to an increasing need for professionals with a background in media management and communication at master’s level, who can develop and convey insights into the area of content and media strategies. Content and media strategists are analytical professionals who contribute to organisational goals by strategically using media content.



    • Master of Arts

    Study start

    • September


    • Leeuwarden


    • English

    Standard duration

    12 months


    • tuition fee single degree (MA) EU €2.143 / Non-EU €11.800
    View all costs

    Based on these developments, NHL Stenden developed a master programme that educates you to become an expert in content and media strategies, who can deliver great value to a broad variety of organisations. These may be organisations which create and/or distribute media content to achieve strategic goals, but also media publishers and media agencies and bureaus since content and media strategy is relevant for all the stakeholders in the communication process. You can find employment in three types of organisations:  

    1. Organisations in the creative industry, e.g.: strategic advisory positions in media publishing companies.
    2. Media agencies and bureaus, e.g.: strategic advisory positions as linking pin between publishers and organisations that a need a content and media strategy.
    3. Embedded organisations: organisations that internally facilitate expertise for activities related to content and media strategies such as brands. These are the organisations where content strategy is part of the communication and/or marketing strategy.

    Within these three types of organisations, you will function as a content and media strategist with a theoretical and research background. You can be employed in a wide variety of positions related to communications, marketing, and media such as:

    • Brand manager
    • Content strategist
    • Marketing strategist
    • Digital marketing specialist
    • Brand publisher

    The lecturers

    The programme has a core team of highly-skilled lecturers with an academic background who have extensive experience in media practice and in teaching at master and bachelor level. They will guide you in your development towards a content and media strategist. This way, you discover new perspectives, insights, and worlds. Also, your own input is essential; we believe in co-creation through which we learn with and from each other. 

    Real-world work experience

    The involvement of the professional field is an essential characteristic of this programme's quality. The industry practice is involved in the planning development and execution of the programme. The course has a strong network, including a broad range of organisations.

    We frequently welcome guest lecturers from various organisations and organise company visits; for instance to GroupM, the leading global media investment management company for media agencies and a potential future employer. Students work on real-life cases. This year, students work on developing a content and media strategy for Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS). This is the biggest showcase festival in Europe and offers a stage to European artists from across the European continent and for Marketing Groningen, the organisation that is in charge of the international marketing of the province and capital Groningen.

    In their final year, students will demonstrate their master level by developing a content and media strategy for an organisation of their choice. This enables students to work in collaboration on real-life issues with professionals from the field and build their network. 

    A dedicated advisory board

    The programme formed its own advisory board, which advises on topics at a strategic level and monitors the quality of the curriculum in relation to relevant (inter)national developments. The advisory board consists of senior executives from -among others-:

    • Wavemaker, a global operating next-generation media agency that operates at the intersection of media, content and technology; 
    • NDC, a Dutch publisher of newspapers, magazines, and websites, focused on the three northern provinces of the Netherlands: Drenthe, Friesland and Groningen;
    • IKEA; 
    • Ahold-Delhaize;
    • Multibrand.
    Academic Requirements

    You require a related bachelor’s degree to be admitted to this programme. If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree in Creative Business, Communications, Media, Marketing or Management but would like to enroll in the master programme, please send an email to Your application will be assessed on individual merits. In this case, a personal interview can be part of the application process.

    All non-EU/EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application. Exceptions can be made for students who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the only official educational language.

    The language requirements for EU/EEA students are the same as for Dutch students. If your diploma is mentioned in this list, and English is included as part of the final exam curriculum, the additional English language test is not required. The same goes for students who followed the English language programme of the European Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate and have subsequently received the EB-Certificate or IB-Diploma.

    NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts four kinds of official language tests in accordance with the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education:

    • Academic IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.0 for each skill).
    • TOEFL 550 (paper based), 213 (computer-based) and 80 (internet based). Original test results must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to NHL Stenden. The TOEFL institution code for NHL Stenden is C652.
    • Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher).
    • TOEIC 670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing).

    View the comparison between the different scores.

    Please note: If you do not have the appropriate level, it is possible to enrol in our English Preparatory Language Course or the Pre-Master Programma


    Study overview

    The one-year master programme in Content and Media Strategy introduces you to key concepts related to media content strategy and content marketing. You will be trained on a strategic level in three building blocks. The programme is structured around three themes that represent the content and media strategy development cycle:

    • content strategy,
    • content creation and
    • content implementation.
    About the course

    Evaluation and research are an integral component of every aspect of a content and media strategy and is therefore integrated within the three building blocks. You will work thematically on real-life cases throughout the courses. To demonstrate your master’s level, you will individually develop a content and media strategy for an organisation of your choice. You will work on your personal development throughout the year with the support of a personal coach.

    The year is structured as follows: Each building block starts with a boot camp week in which you will work intensively on skills or topics necessary for completing your coursework. You work in an atelier, and participate in workshops, instructions or presentations. During the course weeks you will attend classes based on a variety of teaching methods, including seminars, workshops, lectures, presentations, group assignments and guest lectures. After the courses, you will have a sprint period of one week in which you will be able to work individually on the products to be delivered in the graduation portfolio which demonstrates your master’s level at the end of the year. The year ends with the so-called finals in which you have time to enhance and finalize your graduation portfolio.

    This block introduces you to the concept of content and media strategies. You will gain insight into 1. the theoretical and strategic foundation for content and media strategic decision making from the organization perspective and 2. customer insights since knowledge about the organization and customers is the foundation of content and media strategies.

    Based on the knowledge from block 1, you translate the knowledge of the organization and customers to a content strategy. You learn how to create value for all organizations and stakeholders through meaningful media content. Important topics in this building block are persuasion theories, content analysis and concept development.

    During this block you learn how to successfully implement your content strategy. Therefore, you learn how to test and monito your concepts and how to develop a media distribution plan that based on strategic, theoretical, creative and research- driven considerations.

    You demonstrate your master’s level based on a Full Circle Assignment in which you develop a content and media strategy for a real-life organization. You also write a Reflection Report in which you provide evidence of your learning experience throughout the study year, highlighting your individual progress and development


    Practical learning

    International Opportunities

    Education concept

    You will discover a variety of educational methods during the programme, including seminars, workshops, lectures, presentations, group assignments and guest lectures.

    Design Based Education
    All NHL Stenden programmes are working towards a system of Design Based Education (DBE), which puts co-creation with professionals in the field front and centre. You will be working in small teams of students, teachers, researchers, and industry professionals.