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 that 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 €1084 / Non-EU €11.800
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU: 15 January/15 August
Non-EU: 31 October/31 May
More information

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, 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. Students work for a variety of clients such as festivals, museums and large retailers.

In their final year, students will demonstrate their master level by developing a content and media strategy for an organisation of their choice. Consequently students 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

To be admitted to this master’s programme, you will need to meet admission requirements as outlined in Dutch Higher Education law.For an international master’s programme at NHL Stenden, you will need a relevant bachelor’s degree that is at least equivalent to an NLQF 6/EQF 6 level (Dutch/European Qualifications Framework).* 

In general, you will need a relevant bachelor’s degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6) from a recognized university to be admitted to this master’s programme. Relevant fields of study for the master’s programme Content & Media Strategy include Management, Media, Marketing, Communication and Business Studies. 

Your qualifications will be assessed by an Admissions Officer at the Central Student Administration (CSA) department at NHL Stenden once you have applied for the specific programme through Studielink. In addition to the degree you have obtained, CSA will also consider your motivation letter and CV in its assessment.  

If you wish to apply for this programme but do not have a relevant bachelor’s degree, please apply anyway through Studielink as we evaluate applications for master’s programmes on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, an interview may form part of the admission procedure.  

If it is unclear what the equivalent level of your bachelor diploma is within the Dutch education system, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences will have your diploma evaluated by Nuffica Dutch organisation specialised in the assessment of international qualifications. For an indication of how your educational system compares to the Dutch system, please visit the Nuffic website. 

* The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a tool for understanding and comparing qualifications awarded in different countries and by different education and training systems. Its eight levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences. The levels of the Dutch Qualification Framework (NLQF) are linked to the levels of the EQF.

All non-EU/EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application to show that their English language skills are at a high enough level to succeed in their studies.

Exceptions can be made for students who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the only official educational language.

If you are applying for a master’s degree and hold a diploma listed here, and English was included as part of the final exam curriculum, then the additional English language test is not required. The same applies to students who have attained General Certificates of Secondary Education (enough O and A/AS levels with the sufficient score), the European Baccalaureate Certificate, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or an IB career-related programme taught fully in English.

All other applicants need to submit a valid and adequate English language test result with their application.

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 an advised minimum of 5.0 for each skill) 
• TOEFL 550 ** (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 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). 

*We only accept TOEIC® certificates from public programs and not from institutional programs. Public programs are organized in public centers and delivers an official score report which is recognized worldwide.
** IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC certificates more than 2 years old (at the start date of the study), will not be accepted. 

View the comparison of the different scores.

Please note: If you do not yet have the necessary level in English, you may enrol in our Preparatory English Language Course or the Pre-Master Programme.

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.