Media Studies BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

University Centre Peterborough

September 2016

code: P300

Available in Clearing, call 01223 695750

Overview

Develop the knowledge, understanding and skills you need to pursue a career in the media, marketing or communications.

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Full description

Careers

Our students go on to careers in many branches of the media, including broadcast, print, production, radio, video and film.

We’re always developing placement opportunities with the industry and our students have worked with organisations including the BBC, Vivacity Peterborough, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Ideal World Shopping Channel and i3MEDIA (among others). You can apply for a bursary to cover your work experience expenses with local employers.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Media, Culture and Society
    This module will give you an overview of approaches to the media, including theories of the media and the broader issues and questions that have traditionally concerned media theorists. You'll be introduced to all aspects of the media, including structures and organisations, production processes, contents, and audiences. You'll critically discuss and evaluate theories of the media, along with the different perspectives, including organisational theories of media production, sociological and psychological approaches to media contents and reception, and the challenges posed by the new media.
  • Analysing Language and Image
    This module will introduce you to some of the main terms, methodologies and concepts employed in analysing media texts interrogating communication through word and image. You'll explore language and visual imagery as systems of signs that signify meanings that may be said to be context-specific and/or culturally and ideologically motivated. In addressing language, you'll explore the work of Saussure and the extent to which his structural linguistics laid foundations for notions such as the death of the author/subject, the instability of meaning and the problems attaching to claims of truth and knowledge, extending Saussure's semiotic method to address visual imagery. By studying the ways meaning is constructed, transmitted and received through still and moving images, you'll learn how responses and judgements are shaped by the organisation of events on the screen and in the frame. Through analyses of selected texts, you'll engage with issues such as representation, realism and ideology. Modes of textual analysis you'll look at include semiotics, narrative analysis and discourse analysis, with examples drawn from a variety of media including newspapers, magazines, art, film and television. You'll develop a vocabulary when considering and discussing meaning and form that will give you a useful theoretical foundation for later stages of study in media.
  • Introduction to Radio
    You'll consider the relationship between theory and practice in radio production by studying a wide range of radio programmes and discussing the different requirements of commercial radio stations and public broadcasting. You’ll learn the basic elements of radio production, writing, presentation, journalism and technical expertise in recording and editing your material, and become more aware of the differences between writing for radio and writing for press, film or television. You'll look at the arts of interviewing, researching and scriptwriting, along with news and current affairs programming, by adapting print journalism for radio, preparing scripts, recording and editing a short current affairs dispatch and radio programme for a named target audience using music, vox pops, interview clips and sound effects as appropriate. You'll also produce a range of individual radio items to be compiled into a 15 minute magazine programme, the latter involving group work in the selection and editing together of items.
  • Media and Technology
    On this module you'll address the issues of technology and communication, exploring how the introduction of new communication technologies transforms notions of space, place and time. You'll discuss critically a variety of theoretical positions concerned with how we evaluate the role of technology within communication practices. Technologies and associated practices will be situated within their specific historical periods (for example, the role of printing in Reformation Europe and the role of the internet in contemporary culture). You'll also consider the manner in which communication technology affects cognitive processes such as memory, together with how technologies (for example, mobile phones) affect assumptions about the meaning and nature of communicative practices in general.

Year two, core modules

  • Media, Identity and Difference
    You’ll focus on the question of identity in late modern culture and societies, interrogating how individual and collective identities come about, gain solidity and transform as a result of cultural, social, historical, (media) technological, and psychic processes. You'll consider how various media are involved in the construction of our identities, considering how identities are outcomes of the symbolic forms, systems of thought, power relations and techniques of the self, disseminated and enabled by the media. You'll be introduced to leading paradigms of thinking in media studies, critical theory, philosophy and the broader field of humanities that are crucially important when investigating identity. For your assessment, you'll submit a 3,000-word critical essay.
  • Media and Politics
    You'll consider the significance of the rise of the media in shaping politics, in terms of public opinion, policy formation, formal democratic procedures, public debate and political advocacy. Your studies will include the history of the press and the broadcast media, as well as the emergence of the internet. You'll examine the core concept of the 'public sphere' and explore its rising significance in Europe during the Enlightenment and expansion and management in the 20th century. You'll analyse the crucial role journalism has played in public debate throughout these developments, and look at changes in areas such as privacy, human rights, freedom of speech and civil society. You'll also address and evaluate the contemporary notion of the counter public sphere, and the increasing use of new media to formulate 'subaltern' publics, (which mobilise sections of civil society via issues from environmentalism and gender to 'anti-globalisation' movements), and alternative democratic theories. You'll be assessed through a 2,000-word critical essay and a 1,000-word news commentary.
  • Theorising Popular Culture
    On this module, you'll examine popular culture as defined, practised and consumed, against and within 'official' or 'high' culture. You'll explore issues of identity, resistance and consumption, focusing on specific case studies, including sub-cultural practices and style. You'll critically explore the relationships between taste, style and ideology through an analysis of various sites and products, such as the shopping mall, popular musical forms, television, dress, eating, and leisure activities. You'll address contemporary icons for what they are able to indicate about forms of resistance, diversity and identity, and consider the social metaphors a cultural group may employ in terms of the spectacular and the public against the more silent and private strategies of consumption involved in, for example, fashioning of the body and identity.
  • Media and Economy
    You'll examine the role of economics, politics and culture in relation to the media and communication industries, considering this in the context of local, national and global developments in communications technologies and institutions in the early 21st century. You'll explore the tradition of the political economy of communication, from a perspective rooted in Marxist thought and critical theory, and contestations around the influence of 'base' on 'superstructure'. These relationships will give you a framework in which to investigate specific questions emerging from the areas of ownership and control, individual agency, professional practice, technological change, distribution and markets, competition and regulation. You’ll also look at specific case studies, for example the impact of the vertical integration of global media corporations on freedom of choice and expression or the role of the BBC in a multi-channel digital age. You'll be assessed through a critical essay of 3,000 words.

Year three, core modules

  • Theorising the Global Information Age
    In an age increasingly dominated by flows of information, understanding and theorising this phenomenon is becoming an imperative, not just in the context of the study of media and communications but for grasping social change, the formation of subjectivity, and the functions of the economy. You'll explore strategies, approaches and methodologies for capturing the multiple issues, conflicts and dynamics of the information society. This includes issues such as the impact of computer mediated communication (CMC) on work practices and the shift in the nature of production from a material to immaterial economy. You'll also consider the significance of the revolution in person-to-person communications (P2P). You'll be assessed on your understanding and critical response to the material studied through a presentation and a critical essay of 2,500 words.
  • Gender, Media and Culture
    You'll explore the question of gender, one of the major concerns of contemporary (media) cultures, art, and several scholarly fields including media studies, philosophy, cultural theory and feminist criticism. You'll discover the importance of gender as an analytical category and you’ll investigate gender from a variety of angles such as systems of power/knowledge, the organisation of social relations, lived experience, aesthetics (what is given to our perception), and capacities to affect and be affected. You'll examine this variety through the introduction of theories by key scholars and cutting-edge debates linked to instances, trends and elaborations of gender in the media. You'll approach gender as a multi-faceted problem, a highly useful concept, and a set of practices - expressions, experiences and experiments - that are central to our existence and to current media cultures. You'll be assessed through a 3,000-word critical essay.

Assessment

We’ll assess your progress using your practical work and portfolio, as well as essays and your performance in seminars.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

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Whether you aim to work in the creative industries or the social sciences, the legal profession or public service, the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for professional life.

Our lively, diverse community and ambitious academic environment will broaden your horizons and help you develop your full potential - many of our courses give you the chance to learn another language, study abroad or undertake work placements as you study.

If you’re interested in art, music, drama or film, check out our packed programme of events. Together with our partners in the creative and cultural industries, we’re always working to enrich the cultural life of the university and the wider community.

Our research is groundbreaking and internationally recognised, with real social impact. We support the Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE), whose projects include interactive music apps and documenting lifesaving childbirth procedures, as well as nine international research clusters, such as the Centre for Children's Book Studies and the Labour History Research Unit.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, six of our subject areas were awarded world-leading status: Law; Art and Design; English Language and Literature, Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; History; Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts.

Where can I study?

University Centre Peterborough
University Centre Peterborough

University Centre Peterborough (or UCP) is our modern campus in the heart of an historic city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)

£7,500

International students, 2016/17 (per year)

£11,000

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements

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160 UCAS tariff points. Required subject(s): 2 A levels in related subjects. BTEC/Access required: a BTEC National or a full Access Certificate in a related subject. GCSEs required: 3 GCSEs at grade C or above in English, Mathematics and Science.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

Entry requirements are for September 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

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Get more information

UK, EU & international applicants

+44 (0)1223 69 57 50

Email University Centre Peterborough