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Media & Communication BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time P300 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017
Joint honours: see course combinations for UCAS codes

Why choose this course?

This course explores issues related to the production and consumption of media and cultural objects such as art, film, television, music and literature, and how these shape our communication practices. It examines the role of media in contemporary society, economy and politics, while also enabling you to develop practical skills in digital media.

You can study Media & Communication as a single honours degree or in combination with another subject as a joint honours degree. See the course combinations section for more information.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say about studying this course at Kingston University:

What you will study

Year 1 will give you a thorough grounding in historical and contemporary developments in media and culture and their social, political and economic impacts, both in Britain and overseas. You will be introduced to particular media forms and genres, and to relevant conceptual frameworks for the analysis of media and communication. Finally, you will be given an introduction to production practice and will be encouraged to relate this practice to the wider world of contemporary media production.

In Year 2, the core module, Cultural Theories of Mass and New Media, will build on the theoretical and conceptual understanding developed in Year 1. You will also build on your production practice in the Multimedia Production module. You will choose further modules from a range of options from both inside and outside the media and cultural studies field, examining various aspects of media production, media consumption or genre. The Media Industries and Professions module has an optional work-based learning element, which offers the opportunity to develop and reflect upon your employability skills. During Year 2, you will also have the chance to study abroad, which provides a great opportunity to further enhance employability, gain new language skills and experience a different country and culture.

In Year 3, a choice of modules enables you to tailor your studies to your interests, while offering you a curriculum that is designed to foster and support your skills as an independent researcher and creative practitioner. You will undertake special studies, which are informed by your tutors' research specialisms, while also undertaking your own research-based projects in the capstone Media Research Project module. Links with industry and professional practitioners are forged through the module @ Work in the Media Industries, which will provide you with the opportunity to undertake a period of work experience within a media organisation; and through the option of a work-based research strand within the Media Research Project.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This module aims to acquaint students with historical and contemporary digital media practices and design principles as a basis for developing media communication skills.  Students will develop visual thinking, software skills and, an understanding of the range of digital media production by selectively experimenting with digital form and content. The module also provides students with the opportunity to bring knowledge from other modules and apply it to their digital artefact.

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  • This module sets out to explore the historical development of media technologies over time spanning written, visual and electronic forms. It introduces key themes and concepts that frame the study of media and culture and locates these within their social,political and cultural contexts. The module also serves to identify and explorethe essential skills required for successful undergraduate study.

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  • This module enables students to gain an understanding of the ways in which media texts are constructed and grounded in their social and cultural contexts. Students will develop and understanding of how media texts materialise in diverse media practices, which are subsequently staged and portrayed as 'media events'.

     The module is organised in two major blocks focussed on: 1) the definition of media texts and the analaysis of media practices in the representation of everyday life, cultural identities and social formations; 2) the definition and analysis of media events within the framework of media spectacles, moral panics, media scandals and media campaigns.

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  • Students have the opportunity in this module to explore different media, their constituent parts and the interconnectedness between these. Media studied may include: film, television, advertising, public relations, the press and interactive media (games; interactive advertising; social media). Students are also introduced to different ownership models; how this shapes different media markets; the consequences of these for content; and the positive or negative implications of these for society. The module then goes on to explore how governments and the industries themselves may seek to limit the negative effects of these while encouraging the positive contributions different media can make to a society. This may take the form of laws governing the media or professional codes of conduct. The module concludes with an overview of recent trends with the development of new technologies; the convergence of media industries and professions; and the challenges this poses for managing media organisations.

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • This module builds on the theoretical concepts introduced in How Media Changed the World, looking closely and in more depth at how these concepts emerged and developed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and examines their utility in the understanding and analysis of contemporary culture. The module is in two parts, in the first semester we consider how various theories of media and culture have responded to social, political and technological change. In the second semester the module explores some of the key issues surrounding the digitisation of the media and how this has transformed work, leisure and various cultural forms and practices, such as art and popular music. Through practical application of these theories we will test their pertinence and utility through analyses of contemporary media, culture, texts and practices.

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  • This module aims to acquaint students with the practices associated with contemporary Digital Media Production. Students will be presented with 2 options: Media Production or Project Management and will be expected to engage in a small group project to select and experiment with digital form and content. The primary deliverable will be to create a Multi-Media website and to populate this site with a variety of media: short videos, infographics, advertising, interactive displays or artistic expressions. The module will also provide students with an opportunity to bring knowledge from other modules and apply it to their digital artifact.

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  • This module introduces major theories in media and cultural studies in order to explore the ways in which different social groups – different ‘identities'– are represented in the media. The module examines both mainstream and alternative media representations of gender and sexuality, ‘race' and ethnicity, social class and national identity, amongst others. These are approached through theories that focus on the significance of ideas of ‘identity', ‘difference', ‘culture', and ‘ideology' in these representations. The module also addresses the ways in which the media address different audience groups in terms of their gender/sexuality, class, and ‘race'/ethnicity and explores the extent to which the media define the interests, activities, and characteristics of these audiences.

    The module is divided into three blocks. The first block provides a general introduction to theories of identity, representative examples of selected identity groups. The second block will concentrate in detail on selected identity formations: gender/sexuality and ‘race'/ethnicity. In the third block students will participate in a series of research methodology workshops, shared across all the media options, which will equip them with the skills required to conduct their own independent research assignment.

    In summary, this module will examine:

    • concepts and theories concerning the study of identity in popular media
    • the representations and ‘constructions' of identities in both mainstream and alternative media
    • the way popular media target certain audiences in terms of different aspects of their identity 

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  • This module provides students with an understanding of the politics, spaces and histories of TV and film comedy and entertainment and broadens critical awareness of comedy as a TV and film form.

    'The Light Programme:' in the first term students will look at the history, development, culture and theories of British light entertainment television. Using a diverse range of 'classic' and modern TV programmes we investigate what we mean by 'light' in entertainment and discuss how it embraces working class phenomena as well as how it engages a set of programmes, old and new.  We will also look at the histories and traditions of this format, looking comparatively at a set of global texts.

    'Film and Television Comedy:' in the second term we look more broadly at British, American and global forms and traditions of comedy taking in British seaside comedy, romantic comedies, traditions of Black and Jewish comedy and contemporary postmodern film and TV comedies.

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  • This module enables students to gain an understanding of the structure of contemporary media industries and the position of media professionals within these. Students will develop an understanding of the distinctive features of media industries and the economic, political, regulatory and cultural factors which shape these. The module starts with an interrogation of key concepts, categories and debates and then moves through into detailed case studies of selected media industries and professional pathways. Students will be able to investigate particular media industries of their choice in their assessment. In addition, students will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the contemporary media workplace through undertaking a short period of work experience in a media organisation and use this as the basis for some of their assessment. Students will participate in a series of research methodology workshops, shared across all the media options, which will equip them with the skills required to conduct their own independent research assignment.

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  • This module requires a passion for film and a preparedness to watch and read widely. Through lectures, workshops and exposure to both Hollywood and European cinema, students learn how a rewarding screen narrative works - and how to create one. By the end of the module, students will have completed a short screenplay.

    The course is founded on the principle that knowledge of structure and characterisation can generate ideas for screen fiction, assess their potential and develop them into effective narratives.

    Consequently, we teach two strands, reflected in the final assessment. First, we deconstruct conventional narrative film, focusing in particular on structure and character, and why the film succeeds. Second, we guide students to the creation of their own short screenplay, providing models (in both film and script form) from a selection of successful short films.

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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • This module seeks to synthesize and draw together your understanding of theoretical and contextual approaches to the interpretation of media and culture you have learnt about in the first two years of the degree and enable you to apply this in an analysis of contemporary issues, practices and debates. This heightened understanding of theory will, at the same time, enhance your analysis of the contemporary issues and concerns reviewed in the module.

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  • This module gives final year students the opportunity to work on a major piece of independent work, which consolidates and further develops the skills and knowledge they have acquired across the whole of their degree, in an area of applied practice; workplace problem solving, or dissertation research.  Students will organize an end of year exhibition and symposium event specifically to showcase their work. In doing so, they will develop their critical analytical and transferable employability skills.  Students will focus on one of the following: a Dissertation; a Final Major Project (FMP) or, an Applied Research Problem Brief (ARPB).  The main feature of the module is that work carried out in one of these three areas will lead to real and specific outputs.  Where students choose to write a Dissertation they will present their main findings at the symposium; students choosing a FMP will be able showcase their work online and at exhibition; students choosing an ARPB will implement their solutions in the field and have the potential to develop consultancy skills.  Students will enter into learning contracts and will work independently under the guidance of a supervisor. 

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  • The module offers students the opportunity to gain an understanding of what it is like to work within the media industries. Students will arrange and carryout a period of work experience within a media organisation working in a professional environment. The placement will typically be for two weeks, and usually completed over the summer period, although students who show initiative in negotiating more substantial work experience will be able to extend this. This practical hands-on experience will be supported in the classroom where students will be encouraged to reflect on their experience, evaluate their skills and plan for future in relation to graduate employability. Students will also locate and evaluate their experience in relation to wider debates and issues relating to work in the media industries, changing production contexts and new professional identities.

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  • The module will discuss drama within a generic framework, encountering ideas of nationhood, heritage, class and culture, and examining the relationship between TV, literature, theatre and cinema.The module will trace the history of British Television Drama and consider the relations between commissioners, writers, directors and actors. It will  analyse the form and content of British television drama programmes in comparison with American television drama. It will explore notions of TV Commissioning and the Canon, the single television play and television as the writer's medium. In addition the module will consider how television drama reflects, and influences British culture, the effect of technology on television drama and competition from American forms in the digital era.

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  • Though important advances have been made in terms of gender equality at work and education, certainly with the UK, gender divisions and gender inequalities remain a significant political and social issue in our contemporary social world. The purpose of this module is to examine the concept of gender, and its consequences for our global society.

    The module will begin by critiquing the notion of gender and how gender expectations are produced and mobilised. In doing so, it will explore theoretical arguments from contemporary authors and sociological theorists, as well as classical feminists such as Harriet Martineau, Jane Addams and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

    The module will then look more closely at some of the consequences of gender division and gender inequality in society today (in terms of work, education, consumption, visual images) and will examine the way in which gender distinctions are mobilised and reinforced through discourse and practice. Moreover, though the module will focus on gender it will  note the importance of intersectionality, and as such will explore important relationships between gender, race, class and age.

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  • The module offers an account of theories and ideas concerning power and resistance from a range of critical approaches to cinema including post-colonialism, post-structuralism, post-modernism, post-humanism, as well as Deleuzian, Bakhtinian and Foucauldian perspectives. These critical ideas will be used to approach a range of film texts that provide counter-accounts to the dominant discourses in relation to colonialism, dispersal and race, gender, anti-humanism, bodily and mental non-conformity, as well as films that allow for critically productive explorations of contemporary identity. These approaches raise questions about mainstream or dominant cultural production and practices from a range of film styles or cultures including satirical, parodic, grotesque, and horrific modes. The critical focus is on understanding power and resistance as forces and strategies produced through certain negotiated practices.

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  • This Special Study module uses David Bowie's life (1947 onward) and work (1965 onward) to the present as a focus for the exploration of key theoretical concepts around national and location, gender and identity, narrative and intertextuality, authorship, audience and performance. Through an extended case study, it encourages an exploration of the relationship between theory and practice, an engagement with theory and an application of that theory to the analysis of primary texts.

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  • This special study examines media rights and mashups in relation to the opportunities and challenges they pose to making, distributing and consuming media in the current digital landscape.  Starting by defining and understanding such rights as copyright, brand rights, image rights, privacy, freedom of expression and information, we explore how these have been disrupted in professional creative industry contexts. In MAKING Media, students have a wide range of case studies to draw from in e.g. film, music, fashion, advertising, PR, publishing, and art. They study the notion of ‘digital disruption', the advent of free / open / democratic media and analyse how making media is affected by the inevitability and integration of share culture, remix and mashups. In DISTRIBUTING Media, students explore those issues pertaining to distribution, the rights affecting distribution, and how these are challenged and disrupted or mashed up by download culture, appropriation, transborder flows, social media convergence and spreadability. The significance of grey and hybrid economy is also explored.  Finally, in CONSUMING Media, students explore privacy, the right to be forgotten, libel and image rights as they relate to the consequences of social media use, cyber bullying and reputation management.

    Students write an extended essay OR engage in production or practice-based projects.  Past work includes documentary production on e.g. censorship; explicit content in music video; copyright in art & photography; remix culture; fashion and cultural appropriation; audio & video mashups; website installations and extended essays on e.g. censorship; copyright; surveillance; hip-hop; transmedia; and, erasure of content in social media.

    There is a substantial opportunity to transfer employability skills and knowledge acquired in the module to a range of professional contexts.

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  • This special study module is an introduction to political communication from the lens of hybrid media environments. It enables students to examine the new research agenda and the emerging practices in this field of study beyond the limits of the media effects approach applied to traditional or mass media. The topics covered on the module are partly linked with the research interests and projects of teaching staff and will enable students to benefit from research-informed teaching in their final year of study. Students will undertake extensive exploration of the new challenges facing political communication in multi-platform contexts, drawing on pertinent theoretical debates and current media stories. Students will deliver an assessed presentation, and produce an extended and focused practice-based or essay-based project on a particular topic negotiated with the module leader.

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  • This is the module that can make you rich! Television is allegedly the second highest paid industry in the country (working in oil is more lucrative - but very uncomfortable). A reliable route to creative success and untold wealth in television now is the drama series. Mainstay of both terrestrial and digital channels, the returning series is TV's holy grail – pulling audiences back for episode after episode, season after season, box set after box set. It can be a goldmine.

    Taught by two highly experienced TV professionals, this module will consider how a returning drama series is conceived and constructed. Students are introduced to concepts of dramatic structure and story-lining, using case studies of successful US and British models, together with practical exercises on serialisation and script writing. Working from concept to storyline to script, students develop their own original drama series (or comedy), and undertake research into the current broadcasting landscape – its channels, schedules and market imperatives.  The final assessment is an industry-standard pitch accompanied by a short script sample, aimed at UK television. Students demonstrate their research and a knowledge of social and commercial context in a supplementary market evaluation.

    This module isn't just for would-be writers: it's for anyone keen to understand contemporary broadcasting, refine their communication skills, and learn how to present their work and themselves in a professional context. At the end of this stimulating and entertaining course, students will have created their own drama series and (potentially) their own industry calling card. .

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Study abroad as part if your degreeMost of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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