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Media & Communication BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time P300 2018
4 years full time including foundation year P900 2018
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018

Why choose this course?

Do you want to see how the media industry works in real life? This course explores the production and consumption of media and cultural objects like art, film, television, music and literature. It looks at how these media channels shape our ways of communicating. On the course you'll examine the media's role in today's society, economy and politics, and develop practical skills in digital media.

We were ranked at number 18 in the UK (out of 87) for media and film in the Guardian University League Tables 2018.

Foundation year - Humanities & Arts

If you are thinking of returning to education after a break you could apply for our foundation year course. This course will provide you with the academic and transferable skills you need to study an undergraduate degree in any of the humanities or arts. At Kingston these include Creative Writing, Dance, Drama and English Literature.

Throughout the year-long course, you can study a range of these subjects, allowing you to get a better idea of which ones you prefer. It'll guide you in the direction of a humanities or arts degree that you're particularly interested in. The foundation year will develop your independent study skills and help you to better understand your academic ability, a potential career path and how to develop the skills that employers look for in graduates.

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 examines historical and contemporary developments in media and culture, looking at how our media usage has evolved from photography through video to Snapchat. You'll look at various media forms and understand how news stories are portrayed across different channels. You will also be introduced to production practice.

In Year 2, the Cultural Theories of Mass and New Media module builds on Year 1's learning. You will further develop your production practice in the Multimedia Production module. You will also examine various aspects of media production, media consumption or genre.

The Media Industries and Professions module has an optional work-based element, giving you the chance to work in the real world and add to your CV. You will also have the chance to study abroad, which is a good opportunity to boost employability, gain language skills and experience a different culture.

In Year 3 you can tailor your studies to your own interests. You will undertake special studies and your own research-based projects. You'll also get to present your work at our end of year media conference.

In addition, the @ Work in the Media Industries module gives you the opportunity to do work experience in a media organisation. Similarly, the Media Research Project has the option of work-based research.

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.

Foundation year

  • This module aims to prepare you for undergraduate study and to give you the skills and knowledge related to the study of humanities, arts and social science subjects. The main areas covered will include research skills (like using a library and electronic resources), planning, note taking, building a bibliography, and avoiding plagiarism. You will also develop your communication skills, especially focusing on essay and report writing, delivering presentations and being an active participant in debates and discussions. The module will encourage you to develop the independent learning, critical analysis, and reflective skills crucial to succeeding in a degree.

  • Radical Imaginations focuses on creative writing, drama and English literature and aims to highlight how powerful you can be with your creativity. You'll look at text and performance, combining classroom learning with field trips to theatre productions in London.

    The module will help you understand how different texts relate to contemporary experiences: how have classic literary texts been translated into film, opera and ballet and with what effects? How do television drama shows such as Sherlock create dramatic interventions into established narratives, and for what purposes? How have contemporary playwrights like Caryl Churchill, Sarah Daniel, Debbie Tucker Green and Sarah Kane challenged perceptions through controversial and experimental works? Through these sorts of questions, you'll experience imagination at its most radical and relevant.

  • Being Human: History and the History of Ideas draws from history and philosophy. It considers how ideas shape our thinking about society, politics, and the arts. You'll reflect on how history has been studied, explore ideas like counterfactual histories, the use and misuse of history in different political contexts and ask questions on how history relates to memory. You'll also examine the ways in which ideas have their own history eg the idea of freedom, and its political history through philosophers, political thinkers, abolitionists, feminists, anti colonial militants, revolutionaries, and civil rights campaigners . In each of these areas you'll reflect on how our ideas are shaped by the social, political and cultural contexts in which we think.

  • Communication in Context and Practice introduces you to spoken and written communications and will explore a range of subjects like : journalism, publishing, and linguistics. It explores the dynamic ways in which language reports on, shapes, and transforms our understanding of the world. You'll be introduced to degree-level publishing and journalism, and look at communications across multimedia and multimodal formats. Through this, you'll understand the importance of the audience (or hearer/ reader) for effective communication in different contexts.


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 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 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 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)

  • 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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  • 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 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 module explores the social intersections between gender, race and class. It begins by examining historical conceptualisations of these terms and intersections, and the social and civil movements that challenged how these terms were considered in both women's and men's lives.

    From the beginning, the module will introduce you to a wide range of feminist approaches in order to make sense of various intersections of gender, race and class. In this module you will consider how such categories and intersections contribute to identity constructions and contestations. You will reflect on these elements within contemporary examples of everyday life – for example, consumption, families and intimacies, education and sport. Upon completion of this module you will have expanded your skills in critical reflection and analysis of social intersections and inequalities.

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  • This special study examines art / media management and production in relation to opportunities and challenges posed in the current digital landscape.

    Students are able to familiarise themselves with rights management issues, defining and understanding rights in the context of their own topical areas of interest; professional practice; and/or, production work. Looking at such rights as copyright, brand rights, image rights, privacy, freedom of expression and information, censorship, and regulation - students explore how these work in practice. They also develop knowledge and understanding of the use of agreements and of licensing, and relate these to art / media production and, professional practice.

    Students have a wide range of case studies to focus on: film, music, fashion, advertising, PR, publishing, and art; global media production and cultures of appropriation. There will be an opportunity to study theoretical aspects of ‘digital disruption', the impact and use of free / open media and, how making media is affected by share culture, remix/mashups. Production work with archives and issues raised by archival rights are an important focus and students learn how to navigate these. To understand what happens to art and media work once produced, students look also at distribution, the rights affecting distribution, and the impact on these of culture, cultural appropriation, globalisation; transborder flow, media convergence and spreadability.

    Students may EITHER write an extended essay OR engage in production or practice-based projects. The focus topics are wide and based on student choice (such as, in the past, free expression and identity; cyber-bulling & social media; documenting conflict; PR and reputation work; culture jamming; brand management; style and advertising; music production). The output options are also wide ranging (from critical essays; to video essay; blogs; podcasts / vlog websites; music and video mashups; short video documentary). 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 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 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.

Most 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.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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