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@ Work in the Media Industries

  • Module code: MD6004
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: successful completion of level 5 media and cultural studies or equivalent
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

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.

Aims

  • To provide an opportunity for students to gain firsthand experience of the realities of work in a media profession through a short period of work experience in a media organisation.
  • To provide experience that will support students in making informed decisions about future careers, develop media contacts, begin to build a portfolio of work and reflect on possible future training needs.
  • To provide students with a critical understanding of the place of  creative work within the media industries and the working conditions of practitioners.
  • To enable students to apply a range of skills and knowledge acquired in the course of their studies to a real setting.

Learning outcomes

  • A critical awareness of the constraints and pressures involved working within media organisations.
  • The skills, discipline and attention to detail necessary to produce media products/practices  in a real setting;
  • A critical understanding of the interaction of different roles and functions within a media organisation;
  • The ability to reflect critically on their own experience of media production in relation to key debates and issues associated with the study of media industries and professions.
  • A range of transferable skills (including autonomous working, negotiating skills, teamwork,  responsiveness to deadlines and  the ability to develop contacts).

Curriculum content

  • Roles and tasks undertaken during each placement may vary, but allow students to observe and participate in essential activities which contribute to producing real media products (e.g., marketing material or website design). Some of the key areas include:
  • The profile of the host organisation and its position within a wider context
  • The links between the placement and the course
  • The development of personal and transferable skills
  • The contribution of the placement to career development
  • CV building, interview skills and  creative job searching
  • Skills evaluation
  • Presentation skills
  • Reflective learning and reflective writing
  • The nature of creative work
  • Creativity and commerce- the contemporary landscape of media SMEs
  • Working practices and professions in the media industries
  • Representations of cultural/media work

Teaching and learning strategy

Students will participate in briefing sessions before starting their period of work experience; they will receive a handbook to assist their search for a placement and will be able to access online support and guidance from a module tutor during the work experience period itself. Students will record this experience through a closed blog which will be shared with the module tutor (and may be made available to other students taking the module if agreed). On return, students will place a short presentation describing the experience and evaluating what they have learned from it. Students will be expected to contribute to the discussion prompted by the presentations. Fortnightly seminars will explore reflective writing, work-based learning issues and professional and career development together with the substantive content of the module.

Students will be supported by a tutor who will give feedback to the student concerning their experience on the work-based learning which will help them in the development of the portfolio that forms the assessment.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Fortnightly seminar/workshops, small group and individual tutorials 26
Study abroad / placement work experience within a media organisation 80
Guided independent study reading, research, reflection exercises, preparation for assessments 194
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment is designed to allow students to reflect on their practical work experience and to build a portfolio of associated material (e.g. presentation, skills audits, work produced on placement, cv) on the aspect of media they have been working in. Students are formatively prepared for this in advance of the placement. Students keep a blog recording the tasks and duties undertaken during their placement and also capturing their immediate reflections on the day. This will provide a framework for their reflective review which will be completed during the teaching period. Students will get the opportunity to practice reflective writing in class exercises. In addition students will complete a critical essay related to the subject of contemporary work in the media industries. This can also be linked to their experience of the media workplace and will draw on concepts and additional evidence drawn from scholarship in the field. Students will submit a plan in advance on which they will receive feedback prior to submission.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
A critical awareness of the constraints and pressures involved working within media organisations. Summatively through the reflective review of the work experience.
The skills, discipline and attention to detail necessary to produce media products/practices in a real setting; Summatively through the reflective review and skills audit.
A critical understanding of the interaction of different roles and functions within a media organisation; Summatively through the reflective review and presentation.
The ability to reflect critically on their own experience of media production in relation to key debates and issues associated with the study of media industries and professions. Summatively through the critical essay
A range of transferable skills (including autonomous working, negotiating skills, teamwork, responsiveness to deadlines and the ability to develop contacts). Summatively through the presentation, skills audit and CV.

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Portfolio 40
PRC Group presentation 20
CWK 2000 word critical essay 40
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Beck, A (2003) Cultural Work, (Routledge).

Fanthome, C. (2005) Work Placements – A Survival Guide for Students (Palgrave Macmillan)

Hesmondhlagh, D. & Baker, S.  (2010) Creative Labour: Media Work in Three Cultural Industires, (Routledge)

Nixon, S & Crewe, B (2004) ‘Pleasure at Work? Gender, Consumption and Work-based identity in the Creative Industries', Consumption, Markets and Culture, Vol 7, no. 2. 129- 147.

Bibliography recommended reading

Hesmondhalgh, D. (2005) Media Production, (Open Univeristy Press)

Hochschild, A. (1983) The Managed Heart: commercialization of Human feeling, (Univeristy Of California Press)

Tunstall, J. (2000) Media Occupations and Professions, (OUP)

Woolf, J (2000) The Social Production of Art, (Macmillan).

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