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Media and Communication MA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement September 2020
Part time 2 years September 2020

Choose Kingston's Media and Communication MA

This course offers a cross-disciplinary insight into the role and function of media in contemporary society, examining how we can all survive in the current media environment. It focuses on the centrality of modern media forms and practices in our daily communication, and how they facilitate and constrain the way we communicate with each other.

Key features

  • Opportunity to join a diverse and international student cohort from all walks of life. Former and current students include a South Korean graduate with 20 year experience in TV production, a professional photographer from Lebanon, a dance graduate from Liverpool, a London-based filmmaker and podcast producer.
  • The course explores different aspects of the media industries and professions and will allow you to develop well-rounded communication, marketing and advertising skills.
  • The choice of option modules allows you to tailor the course to your personal interests.
  • Core and optional modules integrate media practice and media theory, giving you the chance to study an area of interest in greater depth and gain valuable research and practice skills.
  • Teaching is research-led by a London-based international team of academics with specialist knowledge of the most recent ideas and innovations in the field.
  • You will have the chance to attend many research seminars and talks in the Kingston School of Art, interact with a range of guest speakers, professors and professionals visiting the University.
  • Career workshops and career fairs are embedded in the teaching schedule, enabling you to develop your employability skills.

What will you study?

Communication media are present in all aspects of our daily lives in all shapes and forms: old and new, digital and analogue, hardware and software, architecture and big data, image and text, communities and selfies... Media and communication technologies and cultures play an important role in the organisation and management of social, political, and economic institutions. 

This Media and Communication MA is designed to provide a critical overview and survey of today's media landscape and media environments.

The compulsory core modules provide you with a comprehensive grounding in the theoretical and empirical approaches to studying media institutions, texts and communication practices. The option modules allow you to specialise in research areas that interest you within this broad field, and enable you to examine various media industries and communication practices within their historical, economic, political and social contexts.

Recent changes in media environments under the impact of globalisation are reflected in the currency of the curriculum and the topics covered across core and optional modules.

External examiner's testimony:

"The content of the module is stimulating, and strikes a good balance between the canonical (Adorno, McLuhan...) and the up-to-the-minute... The module has clearly prompted students to think in sophisticated and theoretically informed ways about media." James Zborowski (University of Hull)


Assessment takes a variety of formats, such as seminar presentation, exams, essays and a dissertation.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Invoicing on the placement courses is split into two stages. The standard course fee is payable in year 1 with the placement fee invoiced in year 2. Therefore, students starting in September 2018 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,230 in September 2019. Students commencing the course in September 2019 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2020 (provisionally £1,350).

This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not manage to secure a work placement.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Course structure

This course is designed to provide a critical overview and survey of today's media landscape and media environments. The coursework is a mixture of academic research and media practice, allowing you to build a wholesome professional portfolio of media projects.

The classroom teaching is supported by extracurricular activities including journalism lectures, publishing masterclasses, marketing and media industries events, and organised educational visits to media hubs in and around London.

You'll have to take three compulsory modules, including a dissertation, worth 120 credits in total, and then choose from two optional modules worth 30 credits each. In total you'll have to complete 180 credits.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • This module provides a broad-based exploration of the conceptual history of electronic and digital media technologies and their effect on society, culture and politics. Contemporary case studies from everyday media are used to evaluate the usability of different theoretical frameworks discussed in the first part of the module. These are organised into three major topics.

    1) The transition to managerial governance, cultural politics, consumer cultures and the media industries.

    2) The analogue-digital interface in media aesthetics and media art.

    3) Emerging trends in theorising new media and digital cultures.

  • This module enables students to demonstrate their ability to undertake a sustained piece of independent project in media and communication at an advanced level on a topic of their choice agreed in conjunction with their dissertation supervisor. Dissertations may be based on some primary research into a particular case study, archive or canon in combination with an engagement with secondary material, criticism or literature review. Students can either undertake a standard dissertation (12- 15,000 words) or a practice-based dissertation (plus a maximum of 5,000 word reflection on practice and/ or the creative process). The second part of MD7001 provides the teaching for this module, and covers research skills such as constructing a proposal, editing and composition, reflection on practice, referencing, and on online and electronic research methods.

  • The culture of the West is no longer the sole driver of globalisation. All nations around the world are enjoined to compete on multiple media platforms and cultural arenas where culture and economy are conjoined across globalized communications networks. At the same time, even as national cultures seek to position their ‘brands' in the global ‘marketplace', they are challenged by trans- and post-national corporations, particularly new media companies among the wealthiest in the world.

    The rise of popular social and nationalist movements contesting the inequalities represented by these elites take place, similarly, across global media networks. This module explores the current debates around the cultural politics of the new globalization that is continually being transformed by the radical changes being introduced by technological ‘disruptions' that have collapsed familiar spatial and temporal dimensions of the world. Through addressing pertinent theoretical perspectives and case studies from different parts of the world, the module examines the political, social, cultural and moral issues that arise in the context of the new realities and conflicts being produced and facilitated by globalized media and communication.


Optional modules

  • This one semester module is an elective primarily offered to students taking an MA in Media & Communication or an MA in Film but it is also relevant to those taking postgraduate degrees in politics, political communication, human rights and conflict. It deals with some of the most hotly debated issues in different societies about how to balance core freedoms (expression, press and protest) with the state protecting what and who may be potentially harmed by certain forms of expression through censorship.  Even then these remain open debates as new forms of subversion and resistance emerge with new technologies or through the use of the body to express protest. The module explores these at two levels. The first outlines different approaches to and principles governing censorship depending on whether expression is through images; words, ideas and beliefs; information; and action. These are then explored in more depth in sessions that draw on staff specialisms here, for instance, in film, news, information-privacy, protest movements, etc.

  • This module examines the way in which the genres of Horror and Cartoon Comedy splice animals and humans together to create frightening or comical visions of both. There is a long history in cinema of humanising the animal ('anthropomorphism') and animalising the human ('theriomorphism'), through hybrids of animal and human beings (werewolves, man-beasts from Greek myth), or animal and human behaviour, as when feeding (vampires, zombies) or in political behaviour (invading alien monsters). We will analyse the narrational methods, cinematic technologies, ethics, and politics of these films by looking at contemporary examples including Twilight, Daybreakers, Red Dragon, The Island of Dr Moreau, Splice, X-Men, Up!, Antz, Happy Feet, District 9 and Alien.

  • This module aims to provide you with the practical skills necessary to work as successful journalists, underpinned by an understanding of the constraints and tensions inherent in magazine offices, and online operations developing in a changing industry. You will examine the structure of this fast-expanding sector, with a particular emphasis on the role played by freelance journalists and production staff in generating content.

    You will have the opportunity to acquire the core skills for producing online and print publications which will include the use of social media/analytics/branding/research and interview techniques. You will be equipped with multimedia reporting, production and design skills in demand in the journalism industry and will be confident about telling stories through video and audio as well as the written word.

    The module offers valuable opportunities for you to work together to produce and run your own group website, and magazine, developing your teamwork skills and experiencing the reality of different job roles in a multimedia operation. This classroom experience will provide a valuable introduction to the two-week work placement all students will be required to undertake as part of the module.

  • 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.

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

    You will be able to familiarise yourselves with rights management issues, defining and understanding rights in the context of your 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 - you will explore how these work in practice. You will also develop knowledge and understanding of the use of agreements and of licensing, and relate these to art / media production and, professional practice.

    You will 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 you will learn how to navigate these. To understand what happens to art and media work once produced, you will look also at distribution, the rights affecting distribution, and the impact on these of culture, cultural appropriation, globalisation; transborder flow, media convergence and spreadability.

    You 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 and 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.

  • This is a practical module designed to enable you to experience and work in a professionally-focused industry environment, and develop television production skills such as multi-camera operation, sound, mixing and teleprompting.

    You will learn how to work and operate a professional broadcast studio as well as developing TV production skills. In addition, you will build on and reinforce employability skills such as problem-solving, time management and dependability sought by employers looking to fill graduate positions. You will be encouraged to reflect on your professional practice and critically evaluate your teaching and learning contributions.

    This module builds practical and theoretical knowledge and skills towards the creation of a final year production piece. You can make either TV drama or TV documentary but must use the production studio for at least part of their production. This caveat will contribute to the wide range of skills that the industry demands of graduates.



Professional Placement

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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.

Regulations governing this course are available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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