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Media & Communication BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time P300 2018
2019
4 years full time including foundation year P900 2018
2019
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018
2019

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, English Literature, English Language and History.

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.

     
  • Introducing ways in which written texts are reimagined, adapted and transformed by creative artists, including writers, theatre makers, choreographers and film directors, this module explores in both theory and practice the relationship between page and stage, word and image, and in doing so enables you to explore creative imagination at its most radical and relevant.

    How and why do television dramas such as Sherlock and Elementary create dramatic interventions into established narratives? How has innovative, controversial and experimental work made by contemporary playwrights such as Caryl Churchill, debbie tucker green and Sarah Kane drawn on classic texts to challenge and alter our perceptions of the world? What does The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter's creative appropriation of various fairy tales, reveal about this genre and by extension what does Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves tell us both about Carter's stories and the tales that informed them?

    Questions such as these, addressed in a series of interrelated case studies, will enable you to examine the practices and negotiations involved in work of transition and appropriation. You will develop skills in textual analysis required for writing effective argumentative essays that engage with diverse literary and cultural materials. In addition the module will harness and develop your creative skills: through a series of workshops you work on short creative writing and group performance projects that respond to the texts and contexts introduced on the module.

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  • Throughout time, people have drawn on history and on ideas to explore, question and record the experience of being human.

    This module provides an introduction to the study of that experience, in all its variety. It considers how people, events and ideas, past and present, shape our thinking about society, politics, race, gender, art, culture - and life. It enables students to learn how knowledge and awareness of the past is formed and shaped; how it changes and yet in some ways also remains the same. Students debate and reflect critically on the nature of historical knowledge and how 'history' may differ from 'the past', and they consider the ways in which contemporary cultures and societies are shaped by histories of ideas.

    The module draws on a rich store of experience, knowledge and expertise relating to history, philosophy and the history of ideas. It asks students to consider how history relates to memory and how history is used, and mis-used. History is personal and also communal. It is national, international and global. How are all those histories linked? How did people in the past experience things in terms of equality and inequality, in terms of gender, sexuality and race? Why and how was that experience documented, if at all? What can we learn from it?

    Artists, writers, historians, philosophers, musicians, filmmakers and journalists: all have responded to those and other questions. For this module we introduce students to a range of texts and other representations, using history and the history of ideas to explore and debate what it means to be human. 

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  • This module introduces you to spoken and written communication and will explore a range of texts on a variety of subjects, for varying audiences and purposes including: media discourses and planned and spontaneous texts using written, spoken and electronic formats. You will learn ways of classifying these modes and how to describe significant features of texts using linguistic frameworks. You will demonstrate your new knowledge in an assessed presentation.

    You will also explore the importance of the audience, aka the reader or listener, for effective communication in different contexts Through considering and critically analysing the structure, style and content of articles published on websites, in newspapers and magazines you will begin to develop an understanding of how journalism is directed at specific readerships.

    You will also learn the practical conventions, contexts and functions of written journalism. You will study how to: originate ideas, undertake journalistic research, interview, organise your material, write well and adhere to house style.

    By examining and practising skills needed to develop and write pieces you will aim to produce a journalistic feature that is suitable for publication. Development of practical skills such as asking the right questions, note-taking, identifying quotes, finding information and assessing the reliability of sources will be measured in an accompanying research log.

    This module also includes a personal tutorial hour, which provides an additional forum for you to discuss work undertaken across all of your modules, and to undertake additional personal development and study skills activities.

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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 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 practical module aims to develop students' skills and abilities to produce digital products - audio, video, games, images - in a way that meets contemporary audiences' changing expectations. Students will consider how digital technology can be used to deliver media in the most compelling ways, and analyse how digital storytelling is altering both audiences and the wider media industry. The module aims to provide students with the specialist vocabulary, concepts and skills required for the use of digital storytelling in a variety of professional contexts such as commercial and educational campaigns and the interactive media industries.

    Students will consider the short history and emergence of digital storytelling by looking at case studies from various media such as news, television and the internet. They will look at the role of digital storytelling in narrative theory, such as the representation of narrative action, plot and character, and the use of words, images and sound as narrative devices. They will learn how to apply this knowledge to their own media production projects.

    Methods for the formal presentation of plans for digital stories such as storyboards and structure diagrams will be covered. Students will learn skills in identifying a story with strong audio visual potential and how to grab the attention of the audience. They will further develop competence in recording audio, shooting photography and video, animation, building interactive games and incorporating powerful narrative into the production edit.

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  • With the rise of populist forms of nationalism in the wake of the crisis in globalized finance capitalism, the phenomenon of 'globalization' is increasingly contested. This contestation, however, continues to take place on a variety of new media platforms as nation states struggle to contain popular unrest and the international challenge of both the worldwideweb and the 'dark web'. In the field of international relations, politics and war takes place as much in the media as on the ground, control of communications systems being essential to the exercise of power and the establishment of dominant ideologies. In this module, we explore the debates around the political role of media in the age of global communications. Beginning with an introduction to theories of communication and information that were developed in the context of global conflict, particularly Bell Labs in WWII, we go on to examine the political, social, cultural and moral issues that arise as new forms of communication become increasingly important platforms for domestic and international media companies, national security, political contestation, economic exploitation, and social resistance.  

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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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  • 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 e.g.download 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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  • This is a practical module designed to enable students to experience and work in a professionally-focused industry environment, and develop television production skills such as multi-camera operation, sound, mixing and teleprompting. Students will learn how to work and operate a professional broadcast studio as well as developing TV production skills. In addition, students will build on and reinforce employability skills such as problem-solving, time management and dependability sought by employers looking to fill graduate positions. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their professional practice and critically evaluate their teaching and learning contributions.

    This L6 module builds on practical and theoretical knowledge and skills towards the creation of a final year production piece. Students can make either TV drama or TV documentary production 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.

     

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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*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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