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Media & Communication BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

Kingston University is ranked No. 1 in London for media and film studies (Guardian University Guide league tables 2020).

If you are interested in the wide range of careers within media and cultural industries, want to develop a critical understanding of the role the media plays in shaping our political, social and cultural world, and also want to develop your practical skills to be able to participate in the production of media, then this is the right course for you.

Through the integration of theory and practice, our course explores the production and consumption of media in its various forms, from web, film and television to paid streaming services, news to communication via social media. It looks at how these different media channels shape our ways of communicating, and our relationships, personal, political, economic and cultural.

You will also develop practical skills in digital media. What distinguishes media and communications at Kingston University is the way in which we blend theory and practice in our modules, offering a choice of workshops and assessment that will require you to combine strong theoretical knowledge with critical, creative and practice-based skills.

You will graduate as professionals who can think critically and creatively, with the skills and drive to make a mark in the media industries, which play an increasingly important role in our world.

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time P300 Clearing 2019
2020
4 years full time including foundation year P900 Clearing 2019
2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University Clearing 2019
2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • Kingston University is ranked No. 1 in London for media and film studies (Guardian University Guide league tables 2020).
  • You'll have the chance to gain work experience in a media organisation and prepare for your future career.
  • There is also the option to study abroad - an opportunity to boost your employability, gain language skills and experience a different culture.
  • You'll be able to use Kingston's specialist film and media facilities, including a fully equipped audio recording facility and a film studio.

 

What you will study

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. Each level is made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points. Typically a student must complete 120 credits at each level.

Modules

Year 1

Year 2

Optional year

Final year

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 will look at various media forms and understand how news stories are portrayed across different channels. You will also be introduced to production practice, as well as learning more about how media industries work, with lectures and talks from professionals working in the media industry.

Core modules

How Media Changed the World

30 credits

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 explore the essential skills required for successful undergraduate study.

Media@Work

30 credits

You will 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). You 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.

Media Now, Texts, Practices and Events

30 credits

This module enables you to understand the ways in which media events are constructed and grounded in a wide range of media environments (audio/ visual, print, broadcast, electronic and digital media). You will develop an understanding of how communicative content is scripted, staged, and portrayed as 'media events' and 'media narratives'.

The module is organised in two major blocks focused on: 1) the construction of media events through storytelling, headlines, hashtags, photojournalism, memes and media spectacles; 2) the second part of the module departs from Dayan & Katz's definition of media events as scripted ceremonial events (of contest, conquest and coronation) with an integrative function whose aim is to confirm the legitimacy of established power hierarchies, and provide a sense of social cohesion and belonging. The students will examine this theory and challenge the 'myths of the mediated centre' in shaping perceptions of the newsworthiness or noteworthiness of news stories by looking at alternative models of media events including disruptive events (catastrophe, conflict, and violence), media scandals, viral (new) media events, everyday life events (including tabloid, "trash" media, and confessional cultures).

Digital Media Foundations

30 credits

This module aims to acquaint you with historical and contemporary digital media practices and design principles as a basis for developing media communication skills.  You 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 you with the opportunity to bring knowledge from other modules and apply it to your digital artefact.

In Year 2, the core module in Cultural Theories builds on the theoretical concepts introduced in the first year, looking in more depth at how these concepts emerged and developed in the 20th and 21st centuries. You will examine their use in understanding and analysis of contemporary media and communication cultures

Modules like Digital Media and Digital Storytelling will develop your digital production skills in websites, video, audio and images, encouraging you to think critically about online communication, media arts, digital culture, new documentary, narrative and audiences.

 

Core modules

Cultural Theories of Mass and New Media

30 credits

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.

Multi-Media Production

30 credits

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.

Optional modules

Identity and Difference

30 credits

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 
Media Industries and Professions

30 credits

This module enables you to gain an understanding of the structure of contemporary media industries and the position of media professionals within these. You 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. You will be able to investigate particular media industries of your choice in your assessment. In addition, you will have the opportunity to enhance your 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 your assessment. You will participate in a series of research methodology workshops, shared across all the media options, which will equip you with the skills required to conduct your own independent research assignment.

Media and Politics

30 credits

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.

Digital Storytelling

30 credits

This practical module aims to develop your skills and abilities to produce digital products - audio, video, games, images - in a way that meets contemporary audiences' changing expectations. You 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 you 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.

You 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. You 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. You will learn how to apply this knowledge to your own media production projects.

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

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 your final year, you will work on a major independent project, by selecting a written or practice-based dissertation, which you'll present at our end of year media conference. Your core module has four strands to choose from: Consuming Cultures, Selfies, Creative Digital Environments and Media Now.

In @Work in the Media Industries, focused on employability, you will be given the chance to find your own placement and embed this experience within the module.

 

Core modules

Issues in Contemporary Media and Culture

30 credits

This module seeks to synthesise and draw together your understanding of theoretical and contextual approaches to the interpretation of media and culture, that 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.

Media Research Project

30 credits

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.  You will organise an end of year exhibition and symposium event specifically to showcase your work. In doing so, you will develop your critical analytical and transferable employability skills.  You 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 you choose to write a dissertation you will present your main findings at the symposium; those choosing a FMP will be able showcase their work online and at exhibition; those choosing an ARPB will implement their solutions in the field and have the potential to develop consultancy skills.  You will enter into learning contracts and will work independently under the guidance of a supervisor. 

Optional modules

@ Work in the Media Industries

30 credits

The module offers you the opportunity to gain an understanding of what it is like to work within the media industries. You will arrange and carry out 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 those 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 you will be encouraged to reflect on your experience, evaluate your skills and plan for future in relation to graduate employability. You will also locate and evaluate your experience in relation to wider debates and issues relating to work in the media industries, changing production contexts and new professional identities.

Special Study: Art/Media Management and Production

30 credits

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 eg.download 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.

Special Study: Multi-Platform Political Communication

30 credits

This special study module is an introduction to political communication from the lens of hybrid media environments. It enables you 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 you to benefit from research-informed teaching in your final year of study. You will undertake extensive exploration of the new challenges facing political communication in multi-platform contexts, drawing on pertinent theoretical debates and current media stories. You 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.

Special Study: Television Production

30 credits

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.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Foundation year - Humanities & Arts

You can also study this course with a Foundation year.

Entry requirements

104 tariff points

If you want to join us in 2019 through Clearing, please call us on 0800 0483 334 (or +44 020 8328 1149 if you are calling from outside the UK) and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable hotliners who will be able to provide information on available courses and will guide you through your options.

Please note the tariff information below is for 2020 entry only.

Typical offer

104 UCAS points from Level 3 qualifications. If A Level Media Studies taken, then minimum grade C (i.e. A Levels, BTEC Diploma, Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc).

Additional requirements

Entry on to this course does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5

Teaching and assessment

Timetabled teaching and learning on this course includes lecture and workshops, practical projects, responses to live briefs, small group tutorials, seminars, and group work.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Time spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

In Year 2 and Year 3, time for scheduled teaching and learning, and guided independent study, changes depending on modules.

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Y3

Year 1
  • Coursework
Year 2
  • Coursework
Y3
  • Coursework

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Facilities

The campus at Penrhyn Road is a hive of activity, housing the main student restaurant, the learning resources centre (LRC), and a host of teaching rooms and lecture theatres.

At the heart of the campus is the John Galsworthy building, a six-storey complex that brings together lecture theatres, flexible teaching space and information technology suites around a landscaped courtyard.

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) Foundation year: £7,800
£9,250*
International Foundation: £12,700
Year 1 (2019/20): £12,700 or £14,200**
Year 2 (2020/21): £13,100 or £14,600**
Year 3 (2021/22): £13,500 or £15,000**
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). 

** The international fee rate charged will depend upon the course combination chosen.

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.

Free WIFI is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

Course combinations

You can combine a foundation year with the following subjects:

The courses are 4 years full time including foundation year.

 

After you graduate

Careers and progression

The Media & Communication course prepares you for a career in media production and the creative sector. The critical, creative and interdisciplinary nature also develops transferable skills relevant to success in a wide range of careers.

Examples of recent graduate destinations

  • Types of jobs
  • Social media executive
  • Film maker
  • Copywriter
  • Creative designers
  • Account executive
  • Web content editor
  • Lead reporter
  • Video producer
  • Writer

Examples of employers

  • Apple
  • Birmingham Art Galleries
  • BBC
  • Deloitte Digital
  • Google Play
  • French Radio London
  • Pixeled Eggs
  • Purple PR
  • Winkreative

 

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).

Undergraduate study
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