Media & Communication BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

Media is central to the way in which we understand and experience the world around us. This course will equip you with both the knowledge and skills to understand the world of media and to engage with it as practitioners, researchers, media theorists and industry experts.

One of the main characteristics is the integration of theory and practice, as well as being introduced to aspects of the media industry. You'll acquire practical skills in media production across a range of digital platforms, i.e. video, websites and podcasts, television, websites, motion graphics.

In the final year, you'll work on a major piece of independent research as a practice-based or written dissertation to further develop the professional skills necessary for employment.

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time P300 2022
2023
4 years full time including foundation year P900 2022
2023
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2022
2023
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • This course prepares you for a career in the creative sector and media production. You'll have the chance to gain employability skills by working directly with clients, following live briefs, team-working and creating professional portfolios to prepare for a unique career path to you.
  • You'll have access to the latest digital equipment, such as specialist film and media labs, a film studio, audio recording facility, green screen, TV studio and Mac labs.
  • Through research-based projects, you'll be able to tailor your studies to your own interests.

Career opportunities

We work closely with the Careers and Employability team to embed skills in our curriculum and help students to shape their career. Recent graduates work as social media managers, account executives, digital journalists, copywriters, web editors and video producers. Employers include Barcoff studios, Apple, the BBC, Saatchi Gallery, Discovery Channel, Google Play and Winkreactive.

The Art School Experience

As part of Kingston School of Art, students on this course benefit from joining a creative community where collaborative working and critical practice are encouraged.

Our workshops and studios are open to all disciplines – enabling students and staff to work together, share ideas and explore multi-disciplinary making.

The Art School Experience

What you will study

You can choose from a range of modules to suit your interests. You also have the option to choose the module ‘Professional communication skills' where you will be able to select a workplace option to have the opportunity to experience working practices.

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, you'll build on the theoretical and conceptual understandings developed in your first year on the core module Researching the Media: Key Theories and Methods. You will also study the legal requirements of journalism in Practical Journalism 2 and you can diversify through studies in global political communication and the history of journalism.

You can study abroad or take a work placement in your second year at locations in Europe, the United States, and Australia.

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

Researching the Media: Key Theories and Methods

30 credits

This module builds on the theoretical concepts introduced via prior learning, 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 media and communication cultures. It also introduces students to the research methodologies associated with the discipline of media and communication through a series of Research Methodology Workshops. These workshops will both re-cap on the relation between theory and practice explored in the module and prepare students for undertaking research using a methodology of their choice that address a particular topic or issue in the field of media and communication.

Digital Media Production

30 credits

This module aims to provide students with the skills and experience needed to plan and develop a creative digital media project working individually and in a team; taking different roles from creative director, designer, content manager, coder to project manager. Students will be able follow clients' briefs and create their own entrepreneurial pitch. Students research, plan and critically engage with online communication, design and coding for the web. They will learn how to use tools and techniques for generating new and creative ideas for projects and how to use industry standards tools to prototype and wireframe design solutions. This experience will give them an understanding of team-work which they will be able to take forward and build on in future projects and graduate employment.

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 
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.

Screenwriting

30 credits

Film is often seen as a director's medium, rather than a writer's. This course doesn't debate the relative claims of either - it retains a strong commitment to the visual - but its primary focus is on the construction of script and, in particular, the screenplay of the mainstream narrative film. The cornerstone of the module is an exploration of what makes an effective screen story through analysis of dramatic structure. The tutors on this module, both experienced screenwriters, contend that all genres of screen narrative use essentially the same core principles of storytelling and that an understanding of how these principles work is a creative tool: we can use them to create our own stories and adapt them to different forms. First, through close study of several successful films - focusing in particular on structure and character - you will be taught the contribution of the screenplay to how a film is constructed and why it succeeds. Second, with particular emphasis on dialogue and the craft of visual storytelling, we will guide you to the creation and completion of your own short screenplay, providing you with models (in both film and script form) from a selection of short films, and teaching you how to present and format your script.

In your final year, you'll take the Dissertation module, enabling you to work in-depth on a topic of your choice under the supervision of a subject specialist.

Seminars provide a more intimate forum for the detailed exploration of texts, with student presentations and discussion.

 

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. You will also have the opportunity to work together and organise a student-led symposium in January to present your Work-in-progress.

Your core module has different strands to choose from, they change: Consuming Cultures, Selfies, Creative Digital Environments, Celebrity Culture, Cult Media, Media Now, Multi-platform Political Communication, Art/Media Management and Production, Transmedia Horror.

Core modules

Issues in Contemporary Media and Culture

30 credits

This module provides you mini module strands. You will be able to choose two of these strands, one in each TB, where we will explore together issues related to contemporary media and culture. This module seeks to synthesise and draw together you understanding of theoretical and contextual approaches to the interpretation of media and culture. Furthermore, this module will enable you to apply your understanding of theory as well as practice, to analysis of contemporary issues, practices and debates which we will be reviewing in module strands.

Media Research Project

30 credits

This module integrates multidisciplinary creative practices, theories of media and communication and research methods while undertaking an extended piece of writing or practice-based research. In the process, you will become more aware of theoretical debates, review research strategies, analyse the findings, synthesise research, develop a coherent, structured argument and draw conclusions.

It fosters a deeper understanding of what it is to be a researcher and creative practitioner in the media industries and professions, in the arts and social sciences, media arts and technology, digital humanities and cultural studies. It is pretty much up to you! You come up with a topic that really interests you and start researching.

As well as attending the seminars, this module is about working independently and discussing your work with your supervisors so they can guide your research. In addition students will work together to organise a symposium and present their work. In doing so, they will develop their critical analytical and transferable professional skills.

Optional modules

Professional Communication Skills

30 credits

This module covers a broad range of topics to engage students in different genres of communication to develop both spoken and written skills necessary for employability. The topics, drawn from sociolinguistics, stylistics and discourse analysis, include analysing interaction in the professional setting, copy-editing, writing to a specific brief and presenting a professional brief. Through interactive lectures, guest talks, personal tutorials, and a workplace option where students have the opportunity to experience working practices, students are encouraged to develop skills and reflect on their own practices as a way of gaining an understanding of communication matters in real life and work contexts. The module's focus on professional interactional and writing skills as well as its links to Kingston's KU Talent activities and events guides students in planning their careers and developing their employability skills.

Marketing and Communication in Publishing

30 credits

This module considers the various individuals and communities (colleagues, shareholders, retailers, distributors, agents, customers and other stakeholders) involved in the business of content sale and delivery, and how to disseminate information and influence behaviour in order to promote effective marketing and sales.

The module will enable students to understand marketing and sales principles, and develop associated skills in applying them to meet the demands of modern publishing.

Box Set Television Drama

30 credits

Drama has always been a key TV genre - and with the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon we can binge-watch more than ever. In Boxset Drama, we'll explore how a successful series is created – and how to pitch one.

Television Production

30 credits

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.

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

Typical offer 2023

UCAS tariff points: 112-128 for BA (Hons); 48 for BA (Hons) including foundation year.

Level 3 qualifications (A-levels, BTEC Diploma, Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc.).

A-level Media Studies not required, but must be passed at C or above if taken.

General Studies/Native Language accepted when one of three A-levels or equivalent.

Typical offer 2022

UCAS tariff points: 112-128 for BA (Hons); 48 for BA (Hons) including foundation year.

Level 3 qualifications (A-levels, BTEC Diploma, Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Access Diploma, IB Diploma, etc.).

A-level Media Studies not required, but must be passed at C or above if taken.

General Studies/Native Language accepted when 1 of 3 A-levels or equivalent.

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.

Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Typical offer and UCAS points explained

Like most universities, we use the UCAS Tariff point system for our course entry requirements.

Find out more about UCAS Tariff points and see how A-level, AS level, BTEC Diploma and T-level qualifications translate to the points system.

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 (self-managed time)

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 final assignments. 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 learning and teaching activity

Type of learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 44 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 256 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 66 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 235 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 55 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 245 hours

In Years 2 and 3, time for scheduled learning and teaching, and guided independent study (self-managed time), changes depending on modules.

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Y3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 100%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 100%
Y3
  • Coursework: 100%

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 learning and teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. 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

2023/24 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2023/24 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students)

£9,250*
Foundation Year: TBA**

International

Year 1 (2023/24): £14,300 
Year 2 (2024/25): £14,700
Year 3 (2025/26): £15,100
Year 4 (2026/27): £15,500

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK 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.

** Foundation fees are awaiting the outcomes of the Government's 'Higher education policy statement and reform consultation'.

2022/23 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2022/23 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students)

Foundation year: £9,250
£9,250*

International

Foundation year: £13,900
Year 1 (2022/23): £13,900
Year 2 (2023/24): £14,300
Year 3 (2024/25): £14,700

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK 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.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies for 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting in 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that 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, access to shared 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.

Textbooks

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 buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

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. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Field trips

There may be optional study visits and field trips. These range from £25 for local trips to various costs for international trips.

External shows and exhibitions

There may be costs for participating at external shows and exhibitions. You could incur travel costs which will vary according to the location.

Course combinations

You can study Media and Communications with a foundation year, or choose to study Journalism and Media as a combined course:

 

What our students say

I originally had no interest in Media & Communication, I chose it purely because I needed a joint option. I'm now in my final year and went full-field in media. I never would have expected this.

The course is a mixture of theory and creativity. We are giving the freedom to concentrate in our own projects and I am so glad I'm here. I have a love of making videos, photography and photoshopping, coding and, I got the chance to do all of these within my degree.

The course is both entertaining and testing, and the teachers are supportive, some going the extra mile to motivate their students - for me, and anyone going through personal and/or health issues, this was exactly what I needed. My other course provided no support and I truly believe if it wasn't for the teachers of Media & Communication broadening my horizons, I would have dropped out. It's incredible to look back and consider how a subject I had no interest in has changed my life.

Alessia Hildenbrand - Media & Communication BA (Hons)

I chose Kingston University because I could see that it had everything, and I am not regretting my choice. What I love the most about the university is its diversity: not only the culture mix, but also the different services and opportunities that it offers. I'm learning a lot, taking advantage of every sources and chances.

This year I'm studying a module called 'Multi-media production'. I got really engaged with it because I was looking forward to learning as much as I could, and I'm getting this goal. Now I know how to use Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, After Effects, Premiere, DreamWeaver and Illustrator. The module inspired me to improve the techniques and to find the way that I would like to follow for my future job. Moreover, I had the chance to create my own website with articles and all types of audio-visual content. I'm really happy with my achievements, but the process of learning and seeing the results was what I found the most interesting and brilliant.

Kingston will take care you, I'm sure of that!

Gloria Alhambra, Erasmus student from Spain - Media & Communication BA (Hons)

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.

Types of jobs

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

Recent graduate destinations

  • 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).