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Media Skills BA (Hons) top-up

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 have a foundation degree in Media Skills, you can fast-track to a BA(Hons) degree with this course. In one year you will develop advanced practical skills, explore theoretical concepts and understand their application to media texts.

The focus of this course is to prepare you for a career in the creative sector and media production.

You will work on creative projects like creating social media strategies or video and website production for real world 'clients'. Recent examples include projects for charitable organisation SeeAbility and a stylist business Bowtique.

However, you will also develop transferable skills (eg writing, presenting, researching) relevant to a wide range of careers.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
1 year full time P302 Clearing 2019
2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • You'll be prepared for a career in the creative sector and media production.
  • You'll develop transferable skills (eg writing, presenting, researching, teamworking and communication) relevant to a wide range of careers.
  • You'll have access to the latest digital equipment, such as specialist film and media labs, a film studio and audio recording facility.

What you will study

You can choose from a range of modules to suit your interests, including @Work in the Media Industries module which helps you understand what it is like to work in a professional environment.

You will be supported to find your own placement within a media organisation and gain practical hands-on experience.  In other modules, you'll work as a team, learn practical, written and oral communication skills - all of which are key in the workplace.

Modules

The year is made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points. Typically a student must complete 120 credits.

Top-up year

Core modules

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

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.

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. Students are able to familiarise themselves with how projects are managed; 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.

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.

@ 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.

Writing Television Drama

30 credits

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. You 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, you will develop your 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. You will demonstrate your 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, you will have created your own drama series and (potentially) your own industry calling card.

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.

Entry requirements

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

Successful completion of Foundation Degree in Media Skills or BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Media-related subject.

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

Our top-up programme recognises and enhances the practical nature of media skills (or equivalent) courses. As a top-up student you will be assigned a personal tutor to support the transition to our programme, and a diagnostic essay will be set in September and marked by the personal tutor to establish areas of strength and areas for development.

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

5% of your time is spent in scheduled teaching and learning.

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Scheduled teaching: 15 hours
  • Guided independent study
  • Placement: 10 hours

How you will be assessed

This module gives you the opportunity to work on a major piece of independent work, which consolidates and further develops your skills and knowledge in an area of applied practice, workplace problem solving or dissertation research.

Type of assessment

Top-up year

Top-up year
  • Coursework
  • Practical exam

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.

Who teaches this course?

Many of the teaching team are media practitioners and theorists who bring their professional and academic expertise into the classroom: they will help you to develop your skills, networks and gain access to industry contacts. Their expertise and knowledge is closely matched to the content of the modules on this course.

Academic teaching is supported by visiting speakers, industry professionals and guest lecturers who enhance your learning.

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) £9,250*
International £14,200
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

This fee applies to students studying for the BSc (Hons) top-up or BA (Hons) top-up in the 2018/19 academic year.

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

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.

Need to know more?

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

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.

2020/21 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a ‘Home' (UK or EU) or ‘International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International £14,600

This fee applies to students studying for the BSc (Hons) or BA (Hons) top-up in the 2020/21 academic year.

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

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.

Need to know more?

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

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.

After you graduate

The focus of this course is to prepare you for a career in the creative sector and media production, however, you will also develop transferable skills (eg writing, presenting, researching) relevant to a wide range of careers.

Our graduates have followed careers in a wide range of sectors and media industries, working at local, national and international level (eg BBC, Discovery Channel).

Examples of recent graduate destinations

Types of jobs

  • Account executive
  • Copywriter
  • Digital account executive
  • Film maker
  • Lead reporter
  • Market analyst and IT support
  • TV presenter
  • Video producer
  • Web content editor
  • Writer

Employers

  • Amazing Media
  • Apple
  • BBC
  • Birmingham Art Galleries
  • British Waterways
  • Cyntergy
  • French Radio London
  • New Frontiers
  • Purple PR
  • Type 4 U

Employability preparation at Kingston University

In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate. 

As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:

  • placements;
  • working or studying abroad;
  • volunteering;
  • peer mentoring roles; and
  • internship opportunities within and outside the University.

In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.

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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