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 2021).

If you have a foundation degree in Media Skills (or equivalent), you can fast-track to a Media Skills BA (Hons) degree with this course. It will help you develop advanced practical skills in media and communications.

You'll work on exciting creative projects. One of the main characteristics is the integration of theory and practice. Students have developed social media strategies, filmed promotional videos and produced video essays, documentaries, websites and podcasts.

You will be able to work on a major piece of independent research as a practice-based dissertation, and to further develop professional skills necessary for employment, you will organise a middle of the year symposium and present your work in progress.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
1 year full time P302 2021
Location Penrhyn Road

2020 entry

If you are planning to join this course in September 2020, please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • This course prepares you for a career in the creative sector and media production. You will have opportunities to do work placements internships and attend bespoke career and employability events for working in the Creative Industries.
  • You'll develop transferable skills such as writing, presenting, researching, teamworking and communication relevant to a wide range of careers in media and beyond
  • You'll have access to the latest digital equipment, such as specialist film and media labs, a film studio and audio recording facility, green screen for compositing, TV studio and Mac environment labs.

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.

What you will study

You can choose from a range of modules to suit your interests. Popular modules include:

  • Media Research Project
  • Television Production
  • Issues in Media and Culture with a variety of strands

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

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 allows you to engage in a practice-based research project which gives you the opportunity to create a practical piece or client based project. The process should be familiar as you have worked on practical assignments in your foundation course. These can include: posters, websites, videos, motion graphics, documentaries, experimental videos, narratives, podcast, following clients' briefs and many more. This is a great opportunity to bring up issues or themes you are interest in together with the skills necessary for the realization of your project.

The practical piece will be supported by a critical rational that contextualises your artefact, comprises extensive research and critical analysis of your chosen topic, consistently substantiating your piece. The rational should be appropriately referenced, formally written and can include images, diagrams or any visual representation which might be useful to understand your research.

Optional 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.

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.

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.

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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2020

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

Entry requirements 2021

FdA (or equivalent) in Media Skills or a 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.

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 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

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: 275 hours
  • Placement: 10 hours

How you will be assessed

You will be able to work on a major piece of independent research as a practice-based dissertation, and to further develop professional skills necessary for employment, you will organize a middle of the year symposium and present your work in progress.

Type of assessment

Top-up year

Top-up year
  • Coursework: 70%
  • Practical exam: 30%

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 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.

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

2021/22 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a ‘Home' (UK) or ‘International' student. In 2021/22 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
International £15,000

This fee applies to students studying for the BSc (Hons) or BA (Hons) top-up in the 2021/22 academic year.

* 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.

Need to know more?

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

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.

* 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/EU 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 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. 

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, 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.

For this course you will be 

  • involved in processes of making, as means of exploration, experimentation, and understanding your practice, by using a diverse range of media and materials
  • required to purchase your own copy of books, for required reading
  • required to produce physical artefacts for assessment 
  • able to participate in optional study visits and/or field trips

However, over and above this you may incur extra costs associated with your studies, which you will need to plan for. 

In order to help you budget, the information below indicates what activities and materials are not covered by your tuition fees 

  • personal laptops and other personal devices 
  • personal copies of books 
  • optional study visits and field trips (and any associated visa costs)
  • printing costs
  • your own chosen materials and equipment
  • costs of participating at external events, exhibitions, performances etc.

The costs vary every year and with every student, according to the intentions for the type of work they wish to make. Attainment at assessment is not dependent upon the costs of materials chosen.

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.

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.

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students who will be starting the course in September 2020.

Course information (changes for 2020 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.

In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21. The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

If the current pandemic situation continues into the next academic year and beyond, the University may be unable to offer suitable placements which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will provide students with appropriate alternative options and ensure that support will be available to them so that they are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2020) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. 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 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Changes to class sizes

On campus class sizes will be smaller in line with social distancing measures. Online (synchronous) activities will be delivered via video conferencing apps that will enable a full range of class sizes to be used as appropriate.

Assessment (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, or to a different year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Accreditation

During the pandemic, the University has been working closely with all its associated professional bodies to establish where flexibility/changes can be applied without undermining their professional standards. This will ensure that any changes made to courses which have professional, statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation do not negatively impact the accreditation status.

In the very exceptional circumstance that professional bodies do not agree with changes proposed, it may be necessary to defer relevant modules until those modules can be delivered as required. Students will be informed of this during the induction period and appropriately supported so that they can consider all options available to them.

Additional (changes for 2020 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.

Key information set

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