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Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now
Almost every employer, from Nike to Netflix, has a social media presence. Develop the skills and experience you need to meet the growing demand for social media managers across a wide range of industries.
Learn about content creation, social strategy and tactics, analytics and attribution, public relations, media law, data analysis and visualisation and digital and social media theory.
Get time to experiment with your own social media channels, build your own digital communities, and develop your own social media project in the final year. Explore optional modules in marketing, podcasting, journalism, fashion styling, radio and TV production and more.
Work with real clients to develop social media and PR campaigns and strategies and get work experience placements during your degree.
Graduate with an extra qualification in Media Law accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ); and the skills, knowledge and experience employers are looking for across a range of social media, content and communications roles. Or apply your new found skills and experience to launch and build your own social media channels or business.
In the foundation year, you will study five modules: a module about the foundations of humanities, journalism and media theory, an essential study skills module, a foundation project module, practical numeracy skills, and a multimedia communications module. After completion of this foundation year, you will then move onto the Social Media Management honours degree course.
You will develop the skills, knowledge and personal attributes that employers are looking for, as you work both individually and as part of a community to develop your experience and confidence. You’ll take part in lectures, workshops, practical projects, client-briefs and presentations, and you’ll also write essays, case studies and critical reflections.
In your first year, you will realign your understanding of social media as a professional business tool. You’ll learn introductory content creation and analytics skills and use them to create content and analyse performance across a wide range of social and community platforms. You will also learn introductory public relations skills, study media law to ensure you are safe to publish, take a module in journalism to understand essential written communication skills, and take a module in media theory to understand the current debates around digital media.
In your second year, you will continue to build on your existing skills, creating social media strategies and campaigns for real clients, taking your public relations skills to the next level, learning about data analysis and visualisation for both content creation and social media reporting, and taking a module in short-form video production. You’ll also go on a work placement and take an optional module of your choice.
In the final year, you’ll draw on all of your theoretical and practical social media knowledge and skills to create a social media management project of your choice, which you’ll complete over the course of the academic year. You’ll also consolidate your existing PR skills, complete your training in online community engagement, and take a module in e-commerce video production to complete your degree. By the end of your degree, you’ll have a wide range of skills across social media, content creation and public relations, and will have a body of existing work and work experience to support your transition into your social media career.
Assessments include practical projects, critical reflections, case studies, essays and¿presentations. There is also a Media Law exam as part of the NCTJ certificate.
If you study this course on a part-time basis, you will typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the daytime and you will be studying alongside full-time students.
Depending on the degree you wish to study after the Foundation Year, you will also take one of the optional modules.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.
Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.
Eligible entry qualifications:
1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.
Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator.
If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!
** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
For more information about our Integrated Foundation Year courses please see our Help and Advice articles.
The annual fee for this course is £9,250 but you will receive £3,000 cashback in Year 1 of the full undergraduate course.
In addition, you may receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region and a University of Sunderland StudyPLUS Card loaded with additional offers up to the value of £200, plus a bundle of study skills books worth £80.
If you are a full-time UK student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
This degree will equip you with the skills you need to be a social media manager across a wide range of businesses and organisations – working in social media means you can work in almost any sector that you’re interested in, or you can choose to work for yourself.
You’ll also have the skills and qualities to pursue a career in other social media, content creation, community management and public relations roles, and you’ll have work experience and a media law qualification to help set you apart.
Graduates working in social media and PR have been employed by companies including Ubisoft, Tombola, Sunderland City Council, SAFC, Rangers TV, What Culture, Stylist, MTV, Elle and more.
During the course, you’ll be working on live briefs for real clients, developing social media campaigns and strategies, PR campaigns and branded video marketing campaigns.
In our mediaHUB you can create social content and develop strategies for our public-facing fashion, sport, news and culture websites and award-winning community radio station Spark.
You also have the opportunity to get involved in the Marketing Hub which matches students with marketing clients. You can get support from The Enterprise Place to develop your own social media business ideas with office space and funding.
The academics teaching you on this course are RTS and CIPR award-winning content creators, media law experts, public relations practitioners, tv producers, journalists and industry researchers, and have excellent relationships across a broad range of social media, fashion, sport, PR and media industries.
We have links with Rich Keith from Yogscast who also runs influencer marketing company Fourth Floor. Our faculty’s visiting professors also include video and e-commerce entrepreneur Dr Alex Connock and Good Morning Britain news editor Neil Thompson.
You will complete a week-long placement in the second year but you can get support from our dedicated careers team Sunderland Futures to set up work experience, get an industry mentor and even find relevant paid work at any time during your degree. We regularly get offers for our students to take on placements and internships and work on CV-boosting projects. We’ve had opportunities to work with travel bloggers, create social media campaigns for stately homes, create videos for food companies and much more.
During the degree, you'll work on creating content and strategies for your own social media channels and communities, as well as projects for real clients. Have a look at North East brunch Insta channel BrunchNE1 which was featured in Living North's "one-to-follow" section, Twitch stream ImpliedLies, and online community What the Flix which helps viewers find the best shows on Netflix – all created by our current students as part of their studies.
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