In a media-saturated environment it can be difficult to be heard or stand out from the crowd. With the Mass Communications (Top-Up) degree you can convert your existing qualifications into a full degree and learn how best to plan, develop and realise your creative ambitions.
This course blends a mixture of theory and critical approaches to creative and practical output. Modules like Media Studies explore the roles played by the media in shaping our perception of the contemporary world while Moving Camera gives you the opportunity to make dynamic films using advanced motion-based techniques. You can explore contemporary trends within popular culture while pursuing your own cultural research interests with guided support from tutors. Advanced Digital Post Production techniques will prepare you for a world of professional video editing and FX work while the extended Media Project will see you work towards fully realising a major piece of practical work from inception to completion.
You will experience a broad range of different teaching experiences based on the type of modules you take. Theory-based modules tend to be taught via lectures supported with seminar groups, whereas the practice-based modules employ a mixture of workshops and technical demonstrations alongside guided tuition. Some modules put you at the centre of your own independent learning experience supported with regularly scheduled one-to-one feedback sessions, whereas production-based modules often require you to work in small groups in order to complete larger-scale tasks.
The two theory-based modules are assessed with presentations and essays whereas the three practical modules are assessed on the media forms that are produced as part of the module (eg pitches, films, projects, evaluations). Media forms tend to be group-based while evaluations are independent.
Choose from one of two strands; Media and Modernity or Advertising and Television Drama. Media and Modernity involves a consideration of the media’s position and significance in modern social life, focusing on specific topics such as the organization of mediated interaction, experiences of globalization and the uses of new media technologies. Advertising and Television Drama involves an examination of contemporary advertising in terms of its textual structures, branding, reliance on celebrity and the pleasures that it offers to consumers, followed by the detailed analysis of TV drama texts - raising important questions of ideology, power and identity.
Produce a piece of independent research informed by the theoretical approaches associated with British Cultural Studies tradition. The first weeks of the module will be devoted to structured introductory sessions, supervision sessions and information retrieval advice. Thereafter, your work takes the form of independent study, supported by regular supervisory sessions.
Expand upon and further develop your moving camera skills and build upon your critical understanding of moving cameras, their images and the impact of those images. Explore the impact of visuals in relation to story and narrative.
Through lectures, workshops, exercises, screenings and discussion, this module will expand upon the practical skills and theoretical understanding of the Steadicam, Track and Dollies, Jib Arm and other camera conveyances. Develop your critical awareness and understanding of conceptual issues and how these relate to your practical work. Originate, develop, script, shoot and edit a 3-4 minute single camera production which will be shot entirely on the Moving Camera equipment. Submit a 2000 word critical evaluation which will demonstrate your understanding of Moving Camera in Film and Video. Objectively analyse your production and demonstrate your understanding of your role, moving camera techniques, technology and terminology. Submit a Production File, documenting and evidencing the production.
Expand and develop on your basic and intermediate digital video effects and post production skills. Plan and develop an advanced digital post production project, which may be a self standing project in its own right, or may form part of your final year major production, which explores and incorporates advanced digital video post production techniques such as advanced digital video effects work, colour grading, surround sound or a combination of these as appropriate to the specific project and your skills, interest and specialism. Critically examine the position of your own work with regards to current digital post production practices.
Produce a major piece of media work suitable for film, television or online. This can include factual or fictional work produced in a single or multi-camera format (depending on your pre-requisite/co-requisite modules). Work in the genre of your choice from the selection available, on an appropriate platform. Work in an appropriately sized group (depending on the scale of the project). Conduct research and develop your ideas before pitching them to tutors. The concept will be agreed by a panel of assessors and will then be developed and produced.
Reflect on your work through a final evaluation that offers a critical insight into your project through the use of appropriate critical theory, critical Film/TV textual analysis and professional experience.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
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Skills-based degrees with a firm basis in conceptual thinking and critical reflection should equip you for a career in the local media industry. It should also open the door to future higher degree study at post-graduate level. Graduates can go into creative media, television, film production, broadcasting, teaching industries with this qualification.