Media, Culture and Communication BA (Hons)

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Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Gain a unique insight into cultural theory, mass communication, films, TV Genres and more. Get skilled in critical analysis and build your independent judgement. Build a foundation to launch your career in the media.

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Overview

This course explores and explains the diverse patterns of media and offers a comprehensive understanding of media power, media use, and the increasing significance of media in contemporary culture and society.

Engage with a mix of critical approaches: cultural studies, communication studies, film studies and media studies. You will also study a wide range of related topics including everyday life, popular culture, digital media cultures, cultural representation, gender and ethnic identities and sexualities.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be guided and supported by our experts. You’ll work with academics at the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies and study alongside scriptwriters, film makers, radio producers, and independent film producers. Many of the key books you will learn from have been written by lecturers.

Gain a range of transferable skills including presentation skills, critical analysis, independent thinking, written and research skills, and the ability to work in groups and on your own. In your final year, you will put your skills and knowledge into practice in a major independent research project.

Why us?

  • Our Media and Film Studies courses are 15th in the UK according to The Guardian University league tables 2018
  • Flexibility to choose from a dynamic range of modules covering topics such as science fiction, popular music, internet subcultures, gaming, and sexuality
  • Research in Communications, Cultural and Media Studies at Sunderland has been described as ‘world-leading’ by the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • 93.4% of our graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)
  • Our support for independent learning is praised by our external examiners; you will work towards a major piece of independent research at Stage 3
  • With its emphasis on critical thinking, the degree provides an excellent basis for employment in a broad range of careers such as teaching, television, radio, journalism, marketing and new media
  • Enrich your studies through activities such as cultural trips, visits and experiences

Course structure

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We encourage you to develop independent study skills.

As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also ongoing assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning.

Assessment methods include essays, reports, written coursework, projects and presentations.

Part-time study

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 day time and you will be studying alongside full-time students.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Introduction to Media and Cultural Studies
  • Media Histories
  • Introduction to Digital Media Cultures
  • The Making of Popular Culture

Selected optional modules:

  • Celebrity Cultures  
  • Contemporary Cinema  
  • Introduction to Film Studies
  • Television Cultures
  • History of Cinema
  • Introduction to Screenwriting
  • Introduction to Television and Radio Broadcast
  • Media Production Skills
  • Introduction to Audio and Radio Production
  • Introduction to Social Media
  • Introduction to PR Theory and Practice 1
  • Media Photography
  • Online Sports Journalism
  • Digital Fictional Film 1

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Media Studies 1
  • Cultural Theory and Popular Culture 1
  • Researching Media in Everyday Lives OR (at MDIS Singapore) Video Documentary Production
  • Academic Research Skills OR (at MDIS Singapore) Practical PR, Strategy and Theory

Selected optional modules:

  • Sexual Cultures
  • American Film and Society
  • British Cinema
  • Animated Film
  • Radio Production1
  • Scriptwriting
  • The Moving Camera
  • Newsroom
  • Digital Fictional Film 2
  • Practical PR, Strategy and Theory
  • Developing Your Media Career
  • Video Documentary Production


Availability of optional modules is subject to students having met any prerequisites.

Final year (national level 6):

  • Media Studies 2  
  • Dissertation and Research Methods OR (at MDIS) Media Project

Selected optional modules:

  • Cultural Theory and Popular Culture 2
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Television
  • Popular Music Cultures
  • Film, Horror and the Body
  • Hitchcock
  • Film and Feeling: Music, Performance and Genre
  • Screenwriting for Television and Film 2
  • Radio Drama
  • Video Documentary Production
  • Media Project  
  • Advanced Public Relations  
  • Media Ethics


Availability of optional modules is subject to students having met any prerequisites.

The David Puttnam Media Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.911899,-1.372815

  • Get hands-on in our two broadcast-quality production studios complete with green room and changing facilities.

    You’ll access four Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane. Our field camera systems, comprises Blackmagic Ursa, Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro, Blackmagic 4K Production Camera and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, with associated location kits, lighting, field monitors and audio mixers.

    Film facilities
  • We’ve got thousands of relevant books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Resources which will be particularly useful for Journalism and Media studies include:

    • Lexis, which provides full-text newspaper articles as well as access to legal information
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
    • British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media in higher education and research
    • Screen Online (BFI), which is an online encyclopaedia of British film and television, featuring clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive
    Library Services - journalism and media
  • We have four journalism suites, each with Apple Mac workstations with industry-standard software including NewsCutter, Burli and ENPS.

    Our mediaHUB, a bustling newsroom and home to a team of BBC Newcastle journalists, is responsible for our suite of websites and provides a variety of experiences. Made in Tyne & Wear are just downstairs, offering placements to students and jobs to several of our graduates. 

    Learn in our 203-seat cinema and 7.1 surround sound facility. Access two broadcast-quality production studios complete with green room and changing facilities and equipment such as Steadicam rigs, track and mini crane.

    Go on-air in one of five radio studios, including a larger radio drama studio and a transmission suite for Spark, our award winning student-run community radio station.

    Media facilities
  • The mediaHUB is a bustling multimedia newsroom on the top floor of our David Puttnam Media Centre where you will get a real taste of life as a working journalist.

    BBC Newcastle have a team of journalists based here, and they are joined by visiting journalists from organisations such as Trinity Mirror (Newcastle Chronicle, Journal) and Johnston Press (Sunderland Echo).

    The mediaHUB runs websites covering sport, news, entertainments and fashion, provides the content for news bulletins on our award-winning radio station Spark, and is responsible for writing and editing Spark magazine.

    The ground-breaking workspace is designed to be a professional environment and even has a cloud filled sky line, funky colour scheme and a shed for a meeting room. It includes plenty of workstations each with industry-standard software including NewsCutter, Burli and ENPS, and a Sky feed with two 40” plasma screens. The whole space is managed by an ex-Sky Journalist, who is on hand, with her team to point you in the right direction.

    The mediaHUB

Facilities

The David Puttnam Media Centre is a thriving place to study and experience media. Rub shoulders with BBC Newcastle and Made in Tyne & Wear, who are both based in the building. Volunteer with award winning Spark Sunderland, write for one of our suite of websites or edit Spark Magazine in our mediaHUB. Get hands on in TV and Radio Studios, Journalism and Digital editing suites. Learn from experts in this centre of excellence for training.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is


  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement


If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at admissions@sunderland.ac.uk for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

Fees and finance

The annual, full-time fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £11,500 if you are an international student

Tuition fees for part-time students are £6,935 per 120 credits. Please note that part-time courses are not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

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.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night

Employment

This degree provides an excellent foundation for a wide range of careers in the media. Possible sectors include TV, radio, new media, journalism, marketing, PR, organisational communications, and advertising.

Career destinations

Our students have gained placements or graduate roles with employers such as BBC Radio 1, Capital FM, Channel 4, Heart FM, Metro Radio, Sky TV, BBC Sport, MTV, ITV Studios (Coronation Street), Talk Sport, The Guardian, Jamie Oliver Productions, Lime Pictures, Absolute Radio, BBC Radio 6 Music, I Daniel Blake, BBC World Service, regional newspapers and PR companies.

You could choose to continue your studies on one of our Masters degrees such as MA Film and Cultural Studies, MA Radio or MA Public Relations.  

Work placements

We actively encourage students to gain relevant work experience while at university. In every year of your course, you will be guided and encouraged to gain meaningful experience that will fit around your studies.

In Year 2, there is a work placement opportunity with a media organisation such as the BBC, Tyne Tees Television or one of the region’s production companies. You can also choose to undertake a number of practice modules that involve practical projects.

All students studying on-campus undergraduate media courses can take up a CV-enhancing work placement, a University-led industry initiative, or a professional and business development boot camp. By the term placement, we mean we are offering you a taste of the industry which might last anything from two days to four weeks on a part-time basis.

Practical experience 

Many students get involved in Spark, a community radio station based at the University. Students are responsible for all news-gathering, programme production and advertising. Spark has won many awards including four golds at the Student Radio Awards 2012, and holds the Nations and Regions Award for Best Radio Station in the North East.

Work alongside BBC Newcastle Journalists in our mediaHUB, home to student-run websites covering sport, news, entertainment, fashion and Spark online magazine.

Sunderland's daily newspaper, The Sunderland Echo, has a weekly page called 'On Campus' that is written entirely by students at the University. It’s an opportunity to find and research your own stories, take photographs, meet deadlines and see your name in print.

Throughout the course, we invite guest speakers to run workshops and master classes that allow you to relate your learning to real-life opportunities.

 

Meet our academics

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