Are you fascinated by contemporary culture? Are you curious to learn about how new digital technologies form our identities, shape our politics, affect audiences – and how you can influence change in the creative industries? Study our Media Studies degree to explore how media shape us, how they can enrich our lives and how you, through creative practice, can shape the media.
I can’t imagine myself at any other uni.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made.Please also see our general entry requirements.
If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be to achieve DMM.
34 points overall including 15 points at HL
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.
This module introduces students to the ways in which various media create and communicate meaning. The primary focus will be upon a range of key forms across the historical continuum of media practice. These trends will span both traditional and new forms of media content, such as print, radio, television, the Internet and user generated content. Media are therefore studied in this module as processes of transmission that shape and constrain narrative forms, aesthetic shapes, and communication uses, producers and users.
This introductory module examines the concept of 'identity' and ‘diversity’ through the prism of cultural capital and media presentation. Students will be introduced to key concepts and theories surrounding issues of gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, political identity, sports identity, and diversity. These topics are considered through a series of case studies that may include theories of media stereotypes, high and low culture, consumption society, identity politics, cultural production, subculture and style, and media pluralism. Students will be asked to consider the role that media processes play in constructing identity, diversity, and community, inclusion and exclusion.
This module examines the relationship between media, political power, social impact and institutions. It leads students to understand and critically assess the following questions: How can media exert political and social power? In what ways do media facilitate political communications? What roles do media play in the power relations among media corporations, regulators, politicians, journalists, advertisers and publicity professionals, celebrities, leakers and hackers, artists, and the general media-using public? In sum: What power can media exert? This module will also investigate issues such as surveillance, media impact and public voting, media representation, media frame, agenda setting, bias, celebrity politics, advertising, public relations, soft power, and how these issues involve and influence political communication through the media.
This module draws upon concepts in Media Studies to inform an introduction to moving image production. The module explores various forms of screen culture - from cinema, to television, to content creation in the digital age. Basic technical skills in production and post-production are taught along with craft skills applicable to narrative and factual screen production. Through a combination of lectures, screenings, creative and technical workshops this module encourages critical reflection, independent thought, and dialogue between media theory and practice. Practical work is designed to trigger both conceptual and creative thinking as well as consideration of audience responses to moving images and visual narratives. The essay, a critical analysis of the finished film, is designed to encourage a dialogue between theory and practice.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
This module seeks to investigate some of the most pressing ethical issues in contemporary media culture and the mediated arts. Topics may include: violence in video games, nudity on the screen and in advertising, anti-heroes and villains in fiction, propaganda and manipulation, sexism and racism in humour, shock value in the news and in contemporary art. To answer the many moral questions that arise in this context students will examine basic notions such as truth, objectification, voyeurism, exploitation, offence, harm, gender, and stereotype.
The digital sphere has given voice and meeting spaces to communities and activist groups, enabling social action, art and change. It has also been used by reactionaries, nationalists and the far-right groups to amplify hate filled messages. Analysing platforms that may include Facebook, Twitter, Uber and Wikipedia, the module engages with concepts such as participatory and collaborative culture, sharing economies, democracy and surveillance.
Students will engage in sourcing, analysing and critiquing social media content by way of a Digital Portfolio. This work will be contextualised by an essay that situates students' multimedia exercises within key debates in online culture. To facilitate this, lectures and seminars will explore various case studies - from mainstream politicians’ use of social media in campaigning, to the intensification of hate speech in the cyber sphere, to the ethics of using unpaid journalists and the economy of sharing - in order to encourage students to engage critically with the relationship between politics, economics, personal expression and art making practices in the digital age.
Podcasting is a digital media form that is increasing its audience reach and size year on year. Often unbound to traditional norms of journalistic impartiality, many podcast presenters provide personal perspectives, allowing these media makers a marked degree of creative and intellectual agency. This module employs both theory and practice-based learning to examine the podcasting format and consider how podcasts are developed; the editorial and ethical issues at stake; and how audiences are acquired and expanded. Students are given the opportunity to critically assess contemporary practitioners, companies, and the platforms for the dissemination of podcasts.
This module aims to provide students with a broad-based knowledge of the history and development of video gaming, alongside an understanding of the technological and industrial advances in game design. Students will learn about game theory and be able to use it analyse a wide range of game types. They will learn about intersecting questions of narrative, interactivity, space, play, players, game genres and representation. They will gain an understanding of how formal and informal regulation works to control game content, and be able to conceive of all of this through a range of critical theories.
One of the assessment methods employed on this module is a Digital Portfolio. The Digital Portfolio platform allows students on theoretical modules to create practical implementations of scholarly ideas and
This module will look at disability in the arts, covering theatre, film and visual art. The students will engage with the historical representation of disability within the arts and the way in which disability scholars have critically engaged with it. The students will also look at arts institutions (i.e. theatres, cinemas and galleries) and the disabling barriers within those institutions that prevent the full participation of people with impairments in the arts. This will culminate in an 'accessibility review', whereby the students analyse the adjustments made by arts institutions for people with impairments and the extent to which they are effective. Finally, the students will engage with examples of contemporary disabled artists whose impairments informs the aesthetic qualities of their work.
This is a practice-based module exploring the photographic medium and the contexts of its use through the production of photographs in response to a project brief and group-based critical discussion of the work produced. Students investigate how the context in which photographs are made affect how the world is represented, and how in turn these images shape perception. Students choose three practical project briefs that are designed to enable them to explore the medium creatively and through informed and reflective practice. The emphasis of the module is upon this creative practice rather than the acquisition of specific technical skills, and as such students are at liberty to use any photographic production and post-production technologies they wish to experiment with or find appropriate. A camera phone and access to a computer and printer are all that is needed for this module, though students who wish to make use of digital image processing or analogue processes, including use of a darkroom, are encouraged to do so. Each of the practical project briefs will be supported through a series of lectures closely examining various genres, styles and other contexts of photographic production through the work of those who have shaped them. In addition students will present the work they have produced in response to their project briefs, and engage in a broad critical discussion or their own and other's work.
This module offers students an introduction to the terms, ideas and craft, involved in the creation of screenplays. Screenwriting is a unique form of writing with very different concerns from the novel, theatre and radio. Although the screenplay is a vital component of a film's success, it tends to be neglected as a separate art form.
In this module we explore the conventions of dramatic structure, new narrative forms and short film variations. Students are encouraged to think critically about screenplay writing and will have an opportunity to write their own screenplay. A selection of writing exercises have been designed to take them through the writing process; from preparation and initial concept to final draft.
The emphasis here will be on practical knowledge and support as students uncover their creative voice. This module does not aim to provide vocational training for students wishing to pursue careers in the feature film or television industries.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
Students have the opportunity to spend a year in industry, between the second and final years of the degree. Some examples of internships that previous students have undertaken include:
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
All students within the Faculty of Humanities can apply to spend a Term or Year Abroad as part of their degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements in Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the Term or Year Abroad.
The Term or Year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.
This module gives students the opportunity to bring prior learning surrounding the media industry into a focused context, whilst enabling critical thinking around contemporary and future innovations in the field. Students will engage in either a work-based situation, or through a social impact project;with a theoretical innovation; or a personal practice project. This engagement may be in any area of media such as:
- Digital technology
- Online content creation
- Issues of representation
- Film and television production
- Citizen journalism
Should students choose the industry engagement option, the student will be responsible for either finding the work-based situation or developing their project, advice and support from the School and CES will be available. This engagement with industry and innovation will build upon the student's personal interests in the media industry and will be relevant to the career they expect to pursue upon graduation. The total of 300 hours will be divided as required for purposes of preparation, engagement in industry or with their personal project and reflection/completion of required assessment. Students will come together with a dedicated member of staff in seminars on a weekly basis to discuss challenges, experiences, and progress.
The proliferation of mobile devices and the rise of participatory culture have had a transformative effect on how moving images are generated and experienced. The ease with which we can now create and share images, audio and video has impacted how stories are told and films are made. This module explores some of the many new forms of content creation and narrative practices that have appeared as a result of this technological and cultural change, and encourages students to engage with these forms critically and creatively. Students will examine digital storytelling as an emergent form of participatory media by exploring new media narrative methods such as vlogs, citizen journalism, social media based storytelling and video essays. Students will create short works in a number of these forms.
New digital technologies and their uses confront individuals, organisations, and governments with urgent ethical dilemmas, for which they are often unprepared. Understanding the complex ethical implications of the rapidly changing media landscape is a key skill for all users of digital technology, especially aspiring media professionals. Focusing on the students' own everyday digital interactions, this course provides a forum for exploring and debating ethical issues around digital technology, including sharing, sampling, piracy, copyright, plagiarism, privacy and addiction/mental health. The module treats a small set of discrete topics in depth; although they change from year to year, units may include the ethics and legality of music mash-ups and sampling; virality and meme culture; and 'fake news’. Overall, the module aims to provide students with critical tools to make informed ethical choices in the creative, professional and personal spheres of their digital lives
In mainstream media franchises, contemporary moving images are now typically transmedial, existing in different forms and across different platforms: for example, the Marvel universe includes comic books, films (released in cinemas and VoD), games, and VR experiences. This multiplicity of platforms generates new, and takes further existing, forms of fan culture as media-makers use transmedial platforms to reach new audiences and create media that can be experienced across multiple devices. The module explores fan culture and its engagement with different media content, and offers a critical and creative perspective on how media exist across different formats.
This module examines the concepts of stardom and celebrity. Often used as synonyms, the two terms in fact relate to different types of media constructs. The module will consider the history of the rise of stardom within the Hollywood context, exploring how the establishment of 'the star' became an integral part of the industry. Students will examine the ‘star system’ and its relationship to a range of topics which may include: performance; genre; the representation of gender and gendered bodies; audiences and fan studies; stars within dominant cultures and subcultural groups; and acting as labour. The topic will be illuminated through the analysis of key theoretical texts – many of which laid the foundations for star studies within film, media and cultural studies – as well as via opportunities for students to explore primary sources, such as movie magazines. The module also traces how the stardom industry described above became a component within a larger network of celebrity culture. Often characterised as a more contemporary phenomenon, the notion of ‘celebrity’ incorporates prominent figures in the public eye to whom the extension of fame is not necessarily based on any specific skill, talent or achievement. The module explores this context in conjunction with the apparent decline of the dominance of Hollywood stars, as a variety of mediated identities are promoted, consumed and commodified within diverse media landscapes. Using scholarship from within the interdisciplinary field of celebrity studies, students analyse how celebrities can take on many forms including actors, TV personalities and influencers, using different media platforms such as film, television, online streaming and social media. The importance of media technologies within both the study of stars and celebrity culture is stressed throughout the course.
This course introduces students to the history and theory of film criticism, emphasising the coexistence of different approaches to the analysis, evaluation and appreciation of film. The module will also have a practical aspect, offering students the opportunity to write critical pieces on the films screened for the class. In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, some sessions will be devoted to writing and to analysing fellow students' work. Participants will also be encouraged to reflect critically on different media of film criticism (newspapers, magazines, academic journals, the internet, television) and on the current state of film criticism.
The module gives School of Arts students across a range undergraduate programmes the opportunity to undertake a written independent research project at stage 3.
Students who wish to take the module must approach a permanent academic member of staff with a proposal, typically in advance of module registration, during the Spring term of the previous year. Students pick a research topic of their choice; however, students are only allowed to register for the module with the permission of a staff member who has agreed to supervise the project, and who has the expertise to do so. Potential supervisors must also ensure before they agree to supervise a project that the resources required to complete the project will be available to the student, and that adequate supervisory support will be available to the student throughout their study on the module.
Students will be supported in the preparation and submission of their work by their supervisor, although a central expectation of the module is that students will take increasing responsibility for their learning, consistent with expectations of Level 6 study.
Students will engage in a work-based situation of their choice. The student will be responsible for finding the work-based situation, though support from the School and CES will be available. The internship should bear relevance to their subject of study or a career they expect to pursue upon graduation. The total of 300 hours will be divided as required for purposes of preparation, attendance of work placement and reflection/completion of required assessment.
This interdisciplinary course will examine historical and current theoretical ideas and research on the ways in which art is created and perceived. Artforms that will be considered include visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, popular art), performing arts (dance and theater), music, and film. Readings will interface with subdisciplines of psychology such as perception, psychoaesthetics, neurophysiology, social psychology, and studies of emotion. Principal areas of focus will include aesthetics, arts-experimental design, perception of art, meaning in art, the psychology of the creative process, social and cultural issues, and the ramifications of arts-sciences research. The primary focus will be on Western art forms, though other world art traditions and aesthetics will be discussed. Assessment methods will test understanding through a summary and critical reflection on a selected text and the proposal, research, and design and oral presentation of a potential interdisciplinary research project.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £9,250.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.
Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.
All modules involve live lectures, small group seminars, screenings and occasionally group trips to galleries, museums, libraries and festivals. Methods of assessment vary between modules. The majority of modules are assessed solely by coursework, while others have a mix of coursework and exams.
Typically, students attend two lectures a week of one-and-a-half to two hours in duration, as well as two seminars a week of similar length. In addition, many modules will have screenings, readings, trips and related learning activities.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
The programme aims to:
You will develop knowledge and understanding of:
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
You gain specific skills in the following:
You gain transferable skills in the following:
All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
Communications and Media Studies at Kent was ranked 5th for graduate prospects and scored 92% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.
Media Studies graduates have the same wide-ranging career opportunities as other graduates in the Faculty of Humanities. These include:
Our graduates also have skills and experience relevant to careers in the creative industries and media journalism, galleries and museums, heritage and tourism, and marketing and advertising.
Kent School of Arts has an excellent reputation and many links to professional practices. This network is very useful to students when looking for work.
The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service for advice on how to:
As well as gaining skills and knowledge in your subject area, you also learn the key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
The Start now button below takes you to Kent's short form, which you need to fill in and submit. We'll review your application and let you know if we can offer you a place. If you wish to accept our offer and are already in UCAS, you need to confirm this via UCAS Track. To do so, you'll need the following:
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