Media

Media Studies with an Approved Year Abroad - BA (Hons)

Overview

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 Media Studies with an Approved Year Abroad to explore how media shape us, how they can enrich our lives and how you, through creative practice, can shape the media.

Media Studies at Kent is based in the School of Arts, a creative and academic hub for students in drama, film, media studies and art history. Together we occupy the award-winning Jarman building, which houses outstanding teaching facilities and media 

Our teaching staff are leading researchers in the field. They help you to answer questions such as: How can social media empower – but also endanger – users? What are the ethical dilemmas that new digital technologies create? How do media help construct – but also distort – our ideas about identity? The degree also gives students the opportunity to create blogs, podcasts, videos and other creative media.

Our degree programme

Communication happens through still and moving images, spoken and written words, music, drawing and animation. In the 21st century the boundaries between these forms have blurred. On this programme, you examine how old and new media are creating meaning today and using our first-class resources to create work of your own.

In your first year, you cover media and meaning, media identity and diversity, media  power and/or making media (i.e. a practical introduction to media content creation). This gives you a solid grounding in the subject and introduces you to some of the most pressing issues in contemporary media culture and the creative industries.

The second and final years of your degree build on these foundations. You take a module on media ethics and choose from a huge range of modules, covering everything from podcasting, gender and digital culture, social media, digital storytelling, to photography and arts criticism, screenwriting and curating. You can also study modules from other subjects, such as film, drama and theatre, art history, literature, history, philosophy, politics and sociology.

Year Abroad

On this four-year programme, you spend a year between your second and final year studying abroad. It is an amazing opportunity and a chance for you to develop academically, personally and professionally.

See the Course structure tab for more details.

Study resources

Our first-class resources allow us to offer innovative modules and ways of learning. These include:

  • our own Media Hub, with dedicated video and sound editing software
  • our own cinema, which screens ten to 15 films a week
  • 8,000 DVDs and videos in the library
  • a fully equipped construction workshop
  • media production facilities
  • an extensive collection of books and journals, including online resources.

Extra activities

The School of Arts puts on many special events, which you are welcome to attend. In previous years, these have included symposia, seminars, conferences and exhibitions.

You can take part in media-related student societies, such as:

  • Canterbury Student Radio (CSR 97.4FM)
  • InQuire student newspaper
  • Kent Television (KTV)

Kent Union also runs a media hub, the Student Media Centre, where student volunteers work together to produce print, radio and online content. You can use the hub’s industry-standard editing suites, a radio studio and a TV studio.

Professional network

The School of Arts has developed excellent links with industry and frequently brings in colleagues from organisations such as the BBC and The Guardian to talk to students.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

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.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

  • Certificate

    A level

    BBB

  • Certificate

    Access to HE Diploma

    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.

  • Certificate

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    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.

  • Certificate

    International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall including 15 points at HL

International students

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.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

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. 

Form

Stay connected

Sign up here to receive all the latest news and events from Kent.  

Sign up now

This field is required
This field is required
Please enter a valid email address
This field is required

You're almost there...

Just a little more information and we'll keep you up-to-date with everything that's happening at the University of Kent.

This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

View our Privacy Notice

Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time, 7 years part-time

Modules

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.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include
Optional modules may include

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include
Optional modules may include

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.

Find out more about FI618

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.

Find out more about ART522

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.

Find out more about ART523

Year abroad

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.

Students on a four-year degree programme spend a year between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities in Europe, the USA or Asia.  For a full list, please see Go Abroad. Places are subject to availability, language and degree programme.

You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the year abroad including achieving a merit at Stages 1 and 2.  If the requirement is not met, you will be transferred to the equivalent three-year programme. The year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.

Stage 3

All students take the following module:

  • ART515 - Industry Project

Students then select 90 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory modules currently include

Spending a period as full-time student at an overseas university, students will follow teaching and tuition in their own subject areas as well as choosing from a range of available courses in the Humanities. The curriculum will vary according to the partner institutions. Additionally, students will usually be offered to take language classes and/or courses on the culture of the host country.

Find out more about HU503

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include
Optional modules may include

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.

Find out more about FI634

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.

Find out more about FI585

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.

Find out more about ART500

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.

Find out more about ART501

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.

Find out more about ART520

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home undergraduates for 2020/21 entry are £9,250:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • International full-time £20500
  • Home part-time £4625
  • International part-time £10250

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

Full-time tuition fees for Home undergraduates in 2020 were £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.* 

EU students

Kent is supporting its EU students as the UK leaves the EU with a special EU fee offered for students joining in 2021 for the duration of their programmes. EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in academic year 2021/22. It will not affect students starting courses in academic year 2020/21, nor those EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. It will also not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

Your fee status

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.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

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.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

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.

Teaching and assessment

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.

Contact Hours

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.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • develop existing and new areas of teaching in response to current research and scholarship within contemporary media arts
  • provide students with a rich understanding of contemporary thought about the media of the visual and performed arts, visual culture and aesthetics
  • encourage and consolidate a distinctive approach to media arts, focusing upon our strengths in film, aesthetics, contemporary art, and practice-based learning.
  • enhance students’ awareness of sensitivity to the context in which the arts are produced, disseminated and received in the contemporary world.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • particular media forms and genres, and the way in which they organise understandings, meanings and affects
  • the interconnectedness of texts and contexts, and of the shifting configurations of communicative, cultural and aesthetic practices and systems
  • the historical evolution of particular genres, aesthetic traditions and forms, and of their current characteristics and possible future developments
  • the material conditions of media and cultural consumption, and of the cultural contexts in which people appropriate, use and make sense of media and cultural products
  • the aesthetic and formal qualities at play, and their relation to meanings, in particular cultural forms
  • the student's own creative processes and practice through engagement in one or more production practices
  • narrative processes, generic forms and modes of representation at work in media and cultural texts
  • an understanding of the ways in which specific media and their attendant technologies make possible different kinds of aesthetic effects and forms
  • the ways in which people engage with cultural texts and practices and make meaning from them.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • engage critically with major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within the field and put them to productive use
  • understand forms of communication, media and culture as they have emerged historically and appreciate the processes through which they have come into being, with reference to social, cultural and technological change
  • examine forms of communication, media and culture critically with appropriate reference to the social and cultural contexts and diversity of contemporary society
  • analyse closely, interpret and show the exercise of critical judgment in the understanding and, as appropriate, evaluation of these forms of communication, media and culture
  • develop substantive and detailed knowledge and understanding in one or more designated areas of media arts
  • consider and evaluate their own work in a reflective manner, with reference to academic and/or professional issues, debates and conventions.

Subject-specific skills

You gain specific skills in the following:

  • critically appraising some of the widespread common sense understandings and misunderstandings of communications, media and culture, and the debates and disagreements to which these give rise
  • critically evaluating the contested nature of some objects of study within the fields of communication, media, film and cultural studies, and the social and political implications of the judgements which are made
  • showing insight into the range of attitudes and values arising from the complexity and diversity of contemporary communications, media, culture and society, and the capability to consider and respond to these
  • drawing upon and bringing together ideas from different sources of knowledge and from different academic disciplines
  • carrying out various forms of research for essays, projects, creative productions or dissertations involving sustained independent enquiry
  • formulating appropriate research questions and employing appropriate methods and resources for exploring those questions
  • evaluating and drawing upon the range of sources and the conceptual frameworks appropriate to research in the chosen area
  • exploring matters that may be new and emerging, drawing upon a variety of personal skills and upon a variety of academic and non-academic sources.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • working in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, self-direction and reflection
  • gathering, organising and deploying ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral or other forms
  • retrieving and generating information, and evaluating sources, in carrying out independent research
  • organising and managing supervised, self-directed projects
  • communicating effectively in interpersonal settings, in writing and other media where appropriate
  • working productively in a group or team, showing abilities at different times to listen, contribute and lead effectively
  • delivering work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem-solving approach
  • putting to use a range of information communication technology (ICT) skills from basic competences such as data analysis and word-processing to more complex skills using web-based technology or multimedia, and developing, as appropriate, specific proficiencies in utilising a range of media technologies.

Teaching Excellence Framework

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.

Independent rankings

Communications and Media Studies at Kent was ranked 5th for graduate prospects and scored 92% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Media Studies graduates have the same wide-ranging career opportunities as other graduates in the Faculty of Humanities. These include:

  • teaching
  • local and central government
  • business
  • the NGO sector.

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.

Help finding a job

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:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

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:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • work independently.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Media Studies with an Approved Year Abroad - BA (Hons)

Full-time applicants

Full-time applicants (including international applicants) should apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system. If you need help or advice on your application, you should speak with your careers adviser or contact UCAS Customer Contact Centre. 

The institution code number for the University of Kent is K24, and the code name is KENT.

Application deadlines

See the UCAS website for an outline of the UCAS process and application deadlines. 

If you are applying for courses based at Medway, you should add the campus code K in Section 3(d).

Apply through UCAS

Contact us

bubble-text

United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

earth

International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

network

School website

School of Arts

Discover Uni information

DiscoverUni logo
Full-time
Part-time

Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

It includes:

  • Information and guidance about higher education
  • Information about courses
  • Information about providers

Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.