Media

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

UCAS code W991

CLEARING 2019

Planning to start this September? We may still have full-time vacancies available for this course. View 2019 course details.
2020

Our new Media Studies BA is designed for students with a passion for contemporary culture and a desire to influence future developments in the arts. This interdisciplinary degree allows you to study contemporary culture while undertaking creative practice, such as filmmaking, photography, screenwriting, playwriting, film criticism, theatre journalism and visual arts writing.

Overview

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 create work of your own.

How is art different to entertainment? How do filmmakers, performers and artists express themselves using style and genre? What are the distinctions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ media? The teaching staff, leading researchers in the field, guide you to answering these questions and more. They help you understand how media shape us, and how you, through your creative practice, can shape media.

We have embedded practice-based learning within the programme with modules in areas such as filmmaking, photography, arts criticism, screenwriting and curating. The programme has been designed to deepen your understanding of contemporary media through creative ability.

Study Abroad

Exchanges are offered subject to availability and in some cases will be dependent on which degree you are studying at Kent. In most cases, Kent students must also meet the academic and attendance requirements set by their School or Faculty in order to study/work abroad.

See the Course structure tab for more details.

Independent rankings

Communications and Media Studies at Kent scored 92.2 out of 100 in The Complete University Guide 2019 and Media and Film Studies was ranked 10th in The Guardian University Guide 2019.

In The Guardian University Guide 2019, over 97% of final-year Media and Film Studies students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course.

Teaching Excellence Framework

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.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

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 Credits

This module introduces students to the ways in which meaning is created and communicated across various media. 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 what can be communicated through previous generations and into the future.

View full module details
30
Optional modules may include Credits

This module examines perceptions of media audiences and their social and economic power through the study of key theorists, themes and case studies. Students will consider the audience as an object, the audience as an institution, the audience as a user and more laterally, as a producer of media in the digital age. This module also considers fandom, public opinion and ratings, and how these once fixed concepts have been blurred in the age of Web 2.0, troubling traditional notions of audiences as passive receivers or at times even victims. Through real-world contemporary examples and students' own experiences with media, this module seeks to make audience theory relevant and accessible to the study of personal and public media consumption.

One of the assessment methods employed on this module is a Digital Portfolio. The Digital Portfolio platform allows theoretical modules to create practical implementations of scholarly ideas and interactive forms of assessment, which may include blogging, video essays, and other forms of trans-media content.

View full module details
30

This introductory module examines the concept of 'identity' through the prism of cultural capital. Students will be introduced to key concepts and theories surrounding issues of gender, class, race, ethnicity and sexuality. These topics are considered through a series of case studies that may include theories of aesthetics, taste formations, sub-cultural theories, film and representations of class, teenage fan cultures, online streaming platforms and consumer choice, identity politics and cultural production. Students will be asked to consider the role that media processes play in constructing identity, community, inclusion and exclusion.

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30

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.

View full module details
30
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

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 humor, 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.

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30
Optional modules may include Credits

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.

View full module details
30

Podcasting is a digital media form that is increasing its audience reach and size year on year. Unlike supposedly impartial journalists, podcast presenters are often encouraged to give personal perspective allowing these media makers to have creative and intellectual agency often omitted from traditional mediated forms. This module employs both theory and practice-based learning to examine the podcasting genre and consider how podcasts are developed; what are the editorial and ethical issues at stake; and how audiences are acquired and expanded. Students are given the opportunity to research contemporary practitioners, companies, and the platforms for the dissemination of podcasts.

In parallel to learning to this theoretical and industry based context, students will engage with this more personal form of production, as they design, produce and distribute a podcast series that will be available for download.

View full module details
30

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

View full module details
30

The art historian Aby Warburg – an avid reader of Thomas Carlyle's philosophical novel about clothes Sartor Resartus (1836) – said that a good costume, like a good symbol, should conceal as much as it reveals. This module will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of costume and fashion – the art that can be worn – in order to explore their roles in drama, film and the visual arts. The social values encoded by clothes, their relation to class or sexual identity, will be discussed, along with how these assumptions inform the use of costume in adaptations or stagings of texts, or how they colour our view of a character, or of a director’s interpretation (for example, using deliberate anachronism). The role of clothing and costume in the history of art will be analysed from artists’ representation of clothes, contemporary or otherwise, to their involvement in fashion design.

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30

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.

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30

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.

View full module details
30
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

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 Credits

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.

View full module details
120

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

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

- Marketing

- Policy

- Online content creation

- Issues of representation

- Film and television production

- Activism

- 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.

View full module details
30
Optional modules may include Credits

Podcasting is a media form that is increasing its audience reach and size year on year. Unlike supposedly impartial journalists, podcast presenters are often encouraged to give personal perspective allowing these media makers to have creative and intellectual agency often omitted from traditional mediated forms. This module employs both theory and practice-based learning to examine the podcasting genre and consider how podcasts are developed; what are the editorial and ethical issues at stake; and how audiences are acquired and expanded. Students are given the opportunity to research contemporary practitioners, companies and the platforms for the dissemination of podcasts.

In parallel to learning about the podcasting culture and its contexts, students will engage with this more personal form of production, as they design, produce and distribute a podcast that will be available for download.

View full module details
30

This module gives students the opportunity to bring prior learning on gender and sexuality into a focused context, whilst employing a critical study of representation in contemporary mediaand digital cultures. `Students will be encouraged to question how (and if) representations of gender and sexuality are shifting in the millenial era though a series of critical questions, such as: How has the Internet changed human relationships? What is the impact of pornography on contemporary youth culture? Are men also objectified by the media? How should we understand misogyny and has it been intensified in the digital age? How do we define consent post MeToo? Have advertisers apropriated feminism? What is the difference between liberation and exploitation? How are LGBT groups represented (or not represented)? What is the relationship between race and sexualisation? What should diversity in the media look like?

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 interactive forms of assessment, which may include blogging, video essays, and other forms of trans-media content.

View full module details
30

This module will look at arts funding policy and public funding structures for the arts, including the formation of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and the Arts Council and its various models of operation since 1947 through to the present. This will serve to place productions from across the arts within the context of who makes policy and how it is formed, while acting as an introduction to arts funding and the application and measurement process. Students will gain an understanding of the structure of central, regional and local government in as much as they affect the arts. Trust and Foundations that support and nurture the arts are also explored in the context of how these can supplement and develop productions. Sponsorship and commercial involvement is looked at in the ways that this can be integrated into the package.

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30

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.

View full module details
30

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.

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30

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.

View full module details
30
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

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.

Careers

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 and 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.

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. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

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

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBB

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.

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 DDM.

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. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time TBC £19800
Part-time TBC £9900

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.* 

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

The 2020/21 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 and EU undergraduates for 2019/20 entry are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

The 2020/21 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 and EU undergraduates for 2019/20 entry are £1,385.

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

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.

Full-time

Part-time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.