Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Cultural Studies and Media and Journalism - BA (Hons)

UCAS code V9P5

2018

Cultural Studies and Media and Journalism at Kent is an innovative degree programme where we combine the study of these areas to explore the complexity of contemporary media and culture in our rapidly changing global society.

2018

Overview

This joint honours degree offers an academically rigorous approach to the study of mediated cultural forms, practices and technologies and their vital social, political and economic implications alongside journalism skills. We examine a range of areas, from digital media and journalism, to the creative and cultural industries, to social identities and sub-cultures.You will also be introduced to some of the basic skills journalists use. 

You will take core modules in reporting and feature writing and will have the opportunity to learn the essentials of media law. You will also explore journalism’s history and its relationship with parliamentary democracy.  You will read examples of great reporting and consider some of the challenges facing journalism in the age of the internet. 

Analysing culture, media and society

You cannot be part of today’s society without being affected by the constant stream of mediated culture: from digital news radio, to billboard advertising, to government cultural policy, to high fashion and street style.

Students critically explore the links between culture, media and society with a focus on:  news and journalism; mass media and advertising; digital media technologies; television and film; literature and the arts; cultural differences and practices; gender, sexuality, class, race, religion and identity; the body and embodiment; transnational media and culture; capitalism and media ownership; cultural history and memory; and multiculturalism and cultural policy, among other areas.

If you choose the joint honours Cultural Studies and Media and Journalism degree programme, you will have the opportunity to work across disciplinary boundaries and to choose modules from a wide range of subject areas – all addressing ‘culture’, ‘media’ and ‘society’ as they are widely understood. This includes practice-based modules and creative forms of assessment focused on building both critical thinking and transferable knowledge and skills.

In your final year of study, there is an option to take a dissertation module on a subject of your choice, which allows you to focus in detail on an area you are particularly passionate about.

Dual campus study

This joint honours degree requires equally split study across Cultural Studies and Media (50%) and Journalism (50%) and is taught at two campuses: Cultural Studies and Media is taught at our Canterbury campus while the Centre for Journalism is based on our Medway Campus and some Journalism modules are taught there. 

There is a regular free campus shuttle bus operating between the Canterbury and Medway locations during term time. As a student of both the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research based in Cornwallis North East at Canterbury and the Centre for Journalism based at Medway, you will be able to enjoy the unique experience provided by both. 

Independent rankings

Media and Film Studies at Kent was ranked 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2018.  Sociology* at Kent was ranked 1st for research quality and 11th overall in The Times Good University Guide 2018.

For graduate prospects, Communications and Media at Kent was ranked 1st in The Complete University Guide 2018 and The Times Good University Guide 2018.

Of Sociology students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 92% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

*Cultural Studies is included in Sociology.

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 ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

What is news?

What sources are trustworthy?

Writing news reports - who, what, when and why and the inverted pyramid.

Distinguishing between comment, conjecture and fact.

Understanding how news organisations are structured.

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15

Spin, PR and the news factory: How the news industry is being re-shaped, the spread of misinformation, and the importance of fact-checking.

Introduction to journalism ethics and the code of practice.

Objectivity, balance and bias: When is it appropriate for journalists to take a stand? Understanding campaigns and committed journalism.

The public interest versus the interests of the public: Understanding how the public interest is invoked to resolve ethical and legal challenges, and its importance to investigative journalism.

The future of journalism: social media, citizen journalism, and the state of the industry.

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15

This module introduces students to discussions and debates surrounding modern culture. It looks at why culture has always been such a contested sphere and has a decisive impact on society at large. Students will look at culture in the widest sense, ranging from ‘the arts’ to the banalities of everyday life in our consumer society; at how culture has expressed and organised the way people think and live from the days of 'protestantism' to those of post-punk. Books, magazines, radio, TV, movies, cartoons, fashion, graffiti, the cult of celebrity, youth subcultures and pop music will be used to understand class, history, sexuality, colonialism, revolution, conflict and globalisation.

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15

Contemporary culture is 'now-time' culture, but when did 'now’ begin - and, will it be over before the course starts? This module focuses on analysing contemporary culture and media and aims to demonstrate the range of possible interpretations that mediated culture can be open to. It raises questions about how culture can be viewed from aesthetic, political, ethical and economic perspectives. What is culture really for? Is it product or a process? Who owns it? Is it for fun or is it deadly serious? In order to think through contemporary issues such as gender relations, sexuality, multiculturalism and otherness, and what they might imply about our changing perceptions of space, place, and belonging, we'll be taking a case study approach to a range of cultural products and objects, media and institutions, and post-modern practices of communication. This module aims to understand the transformation of culture and media and everyday life we are living through and the way it changes who we are.

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15

How and why were newspapers first printed. Whose interests are served by the publication of news. How government has sought to control and censor journalism. The roles of polemicists, coffee house news writers and pamphleteers and the emergence of the professional reporter. The forces propelling the growth of newspapers in 19c. The era of the Press Barons. The birth of radio and television. The era of the internet.

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15

The design and operation of Britain's key political institutions. How do citizens make their demands known to policy makers? To what extent are British political parties responsive bodies? Has devolution of power improved British democracy? Structure and operation of local government. Structure and financing of public services.Role of the Treasury and Bank of England and mechanics of the Budget.

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15
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching and assessment

We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures; case study analysis; group projects and presentations; newsroom workshops; individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.

Assessment is through a combination of unseen written examinations, assessed coursework, timed newsroom exercises, assessed presentation and individual portfolios.

As a joint honours student, you will study in depth two disciplines and will experience different teaching and assessment styles appropriate to each discipline.

Contact time is not arranged by campus and will depend on which modules you choose. For this reason you may be required to visit both campus sites in one day.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • Develop students’ capacities to learn and undertake critical analysis from a variety of primary and secondary sources.
  • Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship in the fields of Cultural and Media Studies and Journalism.
  • Provide a flexible and progressive curriculum which includes options from a wide range of disciplinary areas with an intellectual investment in the study of culture and media.
  • Develop substantive and detailed knowledge and appreciation of print, broadcast and digital journalism.
  • Carry our independant research and inquiry.
  • Promote an understanding of cultural identities, differences and transitions and the historical, political and economic contexts of their emergence and change.
  • Provide a broad knowledge of relevant concepts, debates and theoretical approaches in the study of culture and media.
  • Meet the needs of the local and national community for a critical understanding of culture and media and their role in society.
  • Facilitate the personal development of students as independent, life-long learners capable of collating and analysing information and producing new knowledge.
  • Provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate to graduate employment in a range of cultural, media and education related spheres and for further research.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of:

  • The complexity of culture and media as contested objects of inquiry.
  • The significance of journalism to political democracy, its powers, duties and responsibilities.
  • Professional issues, debates and conventions in journalism.
  • The role that media and cultural institutions play in society.
  •  The role and function of cultural and media forms as sources of popular knowledge and ideas.
  • Ways in which people engage with cultural and media texts and practices and make meaning from them.
  • The relation between cultural texts (e.g. artistic, literary, media, social, political, scientific) and the historical contexts of their production and reception.
  • Different modes of modern global, international, national and local cultural experience.
  • How culture is both product and process and gives rise to social and political ‘forms of life’. 
  • How the modes of production/consumption of cultural and media texts and products shape contemporary life.
  • The nature of the cultural impact of new technologies.
  •  A wide range of disciplinary approaches to culture, media and journalism and the distinctive character of cross-disciplinarity.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • Ability to analyse a wide range of cultural and media forms.
  • Critical evaluation of scholarship and ideas, both classical and contemporary.
  • Representation in language of the views and ideas of others.
  • Application of cultural and media theory to both familiar and unfamiliar cultural material, phenomena and contexts.
  • Expression of own ideas in oral and written communication.
  • Ability to identify, evaluate and to construct arguments.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • Conception and application of cross-disciplinary strategies of investigation of cultural and media issues, themes, topics.
  • The ability to identify and analyse ethical and political subject matters represented in media culture of all kinds.
  • The ability to account for and criticise the interrelation of aesthetic cultural practices and forms and the social and political contexts of their emergence and affect.
  • The ability to evaluate theoretical models and paradigms of cultural and media production, consumption and reception.
  • The ability to integrate diverse sources of cultural information and produce new knowledge.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • Gathering and collating, retrieving and synthesising information drawn from a variety of sources (Library, IT, CD-ROM, Press, etc.) – textual, visual, popular and academic, in traditional formats as well as electronic.
  • Working independently on the design and execution of research projects.
  • Ability to reflect on and understand the accumulation of knowledge about cultural practices diversely understood.
  • Be adaptable, creative and self-reflexive in producing output for a variety of audiences.
  • Skilled at self-directed project planning, development and execution of work to deadlines.
  • Skills of expression in written and oral forms; be adept at representing both the ideas of others as well as their own and will be able to argue for and justify their views.
  • Use a range of appropriate technology to perform tasks and reach defined audiences.

Careers

University of Kent graduates are adaptable and flexible in their thinking and approach tasks in a rigorous and ethical, yet also creative and reflective fashion. They develop key transferable skills including: communication, organisational and research skills; the ability to analyse complex information and make it accessible to non-specialist readers, the ability to write reports and use data analysis computer programs, and the capacity to take on positions of leadership in addition to working effectively and considerately in teams. These skills and attributes are valued in a wide range of professions.

Cultural Studies and Media and Journalism graduates work in media, journalism, broadcasting, the cultural and creative industries, national and local government, social and cultural policy, international institutions and NGOs, teaching, arts administration, publishing, advertising and design, public relations, research, information services, leisure industry management, tourism and heritage, and the organisation of social and community projects.

Independent rankings

For graduate prospects, Sociology* at Kent was ranked 2nd in The Times Good University Guide 2018 and 8th in The Complete University Guide 2018Of Sociology students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 92% of were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Communications and Media Studies at Kent was ranked 1st for graduate prospects in The Complete University Guide 2018 and The Times Good University Guide 2018.

*Cultural Studies is included in Sociology.

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

GCSE

5 GCSEs grade C or above.

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)

Distinction, Distinction, Merit

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 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.

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 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15200
Part-time £4625 £7600

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.

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. 

For 2018/19 entry, 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.