Cultural Studies and Media and Journalism - BA (Hons)

Explore the complexity of contemporary media and culture with Kent’s Cultural Studies and Media and Journalism degree. Learn to question how information is interpreted and reacted to in our global society and become skilled in producing your own media content.

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 subcultures. In addition, you are introduced to some basic journalism skills like reporting and feature writing that position you well for a range of careers in the media sector and beyond.

At Kent, Cultural Studies and Media is taught in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research where you benefit from a large choice of specialist modules on race, social change, criminal justice or disability and the arts. You are taught by leading academics and have the opportunity to choose modules from a wide range of subject areas.

Our journalism modules are taught by working professionals in print, digital, radio and television journalism and specialist academics.

Our degree programme

You begin with modules that offer an introduction to journalism skills and provide an overview of different cultural and sociological theories that address ‘culture’, ‘media’ and ‘society’ as part of a broader global and historical context. Your journalism skills are developed further in your second year.

You also learn how to conduct and apply qualitative sociological research that explores mass media and advertising; digital media technologies; news and journalism; television and film. You may choose from a variety of optional modules in your third year to further pursue subjects you are passionate about like digital culture, the history and practice of drawing or the cultural politics of literary prizes.

You can gain valuable professional experience through our targeted newsrooms exercises and workshops.

Study resources

As a student of both the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research based on the Canterbury campus and the Centre for Journalism at Medway, you have access to the excellent facilities provided at both sites. We even offer a free shuttle service between the campuses during term time to ease your commute.

You have access to a wide range of topical journals and books through our libraries at both Canterbury and Medway. The Centre for Journalism offers a full range of editorial resources including audio and video editing, cameras and autocues, wire feeds from the Press Association, and video feeds from Reuters World News.

Extra activities

At the Kent Student Media Centre we provide excellent studio facilities and an editing suite. You may use these together with your peers to create your own digital, television or print media content and gain some useful professional skills along the way. You may even want to join Kent’s newspaper InQuire or our student television station KTV. There are also a number of student-led societies relating to your interests such as:

  • UKC Digital Media
  • Socrates Society
  • Publishing Society.

There are events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include:

  • research seminars and webcasts
  • career development workshops
  • informal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion.

The Centre of Journalism also offers a variety of events that include socials, seminars and masterclasses and they have previously hosted:

  • Jon Snow – presenter of Channel 4 News
  • Alex Crawford – five times RTS TV journalist of the year
  • Faisal Islam – Political Editor, Sky News.

Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty GCSE

    5 GCSEs grade C or above.

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average.

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 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.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13000
  • International full-time £17400
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6500
  • International part-time £8700

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

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.

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 A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

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.

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 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 independent 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.

Independent rankings

Sociology at Kent was ranked 29th out of 105 and 2nd for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2022.

Careers

Graduate Destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • media, journalism, broadcasting
  • publishing
  • public relations
  • the cultural and creative industries
  • national and local government
  • social and cultural policy
  • international institutions and NGOs
  • arts administration
  • advertising and design
  • tourism and heritage
  • the organisation of social and community projects.

Help finding a job

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

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

Career-enhancing skills

Our graduates develop substantial transferable skills that are valued in a range of professions.

These skills include:

  • communication
  • organisational and research skills
  • analysing complex information and make it accessible to non-specialist readers
  • writing reports
  • using data analysis computer programs
  • working effectively and considerately in teams.

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

Professional network

The Centre for Journalism has long-standing relations with the journalism organisation, The Kent Messenger Group, and other media institutions like Sky News, BBC News and Associated Newspaper. 

The Centre may be able to facilitate work experience placements for students.

Apply for this course

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

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T: +44 (0)1227 823254
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