Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Cultural Studies and Media and Journalism - BA (Hons)

UCAS code V9P5

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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.


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.

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

Sociology* at Kent was ranked 1st for research quality and 11th overall in The Times Good University Guide 2018.

*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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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. Understanding campaigns and committed journalism. Public interest v. interests of the public. The future of journalism: social media, citizen journalism, and the state of the industry.

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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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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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The development of journalism in the United Kingdom from the fifteenth century to the age of the internet. How and why newspapers were first printed. Whose interests are served by the publication of news? How government has sought to control and censor journalism. The forces propelling the growth of newspapers during the English Civil Wars and the industrialisation of the press in the nineteenth century. The emergence of professional reporters. The era of the Press Barons. The birth of radio. International reporting of the Spanish Civil War and the Blitz. The birth of television. The dawn of the multimedia age.

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This module provides an overview of the British political system, focusing on recent political and constitutional developments. It will investigate topics such as the roles of Parliament, the Prime Minister and Cabinet, political parties, and the electoral system. It will assess key issues facing democratic government and institutions within the UK, analysing for example the role of Europe, the challenges posed by devolution, the Treasury and the National Health Service. There will also be discussion of contemporary political behaviour, including the issue of political participation..

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

Develop a deeper understanding of how feature writers tailor content to suit defined readerships and publications. How and why opinion is used by journalists in a range of articles, including reviews and columns. How defamation law and the Editors' Code of Practice guide the use of opinion in features. How journalists create distinctive, compelling narratives in columns, reviews and travel pieces including the selection of angles and use of language. The importance of photography and other visual elements as storytelling tools. Writing styles of notable feature writers and interviewers. How the internet has changed the output of reviewers and columnists. Research tools used by feature writers. Carrying out original research.

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The difference between news stories and features. A range of different feature styles including news reactive features, interviews, reviews and columns. A range of UK and international publications. Understanding how features are targeted at different readerships, and the range of styles employed by feature writers. Writing styles of notable feature writers. The tradition of feature and non-fiction writing in the UK and America and analysing the styles of key writers. Research tools used by feature writers and carrying out original research. How feature writers respond to the news agenda to develop timely, original and compelling articles. How to pitch feature ideas to editors.

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This module introduces and applies ideas in critical, cultural and communications theory to debates and issues surrounding media and popular culture, focusing on such themes as cultural elitism, power and control, the formation of identities, the politics of representation, and the cultural circuit of production and consumption. It investigates the relationship between the development of contemporary society and societal values and the changing technological basis of mediated culture.

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The module will cover the following topics and issues:

1. The impact of social research upon both social theory and policy-making.

2. The primary epistemological and ontological debates and how these affect the research question, method and design.

3. The steps in designing a qualitative research project and criteria for assessing its quality as applied to positivist as well critical theorists approaches

Ethical considerations in social research, the main problems with establishing valid samples and how different sampling approaches can undermine the validity of the research findings.

4. The variety of qualitative research techniques available to social scientists and their relative advantages and disadvantages in understanding the social world. These include interviewing, visual, comparative/historical, and discourse analytic approaches.

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Journalists wield an extraordinary power in society. A single review can boost the career of an entertainer or end it. A single crime report can destroy the reputation of the accused, even if they are later found innocent. This module offers a basic introduction to the law as it applies to journalists in England and Wales. Topics covered will include: copyright and how it applies to newspapers, broadcasters and internet publishers; the rules governing crime reporters and how they guarantee a defendant's right to a fair trial; defamation and how the law protects people’s reputations, and under what circumstances journalists can publish potentially harmful facts and opinions; the legal protection offered to private and confidential information.

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How news and information was accessed in 1945, the importance of national, regional and local newspapers and the role of radio. The impact of television on news consumption and the importance of ITN and the rise of commercial media. Relationship between journalism and political power, and the role of spin in the era of broadcast dominance. Changing patterns of foreign coverage and the understanding of faraway disasters. Reporting 'The Troubles' in Ireland and the role of journalism in uncovering miscarriages of justice. Emergence and growth of 24 hour rolling news on radio and television and its impact on the political process. Online reporting, blogging and citizen journalism

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Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the ‘greening’ of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

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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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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.

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This module is concerned with the principles and practice of digital photography and photographic image editing. Topics will include: basic optics, lighting, cameras and imaging, composition and colour, files and processing, historical developments, image correction and manipulation. Theory is followed by practicals and workshops.

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Among the capital cities of Europe, Paris has a particularly rich and interesting history. In the revolution of 1789 and subsequent political upheavals in the course of the nineteenth century (1830, 1848, 1870-71), the city played a key role in deciding the fate of the nation. In the same period, it grew dramatically in size and emerged as a modern metropolis. Widely divergent views were expressed as to the wholesomeness of city living; opinion differed equally violently among writers as to the benefits to be derived from the explosive growth of the city. The module will examine conditions of life in the real Paris of the 19th Century and in particular the radical and highly controversial changes to the face of the city brought about during the Second Empire under the direction of Baron Haussmann. The main focus of the module, however, will be the images of the city as mediated in contemporary fiction (Balzac and Zola amongst others), poetry (Baudelaire) and painting (Manet's vision of city life).

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Among the capital cities of Europe, Paris has a particularly rich and exciting history. It played, for example, a key role during the revolution of 1789 and subsequent political upheavals in the course of the 19th century. This module explores the different and evolving representations of Paris of the 20th century in the context of modernity and postmodernity. Although the main focus of the course will be literary, including poetry and fiction, there will also be examination of the changing landscape of the capital as mediated through film and in visual art (Cubist paintings of Paris). Thematic focuses of the module include: immigrant experience in Paris; young protagonists' quest for identity in Paris; social and urban change.

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Many pictures, still and moving, in Western society and globally, in high art and demotic culture, incorporate sexual imagery and themes. This module will explore different aesthetic perspectives and theoretical approaches to such images, including those typically classified as pornography and erotica around which much of the existing philosophical literature focuses.

Here are some of the indicative questions this module will investigate:

• What is erotic art?

• In which respect and to what extent is it different from pornography?

• Is 'pornographic art' an oxymoron?

• What is the relation between erotic experience and aesthetic experience and are they at all compatible?

• What are the differences and similarities between voyeurism and aesthetic interest?

• What is the role of transgression in art?

• Are obscenity and art mutually exclusive?

To answer these questions certain fundamental issues in the philosophy of art will need to be addressed. We will therefore engage with current research on the definition of art, the nature of aesthetic value, aesthetic experience, aesthetic properties, the relation between art and morality, the psychology of picture perception, and the role of imagination in art. However, more is involved than just an abstract philosophical problem. The sexual and the erotic have often caused controversy in the history of art, and especially in the contemporary world of art (construed in the broadest sense) there are many works that consciously explore the boundaries between erotic art and pornography. Any investigation of our central theme would not be complete without a careful examination of such works. Thus, the module will draw on a variety of sources and disciplines (art history, film studies, literary theory, sociology and cultural theory) to study the sexually charged work of traditional, modern and contemporary artists, such as: Titian, Boucher, Courbet, Hokusai, Schiele, John Currin, Robert Mapplethorpe, Thomas Ruff, Nan Goldin, Larry Clark, Nagisa Oshima, Michael Winterbottom, Virginie Despentes, Nicholson Baker, Catherine Millet, Alan Moore.

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This module raises questions about the relationship between western and non-western cultural traditions. The course revolves around a series of discussions about 'encounters' between western and non-western traditions, as well as the appropriations from and differences between their traditions of representational and non-representational art. In examining the influences, appropriations and cross-fertilizations of western and non-western art and culture the course will also place these issues in a broader political and social history of the rise of nationalism, continental trade relations, advents of war, tourism, colonialism and imperialism.

It will look at the nature of 'dialogue' from a critical and art historical perspective, and thus also consider the terms and even the failures of dialogue between the west and non-western traditions; the exclusions, altercations, violations and marginalization of other cultures and their traditions.

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The course begins with an analysis of Raphael's frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura of the Vatican Palace, as a means of introducing the key themes which will be considered throughout: proportion in architecture, the body and the geometry of vision; rhetoric, both verbal and visual, and the related concepts of variety, decorum, and composition; poetic inspiration, emulation and imitation; and the revival of antiquity. These themes are then reviewed as they occur in the writings of Leon Battista Alberti, the most evolved theoretical texts on the visual arts of the period. Alberti’s works raises the question of whether he was describing current practice or setting out an ideal, and also whether he was writing principally for artists or for their patrons? Alberti’s elevated claims for painting, architecture and, to a lesser extent, sculpture as liberal arts, are then compared with the contemporary status of artists, whether operating from a workshop or employed at court. The course continues by looking in detail at the works of four key Italian artists – Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian – to assess how far they engaged with, or departed from, the Albertian paradigm. Albrecht Dürer, a northern European artist excelling in the less "noble" medium of printmaking, but also profoundly interested in issues of perspective and proportion, is considered to provide a non-Italian point of view on the Renaissance. Interspersed with these studies of single artists lectures may consider in greater detail particular themes raised by these artists’ works, such as the extent of artists’ knowledge of anatomy, the influence of the ruins of Rome, the Renaissance ideal of love, the creation of new styles by transgressing architectural rules for playful effect or to achieve “grace”, and the development in Venice of the genre of pastoral landscape. Alternatively, the work of other major artists may be considered such as Correggio, Parmigianino, Bandinelli etc. Having, broadly speaking, covered the period 1470-1550 chronologically, the course concludes by looking at the mid sixteenth-century reassessment of these artistic achievements in the writings of Dolce, Varchi and Vasari.

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This innovative module examines artistic creation from historical, philosophical and practice-based perspectives. It examines topics such as the development of the idea of genius in ancient Greece and Renaissance Italy, the Romantic and Kantian conceptions of genius, and the "democratisation" of the notion, culminating in the idea that everyone has the capacity for artistic creativity, as expressed in the work of mid-twentieth century thinkers such as John Dewey and Erich Fromm. It looks at how the concepts of genius and creativity came under attack from “theory” later in the twentieth century, and considers the recent resurgence of interest in creativity, in academia and the broader culture. Students will also take part in exercises designed to foster artistic creativity. These will include a selection of approaches such as Surrealist, Bauhaus and Oulipo methods for encouraging creativity. These different perspectives will allow students to develop a well-rounded, critical and active understanding of the topic, and to understand – and perhaps develop – their own capacity for creativity.

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This module will explore the impact of Surrealism on the visual arts. It will focus in detail on a small group of key surrealist artists, such as Man Ray, Max Ernst, and Salvador Dali; while also, in order to understand the scope and definition of Surrealism, considering further artists in some detail who were associated with Surrealism but who denied that they were indeed surrealists, such as Frida Kahlo or Pavel Tchelitchew. In addition the module will survey the work of those artists formally associated with the Surrealist group, and the contribution of Dadaist precursors and contemporary artists who exercised a profound influence on Surrealism. While hardly feminist, Surrealism did provide a supportive forum for a number of innovative female artists, arguably enabling the artistic careers of more women than other avant-garde movements in the first half of the Twentieth Century. The relationship of women artists to Surrealism will, therefore, be a key theme of the course. Surrealism was not, however, principally a phenomenon of the visual arts, or a conventional artistic movement: the surrealists sought to reconnect moral and artistic forces, to achieve liberation through emotional intensification ('a systematic derangement of the senses'), and by this means to revolutionize society. They drew inspiration from Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theories to explore the workings of the unconscious and the ‘over-determined’ symbolism of dreams, and also what Gaston Bachelard called the new scientific spirit of the ‘why not’. Characteristic methods included pure psychic automatism, objective chance, the paranoiac-critical method, the double image, dislocation, and collage. Particularly at Level 6, this module will explore the broader implications of these surrealist themes, for example the question of whether myth is an expression of society, or constitutive of it, which was a key concern for the Surrealists. Indeed, André Breton described Surrealism as ‘a method of creating a collective myth’ in 1933. These thematic aspects of the module should make it an interesting wild option for students studying literature, twentieth-century history or cultural history, in addition to history of art students.

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This module will provide a critical survey of the problematic position of sculpture within the history of art: sculpture has often been seen as a lesser art form, subsidiary to architecture or inferior to painting, and lacking theoretical definition. Sculpture's monumental or cultic functions place it nearer to the idol or votive offering than to the 'work of art’ conceived of by aesthetic theories. At the beginning of the modern era Baudelaire dismissed sculpture as ‘boring’, and yet since the Second World War various developments have led to a situation where sculpture, more broadly conceived (often in relation to performance), is leading artistic developments. The module will explore this dynamic while also touching on several of the themes which have characterised the study and appreciation of sculpture (such as the relation of sight to touch, the absence or presence of colour, the materials of sculpture etc.). The work of a number of key artists will be discussed as representative case studies from across the history of art.

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This module combines theoretical and methodological approaches from sociology, cultural and media studies, history and literature to examine how our understandings of the past, present and future are formed, framed, mediated and remediated in a variety of social, cultural and political contexts. It aims to introduce students to key themes and issues related to the social experience of time. It will encourage them to reflect on how this experience informs our approaches to social problems, relationships of power and inequality, and the formation of collective identities. Over the course of the term, we will debate and critically explore the roles of heritage, nostalgia, the imagination, narrative and imagery at the heart of both processes of social change and cultural continuity. We will question what it is that forms the constitutive narrative of a cultural identity, its foundations, expression and trajectory. We will also examine the material and symbolic construction of social groups such as generations, classes and communities.

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This module will examine the impact of digital technology on our social and cultural lives. It will concentrate on how the Internet in particular has challenged some of our more traditional notions of identity and self, the body, relationships, community, privacy, politics, friendship, war and crime, economics, among others. Lectures will show how some of the basic components of culture such as notions of identity, space, the body, community, and even the very notion of what it is to be human, have been complicated by the rise of virtuality and cyberspace. We will also examine these issues through case study phenomena unique to digital culture, currently including gaming, music, cybersex and social networking.

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The course discusses the main approaches which have developed in urban sociology through an exploration of some of the major themes. These themes include urbanisation under capitalism, planning, post-industrialism, globalisation, social differentiation, multiculturalism, protest and social movements, and comparative urbanism (Asian and African contexts). Approaches considered within these will include Marx, Weber, the Chicago School, the Manchester school, and post-modernism.

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This is an optional module for Cultural Studies programmes, but is open to and suitable for students on other programmes in the Social Sciences and Humanities. It may also be taken as a 'wild' option.

The module invites students to explore the critical links between emotion, media and culture in the context of contemporay cultural, socio-political and economic relations. It examines what is meant by ‘the affective turn’ within the humanities and social sciences and introduces students to a range of interdisciplinary literatures concerned with theorising the cultural politics of emotion and the mediation of affect. Through various case studies and examples, the module investigates how social, cultural and media theorists have addressed the relationships between emotion, affect, power and identity in the context of postcoloniality, multiculturalism, neoliberalism and various social justice movements.

Attending to contemporary cultural debates concerning happiness, empathy, hope, fear, hate, disgust and melancholia, it explores how personal feelings are linked to social norms and power structures and considers how we might disrupt an assumed division between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ emotions. The module explores how emotions, feelings and affects are produced, mediated and circulated through a range of cultural forms, practices and technologies, paying particular attention to the role of film, television, news media, digital culture, literature and popular science.

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This module aims to develop basic quantitative research skills (to the level of regression) to understand more advanced issues in making causal claims. Learning will be oriented towards:

• Understanding the limitations of simple (OLS) regression for making causal claims, with particular emphasis on endogeneity/confounding and causal heterogeneity;

• Learning a small number of advanced methods for investigating causality through quantitative research (e.g. experiments, instrumental variable approaches, matching methods, longitudinal analysis). For each method, students will first consider the rationale for the method (its strengths and limitations), and then use the method in hands-on statistical analysis sessions using appropriate statistical software (e.g. Stata);

• Towards the end of the module, students will learn how to decide the relative strengths and merits of each approach, and how to select the appropriate research design given the particular features of real-world scenarios

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This module aims to develop students' skills in actively engaging with, critically assessing and communicating quantitative and qualitative research to a range of different audiences both within and outside of the realms of academia. Students will actively develop skills in explaining and visualising research and will also reflect on the challenges in communicating research and also on how research is used in practice and policy.

• The first part of the module will focus on giving students the basic understanding of how and when to make use of a range of data visualisation tools, how to construct arguments both in writing and orally as well as how to assess how others communicate and carry out research.

• The second part of the module will focus on applying these skills by creating both a group presentation and an individual report where students make use of the skills learnt in the first part.

• Students will develop these skills by working in groups where they are asked to use quantitative data and to communicate results by either:

(i) teaching A-level students, (ii) setting up a public event, or (iii) producing a short TV/radio feature using secondary data for substantive topics on e.g. single parenthood.

This means that part of the module will include engaging with a range of audiences to shape relevant projects focusing on topics that are important to the particular audience students are working with. The latter meaning that students will apply their acquired skills in interpreting and choosing data, and presenting it in a persuasive manner.

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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.


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).

Of Sociology* students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 92% of those who responded to a national survey 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



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.


The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

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

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.

General additional costs

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


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.


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.



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