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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.
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.
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.
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
All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
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.
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ART502 - Costume and Fashion
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.View full module details
ART522 - Disability and the Arts
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.View full module details
ART523 - Photography: Contexts of Practice
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
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.
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HU503 - Humanities Study Abroad Module (Year)
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
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ART520 - Psychology of the Arts
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
ART500 - Independent Project
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.View full module details
ART501 - Arts Internship
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|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.
34 points overall including 16 points at HL
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.
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
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.
Fees for Year in Industry
For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385.
Fees for Year Abroad
UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
General additional costs
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.