Cultural Studies and Media - BA (Hons)

Cultural Studies and Media analyses the effect and impact of different digital and traditional media, from podcasts to billboard advertising and social media. This helps us to interpret phenomena like subcultures, fashion styles and leisure practices and to make sense of how we experience and organise our lives and govern our societies

Overview

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 in fields like gender, race and the body and have the opportunity to choose modules from a wide range of subject areas.

You critically explore the links between culture, media and society drawing on critical theories and methods from the Social Sciences and the Humanities. We examine a range of areas, from digital media, to the creative and cultural industries, to social identities and movements.

Our degree programme

The programme begins with an overview of different cultural and sociological theories that address ‘culture’, ‘media’ and ‘society’ as part of a broader global and historical context. You then go on to learn how to conduct and apply qualitative sociological research that engages with mass media and advertising; digital media technologies; news and journalism; television and film; to name a few.

During all stages of your studies you have the opportunity to choose specialist modules that suit your interest. Our modules and creative forms of assessment are designed to stimulate your thinking and prepare you for a job market looking for versatile and innovative individuals.

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.

Year abroad

We offer a Year Abroad option which takes place between Stages 2 and 3 of your degree. You can apply to add a year abroad to your degree programme from your arrival at Kent until the autumn term of your second year.

Study resources

You have access to a wide range of topical journals and books in hard copy and digital format through Kent’s Templeman Library. Your designated academic advisor provides guidance for your studies and academic development.

Our Student Learning Advisory Centre also offers useful workshops on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.

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. There are also a number of student-led societies relating to your interests such as:

  • UKC Digital Media
  • Socrates Society
  • Feminist 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.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

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 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.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit in Health and Social Care or Public Services.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 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.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad), 6 years part-time (7 with a year abroad)

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 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £12600
  • International full-time £16800

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

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

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

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, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.

Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and examinations; to view details for individual modules click the 'read more' link within each module listed in the course structure.

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 your capacity to learn and undertake critical analysis in cultural studies and media
  • provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship in this field
  • 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
  • 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 in the field of cultural studies and media.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the complexity of culture and media as contested objects of inquiry
  • 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
  • the ways in which people engage with cultural and media texts and practices, and make meaning from them
  • the relation between cultural texts (eg, 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 and media, and the distinctive character of cross-disciplinarity in the production of new knowledge in cultural studies.

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
  • the ability to reflect on and understand the accumulation of knowledge about cultural practices diversely understood
  • to be adaptable, creative and self-reflective 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 your own and able to argue for and justify your views.

Independent rankings

Sociology at Kent was ranked 22nd out of 102 and 1st for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Sociology at Kent was ranked 1st for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2021 and The Times Good University Guide 2021.

Media and Film Studies at Kent was ranked 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Careers

Graduate Destinations

As part of your degree, you develop critical thinking and transferable knowledge and skills that enable you to work in a variety of professions.

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • media, journalism, broadcasting
  • the cultural and creative industries
  • national and local government
  • social and cultural policy
  • international institutions and NGOs
  • arts administration
  • publishing
  • advertising and design
  • public relations
  • 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 making 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.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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