Enoch Odubade - Media Studies - BA (Hons)
Explore how media has shaped us, how it can enrich our lives and how you, through creative practice, can shape the media.
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 to create work of your own.
In your first year, you cover media and meaning, media identity and diversity, media power and/or making media (i.e. a practical introduction to media content creation). This gives you a solid grounding in the subject and introduces you to some of the most pressing issues in contemporary media culture and the creative industries.
The second and final years of your degree build on these foundations. You take a module on media ethics and choose from a huge range of modules, covering everything from podcasting, gender and digital culture, social media, digital storytelling, to photography and arts criticism, screenwriting and curating. You can also study modules from other subjects, such as film, drama and theatre, art history, literature, history, philosophy, politics and sociology.
It is possible to combine this degree with a year of working or studying abroad. For more information, see Media Studies with an Approved Year Abroad. At the end of your course, you could even add a year in Computing, Data Analytics, Journalism or a Language to your degree.
Take the opportunity to study both Film and Media in combination with our joint honours course: BA (Hons) Film and Media Studies
"Media Studies allows you to select modules in other areas. The ability to mix and match and, to some extent, to create my own course really appealed to me. You start to discover what you’re good at, what you enjoy and what you don’t, which gives you a better idea of the path to take when you graduate.”
- Enoch Odubade, current Media Studies student
“There are a lot of opportunities in a bunch of different areas: the pastoral support is amazing; the number of societies we have; the facilities on campus; and the people you meet. Before coming to Kent, I hadn’t ever met such a diverse group of people. It has been amazing meeting people from different countries and cultures.”
– Zoe Grasby, current Media Studies student
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30 points overall or 15 points at HL
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Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
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. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.
This module introduces students to the ways in which various media create and communicate meaning. The primary focus will be upon a range of key forms across the historical continuum of media practice. These trends will span both traditional and new forms of media content, such as print, radio, television, the Internet and user generated content. Media are therefore studied in this module as processes of transmission that shape and constrain narrative forms, aesthetic shapes, and communication uses, producers and users.
The module introduces to students the importance of marketing in competitive and dynamic environments.
The key indicative topics of the module are:
• The marketing role and concept
• Auditing the marketing environment as part of the marketing planning process
• Market segmentation, targeting and positioning
• Brand development and management
• Management of the marketing mix
o Product; including new product development and the marketing of services
o Promotion; including digital media, advertising, sales promotion, publicity, PR, personal sales
o Extended marketing mix; including people, physical evidence and process
• Ethical issues in marketing
This module draws upon concepts in Media Studies to inform an introduction to moving image production. The module explores various forms of screen culture - from cinema, to television, to content creation in the digital age. Basic technical skills in production and post-production are taught along with craft skills applicable to narrative and factual screen production. Through a combination of lectures, screenings, creative and technical workshops this module encourages critical reflection, independent thought, and dialogue between media theory and practice. Practical work is designed to trigger both conceptual and creative thinking as well as consideration of audience responses to moving images and visual narratives. The production report, a critical analysis of the finished film, is designed to encourage a dialogue between theory and practice.
Media are indispensable tools for businesses and organisations in the creative industries to create awareness and promote themselves and their products. The introduction of new digital media in the last quarter century has altered the shape and forms of these promotional tools, e.g., paid social media, transmedia merchandising, influencers or product placement. This module provides an introduction to the promotional media and their key current forms, specifically focussing on different types of public relations, marketing and advertising practices in the media and culture industries. Alongside theoretical reflection and the critical analysis of key case studies, students will apply their knowledge about promotional media in their own independent projects.
This introductory module examines the concept of 'identity' and 'diversity' through the prism of cultural capital and media presentation. Students will be introduced to key concepts and theories surrounding issues of gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, political identity, sports identity, and diversity. These topics are considered through a series of case studies that may include theories of media stereotypes, high and low culture, consumption society, identity politics, cultural production, subculture and style, and media pluralism. Students will be asked to consider the role that media processes play in constructing identity, diversity, and community, inclusion and exclusion.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
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 humour, 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.
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.
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 two 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.
This module offers students an introduction to the terms, ideas and craft, involved in the creation of screenplays. Screenwriting is a unique form of writing with very different concerns from the novel, theatre and radio. Although the screenplay is a vital component of a film's success, it tends to be neglected as a separate art form.
In this module we explore the conventions of dramatic structure, new narrative forms and short film variations. Students are encouraged to think critically about screenplay writing and will have an opportunity to write their own screenplay. A selection of writing exercises have been designed to take them through the writing process; from preparation and initial concept to final draft.
The emphasis here will be on practical knowledge and support as students uncover their creative voice. This module does not aim to provide vocational training for students wishing to pursue careers in the feature film or television industries.
The digital sphere has given voice and meeting spaces to communities and activist groups, enabling social action, art and change. It has also been used by reactionaries, nationalists and the far-right groups to amplify hate filled messages. Analysing platforms that may include Facebook, Twitter, Uber and Wikipedia, the module engages with concepts such as participatory and collaborative culture, sharing economies, democracy and surveillance.
Students will engage in sourcing, analysing and critiquing social media content by way of a Digital Portfolio. This work will be contextualised by an essay that situates students' multimedia exercises within key debates in online culture. To facilitate this, lectures and seminars will explore various case studies - from mainstream politicians’ use of social media in campaigning, to the intensification of hate speech in the cyber sphere, to the ethics of using unpaid journalists and the economy of sharing - in order to encourage students to engage critically with the relationship between politics, economics, personal expression and art making practices in the digital age.
Podcasting is a digital media form that is increasing its audience reach and size year on year. Often unbound to traditional norms of journalistic impartiality, many podcast presenters provide personal perspectives, allowing these media makers a marked degree of creative and intellectual agency. This module employs both theory and practice-based learning to examine the podcasting format and consider how podcasts are developed; the editorial and ethical issues at stake; and how audiences are acquired and expanded. Students are given the opportunity to critically assess contemporary practitioners, companies, and the platforms for the dissemination of podcasts.
This module aims to provide students with a broad-based knowledge of the history and development of video gaming, alongside an understanding of the technological and industrial advances in game design. Students will learn about game theory and be able to use it to analyse a wide range of game types. They will learn about intersecting questions of narrative, interactivity, space, play, players, game genres and representation. They will gain an understanding of how formal and informal regulation works to control game content, and be able to conceive of all of this through a range of critical theories.
One of the assessment methods employed on this module is a Digital Portfolio. The Digital Portfolio platform allows students on theoretical modules to create practical implementations of scholarly ideas and interactive forms of assessment, which may include blogging, video essays, and other forms of trans-media content.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
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.
All students within the Faculty of Humanities can apply to spend a Term or Year Abroad as part of their degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements in Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the Term or Year Abroad.
The Term or Year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.
In this module, students develop an independent project which introduces an innovation in an established area of media practice. The module provides students with an opportunity to deepen their expertise in a specific area of the media industry. By critically examining the state of the art in their chosen area, students identify a 'gap' in current media practice, which they address through their own innovative work. The module builds on existing areas of media practice introduced elsewhere on the programme. The relevant areas of media practice will change yearly, depending on the specialism of the module convenor, but may include audio production (e.g. podcasts); audio-visual production (e.g. short films or video essays); creative and critical writing (e.g. blogging, journalism, scriptwriting); and promotional media (e.g. social media campaigns). This module focuses on developing careers skills, including designing, delivering, presenting, pitching and critically reflecting on a creative project.
The module gives School of Arts students across a range of 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.
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.
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 also 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.
This course introduces students to the history and theory of film criticism, emphasising the coexistence of different approaches to the analysis, evaluation and appreciation of film. The module will also have a practical aspect, offering students the opportunity to write critical pieces on the films screened for the class. In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, some sessions will be devoted to writing and to analysing fellow students' work. Participants will also be encouraged to reflect critically on different media of film criticism (newspapers, magazines, academic journals, the internet, television) and on the current state of film criticism.
In mainstream media franchises, contemporary moving images are now typically transmedial, existing in different forms and across different platforms: for example, the Marvel universe includes comic books, films (released in cinemas and VoD) and games. This multiplicity of platforms generates new, and takes further existing, forms of fan culture as media-makers use transmedial platforms to reach new audiences and create media that can be experienced across multiple devices. The module explores fan culture and its engagement with different media content, and offers a critical and creative perspective on how media exist across different formats.
Factual entertainment (or 'fact ent'), one of the most widely consumed formats of television, film, podcast and other media, delivers non-fiction or unscripted scenarios in accessible, popular forms. This module critically analyses the format and provides students with an opportunity to plan and produce an exemplary creative work. Each week’s topic will focus either on an aspect of production or in-depth discussion of a specific sub-genre of factual entertainment, which may include true-crime podcasts, reality TV, talent shows, lifestyle series or science and nature documentaries. The module furthermore aims to enhance students’ ability to critically reflect on debates over ethics, objectivity, the media maker’s role and/or audience manipulation. Through exercises and presentation of ideas, students will engage with key practical considerations of making factual entertainment, which may include proposal-writing and pitching, using found/archival footage, collaborating with production companies, and analysing the implications (e.g. political, ethical) of their production decisions.
This module examines the concepts of stardom and celebrity. Often used as synonyms, the two terms in fact relate to different types of media constructs. The module will consider the history of the rise of stardom within the Hollywood context, exploring how the establishment of 'the star' became an integral part of the industry. Students will examine the ‘star system’ and its relationship to a range of topics which may include: performance; genre; the representation of gender and gendered bodies; audiences and fan studies; stars within dominant cultures and subcultural groups; and acting as labour. The topic will be illuminated through the analysis of key theoretical texts – many of which laid the foundations for star studies within film, media and cultural studies – as well as via opportunities for students to explore primary sources, such as movie magazines. The module also traces how the stardom industry described above became a component within a larger network of celebrity culture. Often characterised as a more contemporary phenomenon, the notion of ‘celebrity’ incorporates prominent figures in the public eye to whom the extension of fame is not necessarily based on any specific skill, talent or achievement. The module explores this context in conjunction with the apparent decline of the dominance of Hollywood stars, as a variety of mediated identities are promoted, consumed and commodified within diverse media landscapes. Using scholarship from within the interdisciplinary field of celebrity studies, students analyse how celebrities can take on many forms including actors, TV personalities and influencers, using different media platforms such as film, television, online streaming and social media. The importance of media technologies within both the study of stars and celebrity culture is stressed throughout the course.
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.
The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course 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.*
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 Home undergraduates are £1,385.
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.
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.
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.
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:
You will develop knowledge and understanding of:
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
You gain specific skills in the following:
You gain transferable skills in the following:
Communications and Media Studies at Kent was ranked 14th overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.
Communications and Media Studies at Kent was ranked 4th for research quality and 13th for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2023.
Media Studies graduates have the same wide-ranging career opportunities as other graduates in the Faculty of Humanities. These include:
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.
Kent School of Arts has an excellent reputation and many links to professional practices. This network is very useful to students when looking for work.
The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service for advice on how to:
As well as gaining skills and knowledge in your subject area, you also learn the key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
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