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Undergraduate Courses 2017

Cultural Studies (Combined languages) - BA (Hons)



What do we mean by ‘culture’ and why are its many forms so hotly contested today? Why is it so important to our sense of identity and belonging? How are the ‘culture wars’ of today, surrounding such things as free speech, drugs, food, censorship, secrecy, piracy and youth culture related to uses of old and new media and the rise of global capitalism? Do you think it matters how tradition and heritage are represented in the mass media or in museums? Do you think popular culture is much more than a form of entertainment? Do you ever think that the culture and lifestyle which means a lot to you is not taken seriously? It is often said that the world is changing more rapidly than at any other time in history, and the study of cultural transformation is key to achieving the ‘joined-up thinking’ society needs in the 21st century.

Cultural Studies at Kent is a lively, innovative subject with distinctive perspectives on all forms of present day culture. We explore significant connections between popular culture, the arts and everyday life by crossing traditional social sciences/humanities boundaries. There are several opportunities for combined honours degrees with related subjects, including European languages, giving the opportunity of a year abroad.

The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is ranked highly in national surveys. We recently received the highest rating in the Government evaluation of university research. You are taught by leading academics in the field.

Independent rankings

Cultural Studies programmes offer the best opportunity to combine modules right across the social science and humanities faculties.

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.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ 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.

Teaching & Assessment

You normally have four hours of lectures and four hours of seminars per week; you can always consult the lecturers for individual advice outside of formal teaching. Additionally, a wide range of study skills sessions are available to all students throughout each year of study.

Coursework is continuously assessed at Stage 1, and this is combined with the results of exams, in most modules. At Stage 2/3, modules are assessed by a combination of essays (50%) and exams (50%). All single honours students and some joint honours students also have the opportunity to do a final-year dissertation on a chosen subject, which counts as one module (and does not involve an exam).

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • develop each student's capacity to learn and undertake critical analysis in cultural studies
  • provide teaching informed by current research and scholarship in the field 
  • provide a flexible and progressive curriculum which includes options from a wide range of disciplinary areas
  • promote an understanding of cultural identities, differences and transitions and the historical, political and economic contexts from which they emerge 
  • provide a broad knowledge of relevant concepts, debates and theoretical approaches in the study of culture
  • 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 research and producing new knowledge
  • provide opportunities for the development of key skills appropriate to graduate employment in a range of cultural, media and education related spheres and for further research in the fields of cultural studies.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the complexity of culture as a contested object of inquiry
  • the role that the media and other cultural institutions play in society
  • the role and function of cultural forms as sources of popular knowledge and ideas
  • ways in which people engage with cultural texts and practices and draw meaning from them
  • the relationship between cultural texts 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 texts and products shape contemporary life
  • the cultural impact of new technologies
  • a wide range of disciplinary approaches to culture and the distinctive character of cross-disciplinarity in the production of new knowledge in cultural studies.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to analyse a wide range of cultural forms
  • the critical evaluation of scholarship and ideas, both classical and contemporary
  • communicating the views and ideas of others
  • the application of cultural theory to both familiar and unfamiliar cultural material, phenomena and contexts
  • expressing your own ideas in oral and written communication
  • the ability to identify, evaluate and to construct arguments.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the understanding and application of cross-disciplinary strategies for investigating cultural issues, themes, topics
  • identifying and analysing ethical and political issues represented in media culture
  • critiquing the interrelation of aesthetic cultural practices and forms and the social and political contexts in which they emerge and operate
  • evaluating theoretical models and paradigms of cultural production, consumption and reception
  • integrating diverse sources of cultural information and producing new knowledge.

Transferable skills

Graduates will:

  • be skilled at gathering, collating, retrieving and synthesising information drawn from a variety of sources
  • be able to work independently on research projects
  • have the ability to understand and reflect on the accumulation of knowledge about diverse cultural practices
  • be adaptable, creative and self-reflexive in producing output for a variety of audiences
  • be skilled at planning projects and working to deadlines
  • be adept at representing both the ideas of others as well as their own and will be able to support their views.


Cultural Studies provides a useful background for a wide range of careers. The skills you acquire, such as improved communication skills, the ability to work as part of a team and independently, the ability to analyse complex ideas and the confidence to offer your own innovative solutions, are all considered essential attributes by graduate employers. The programmes are especially good preparation for professional or postgraduate training in the media and cultural industries.

Our graduates take up careers in advertising and design, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, arts administration, publishing, public relations, research, information services, leisure industry management, tourism and heritage, personnel, local government, and the organisation of social and community projects.

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 the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB including Film, English Literature, Politics, Media, Geography, Philosophy grade B where taken plus one of A level French, German, Italian or Spanish grade B

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required 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 via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 points at HL including IB 4 at HL or 5 at SL in a modern
European language other than English

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
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 through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our funding opportunities for 2017 entry have not been finalised but will be updated on our funding page in due course.

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.


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 AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications 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.

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The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

The University of Kent intends to increase its regulated full-time tuition fees for all Home and EU undergraduates starting in September 2017 from £9,000 to £9,250. This is subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise by 2.8%.

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.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Key Information Sets

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 information@kent.ac.uk.

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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