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Media Communications and Culture BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): P315
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: Three years full-time, part-time options available
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Designed for those with a passion for communications, this course will develop your digital and media literacies for a range of audiences across different genres and media.

On this course, you’ll develop a wide range of skills in communications, media and cultural analysis in the context of the creative industries. It enables you to graduate with skills that are highly relevant to a range of media-based careers.

You’ll explore the role the media plays in shaping culture, identity and interpersonal communications. You’ll gain a professionally-focused understanding of media and society, developing a portfolio of practical skills in both visual and written work including advertising, public relations and journalism. You’ll learn how to use media technologies to communicate in a variety of styles and formats, including pitches, briefings, video projects and podcasts.

The course equips you with a combination of practical expertise and theoretical insights, related to the broad fields of media analysis and public and professional communications, such as marketing and PR. You’ll develop your digital and media literacy, writing, business and presentation skills and examine advertising, journalism, popular culture and questions of identity and diversity.

  • Design to develop media communications skills for fields such as marketing and PR.
  • We work with employers and industry partners to ensure your learning has real-life application.
  • Develop a portfolio in visual and written work.
  • Work on company media projects.
  • Media student opportunities at NTU include Notts TV, Platform Magazine, Trent TV and Fly Live.

Our newly refurbished media labs

We have recently moved our media labs from our Clifton campus to the City. Our newly refurbished labs are close to the Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism and offer all the same industry-standard equipment which is available for our students to hire out.

What you’ll study

You will learn techniques to create and analyse imagery and to write professionally across a range of platforms. Theoretical approaches will support your application of ideas and practical assignments will enable you to understand the global context of media communications. You’ll become a critical thinker and creative professional with a clear understanding of how media is embedded in the world of work. In Year Two, you’ll have the opportunity to study abroad.

Modules include

  • Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism I: The New Creativity
  • Cultural Policy
  • Lifestyle and Consumer Culture
  • Client-led Media Practice and Production
  • Media in the Workplace: Experiencing Work

Core modules

Understanding Media

This module provides a foundation for discussion and study of all types of media. You’ll explore media regulation, questions about representation and identity, and the way in which media forms are consumed, as well as what it’s like to work in the creative and media industries.

Media Communications and Digital Cultures

Explore the media communications that sit at the heart of the information societies and digital cultures in which we live. You’ll examine the social, cultural and political contexts, within which media communications institutions have emerged and developed. You’ll also study the history of media and communications from print to digital media.

Celebrity, Consumption and Technology: Doing Cultural Studies

You’ll consider a range of approaches to the study of culture and everyday life. In particular, you’ll examine the notion of ‘culture’ as a range of everyday practices, institutions and industries. It covers the everyday significance of contemporary cultural forms, including mobile technology, online culture and celebrity culture. It also focuses upon the analysis of consumer culture, the social significance of phenomena such as music and fashion, and the distinction between popular/mass and high forms of culture.

Introduction to Media Practice and Production

This module provides a foundation in the skills required for effective media project work. It explores the principal elements of creating media content through understanding narrative, still and moving image and sound, and the practical and theoretical relationship between those elements.

Some optional modules may be studied on the Clifton campus.

Core modules

Media, Theory and Society

This module explores how media and cultural theories are used to understand and make sense of our mediated society. The aim is to give you a thorough understanding of how creative thinking underpins and informs the practice work you’ll undertake.

Media Communication in the Workplace: Experiencing Work

This module will prepare you for working in the creative industries, freelancing and your potential future career. Seminar and workshop exercises will allow you to build a career development portfolio. In the second half of the module you’ll undertake a work experience placement.

Optional modules typically available include:

Researching Media, Communication and Culture

This module introduces the key empirical methods and analytical approaches of Media and Cultural Studies. It enables you to produce original research, and to gain greater understanding of the methods you might use in your Media dissertation. It outlines a range of methods, and shows how these can be applied to particular media and cultural case studies.

Advertising, PR and Journalism I: The New Creativity

This module explores at a practical and theoretical level the new modes of creativity, which are transforming working methods in the contemporary economy. You'll study the histories of advertising, public relations and journalism. You'll look at the intersections between economic developments, forms of communicative and media technology and the evolution of modern psychology and sociology that have resulted in a proliferation of new types of creativity.

Intermediate Media Practice and Production

This module offers you intermediate technical and production skills in media production. You will be introduced to more advanced skills, software and technology. The technology and software used in this module will be closer to those used in the media production sector.

You will work individually and in groups to produce a portfolio of work including photography, web, sound, filming and editing. There is also a written element of critical reflection and contextual analysis.

Talking Media: Arguing, Speaking, Debating, Performing

his module looks at argument, speech and debate within media forms (e.g. TED talks, panel shows, radio phone-ins, blogs and vlogs). Using examples from different forms, it examines both the format of media debates (e.g. issues of ‘balance’ and notions of a ‘centre’; questions of expertise; managing hostile, angry and heckling voices) and successful techniques for making an argument and ‘pitching’ ideas.

Identity and Difference

This module explores the way in which popular media forms like television, music, magazines, and film often produce powerful ideas and experiences that confirm or challenge our understanding of our own identity and the identities of ‘others’. In this module, you will examine some of the constituents of our identity such as gender, sexuality, age, race, class and ask how popular culture might make those meaningful. The module might ask questions such as 'How does Hollywood represent Otherness?'. 'What can reality television tell us about class?', 'Is identity fixed in the body?', ‘Can men be sex objects?'.

Media, Communication and Culture in Asia

This module provides an insight into contemporary media development and cultural change in East Asia, placing this in the context of broader historical, economic and cultural debates. It will examine a wide range of media forms including print media, broadcasting, film and new media technologies, assessing their cultural impact in East Asian societies. It will explore contemporary issues of media development and policy and it will relate these to longer historical contexts.

Analysing Popular Music

Analysing Popular Music has two major concerns: firstly, to develop a social understanding of transatlantic popular music, and secondly, to develop a cultural-historical perspective on its development over the past hundred years and more. This module introduces you to theoretical approaches to the study of popular music, allowing you to engage in independent critical analysis of popular music and popular musical cultures.

Communication and Creativity Toolkit

You will combine insights from a range of disciplines and creative practices to generate a 'toolkit' for both the intellectual understanding of communications and creativity, and the practical development of creative practices in various forms. You will combine theoretical approaches to the creative and communications sectors with practically orientated perspectives on the world of business, and you will be introduced to entrepreneurial practices and processes. In particular, you will focus on the development of creative business ideas and the writing skills that are central to creative production.

Analysing British Television

This module introduces you to key ways of understanding the development of British television. It examines the evolution of British television industries and institutions from their beginnings up to the present, looking at important factors and influences that have shaped the industry over time. It explores different accounts of ‘Britishness’ both in television shows or formats and in the relationship between television producers and audiences.

Digital Identities: the Politics of Communication in the Globalised World.

This module explores the intersection of our capitalist economy on the one hand and digital media and technologies on the other hand. It uses contemporary and classical theories such as Marxism and the Frankfurt School to make sense of capitalism in the information age and inspects how social media are reshaping our identities, how they change our everyday interactions and communications, and how they transform collective action and social movements. The module explores topics such as hacking and surveillance; open source software and open-access publishing; internet regulation and internet policies. It also explores various forms of digital rebellion and introduces the notion of the digital commons, a non-commodified internet, which is emerging with great force.

Some optional modules may be studied on the Clifton campus.

Core module

Dissertation

This is a substantial piece of work developed and made by you in whatever media platform you choose. You’ll be supported by one-to-one tutorials with a specialist supervisor and be introduced to industry mentors who’ll give advice on practical projects.

Optional Modules

Advertising, PR and Journalism II: Convergence and Creativity in the Digital Age

This module continues to develop your appreciation of the history, practice and theory of advertising, public relations and journalism. You’ll explore the concept of ‘convergence’, which means the way individuals working in these sectors increasingly have to take on a variety of roles, learning to use a variety of working practices and technologies. You'll take part in workshops to help you further develop the writing, digital literacy and image analysis/creation skills that are central to success in these areas.

What’s New? The Future of Media Communications

This module looks at innovations and challenges that face media communications professionals as they look to the future. Using practical assessments such as blog writing, producing a radio advertisement and making an audio slideshow, students will advance their media skills in preparation for future employment as digital, multi-media producers. You will examine the issues, ideas and debates which contemporary journalism and marketing have to engage with, such as the funding and accessibility of news on the internet, the nature and trends of popular content, new styles and forms of presentation and the blurring of fantasy and reality in digital communications.

Political Communication and Society

This module seeks to help students understand more about the socio-political world in which we live. The module considers the international and global dimension of contemporary transformations in communications and analyses some of the key terms in contemporary political communications and society such as public diplomacy, propaganda, soft power, and ‘narrow-casting’. By the end of the module you will be familiar with specific case studies involving politics, communications, the media and society in places as diverse as the UK, Nicaragua and Taiwan.

Alternative and Trans-National Media

On this module you’ll examine the growth of ‘alternative’ forms of media practice which fall outside the mainstream of corporate forms of communication and which reach beyond national boundaries to generate ‘trans-national’ communities, campaigns and other social and political movements.

Humanity in the Natural World

This module helps you to look at the relation between humanity and nature from psychological, cultural, and historical perspectives. You’ll examine questions such as: Is industrial civilisation simply an extension of nature? Is the 'environmental crisis' a symptom of a deeper alienation from the natural world? You'll also consider whether capitalism and technology are inherently destructive to nature, and will assess the possibility of 'greening' industrial civilisation.

Media in the Workplace: Becoming Career Ready

This module focuses on becoming career ready. It will focus on a broad range of careers (not just those in the media and creative sector). The module will give you the opportunity to start your careers search and it aims to give you some of the practical skills, knowledge and tools to equip you for beginning that search and becoming career ready.

Client-Led Media Practice and Production

During this module, you'll be able to focus on the development of skills in media production by completing a media project that will be set to a 'real brief'. This is an opportunity for you to enhance your employability options by participating in live projects with a real purpose. This module will encourage you to make connections between theory and practice.

Lifestyle and Consumer Culture

Explore key approaches to understanding lifestyle and the culture of consumption. You'll be introduced to many important theoretical approaches to understand lifestyle and consumer culture and you'll use many case studies such as travel and tourism to evaluate these.

The Body and Popular Culture

How is the body represented in popular culture? Examine key ideas such as how we might understand the various meanings surrounding the body across a range of media and cultural forms. By studying a selection of case studies, you'll explore the way that the body is addressed and located within popular culture, for example, from music to sport.

Cultural Policy

Explore a range of debates within the developing field of policy study which relate to the development of media. You'll examine some of the key institutions within which policies relating to film, television, the visual arts, heritage and other creative industries are determined. You'll explore questions such as: what is cultural value and how important are the cultural and creative industries?

American Television since 1950

This module examines American television from the 1950s to the current moment. It moves from the emergence of the Classic Network Era through to the Post-Network era of digital television. It places American television in its historical, industrial and cultural context. It considers the formal and aesthetic properties of American television programmes and engages with the organisation and history of network television (for example NBC) and cable television (for example HBO).

DJ Cultures

From obscure roots, the art of DJing has in recent decades exploded into the limelight as a major form of popular culture. No prior experience of DJing is required to take this module, which combines a basic ‘taster’ introduction to DJ technology and the practical techniques of DJ performance with a theoretical consideration of various styles of DJing, their histories, their related musical experiences and their wider cultural significance and influence.

How you’re taught

Enabling creative thinking is central to how you’ll be taught. Classes consist of lectures, seminars, workshops, screenings and tutorials designed to develop your skills in creative thinking, problem-solving, critical analysis, research methods, time management, presentation and group work.

Work experience

You’ll undertake a period of work experience and complete a placement report. Employability exercises during seminars will help you produce career-based material such as your CV, LinkedIn profile and to start to develop potential career areas.

More student opportunities

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. Or you could source work placements abroad. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspective and career ambitions.

You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Creative industries in Nottingham

Nottingham has a thriving creative arts scene which feeds the local creative industries. Many successful TV production, digital design and marketing agencies have chosen to base themselves in Nottingham.

The creative industries in Nottingham include organisations like Nottingham Contemporary, Broadway Cinema and Media Centre, Antenna Media Centre and LeftLion.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%) and independent study (75%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (78%) and placements (2%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%) and independent study (79%).

Staff Profiles

Catherine Adams

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Catherine Adams

Nigel Edley

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Nigel Edley

Olga Guedes Bailey

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Olga Guedes Bailey

Colin Alexander (Dr)

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr. Colin Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Political Communications within the Communication and Society subject team at the School of Arts and Humanities

Ben Taylor

Principal Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Ben Taylor

Simon Cross

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Simon Cross

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (100%)
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)
  • Year 3 coursework (100%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

You’ll possess many of the attributes needed to develop a career in the field of communications and media. These include research; organisation; content production; team-working and time-management skills. Graduates have gone on to work in journalism, events management, marketing, advertising and public relations. This includes roles as a social media consultant; marketing account manager; PR and marketing executive; marketing manager and digital content assistant.

Campus and facilities

Media Production: Video Projects

The videos featured on this page are all examples of student project work. Produced by Year Two Media students they are based on a student communications brief from the NTU Environment Team. You can find more 'Eco videos' produced by Media students on the NTU YouTube channel.

Media laboratories and equipment

We have specialist media laboratories where you will develop multimedia production skills. Equipment includes:

  • HDV camcorders
  • tripods
  • lighting kit
  • cameras
  • voice recorders
  • iMacs
  • finalCut software
  • turntables
  • sound equipment.

This equipment is supported by technical staff and is available as free hire for student project work.

Societies and student media

Nottingham Trent University has award-winning student TV and radio stations that many media students get involved with.

Find out more about student societies at the Student Union website. Or check out:

Current students also run a number of societies that you can get involved in, including the Languages and Linguistics society and Debating society.

Books and library resources

In the library you’ll have access to an extensive and diverse range of books from your reading list. The library also stocks periodicals that focus on Creative Writing forums.

The campus has its own Blackwell's Bookshop which stocks relevant academic texts plus a wide range of bestselling novels.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across our campuses, with PCs providing access to:

  • Microsoft Office
  • email
  • web browsing
  • networked file storage
  • high-speed online printing services (with a free printing allowance for each student). Resource rooms are available 24 hours a day.

Entry requirements

120 UCAS Tariff points

  • 120 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DDM; and
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Personal statements

For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

You will need the equivalent to:

  • 120 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DDM; and
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before. This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Please see our fees page for more information.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can.

For the full-time route just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide.

If you're applying for the part-time route please apply online using the NTU Applicant Portal.

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Need help with your application?

For admissions related enquiries please contact us:

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Email or Ask us a question

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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