BA (Hons)

Communication & Society and Philosophy

Student talking
  • UCAS code(s): VP59
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

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If you've got two subjects that you really enjoy, or have career ambitions that demand a particular skill set, then a joint honours degree is a great choice for you.

Course overview

It enables you to shape your study according to your strengths, interests and career ambitions. Combining two subjects can give your degree an international or industry perspective that will make you stand out in the graduate employment market.

Our course combinations are designed so that what you learn in one subject will complement and enhance what you learn in the other. In your final year you can choose either to split your time evenly between your two subjects, or to specialise in one. Our flexible curriculum has been designed to create some amazing opportunities for you too. Your second year of study is divided into two semesters that enables you to take part in optional work placements or go on international exchange.

By choosing Communication & Society and Philosophy you’ll enjoy the freedom to choose from a wide range of optional modules, depending on your own preferences and interests. These two fascinating subjects will help you to develop your critical thinking skills, giving you the tools to challenge and question fundamental aspects of communication and the ways in which we receive and process ideas and information.

Study this course full-time or part-time. See How to Apply section for more information.

What you'll study

Philosophy

People have been studying philosophy for about 3,000 years and its original questions are still being discussed by today's leading minds. Philosophers believe that the ability to question and think critically about the world is an important skill, something that’s now increasingly recognised by many of today's leading employers.

The course at NTU is organised around some of the philosophical problems faced by today's decision-makers in their professional lives. You’ll examine the interface between philosophical ideas and everyday life, and learn to think more clearly and critically about the world you live in.

At the end of your studies, you should be able to think through complex issues and questions with clarity and rigour. No intellectual problem should daunt you! No wonder philosophy graduates are in demand by today's employers, and as a Philosophy graduate from NTU you’ll be ahead of the pack.

Communication & Society

Fascinating new forms of politics, economics and creative enterprises are rapidly challenging many core assumptions about human communication and identity. The possession and transfer of knowledge now lies at the heart of daily life and it’s more important than ever to understand various aspects of communication. You’ll look at communication between individuals, groups and organisations, humanity and nature, and the evolving media through which communication takes place.

This course offers a wide choice of interesting and engaging modules. The core of this course draws on Psychology and Sociology, and also includes aspects of Philosophy, History and Anthropology. No previous study in any of these areas is required.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    Applied Philosophy I

    This module will examine the fundamental questions that have defined Philosophy as a discipline. Particular emphasis will be given to debates surrounding the nature of rationality, logic and critical thinking; the rhetorical power of language and the issues surrounding the use of rhetoric as a tool of persuasion; the uses of scepticism and the question of whether there are limits to what we can know; the ethics of corporate governance; the ethics of animal rights and euthanasia as well as the philosophical significance of the environmental crisis and biotechnology.

    Philosophy: Thinkers and Themes

    This module aims to understand the development of western philosophy through its 2,800 year history. More specifically, it examines the claims of the philosophers whose ideas have helped to shape the moral, intellectual and political contours of the contemporary world.

    Face-to-Face to Facebook: Understanding Communication in an Age of New Media

    Examine how the interaction of technology, politics and society has given rise to wide ranging social, psychological and creative changes.

    Introducing Media Communications: Publicity, Persuasion and Propaganda

    This module introduces you to the field of public and professional media communications, developing a combination of theoretical insights and practical skills. Encompassing introductory examinations of advertising, journalism, public relations and the creative industries, this module develops your media literacy alongside writing and communication skills.

  • Year Two

    Core module

    Contemporary Philosophy: Philosophy in the 20th Century

    This module will introduce you to the ideas of the key thinkers that have helped to shape the development of 20th-century philosophy. Specific ideas and themes covered will include the significance of Kant in the development of contemporary European thought, Husserl and phenomenology, Heidegger on the authentic life as well as work on the nature of language, meaning and the mind by contemporary British and American analytic philosophers.

    Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Explorations of Identity and Selfhood

    Today the concept of ‘identity’ stands as a key term within many different academic disciplines, including geography, history and philosophy, as well as sociology and psychology. However, there is a considerable gap or discrepancy between common sense and more formal academic understandings of identity. This module aims to introduce you to these important debates – starting with our common sense and moving steadily towards more radical understandings of the nature of identity and selfhood.

    Humanities at work

    This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. The placement includes report writing around your experience and clear work-based learning objectives.

    Philosopy optional modules

    Applied Philosophy II

    Philosophy is often viewed as a remote and highly esoteric discipline that has very little to say to ‘ordinary people’ in their workaday lives.

    This module will challenge this view, and examine the ways in which philosophical forms of questioning and analysis can assist us both in our personal and in our working lives. Drawing upon both ancient and modern philosophical sources, the module will examine the way in which philosophy can provide us with ideas and arguments that point us towards greater self-insight and ultimately better ways of living.

    Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

    This module introduces you to the key debates and themes in contemporary philosophy of religion. The module aims to facilitate an awareness of religion’s problematic status in modern philosophy through allowing you to explore the assumptions of key thinkers in an area of philosophical inquiry that also touches on important theological issues.

    Philosophy, Technology and Innovation

    Those of us who live in modern societies increasingly inhabit a ‘technological world’ where our lives and values are increasingly shaped, possibly even ‘determined’, by our interactions with technological devices of various kinds. However, this novel historical situation raises a number of important and pressing philosophical question.

    In this module we will examine these questions and introduce you to a number of recent debates that have made the philosophy of technology one of the most important branches of contemporary philosophical inquiry – through an examination the ideas of Norbert Elias, Karl Marx; Hebert Marcuse, Martin Heidegger, Paul Virilio, Donna Haraway, Marhsall McCluhan and Bruno Latour.

    Philosophy and Media

    This interdisciplinary module aims to view the media philosophically through the lens of everyday life. Its central organising theme is the media’s potential to operate as a powerful philosophical tool within an image saturated society, with the capability to transmit, influence and critique dominant ideological norms.

    The Philosophy of Time

    Study two opposed contemporary theories of time's flow and three opposed ontological positions regarding the existence of the past, present and future.

    Communication & Society optional modules

    Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism 1: 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.

    Communications and Creativity Toolkit

    On this module you'll learn new skills and discover new ways of expanding your understanding of communications and creative industries. You'll 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.

    Gender and Sexuality

    ‘Gender’ and ‘sexuality’ are key terms within psychology, social theory and ordinary everyday life. They are terms with which all of us are familiar. However, as this module will show, despite this familiarity, these concepts are highly complex – and, indeed, contested. During this module you'll look at the ways in which gender and sexuality have been theorised from a range of different social scientific perspectives.

    Media 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.

    Digital Identities: The Politics of Communication in the Globalised World

    This module will develop your understanding of core themes in the study of communications and media. Four interlinking blocks of study take you from the formation of the communicating self through to further examinations of social, digital and global facets of contemporary communications.

  • Year Three

    Core module

    Dissertation

    The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under expert supervision.

    Philosophy optional modules

    Wittgenstein and Heidegger

    This module introduces you to some of the central problems in contemporary philosophy through an examination of the work of two of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century: Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

    The overall aim of the module is to encourage you to question and wonder about your experience of the wider world and to show the extent to which answers to the philosophical questions posed by both these philosophers can change the way we think about ourselves and the world in which we live.

    Reasons for Action

    The aim of the module is to introduce students to selected issues around the general topic: what kind of reasons for acting one way rather than another are good reasons? One possible reason for doing something is the belief that it’s the right thing to do: we ask whether morality can give us a reason for action. But we also consider other reasons for action (e.g. just wanting to do something) and what it is that we should be aiming for in life in general.

    Contemporary Metaphysics

    This module aims to introduce students to some of the major disputes in contemporary metaphysics.

    Contemporary French Philosophy

    This module serves to introduce you to some of the highly influential and continuingly fecund schools of thought that emerged in France during the 20th Century. The module engages with many of the defining concepts of contemporary Continental philosophy, tracking their development out of, and often in problematic relation to, the traditional philosophic discourse within which they arose.

    Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

    The overall aim of this module is to introduce you to the key concepts involved in contemporary philosophical debates about the nature and significance of the mind. The module examines critically the Cartesian idea that the mind is distinct substance separate from the body. It also explores the way that psychoanalysis and behaviourism both posed important challenges to this conception in the 20th Century.

    Advanced Topics in Applied Philosophy

    The overall aim of this module is to show how philosophical modes of inquiry can allow you to make sense of the personal experiences, professional practices and contemporary ways of being that have become central to many aspects of human life in western societies today.

    World Philosophy

    Globalisation has radically transformed the world’s cultural landscape. In this module, you will examine the impact of globalisation on contemporary philosophical debates and the way in which it seems to call into question the Greek origins of philosophical ways of understanding the world.

    Philosophy and Film

    This module aims to view film-philosophy via two interconnected perspectives. You'll learn about the specificity of the film medium and its relationship with philosophy.

    Social and Political Philosophy

    This module will introduce you to some of key issues in contemporary social and political philosophy. Its central focus is on the question of how we are to understand the nature and dynamics of contemporary society in philosophical terms.

    Philosophy and Childhood

    This module will introduce you to some of the key debates in contemporary philosophy that address the nature and wider significance of childhood, with particular emphasis given to the philosophical significance of childhood thought, language and emotion. The module will explore these issues through the ideas of the philosophers of the Enlightenment as well as the ideas of 20th-century novelists and developmental psychologists.

    Communication & Society optional modules

    Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism 2: 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. An important recent evolution of these forms in the digital age is characterised by what is known as ‘convergence.’ This concept encapsulates the way individuals working in these sectors increasingly have to take on a variety of roles which cut across the traditional boundaries of each sector and learn to use a variety of working practices and technologies.

    As well as continuing to study theoretical and critical academic perspectives on these developments, 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.

    Self in Crisis: Power, Prejudice and Otherness

    This module brings together a range of debates in contemporary society about the nature of identity or selfhood that centre around claims that it is, in various ways, in a profound state of crisis. One part of this module will consider these ideas through a social-psychological examination of one of the most frightening crises of the 20th Century – the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews.

    DJ Cultures: History, Theory and Technique

    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.

    Trans-National and Alternative 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.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

Each year you’ll choose a range of core and optional modules from the lists above. The first year is normally divided equally between the two joint honours subjects but at the end of Year One, you’ll have the opportunity to select between an equally weighted joint honours course and a more specialised pathway, depending on your interests.

Teaching principally takes place through a combination of lectures, where tutors introduce the key ideas, and seminars, where smaller groups discuss those ideas.

Contact hours

If you’re struggling with a topic or require additional support or guidance, you can arrange to see your tutors in small groups or one-to-one, to discuss essay plans or to seek some specific academic guidance.

It is the nature of the subjects offered in the School of Arts and Humanities, however, that much of your time will be spent engaged in independent study. We recognise that this marks a change of culture from school or college, and we have in place a system of study support to help you adapt to this.

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. 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. Find out more.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn another 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.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (83%) and written (17%)
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)
  • Year 3 coursework (83%) and written (17%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (75%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (76%) and placement (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

As one of our graduates you’ll possess a wide range of academic and transferable skills.

Career development is seen as a major part of the curriculum. Key transferable skills are emphasised and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers. As a result we have an outstanding record of graduate employment.

Although graduates have gone on to develop their careers within large well known organisations, many graduates are forging successful careers in small to medium sized companies which reflect the nature of the UK economy.

Career Centre – enhancing your employability

Our friendly and experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the Internet. You’ll find consultants on all three campuses. Find out more about our Careers Service.

100% of our communication & society joint honours undergraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DLHE 2015-16).

Entry requirements

  • 104 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent)
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C / 4.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Getting in touch

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

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our International Team for advice.

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!

Getting in touch

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

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

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.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

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

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

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.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

Find out more about our terms and conditions of study for this course.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418