BA (Hons)

Media Communications and Culture

Media Comms and Culture
  • UCAS code(s): P315
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

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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.

  • New degree for 2019 entry.
  • 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 FM.

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
  • Voice; Image; Text: Multimedia Communications
  • Media in the Workplace: Experiencing Work
  • Year One

    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 understating narrative, still and moving image and sound, and the practical and theoretical relationship between those elements.

  • Year Two

    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.

  • Year Three

    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.

Course specification

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

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.

Watch our video to find out more.

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.

Assessment methods

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

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 (22%) and independent study (78%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (78%) and placements (2%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%) and independent study (79%).

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.

Entry requirements

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

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

How to apply

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

You can follow our step-by-step instructions whilst applying through UCAS. You can also find out more about the application process on the UCAS website.

Once you have applied, make sure you check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder. We may need to contact you during this time. Good luck with your application.

Personal statement

The UCAS application form requires you to write a personal statement as part of your application. For some tips on what to include, use our guide to writing an effective personal statement.

Any questions?

General course enquiries
Email us

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

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.

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.

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.

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