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BA (Hons)

Media and International Relations

Media student at desk writing
This course is in clearing: call us now on
  • UCAS code(s): LP23
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information
  • Entry requirements may be different in Clearing. Call us on 0115 848 6000 for more information.


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This course allows you to explore theoretical and practical media approaches in a global context. It’s a great opportunity to engage with the world as a global citizen, while gaining a qualification tailored to the international workplace.

If you aspire to work in diplomatic relations or want to focus on a career in international communications then this is a great course for you. The course combines theoretical and practical training in media and communications. You’ll develop an understanding of the changing world in which we live, exploring relations between states, peoples, social movements, and cultural and religious groups.

You'll develop a greater awareness of the complexity and connectedness of the processes that shape our worlds, and the role of international communication.

  • This degree offers work placement opportunities.
  • 87% of Media students would recommend studying at NTU (NSS 2020).
  • 98% of International Relations joint honours graduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree (DHLE 2016 /17).
  • 95% of our Media joint honours graduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree. (DLHE 2016 /17).
  • Study this course full-time or part-time. See How to Apply section.

What you'll study

There is a lot of flexibility in the structure of a Joint Honours degree, allowing you to tailor a package to your developing academic interests.

During your first year, you’ll study four core modules which provide a clear and exciting framework for your development at later stages.

In the second year you’ll study three core modules. You’ll also be able to select a number of optional modules based on your individual interests or spend the second half of the year on international exchange at one of our partner universities.

In the final year, you’ll undertake a dissertation on a topic of your choice and select four optional modules. You must select at least one module from each subject.

  • Year One

    Core modules

    Understanding Media

    This module explores representation and identity; media production and regulation; the way media forms are consumed; and what it's like to work in the media. Throughout this module, you'll investigate the place of media within culture and society more generally and be introduced to principle theories, concepts and approaches.

    Screen and Sound Media: Culture and Practice

    This module introduces you to a range of key academic texts that examine and theorise screen media (film, television, the computer etc.) and sound media (popular music etc.). You'll also produce a group project based on media culture or media practice.

    Foundations and Challenges to Politics and International Relations

    This module introduces you to key political concepts and ideologies, which have underpinned the development of political and international relations theory. In addition, traditional approaches are contrasted with critical theoretical approaches to the study of international relations and to experiences of resistance and challenge to established orthodoxies and interests in global relations.

    International Relations and Global History

    This module introduces students to the argument that contemporary world politics can be understood in historical context, and that the appropriate idea of history for this purpose will draw on literatures, which discuss long-term trends and transformations. The literature draws on Braudel and work influenced by Braudel, as well as Little and Buzan's attempt to write 5,000 years of global history, drawing attention to mechanisms of change and continuity.

  • Year Two

    Core modules

    Media, Theory and Society

    Develop your knowledge of theoretical approaches to understanding the media and culture. This module will help you to understand some of the key theoretical approaches that are used in the study of media, communication and culture. You'll develop a familiarity of important theoretical approaches used in contemporary media and for the use of cultural analysis.

    Researching Politics and International Relations

    This module will enable you to explore contrasting approaches to the study of Politics and International Relations, to develop your skills in formulating a viable research project as preparation for the final-year dissertation and to enable you to manipulate, present and interpret quantitative and qualitative data.

    Humanities in the workplace 

    This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. You will complete a placement for a minimum of 37 hours, write a report around your experience and follow clear work-based learning objectives.

    Media optional modules

    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.

    The City and Popular Culture

    This module will investigate the effect that urbanisation has on popular culture by exploring a selection of case studies such as urban exploitation, street-corner society, suburban life and the night-time economy. You'll focus on using your analysis skills and develop research skills either individually or by working within a small group.

    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.

    Creative Documentary

    This module will encourage you to examine the key critical issues of documentary production such as authenticity and ethics. To prepare you for your dissertation in Year Three, you'll create a 5-10 minute documentary as a group (or individually) and be encouraged to creatively and critically engage with the given styles and genres of documentary.

    Intermediate Media Practice and Production

    During this module you'll undertake an in-depth media production project for and with a local external not for profit, charitable or voluntary organisation. This module will focus on developing your skills in media production and you'll reflect on issues surrounding citizenship and media access.

    International Relations optional modules

    Global Political Economy

    This module seeks to explore the development of GPE as an area of study in International Relations and apply its theories and methods to analyse contemporary aspects of the contemporary global system. In order to do this, we look at the historical development of GPE as a critical response to the orthodoxy of traditional IR.

    Change and World Order: International Institutions and Non-State Actors

    This module examines the nature of international order and considers how international institutions have contributed to its maintenance. It is based on the assumption that non-state actors are important actors in international relations. The institutions studied include the United Nations and the Specialised Agencies such as the ILO, WHO and UNESCO, regional organisations such as the European Union and ASEAN, and alliances (eg. NATO).

    Understanding the Cold War

    This module will enable you to gain an understanding of the origins of the Cold War, its key events and features, such as the Korean War; the building of the Berlin Wall; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Vietnam War; and the factors behind the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War.

  • 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.

    Media optional modules

    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.

    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?

    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.

    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.

    International Relations optional modules

    The following modules are currently taught at the Clifton Campus.

    Post-Soviet Geopolitics

    In understanding and analysing the historical, political and economic changes which have happened in the post-Soviet region, you will be challenged to evaluate the current geopolitical situation and identify potential problems for the future.

    Emerging Powers of Asia 

    This module explores and analyses international relations within Asia, both in terms of individual member states and regional players, for instance ASEAN.  It will also explore the role that external actors have had in facilitating, hindering and modifying the development of specific forms of international relation.

    Currently, you can also choose from the following options which are offered at the City Campus. Please note that optional modules can change due to several factors and we retain the right to withdraw modules at any point.

    American Politics and Government

    Examine the politics and government of the USA with a focus on its policy process. The US is a complex and changing western liberal democracy. During this module, you'll be introduced to the significant actors and institutions in the political and governmental system of the United States. Their de jure and de facto powers along with their roles and functions will be discussed and critically evaluated in a range of policy areas.

    The International Relations of Middle East and North Africa

    This module explores the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) against the backdrop of the colonial and post-independence history of the region. You’ll analyse the bases of political and religious identities and the nature of nationalisms in the MENA region in order to develop an understanding of their implications for both state and non-state actors in the region and beyond.

    Political Violence and Terror

    This module is an opportunity for you to expand your knowledge and understanding of terrorism and political violence in a global context. It analyses the concept of ‘insecurity’ in a broad sense through exploring both the theoretical approaches to the study of violence, as well as a range of real-world cases to illustrate the increasingly complex use of violence for political objectives.

    States, Nationalism, and Identity

    Explore the increasingly complex question of identity in international relations. This module asks how individuals and social groups develop a sense of who they are, how they relate to others, how this affects their sense of belonging to the state, nation or other collectivity, and the political significance of this sense of identity.

    The Politics of Everyday Life

    Explore the nature of politics beyond the traditional, and seek to analyse the politicisation of issues such as nature, consumption, and the rise of new social movements.

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.

COVID-19 Planning

We will be adopting a range of blended teaching and learning techniques including online and face-to-face (where practical) to ensure that students can meet their learning outcomes in full. We will respond proactively to any national or local policy changes (including lock down) to ensure student safety as our primary concern whilst continuing to focus on offering a comprehensive student academic experience and will work flexibly with our students to ensure they are not disadvantaged by COVID-19.

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 (53%) and written (47%)
  • Year 2 coursework (83%) and written (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (80%), written (5%) and practical (15%)

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 (24%), independent study (74%) and placements (2%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

This is a major part of the curriculum. Key transferable skills are emphasised and there are opportunities to develop links with organisations and potential employers. Joint honours courses develop a wide range of skills. These include written and oral communication skills, critical analysis and a variety of IT skills. But you’ll also become more self-motivated, be able to work independently and in teams, and develop excellent time management skills.

Our recent Media Joint Honours graduates have gone on to work in graduate-level positions in the BBC; Sky; Brit Asia TV; Channel 5; and IBM.

Entry requirements

  • 104 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 / 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.

Recognition of Prior Learning

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

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.

Recognition of Prior Learning

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

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:
Telephone: +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:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

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

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.

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

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.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418