Undergraduate study
Media and Communications

BA (Hons) Media and Communications

UCAS code: P300 BA/MC

You study the key media thinkers and theories, and explore all aspects of the media including television, radio, journalism, popular music and social media.

Course information


  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details


  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342639

Contact details

Further information


There’s never been a more important time to scrutinise the media – with a reality television star becoming US President, the rise of `fake news’ and social media dominating our lives in this on-demand world.

You learn to read, understand, create and use broadcast and social media, and see how it shapes our lives and our understanding of the world.

We have a special focus on film, arguably the most influential mass communication medium of our time. It’s also an art form, and we explore the history and theories of cinema with regular film screenings. And we allow you to create your own short films, write your own scripts and learn about the industry.

We cover a wide range of topics, exploring our social history, arts and pop culture, and look at a range of topics that have influenced our lives, from Beatlemania to Beliebers, Frankenstein to Farage.

Year 1 introduces you to key practices, theories, concepts and histories associated with producing and analysing media texts. Year 2 develops your production, analytical and conceptual skills within more specialised modules. Year 3 is about consolidating knowledge and skills, and working more independently.

Please note that option module titles may be subject to change.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Creating Media Narratives

The basis of all media is storytelling so, for this module, you write a short story and then adapt it into another media form – film script, blog, even song lyrics – to create a new piece of media.

Curating your Digital Self

This module looks at the ideas, concepts, and practicalities of developing a professional online presence. It takes a critical look at social media and considers how best to make use of existing online communities and tools. You design and create something that represents you in an online presence, using a range of available technologies and third-party applications (web authoring, blogging systems, social media, file sharing and networking systems), to act as a PR tool in promoting your career or specific media-related activities to a specified audience.

Film Theory and Practice

Your chance to create your own piece of digital media…without using dialogue! Music, sound effects, still photography, video, digital visual affects; use them all to tell a story of your choice.

Media Audiences: Fans, Users and Creators

This module builds on knowledge gained in the Media Studies module. It introduces you to more recent academic study areas around media, namely audiences, fandom and transmedia, where media viewers and consumers can also have an input into creating and producing media in the 21st century.

Media Thinkers, Theories, Texts

This module introduces you to studying the media based around three key concepts – media texts, media audiences and media institutions. You study key writings and media texts within a cultural, economic, political and social context. In addition, you work with examples from a range of media including television, cinema, the press, popular music, advertising, radio and social media.

The State of the Media

You examine media history and theory to focus on the issues of the day. From the bad: scapegoating, corruption and bias, to the good: the pursuit of truth, creativity and the communication of knowledge, this module considers not just contemporary and contentious issues featured in the media, but also analyses the media itself.


Year 2 core modules

Cinema in Context

Cinema has a rich and fascinating history and, through weekly lectures, film screenings and seminar discussions, you travel through a range of topics where the historical and cultural contexts of movies are brought into focus.

Live Campaign

A chance to put your creative ideas into practice as you produce a media awareness campaign around a topic of your choice, creating advertising and marketing material, as well as a video or audio product

Media: Truth and Lies

Fake news has been around longer than we think (Orson Welles invaded America with Martians on the radio over 70 years ago). This module helps you to understand how news can skew stories across a range of topics. You get the chance to create your own journalism portfolio where you approach stories from a myriad of different angles. Is the truth out there?

TV and Popular Culture

From Star Trek to The Walking Dead, from Coronation Street to Breaking Bad (through classic Scandi-noir such as The Killing), TV is a fascinating and ever-changing art form and industry. How we watch it is also changing, like boxset binge-watching through online streaming – this informs the module as well as giving you a chance to experience some classic telly drama.


and two optional modules

Advanced Audio Production

Interested in sound? Ever wanted to produce radio shows or podcasts? This module gives you the skills to create your own sonic digital soundscape, and experiment with music and dialogue.

Authorship and the Media

The figure of the author has been central to the academic study of film. Notions of authorship play a key role in the way audiences engage with cinematic and televisual forms from the question of 'who made that film?' to the construction of fan communities around certain directors. This module addresses the question of authorship as it is inscribed in debates around the mass media. You examine the major historical and theoretical stages in the debate around auteurism and consider why the figure of the author continues to carry such cultural currency in an intellectual climate that appears to have lost interest in them.

Comedy and Presentation Skills

Taught by our performing arts colleagues, this module allows you to perform live and for the camera, helping you to gain confidence and skills, and project yourself to a range of audiences.

Cultural Events Management

This module allows you to research, programme and manage a 'live’ event in conjunction with a professional partner organisation. You experience all aspects of producing including marketing, publicity, press and PR, health and safety, onsite delivery and evaluation. Events might include a strand in a film festival, a live music gig or DJ event, flash mobs, gallery installations or a comedy night.

Digital Sports Journalism

You take the principles of general news reporting and apply them to the full range of sports reporting. You develop your skills to operate as a competent sports journalist in a digital age, writing and creating reports for online, print, TV and social media.

You look at, and produce, the different types of story required at each point in the sports news cycle; from preview through live report to inquest. This module also covers other key situations in which sports reporters operate including press conferences, interviews and sports features.

Experimental Digital Production

This module builds on the interactive web content you have produced in Curating Your Digital Self in Year 1. You develop your content creation for contemporary web-based media formats and have opportunities to engage in web-based interactive storytelling using a variety of media (video/sound) specifically for websites and their application on the web.

Film and Music

A chance to learn from the masters (Hitchcock and Herrmann, Martin Scorsese and The Rolling Stones) about how music is used creatively in cinema. You study clips from classic and contemporary movies, and get the chance to create your own experimental soundtrack for a short film… no musical experience necessary.

Journalism (Issues and Debates)

Why is celebrity so popular? What is the impact of citizen journalism? How are terrorist groups using social media? You explore a range of theoretical perspectives on news and journalism.

Journalism for Digital and Social Media

Explore ways of writing and communicating with audiences incorporating social media optimisation and the principles of branding and non-linear storytelling. You considers the dynamics of user experience by building web development skills for open source journalism platforms.

Volunteer Placement

Students get a chance to work with an outside agency, creating a project or campaign, and also gaining essential life and professional skills for the real world

Writing for the Screen

Following on from the script element of the Storytelling module in Year 1, you explore in greater depth effective story arcs, narrative, form, presentation and structure in your chosen mediums.

You also explore the practice of script writing and story in light of new and emerging forms, such as transmedia storytelling. You draft scripts which are read and critiqued by a small group of peers, prior to writing and submitting your final draft for summative assessment.


Final-year core modules

Media Dissertation

Your final, great personal statement at University; an 8 - 10,000 word research-based essay on a media topic of your choice, where you get the chance to explore and analyse key media issue using the ideas & skills gained over your course. Past topics have included Killer Women in the Cinema; The Influence and Legacy of the Brit Pop Movement; Issues of Representation in Women’s Magazines; Social Meaning in Japanese Animation and Media Representations of Sherlock Holmes…the choice is yours.

Professional Development

Get ready for the real world. Visiting speakers from the Media, Entrepreneurs and Careers experts will help you understand both your potential and the opportunities out there. With support from them and the staff, you will find and apply for a real job, and undertake a mock interview which will be videoed so you can deconstruct your own performance. You also undertake a real-world campaign project, developing your own live brief, with a client, for an event or artefact that will form part of your CV showreel.

Your Media Future

Focusing on a career in the media and the creative industries, this module helps you look at how you make your way in the outside world as a self-sufficient media professional, perhaps as a freelance blogger or a self-employed media researcher.


and two optional modules

Celebrity Culture

From Kim Kardashian to David Beckham you explore the concept of celebrity and its relationship with the media. The focus is on celebrity as a cultural fabrication and how modes of representation have come to define celebrity culture in contemporary culture.

Digital Magazine Journalism

This module introduces you to the key skills needed to excel in magazine journalism and understand the context in which reporters work. You cover feature writing on a range of topics such as human interest - sport, lifestyle (such as fashion beauty and health) as well as developing a news story into a feature. You gain an understanding of appropriate interview techniques and learn how to sell features as a freelance.

Euro-visions: Exploring Post-war Continental Cinema

Head off the beaten cinematic track, with a wealth of weird and wonderful films and filmmakers from Europe including Spain’s greatest cinematic export in camp classics Pedro Almodóvar, the movie madness of Werner Herzog and explore a range of influential film movements from France, UK and Eastern Europe.

Negotiated Practical Project

In this practical module, you work individually on an agreed project to produce a media artefact such as a script, video or sound production, or online campaign. You work individually to plan, research, manage, complete and evaluate your project with the guidance of an assigned supervisor. Your project enables you to demonstrate the extent to which you have progressed as an autonomous learner and producer of media texts, whilst also encouraging metacognitive development.

Popular Music, Culture and Society

How did such phenomena as rock and roll and the revolution that was punk help to shape our society and way of thinking? Do Hip-Hop, grunge and grime have shared musical roots? Find out in this musical journey through pop culture of the last 60 years.

Public Relations

What is a brand? How do you build a campaign to promote a product or service? Journalism and public relations share common skills, using multimedia to tell stories that grab attention. You learn how to put together your own compelling multimedia PR campaign working with a partner from industry.

Social History and Documentary

A chance to explore a range of film-based material including local history from the Northern Regional Film Archive (based here on our campus). Analyse the development of the documentary film, propaganda in cinema and how `the real’ is represented on screen, not always truthfully.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

A wide range of learning experiences blends practice with in-depth subject knowledge. Theory modules are usually delivered by a combination of lectures, seminars and independent study. Practical modules are delivered through extended workshop sessions, and could include video and audio production, web design, scriptwriting and creating blogs.

How you are assessed

You are assessed on a wide range of assignments including written submissions and portfolios, presentations and production work. There are no formal examinations on the course.

Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

Work placement

You are encouraged to undertake a range of work experience. Our close relationship with local and national media companies provides a variety of opportunities for you to pursue. In the third year you undertake a 'live' communication or media brief for a client organisation.

Career opportunities

You gain a range of skills and knowledge around a wide range of topics in media and popular culture. You also develop your transferable skills in areas such as presentation techniques, visual communication and technical skills used across the media and creative industries. Recent graduates have gained employment in BBC radio, as full-time journalists, international television sales, professional bloggers, and a range of social media management, marketing and public relations jobs.

The course is also an excellent starting point to move into teaching, and we have graduates that currently work full-time in primary, secondary and further education.

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 96-112 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent), or 64-80 for entry to Year 0 (Foundation Year).

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL


What is Unistats?

How to understand the Unistats data

Course information


  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details


  • Up to 6 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342639

Contact details

Further information