Course specification and structure
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UDMEDCOM - BSc Media and Communications

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Science
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Subject Area Creative Technologies and Digital Media
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Part-time 4 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

Media and Communications studies seeks to understand how the media shape the way we live, and how the media are related to the world around us. The media are central to the experience of modern life: television, radio, print media, cinema and the Internet all operate as channels for information, education, politics, art and entertainment. They can build and connect communities locally, nationally and globally. They can shape our views of the world, our identities and our fantasies.

Media and Communications Studies engages with all these aspects of contemporary cultural life. Key questions in this field of Study are: how the various media are produced; the development of the media and their contemporary transformations; the relationship between the media and questions of gender and race; how the media are used and understood by particular audiences; how the media are regulated and the role of transnational organisations; and how the media now integrate with wider industry through product placement and advertising. The course approaches these questions from a variety of perspectives: theoretical, social, historical, textual, political, economic, creative and practical.

Throughout this Media and Communications Studies degree programme, a student will develop an informed and critical understanding of the difference the media make to the social, political, and economic worlds we inhabit, as well as the ways in which they shape our symbolic world: the world of perceptions, meanings and values. Further, a student will develop a factual understanding of the institutions and operations of the media, its modes of representation and its place within a wider ‘Circuit of Culture and Industry’. Knowledge and a comparative understanding of media in a range of historical and contemporary contexts, and in a variety of national and global environments will also be acquired. Additionally, the student will also become familiar with a range of interdisciplinary approaches to media institutions, media texts and media audiences; and will engage critically with major thinkers, debates and intellectual theories within the field.

The course is taught using a combination of traditional, and innovative teaching methods, fostering problem-based and inquiry-based learning, and reflective engagement. This active learning is supported by a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars, tutorials, specially prepared online resources, work placement and field trips. Development of employability and professional practice is integrated into the curriculum. Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning process, preparing for knowledge creation, life-long learning and leadership.

A blended learning strategy is employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities, facilitate formative assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by research institutions, academic publications, professional organisations and other relevant sources.

In addition, students will be able to develop practical skills in a range of cutting edge IT programmes in addition to audio and audio visual skills such as those in dedicated modules in community radio and documentary making. A student will also be developing transferable skills that will be of value in a variety of academic and employment contexts, with various modules helping to develop a range of critical abilities, a creative and imaginative approach to problem solving, and skills of analysis and presentation.

Course aims

The aims of the course are to prepare students and give them an education that will provide them with the tools to live and work in an advanced industrial society. In this context the Media and Communications programme of education and its aims are rooted in the central role played by media and communications as it is integrated into every aspect of our social, political, economic and cultural life.
The aims of the programme are to:
● Establish a sound theoretical and methodological framework for the coherent and systematic exploration of the languages and forms of the mass media and the relationship between production, distribution, reception, and the construction of meaning in the media.
● Develop a knowledge and understanding of the media and culture in their historical contexts through the examination of an appropriate range of materials and practices in both their contemporary and historical forms.
● Explore the cultural and ideological debates underlying the development of the academic frameworks of media and communications studies, with particular reference to mass media’s negotiations of power, gender, sexuality, race, and class.
● Develop in students a confident understanding of their particular interests and abilities and the ways in which these might be directed in relation to contemporary media and cultural concerns and aspirations.
● Introduce students to a range of approaches that will enable them to analyse the structures and processes whereby media and popular culture texts and practices are produced and consumed.
● Facilitate an understanding of various global and international contexts increasingly influenced by media, communications and cultural industries and enable students to explore and analyse national and international power relations in media and communications.
● Expand the intellectual and imaginative capacities of students, through the development of an understanding of the changing nature of communications and culture in society, by emphasising their responsibilities for reflecting on and questioning the diverse ideas, values and practices which underlie these changes.
● Provide students with an integrated and thorough understanding of the ways in which social practices and cultural processes inform our consciousness of our affiliations and ourselves.
● Introduce students to a range of theoretical approaches focusing on the interconnections between various forms of public and media culture and the structures of individual, everyday lived experience.
● Consider the critical importance of the mass media as a significant area of contemporary culture.
● Widen access to higher education and to create an enabling environment for non-standard and standard students, thereby promoting equality of opportunity for UK, EU and international students.
● Provide opportunities for students to acquire a range of transferable skills that will enable them to engage critically and creatively in contemporary media and popular cultures.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1) Accurately deploy established techniques of analysis and enquiry within Media and Communications;
2) Devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Media and Communications;
3) Describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in Media and Communications, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;
4) Manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to media and Communications;
5) Apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects;
6) Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem;
7) Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;
8) Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts;
9) Undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Please check the latest Course Handbook for further information

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmark Statement: Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies [2019]

The above latest subject benchmark statement is used in the design, delivery and review of the course and in
facilitating the knowledge and skills normally expected of a typical course graduate.

Assessment strategy

The course combines practice-based and theory-based modules, and through the curriculum aims both to critically analyse the media and communication’s sectors and explore how these fit into contemporary industrialised societies. Relationships with other sectors of industry and national and transnational organisations are explored. Core modules require students to engage with both theory and practice in the field and option module choices enable students to extend their expertise in specific areas of media, information and communications. The dissertation module enables students to develop an in-depth understanding of a sector of their choice.

Assessment instruments are tailored to the aims and learning outcomes of each module. Students are expected to produce a mixture of written, visual and oral work and are required to demonstrate working within a team. Students will also produce creative practice-based assessed work as a part of their programme of study, and are required to engage with theoretical frameworks and concepts from a range of discplinary contexts, as appropriate to the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of Media and Communications.

The course makes use of formative and summative assessment strategies. The course makes extensive use of formative feedback in supporting and developing student attainment. Self-assessment and reflection on the process of learning are part of the modules’ assessment strategies. Most assessment is coursework based.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Work related learning is undertaken as a part of the L5 module FC5W52 Work Related Learning for Media, in which students can either participate in a work placement or in simulated work related learning. Preparatory work for this is undertaken during the L4 Module Digital Work. In addition, students have the opportunity to be part of the Study Abroad programme which involves an exchange with universities in the United States. Further, our students can engage with the Erasmus study programme and spend a semester at a university in another European country

Course specific regulations

Part time (half time) students would normally proceed through the programme in the following order:

• Year one: SM4001 Media Genres; SM4013 Media Histories
• Year two: SM4050 Introduction to Digital Media; SM4052 Digital Work; SJ4046 Moving Image and Sound Practice
• Year three: SM5011 Television Studies; SM5077 Media and Communities; SM5078 Cultural and creative industries
• Year four: SM5W52 Work Related Learning for media 1; SM5068 Researching Media Audiences; Option modules (30 credits)
• Year five: SM6003 Media, Culture and Identity; SM6052 Media, Power and Politics; SM6054 Globalisation and the Media
• Year six: SM6P05 Dissertation for Media and Communications; option modules (30 credits)

Part time students progressing at more or fewer than 60 credits per year would follow the same broad structure.

Part time students beginning in February would be expected to join the September cohort from the first September after they begin their studies.

Modules required for interim awards

All core modules are required to gain the BSc (Hons) Media and communications awards.

Awards below this can be gained with any combination of modules on the programme to the requisite credit values; these can be made-up of core or option modules from the programme or suitable alternative option modules agreed by the course leader.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Reflective learning and personal development planning are core dimensions of this course. A variety of learning, teaching and assessment methodologies are deployed in order to assist the student in her self-reflected personal development and in acquiring the tools to engage in living as a citizen and pursuing economic activity in contemporary societies.

In the course of their study, students are asked to engage with theory and practice in a way that is grounded and concrete as well as dealing with abstract concepts. Reflective learning will vary across modules but will involve at all times engagement with peers and tutors in dealing with both formative and summative feedback on essays and reports; practice based modules all offer the opportunity for reflection on abstract theory and critical analysis of academic literature and policies; theoretical modules present opportunities to engage with abstract theory and test this against concrete examples. Reflective learning is also integral to the practice-based creative work that is integrated into the curriculum.

PDP is integrated within the curriculum through the Work Related Learning (WRL) modules, which encourage students to reflect on their future career aspirations, and the ways of using their learning to achieve those aspirations. Students begin this at L4 in the module Digital Work, develop it at L5 through the module Work Related Learning for Media, and master this through their independent dissertation work at L6.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Students pursuing the BSc Media and Communications develop the creative, analytical and communication skills to pursue employment in the field of Media and/or Post graduate study as evidenced by national statistics. Graduates also frequently pursue careers in media-related fields such as Marketing, Public Relations, and Social Media Management. Graduates often progress on to Masters Level study in the UK and other European countries, including pan European Masters Programmes, in a variety of field including Media, Communications and Media Production programmes.

Career opportunities

Previous graduates have found employment in news organisations, advertising, digital media, education, market research, media production, public relations and publishing. Graduates can also go on to undertake postgraduate study.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National or Advanced Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate Access or other preparatory courses or have appropriate work experience.

Applications are welcome from mature students who have appropriate Access or preparatory courses or appropriate work experience, or those without formal qualifications who are able to demonstrate enthusiasm, commitment, and the ability to benefit from higher education.

If you don’t have traditional qualifications or can’t meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Media Communications Extended Degree BSc.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
JACS codes P300 (Media Studies): 100%
Route code MEDCOM

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SJ4030 Approaches to Film and Television Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
SJ4046 Moving Image and Sound Practice Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI AM
SM4001 Media Genres Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
SM4013 Media Histories Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM WED PM
SM4050 Introduction to Digital Media Core 15 NORTH AUT FRI PM
          NORTH SUM FRI PM
SM4051 Developing Your Career Core 15        

Stage 1 Level 04 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SJ4030 Approaches to Film and Television Core 30        
SJ4046 Moving Image and Sound Practice Core 30        
SM4001 Media Genres Core 30        
SM4013 Media Histories Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM WED PM
SM4050 Introduction to Digital Media Core 15 NORTH SUM FRI PM
SM4051 Developing Your Career Core 15        

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
FC5W52 Work Related Learning for Media 1 Core 15        
SM5011 Television Studies Core 30        
SM5013 Media and Communities Core 30        
SM5068 Researching Media Audiences Core 15 NORTH AUT TUE PM
SM5051 Crime and the Media Option 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
SM5052 Youth Culture and the Media Option 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
SM5062 Digital Humanities Option 15        
SM5066 Documentary Photography and Photography Journalism Option 15        
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SM6003 Media, Culture and Identity Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
SM6052 Media, Power and Politics Core 15 NORTH SPR WED PM
SM6064 Globalisation and the Media Core 15        
SM6P05 Media and Communication Dissertation Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
OL0001 Language Module (Arabic, French, Spanish or Eng... Option 15 NORTH AUT NA  
OL0002 Language Module (Arabic, French, Spanish or Eng... Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  
SJ6060 Documentary Filmmaking Option 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
SM6053 Digital Video Post-Production Option 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
SM6054 Analysing Popular Music Option 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
SM6070 Research in Visual Culture Option 15 NORTH AUT MON AM