- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length3 years
- UCAS codeP301
BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures
Clearing places available
This course has places available for 2017/18. For advice on making an application for this course, call us on +44 (0)20 7514 7514. Lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures explores what it means to study media and culture in a contemporary context. Explore the role that media, cultural and creative processes play in shaping today’s world.
About this course
The course draws on a range of new academic perspectives and combines them with the making of media, such as film, photography, journalistic writing and web-based content.
The course offers practical elements designed specifically to help you develop your critical thinking, by putting your ideas into practice and prepares you for a successful career in whatever area of the media you choose to go into, from photography to marketing, journalism to filmmaking, curation to web design.
Student work and profiles
The focus of BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures is to examine the role media, cultural and creative processes play in the shaping of all aspects of contemporary social life.
You will learn about media and cultural theory in an art and design university that emphasises creativity, innovation, exploration, discovery and collaboration.
The course guides you through a series of case study units that will help you understand the links between the academic concepts and discussions explored in the degree and how these ideas can be applied using a range of media.
This course is different from others because the practical elements are designed specifically to help you develop your critical thinking – by putting your ideas into practice. You don’t just learn what to do and how to do it, you also learn why you’re doing it.
This course prepares you for a successful career in whatever area of the media you choose to go into, from photography to marketing, journalism to filmmaking, curation to web design.
- Introduction to Contemporary Media Cultures (20 credits)
- Key Concepts in Media and Culture (20 credits)
- Theory and Analysis in Media Culture (20 credits)
- Global Media Cultures (20 credits)
- Identity and Difference (40 credits)
Your first year introduces you to the concepts, theories and language of the degree; it prepares you for your future study.
The units are specifically designed to introduce you to major media and cultural theories and analysis: how social status is organised around socio-economic systems of taste and value, media effects – the contemporary and the modern, and ideas about the globalisation of the contemporary media landscape.
We look at how media and culture are produced and consumed for and by the global market and how this shapes contemporary audiences and patterns of consumption. The programme also introduces textual analysis and media production.
Global Media Cultures looks at the changes to media production and consumption and their implications for national and cultural identities. You are given an opportunity to explore these issues through the creation of web-based materials.
In Identity and Difference, we study the formation of cultural identity and think about how theories of the 'self' and subjectivity help shape the way we represent identity through the making of a film and the practice of writing.
- Contemporary Cinema: Theories and Practice (40 credits)
- Television and Its Futures (20 credits)
- Audiences, Publics, and Networks (20 credits)
- Working in the Media and Creative Industries (20 credits)
- Collaborative project (20 credits)
In your second year the theoretical approach shifts. Units are more tailored to very specific case studies. For example, we examine how audiences are shaped by the multi-platform delivery of television and how cinema has been transformed into the contemporary landscape of international media distribution and exhibition.
We teach through the study of relevant academic materials alongside close readings of television and film texts. You also have the opportunity to explore these ideas through collaboratively producing short films.
In this year we more directly address the question of what it means to work in the media and how the 'nature of work' is changing.
You will meet a range of people working in different areas of the media and cultural industries in our Industry Speakers series, which we run throughout the second and third terms of the year. Many of the participants will be course graduates returning to the College to explain how their degree helped them get the job they wanted and learn about what it means to work in the media.
We also prepare you for work placement opportunities through the Collaborative Project unit, which is structured around students working closely alongside an external organisation. This provides invaluable personal and professional development and the chance for you to enhance your organisational and collaborative skills, as well as applying your knowledge to a live case study.
- Interventions: Contemporary Media Activism (20 credits)
- Digital Screen Cultures (20 credits)
- The Critical Practitioner (20 credits)
- Major Project (60 credits)
In year three you will focus in the first term on units that bring together key themes, concepts, debates and ideas from the degree; allowing you to explore them in more detail. The course includes The Critical Practitioner unit, which is your opportunity to produce a portfolio of work, which is either shown for public exhibition or produced for publication.
We also analyse post-cinematic screen cultures, thinking about how film, for example, has been transformed by digital platforms. The programme also examines the relationship between media, social change and 'critical consciousness'. We ask: What is the role of alternative and social media in the shaping of today's world?
Your final Major Project is a crucial part of your degree and you will be given extensive training in research methods to help you develop your skills and research focus. This unit gives you the opportunity to focus on a piece of research developed around an area of study that you are particularly interested in.
Students produce either a written dissertation or a project that puts into practice the ideas of the course through the production of one or more media texts, created alongside a written critical reflection and analysis. The Major Project not only prepares a number of students for research at postgraduate level but also provides many with an opportunity to work out their first step in their graduate career.
The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example, because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.
Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.
In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.
We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, use our online course enquiry form.
How to apply
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
Home / EU applicants
You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:
- University code: U65
- Course code: P301
- There is no campus code for LCC
Go to 'Apply' from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.
For Home/EU applicants, the Course Leader will determine whether deferred places are available for the course. If you wish to defer your place, it is advisable to indicate this on your application form and/or discuss this with the admissions team and Course Leader before/after applying at the earliest opportunity. In all cases, deferred places will only be held for one year.
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
International applicants can apply through one of three routes only:
Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.
For applicants who want to apply directly to UAL, the direct application form may be found here:
For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.
Study Abroad applicants
International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.
Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.
International applicants are normally permitted to defer entry to any programme of study for one year only, after which they will be asked to re-apply.
Recruitment and admissions
The course team recognise applicants come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds from across the world. The course in the main attracts students who apply direct from A level or other equivalent qualifications but it also welcomes students from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and other art courses as well as mature students who may have worked in industry.
Entry requirements (Home/International/EU)
The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:
80 new UCAS tariff points (200 old UCAS tariff points) gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level or equivalent. (A Level subjects studied may include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences). Ideally your A levels will be achieved at Grade C or above.
One subject at A Level achieved at grade C or above PLUS Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3/4).
Alternatively you will be considered if you have achieved a minimum of 80 new UCAS tariff points (200 old UCAS tariff points) from one of the following qualifications:
- BTEC Extended Diploma
- UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design
- Access to HE Diploma
- International Baccalaureate
- Equivalent EU or Non-EU qualifications
Additionally you will have achieved passes at grade C or above in at least three GCSE subjects including English.
If English is not your first language you will also need an up to date English qualification- see below.
Alternative entry routes
We also welcome applicants such as mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience. In such cases students applying on the basis of their previous experience or who wish to enter the course with through Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes should apply via UCAS and will be guided by the admissions staff on the AP(E)L processes.
Students applying to this course will be expected to demonstrate a specific interest in this area of study and should have a commitment to engaging with Media and Cultural Studies Theory and practice.
English language requirements (International/EU)
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.
- IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
- You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.
- International applicants, please visit our International Applications page for further details regarding Admissions.
Student selection criteria - what do we look for?
All applications will be considered by the course team. They will review the following key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
- Firstly will consider your qualifications (or projected results)
- Then they will review your personal statement
- Then they will review your academic or personal references
Offers will be made based upon the following selection criteria, which should be demonstrated in your application:
- A strong interest in and appreciation of the subject area
- An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study
- An approach suited to the demands of the course and the projected career futures
Applicants may be asked to attend an interview. Where appropriate the interview can offer a further opportunity to clarify the nature of the programme and for applicants to discuss their interest and expectations in relation to the course content.
The selection procedures for the course adhere to the Equal Opportunities Policy of the University of the Arts London. Applications are normally made through UCAS and are assessed on the basis of qualifications, their personal statement, and portfolio of work.
All applicants will be contacted by the admissions team and asked to submit a mini portfolio of work via PebblePad within two weeks. Depending on the quality of mini portfolio and application, applicants may then be invited to full portfolio review and interview at the College.
In exceptional cases, those living outside London and unable to attend LCC can be interviewed by phone or via Skype, and should also prepare a digital version of their full portfolio.
Applicants are not guaranteed a full portfolio review or interview and may be offered a place, or informed of an unsuccessful outcome, after the mini portfolio stage.
Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
Scholarships and awards
There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.
BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures will help you to build up a range of transferable skills; the capacity to organise your ideas and make arguments; the ability to critique cultural objects and cultural practices; understand how the media is organised and how this organisation shapes content.
You will also build your confidence and develop the ability to present your ideas in a creative and authoritative way.
Graduates develop successful careers in the media, cultural and creative industries, including media and communication management and research, advertising, marketing, PR and film festival development.
UAL Jobs and Careers
UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:
Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.
Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.