BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures

BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures is a course about media and culture in a contemporary context. It develops critical thinking and practice through an in depth study of the role that media, cultural and creative processes play in shaping today’s world. 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.

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.

Additional costs: In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page

Funding opportunities

Find out about the range of funding options available for undergraduate study.

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Facts

Course Leader

Dr Jonathan Wright

Course Location

London College of Communication
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (2016/17 fees)

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17 fees)

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 26 September 2016 – Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 9 January 2017 – Friday 17 March 2017
Summer Term DatesTuesday 18 April 2017 – Friday 23 June 2017
Application Route

Through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). View the 'How to Apply' section for details.

Application DeadlineOpen for UK, EU and international applicants for 2016/17 entry. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS CodeP301
University CodeU65

Content and Structure

Content

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 degree guides you through a series of case study-led units that 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.

Structure

Year One

  • 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: media effects/affect, the ‘contemporary’ and the modern, how social status is organised around socio-economic systems of taste and value and ideas about the globalisation of the contemporary media landscape.

We look at how media and culture is 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. In ‘Global Media Cultures’ for example, we discuss changes to media production and consumption, and their implications for national and cultural identities, and 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 film and the practice of writing.

Year Two

  • 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 through 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 also 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 our degree alumni 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. 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. 

Year Three

  • 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 project that puts into practice the ideas of the course through 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.

Course Structure

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.

Staff

The teaching staff is made up of a mix of academics with a wealth of experience in teaching and research in the field of contemporary media cultures, along with specialist practitioners from various fields of media and cultural production who teach on the applied courses.

Course Leader: Dr Jonathan Wright

Senior Lecturer: Mary Lee-Woolf

Lecturer: Lab Ky Mo

Associate Lecturer: Peter D Osborne 

Associate Lecturer: Dr. Susan Flynn

Associate Lecturer: Chris Sams

Associate Lecturer: Dr. Sean McKeown

Associate Lecturer: Nicola Baird

Associate Lecturer: Dr. Martina Caruso

Associate Lecturer: Dr. Corinne Silva

Associate Lecturer: Dr. Adrian Sledmere

Careers

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 succesful careers in the media, cultural and creative industries, including media and communication management and research, advertising, marketing, PR and film festival development. Many also progress into postgraduate study, either at LCC, within UAL or elsewhere.

Student Jobs and Careers at UAL

We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career.

Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here.

Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.

UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:

  • Own-It (intellectual property issues)
  • ArtQuest (career development resource for artists and designers)

Entry Requirements

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)

For admission to BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures applicants need:

  • 200 UCAS tariff points (gained at GCE Advanced level) will be considered, supported by passes in three other subjects at GCSE Grade C or above. 
  • Alternatively, you will be considered if you have achieved 1 subject at GCE Advanced level and Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, supported by passes in three other subjects at GCSE Grade C or above. In addition, the University of the Arts London Awarding Body Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design will be considered.
  • We also accept people with the equivalent qualifications obtained through a National Diploma, Access, NVQ and a variety of other pre-University level qualifications including International and European Baccalaureate. Other qualifications, including overseas, may be considered.
  • We also accept those with relevant professional and vocational qualifications.
  • The subjects the Course Team will be looking for in your application are wide ranging: your A levels (or equivalents) would ideally be achieved at grade C or above and may include English, History, Film Studies, Media Studies, Art and Design or other Social Science subjects.

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.

Language Requirements (International/EU)

International and EU students: In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) is required. If your first language is not English you should check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English. Further information is available on our Language Centre page.

International applicants, please visit our International Applications page for further details regarding Admissions.

Admission procedures

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. Applications for this course are assessed on the basis of qualifications and the personal statement.

If more information is required, a member of the course team may contact the applicant and in some cases, may request the candidate to attend an interview.

Student Selection Criteria - what do we look for?

All applications will be considered by the course team and offers will be made based upon the following selection criteria.

The team will consider three key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications (or projected results).
  • Secondly, they will review your academic or personal reference.
  • Then they will scrutinise your personal statement.
  • The personal statement is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the nature and content of the programme you are applying for. It also invites you identify what you would like to gain from following the programme and how it will prepare you for post university work or further studies.

You should take great care when writing your personal statement to ensure that it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your biggest chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. It is also an opportunity for you to state what you feel you would bring to the course. 

Through their personal statement, applicants should show a strong interest in media cultures. This can be demonstrated through work experience, studying and personal experience and their ambitions for personal development as a student at the LCC.

Interview advice

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.

How to Apply

UK/EU Applicants

You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.

From the UCAS homepage you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access to complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course UCAS code: P301
  • There is no 'campus code' for LCC

International Applicants

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at LCC:

Follow the steps on the UAL International Application page for advice of how to apply.

Study Abroad Applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join this BA course for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student. Please visit the Study Abroad section for details on how to apply or contact the Study Abroad office:

T: +44 (0)20 7514 2249
E: studyabroad@arts.ac.uk

Deferred Entry

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.

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.

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