BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies

**PLEASE NOTE** BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies is undergoing developments for 2015/16 and will be revalidated as BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures.

View course content and apply for September 2016 on the BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures course page.

Please note

BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies is undergoing developments for 2015/16 and will be revalidated as BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures, subject to formal approval. 

All applicants applying for September 2016 entry will be applying for the newly revalidated version of the course. View course content and apply using UCAS Code P301 from the BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures course page.


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
Application Route

To apply for September 2016 view the BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures course page.

Application DeadlineFor 2016/17 entry refer to BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures page
UCAS CodeP301
University CodeU65

Content and Structure


BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies at LCC offers an opportunity to gain comprehensive knowledge and practical experience of the media and cultural sectors.
The central focus of this degree is the prominent role of the media, cultural, and creative processes in contemporary social life. The course explores how the press, photography, cinema, television and new media both shape and are shaped by the world around them

You can expect ...

You can expect to explore theories about media and culture drawn from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, learn to organise your ideas and construct arguments, critique media and cultural texts/objects and practices, as well as understand how the media is organised and how it shapes content.

Themes that you will explore include the rise of mass media, popular culture, taste and judgement, the era of globalisation, the cultural and creative industries, promotional cultures, reality television and new documentary, social media and its impact, media convergence and digitisation as well as issues of cultural identity in postcolonial contexts.

You will meet a range of practitioners from across the media, cultural and creative industries and develop your skill in presenting ideas in an innovative and authoritative way. In the second year of your studies, work experience is undertaken within a chosen sector of the media, cultural or creative industries. These include advertising agencies, art galleries, museums, magazines, radio stations and television production companies.

The third year focuses on issues in contemporary media, moves beyond Europe/North America to look at Latin American media and culture, and takes a (practically-oriented) look at gallery and exhibition space and at curation. Year three also allows you to develop a Major Project under the supervision of a tutor which might combine theory with some element of practice or which might develop at length a critical, academic understanding of a key issue in contemporary media and/or culture.

Alumni include ...

Moritz Gimbel - Head of Broadcasting at Bloomberg Television; Arabella Gumbay - Director of Communications Melbourne Film Festival: Lisa Ribenbauer - Curator Photographer's Gallery Vienna; Nagwan Bin Tyeer - Research Consultant at Development House

What students say ...

"Use the course and make it yours. It will provide you with the foundations to understand the media. It will also grant you the time to do work experience, which, if you want to work in the industry, is of paramount significance. I interned and worked whenever I could from year one. I started at CNN, then went on to Time Out, and did my official work placement at MTV in New York, producing a chart show, which soon led me to work on shows like The Osbournes and the MTV Europe Music Awards. By the time I wrote my dissertation (titled 'Commodifying Rebellion: Thirty Years of Punk and Media Dialectics') I had accumulated vast knowledge of anything related to the media and its receivers (all of us) and numerous professional credits."
Former student, Davide Scalenge.

"Doing this course and attending university has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. I have been able to go places, see things, experience things and learn things which wouldn't have been available to me otherwise. Thanks for putting together not only a relevant, useful and challenging course but a course which has sent me on a journey of self discovery, self awareness and gave me a sense of perspective and context as to why the world is how it is."
Former student, Daniel Uwagbae.

Learning and teaching

Courses in UAL span a broad range of art, design, communication, business, media, science and communication subjects. So the ways in which you learn and how your time is used will vary according to the specific course you are studying; this may be in studios, labs, classes, involve working alone, learning from peers in pairs or groups, or with external partners. Most importantly, no matter which course you enrol on, you will learn not only about your subject but also about how you learn and how to increase your knowledge base.

Our courses will guide you to take increasing responsibility and ownership of your work and your learning. We do this so that you will be ready and able to take full advantage of the full range of opportunities offered by the creative industries in the global economy.


Assessment always sounds austere and foreboding, but it is not. We see assessment as a very real part of learning, rather than just a means of looking back at past work and measuring achievement; we believe that assessment helps you plan future work and develop new ideas.

Your work will be assessed through projects or portfolios, with written papers or research journals, and, on some courses, examinations. You will be graded according to a set of marking criteria that relate to such things as research, subject knowledge, methodology, and your capacity to analyse and reflect on your achievements. So don’t be afraid of assessment - it is the way to progress.


In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Programme Summary

Year 1

Units Summary: 

  • Introduction to Study In Higher Education (20 credits)
  • Media, Communications & Culture (40 credits)
  • Applied Studies 1 (40 credits)
  • Media and Cultural Texts and Contexts (20 credits)

Year 2

Units Summary: 

  • Researching Media and Cultural Economies (20 credits)
  • Media, Technology and Interactivity (20 credits)
  • Applied Studies 2: Media Practice 2/work-based learning (40 credits)
  • Travelling Cultures (20 credits)
  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

In Year 2 the theoretical approaches become more focused. Units taken this year explore the way new media technologies and social networking are changing people’s relationship to media and culture and how these changes are part of a process known as ‘globalisation’. They consider the centrality of new creative and cultural economies to contemporary societies and explore how these relate to both the world of work and to consumption practice through case studies of branding and design. The Travelling Cultures unit further develops ideas about globalisation which began in Year 1.

The programme includes a strand that focuses on working in the media and cultural industries. You will meet a range of people working in different areas of the media and cultural industries. You will also begin to understand ideas about the nature of work in these industries and how it is changing as a result of new media practices. This strand prepares you for the work placement you will undertake in the summer term of Year 2. Finding a work placement is an important part of your professional development; we will assist you with this process.

Year 3

Units Summary: 

  • Global Media and Culture: Case Studies (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Media Practice (20 credits)
  • Applied Studies 3: The Critical Practitioner (20 credits)
  • Major Project (60 credits)

In Year 3 you will focus in the first term on three units that bring together themes and ideas from the first two years of the degree, allowing you to explore them in more depth. The Global Media and Culture unit takes a specific case study and looks in depth at the media and culture of Latin America. You also take a unit in contemporary issues in media practice and new forms of representation and a unit that explores the vibrant and successful galleries and exhibitions sector of contemporary London.

You will be given training in research methods to help you develop your final project and prepare you for research at postgraduate level. The final part of the degree is the dissertation. This gives you the opportunity to focus on a piece of research developed around an area of study that you are particularly interested in.


The teaching staff is made up of a mix of full-time academics with a wealth of experience in teaching and research in the fields of media and cultural studies along with specialist practitioners from various fields of media and cultural production who teach on the applied courses. The course leader and the other members of the teaching team are highly experienced media and cultural studies academics.

  • Dr. Jonathan Wright is Course Leader. He teaches and writes on film and visual cultures, postcolonial studies and the representation of race.
  • Peter D Osborne is a Senior Lecturer for both the BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies and MA Media Communication and Critical Practice.
  • Mary Lee-Woolf is an independent film maker and television producer with over 30 years of experience in the media and cultural industries with a wealth of contacts across the sector.
  • Lab Ky Mo is an award winning independent film maker who has also directed numerous television programmes and commercials.

A range of professional practitioners teach into the applied studies elements of the programme including an a professional journalist and writer, a web-design specialist, a photographer and an award winning ‘viral’ marketer.


The Media and Cultural Studies degree is not a vocational course (you are not being trained to be a photographer or a journalist or a television producer).

Instead the programme develops a range of transferable skills - you develop a capacity to organise your ideas and make arguments, to critique cultural objects and cultural practices, to understand how the media is organised and how this organisation shapes content. You meet a range of practitioners from across the media and cultural industries, you become more confident and develop a capacity present your ideas in a creative and authoritative way.

You will understand current developments across the cultural sector (this will be applied through the work placement) and you can take advantage of the networking opportunities available across the University of the Arts.

The skills and knowledge you develop will be invaluable when you leave the programme, either to continue studying at post-graduate level or entering the media and cultural industries where portfolio careers (often freelance) require a range of working practices. These involve a myriad of activities from creative production to curating, promoting, marketing, organising and networking.

Previous students have gone into careers in media and communication management and research, advertising, marketing, PR, film festival development and a substantial number go on to do postgraduate degrees.

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) Media and Cultural Studies 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 and cultural studies. 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

Applicants applying for September 2016 entry

BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies is undergoing developments for 2015/16 and will be revalidated as BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures, subject to formal approval.

All applicants applying for September 2016 entry will be applying for the newly revalidated version of the course.

How to Apply

Please go to the BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures course page for updated course content, entry requirements and steps of how to apply.


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