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Summer Study Abroad - Media, Culture And Communications

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Where communication meets culture

This summer school introduces students to key concepts for studying media, communications and cultural institutions and practices. Through a series of detailed case studies, the course explores the relationship between technological, social, economic and political factors in the evolution of mediated communication and culture.

Woman walking through London street

Summer: Media, Culture and Communications explore major debates about the social and cultural impact of media and communication technologies, digitization, and new media cultures. The summer school also explores the cultural systems of contemporary ‘media saturated’ societies looking closely at social media and personal/cultural identity, cultures of globalization, gender and culture, and cultural value and judgement.

You will have the opportunity to visit world-class exhibitions, in previous years we have been to Carsten Holler: Decision at the Hayward Gallery and Digital Revolution at the Barbican Gallery. You will go on a psychogeography walk around Brick Lane and explore the London Gothic culture of Abney Park Cemetery, from the Victorian era through to Amy Winehouse.

At the beginning of the course you will learn how to create an engaging blog with images and video. Throughout the course you will add to this and it will form part a larger The London Project which will form part of your assessment. In addition the blog will be a great way for you to record share your experiences with friends and family. See further course information below.

Course Aims

  • Enable you to develop a critical understanding of the major theoretical perspectives in the field of media, cultural and communications studies
  • Explore the social, historical and economic context of the transformations in media and communications practices and industries and their impact on contemporary cultures and societies
  • Develop your understanding of a range of contemporary media, cultural and communications practices
  • Support you to be able to present your research and ideas confidently – in writing, face-to-face and online

Learning Outcomes 

  • Be aware of the economic forces which frame the media, cultural and creative industries, and the role of such industries in contemporary political and cultural life
  • Critically analyse the theoretical issues that inform the media and cultural studies discipline
  • An ability to locate and evaluate information from a range of written and / or visual sources
  • An ability to communicate ideas and arguments in an academic form

Requirements for Assessment

Contribution to online media presence
Presentation of the London Project ideas and concept development


"I enjoyed the teachers and the way they engaged people closely. I think the visits are the best of the course. I loved the visit to Brick Lane, Museums and Abney Park.  I liked the way they always linked to content theory with real life.” 

"I like the visit to Brick Lane, Abney Park and the exhibition of Carsten Holler at Southbank Centre. The Professors are very knowledgeable and the cases we have studied were very interesting."

This course is ideal for you if you are heading for a career in media, communications or the cultural industries. It will also be useful for you if you are thinking about further study in this area.

Chris Sams

Chris is an Associate Lecturer for BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies. Chris studied fine art at Chelsea School of Art specialising in film-making, and completed an MSc in Human-Computer Interaction at South Bank University, focussing on interface design and technical authorship. He has used these skills to work in information management and marketing for software houses in London and also worked as a film researcher and film editor in a number of places including the BBC.

Chris has taught a broad range of subjects including media and cultural studies, documentary film-making, fine art, animation, journalism and social sciences. His special areas of interest include: digital interactive media and, currently, aspects of psychogeography and film. Chris has exhibited in various venues including the ICA, the South Bank Gallery and the Milch, working mostly in the area of performance and fine art. Chris is currently undertaking a number of film and walking projects centred on the East End of London with a collective called the Josef Konrad Group, who have recently shown at the Old Operating Theatre Museum, London.

Dr Charlie Oughton

Charlie is an Associate Lecturer in BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures, BA (Hons) Media Communications and BA (Hons) Live Events and Television.

Charlie teaches film, television, social media, social research, gaming and cultural analysis. Specialising in media depictions of taboo, Charlie has contributed to a number of books on gender in cinema as well as to several journals on cultural appreciations of true crime. He is also active in the media industry and has contributed commentary materials to home entertainment releases in addition to the co-organisation of arts events including London Horror Festival.

A journalist, Charlie also contributes to publications including Real Crime MagazineSciFi NowStarburst and Ain’t It Cool News, as well as having served on the juries for the Melies d'Argent Film Award and the British Horror Film Festival. His broadcast credits include BBC News and The Voice of Russia.

Charlie tours film studies cabaret lectures at film festivals, performs vaudeville-style spoken word events on local history and has recently returned to acting via appearances in film.

Course Handbook: Download an example Handbook - Media, Culture and Communication Summer Study Abroad PDF [456kb].

Each year the content, dates and tutors vary slightly.‌

This course is ideal for you if you are heading for a career in media, communications or the cultural industries. It will also be useful for you if you are thinking about further study in this area.

Summer Study Abroad Entry Requirements:

Academic - You should have some prior study in communications or social sciences, or some relevant work experience. If you have questions about your academic background, please make an enquiry to the UAL Study Abroad team.

English - You should be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and make presentations. As a guideline we would expect you to have an IELTS score of 6.0. The Language Centre at University of the Arts London offers English courses for overseas students.

On completion of this course you will receive a short course certificate of attendance.

If you need any additional supporting documentation to convert this into credit for your home university we can provide that for you. This course is based on classes from BA Media Communications and BA Contemporary Media Cultures Year One and will be taught by current members of teaching staff from the Communications and Media programme.