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Postgraduate

MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice

Visible Justice Exhibition, 2019. London College of Communication, UAL | Photography: Lewis Bush.
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2024
Course length
1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

Explore media and communications theory and creative practice and discover your future as a media professional in this unique Masters programme.

Apply to start in September 2024

This course has places available for UK applicants only. We are no longer accepting applications from international students for 2024/25 entry to this course. International applications for 2025/26 entry will open in Autumn 2024.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Scope: You will strengthen your skills in critical thinking by tackling a wide range of emergent challenges in the media, communications and creative industries.
  • Work-related learning: You will enhance your professional experience by completing a work placement or an industry-focused research project.
  • Creative critical communication: You will learn how to activate critical and innovative perspectives in diverse forms of creative communication.
  • Personalisation: You will be encouraged to select topics, media and methods of enquiry that reflect and develop your own interests, with students addressing issues ranging from the impact of Artificial Intelligence in the fashion industry to the influence of Instagram on our travelling experience.

Open Days

A recording of our latest Virtual Open Event for this course is available. Watch online.

Course overview

MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice integrates the study of media theory with creative and professional practice.

You will be encouraged to think critically about the role of media in the digital age, exploring emergent problems and challenges through your engagement with key theories of media, culture and communication alongside a range of creative media practices.

You will gain a sound understanding of key theories of media and communications and apply your knowledge and critical perspective to a wide range of case studies. You will investigate how global media production, circulation and consumption relate to issues of diversity, equality and identity, as well as to environmental and ethical challenges.

You will be encouraged to express your ideas and solve problems through a range of creative media practices. Working with images, texts, sound, and data, you will learn how to produce different types of media content for different purposes, and explore the social and cultural impacts of your interventions.

What can you expect?

  • High quality, interactive teaching, in the form of lectures, seminars, workshops, and external visits.
  • Dynamic project briefs, relevant to emergent issues in the media and communications sector.
  • Introduction to a range of visual and print-based creative media skills, including video production, blogging, podcasting, and digital image production.
  • Access to the college’s Kit Room and Digital Space, and support in using technical resources.
  • Opportunities to implement practice-based projects through collaboration with students from other courses and/or partners outside the university.
  • Flexibility in your programme of study, through the selection of preferred topics, media, and methods of enquiry.
  • Opportunities for networking with industry professionals and creatives, through our Industry Speaker Series.
  • Individual support from lecturers who are active in research and/or creative practice.

Work experience and opportunities

Professional practice is a key element of the course. You’ll be introduced to new perspectives on employment in the creative industries and be supported in organising a work placement or implementing an industry-focused research project.

Previous work placement hosts include:  

  • Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
  • AKA Promotions
  • BBC World Service
  • British Science Association
  • The Canary
  • Dazed
  • GGHQ Fashion Intelligence
  • Grazia
  • IPR London
  • NME
  • Talk Radio
  • twelveNYC
  • United Nations
  • Unity PR and communications agency

Mode of study

MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Course units

We are committed to ensuring that your skills are set within an ethical framework and are embedding UAL’s Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into this course.

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term 1

Analysing Contemporary Media (20 credits)
Media, Culture and Economy (20 credits)

An induction programme will familiarise you with the course structure and introduce you to effective strategies for studying at postgraduate level.

You will meet the teaching team and fellow students, along with representatives from student and academic bodies. You will become familiar with the College's facilities through introduction to the library and technical resources.

You will then begin two introductory units of study, which together provide a framework for subsequent activities and help you to initiate the independent learning crucial to Masters level study.

Analysing Contemporary Media introduces you to key theories of media and communication, which will help you to think about what ‘media’ are and why they are integral to contemporary societies. You’ll demonstrate your learning in a review essay and through the development of a podcast. Media, Culture and Economy introduces economic models in the creative industries and explores the ways in which these models shape the production of media content. You’ll create a blog and a short ‘branded content’ film as part of this unit’s assessment. Alongside these units you will participate in a series of media practice workshops taught by specialist staff.

Spring, Term 2

Collaborative Unit (20 credits)
Media, Mobility and Culture (40 credits)
Professional Industry Practice (20 credits)

In the Spring Term you will engage in the student-driven Collaborative Unit, working with students from either another UAL Masters course or with an external partner. In previous years, School of Media postgraduate students have exhibited work developed in this unit in the Visible Justice and Our Algorithmic Lives exhibitions and public programmes.

You will also commence Media, Mobility and Culture, which explores the role of media technologies, platforms and representations in the production and mediation of space, place and mobility. The unit links theory and practice through embedded practitioner-led sessions.

These will support your development of an individual media artefact which responds to ideas addressed in the unit. Students have created films, photo series, models, digital media, and other diverse media work for this assignment.

In Professional Industry Practice, you will be introduced to new perspectives on employment in the creative industries. With our support, you will search for and organise a work placement or implement a work-related research project.

As part of this unit you’ll benefit from a series of talks by industry practitioners such as content creators, journalists, public relations professionals, communications practitioners and curators.

Summer, Term 3

Media, Mobility and Culture (continued)
Professional Industry Practice (continued)
Major Project (60 credits)

In the Summer Term, you will continue with Media, Mobility and Culture. You will implement your work placement or work-related research project for the Professional Industry Practice unit. You will also benefit from a programme of research methods workshops and tutorials which will enable you to begin working on your Major Project.

Autumn, Term 4

Major Project (continued)

Throughout the summer break and in the final term you will continue working on your Major Project. In this project you will consolidate and extend the knowledge and skills you have acquired throughout the course, applying them to a topic of your choice, either through theoretical or practice-based enquiry.

Topics addressed by students in recent years include:

  • Fashion and artificial intelligence
  • Blockchain based advertising in China
  • The influence of Instagram on travelling experiences
  • User engagement with immersive event brands
  • Pop culture feminism
  • Science podcast listening
  • Extinction Rebellion's branding strategies
  • The visualisation of radio
  • Nigerian YouTube and its African audiences
  • Fan communities of reality television shows

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Academic tutorials
  • Self-directed learning
  • External speakers and visits
  • Assessed assignments

Student Voices

Shamit Gajbhiye

Jianyuan Sun (Jarvis)

Jarvis' final major project is a documentary film exploring the impact of social media on how we experience travelling.

UAL Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

  • Onam - festival of joy and happiness
    Onam - festival of joy and happiness, Shamit Gajbhiye, 2023 MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice, London College of Communication, UAL
  • POSH MAGAZINE
    POSH MAGAZINE, Sanya Kakkar, 2024 MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Female portrayal in fashion films
    Female portrayal in fashion films, Xuelian Zhao , 2023 MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice, London College of Communication, UAL
  • The Colonial Effect
    The Colonial Effect, Radhika Chatterjee, 2023 MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice, London College of Communication, UAL

Student work

  • Riham-Mansour.gif
    Riham Mansour, 2020. MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020
    MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Viktoria-Bielawa.png
    Viktoria Bielawa, 2020. MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020
    MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice, London College of Communication, UAL
  • lightbox-gallery-image-ma-mccp-natalia-queirolo-900x600.jpg
    Work by Natalia Queirolo
  • lightbox-gallery-image-ma-mccp-violeta-fernandez-bajaz-900x674.jpg
    Work by Violeta Fernandez Bajaz
  • lightbox-image-2-ma-mccp-kai-chun-chan-900x720.jpeg
    Work by Kai Chun Chan, from his Contrapuntal series
  • 26933437897_6208d9583e_k.jpg
    Work by studensts on MA Media Communications and Critical Practice at London College of Communication // Capital City exhibition, 2018, LCC
  • 41084806994_00c34f896c_k.jpg
    Oligarchy and Transparency by Hanna Samuelson, Isabelle Zins, Amelia Cullen, Helena Kelkai, Kat Largent, Maddalena Esposito, Sarah El Kays, Alyssa Chafee // Capital City at London College of Communication
  • Silvia-Preziosi_MMC_Artefact-2.jpg

Student interviews

Stories

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Facilities

  • Red light indicating recording is taking place.
    Image © Vladimir Molico

    Lens-based and Audio-visual

    Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-based and Audio-visual practice.

  • A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.
    Image © Lewis Bush

    Printing and Finishing

    Discover our printing techniques, from Lithographic Printing to Print Finishing and Bookbinding.

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson

    The Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

Staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£13,330

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£28,570

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

MA Media Communications and Critical Practice attracts applicants from a variety of backgrounds. Applicants are expected have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject, and to demonstrate sufficient prior knowledge of and/or potential in the media and communications subject area to be able to successfully complete the programme of study. Humanities and social sciences graduates will be well equipped to join the course.

We also consider applicants with an educational background in the performing or visual arts and those who have studied applied sciences (e.g. business or management), provided they can demonstrate strong analytical and research skills and sufficient prior experience of critical and enquiry-based learning. The course will also be relevant to those who are already working in the creative industries or related fields.

An applicant will be considered for admission who has achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours degree, preferably at 2:1 level.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

Selection criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • An academic or professional background in a relevant subject.
  • Evidence of an ability to foster a critical and analytical approach to the study of media and communications.
  • Evidence of collaborative skills and an awareness of the opportunities and challenges of collaborative work.
  • Experience of working in the media, cultural or creative industries, or/and a clear sense of the relevance of the course to your own career plan.
  • Evidence of practical experience of creating or producing media content, or a demonstrable interest in developing creative practice-based skills.

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

This course is still open to applications from UK students and will remain open until 31 July or until all places are filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

We are no longer accepting applications to this course for 2024/25 entry from international applicants. Applications for 2025/26 entry will open in autumn 2024.

Read more about deadlines

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Essay

As part of your initial application, please submit your highest graded essay from your previous studies.

Step 2: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Careers

Graduates will be well suited to a range of careers in the media, communications or creative industries, as well as to research roles in the cultural and public sectors. Each year a number of our students progress to advanced postgraduate study.