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MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice

College
LCC
Start date
September 2019
Course length
1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model) or 2 years part-time (90 weeks across a seven-term model)

Course summary

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

About this course

MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice fuses media theory with creative and professional practice. You will be encouraged to think critically about the role of media in the digital age, exploring problems and challenges through your engagement with key theories of media, culture and communication alongside a range of creative media practices.

Professional practice is central to the course. You'll be introduced to new perspectives on employment in the creative industries before participating in a work placement or industry-focused research project.

Previously students have benefitted from work-based learning with organisations such as the BBC, Oxfam, the British Film Institute and Versace LA.

Our alumni progress to employment across the creative industries, taking up roles in a range of fields from digital marketing and strategic communications to management and curation, and many other fields.

Recent graduates have joined BBC factual programming, the British Council, Possible Worldwide (WPP) and Revolve Media, while others have continued their studies at doctoral level.

Open evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be on Thursday 15 November.

Book your place

Student work

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Facilities

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Lens-based and Audio-visual

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

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Printing and Finishing

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

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The Digital Space

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

Course details

This unique course fuses media theory with creative and professional practice. You will be encouraged to think critically about the role of media in the digital age, exploring problems and challenges through your engagement with key theories of media, culture and communication as well as a range of creative media practices.

You will gain a systematic understanding of major theories of media and communications and apply emergent concepts 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 also be encouraged to express your ideas and solve problems through a range of creative media practices. Working with images, texts 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?

Most practice-based projects will be collaborative in nature, and you will also have the opportunity to create individual creative work.

Professional practice is central to the course. You will be introduced to new perspectives on employment in the creative industries before participating in a work placement or industry-focused research project.

Previously students have benefitted from work-based learning with organisations such as the BBC, ITV, Vogue, Capitol Records, Tate Modern, the British Film Institute, Versace LA, Oxfam, Grazia, NME, GGHQ Fashion Intelligence, and Talk Radio.

During the course you will visit galleries, exhibitions and cultural events, taking advantage of the College’s central London location. You will also benefit from an Industry Speakers Series, with opportunities for networking with industry professionals and creatives.

Graduates of the course

Alumni progress to employment across the creative industries, taking up roles in digital marketing, strategic communications, media production, content creation, trend forecasting, fashion intelligence, creative business incubation, cultural management and curation, and many other fields

Recent graduates have joined BBC factual programming, the British Council, Possible Worldwide (WPP), and Revolve Media, while others have continued their studies at doctoral level.

This course is taught within the Media School.

Course units

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.

This course is taught in both full-time and part-time modes.

Full-time mode

Autumn, term one

Units summary:

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

In the first week, there will be an induction programme, in which you will:

  • Become familiar with the course structure and be introduced to effective strategies for studying at postgraduate level.
  • Meet the teaching team and fellow students.
  • Meet representatives from student and academic bodies including representatives of the Student UnionStudent Services and Learning Resources.
  • Become familiar with the geography and structure of the College with tours of the library and facilities.

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

Alongside these units you will participate in a series of media practice workshops taught by specialist staff.

Spring, term two

Units summary:

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

In the Spring Term you will commence Media, Mobility and Culture which involves the development of a practice-based project.

In Professional Industry Practice you will undertake some form of industry-based experience or develop a research project with work-based applications.

You will also engage in the student-driven Collaborative Unit, working with students from either another UAL Masters course or with an external partner.

Alongside these units you’ll benefit from a series of talks by industry practitioners such as creative producers, journalists, business advisors and curators.

Summer, term three

Units summary:

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

In the Summer Term, you will also begin a programme of research skills training workshops and tutorials, and continue with dedicated practitioner-led sessions embedded into the Media Mobility and Culture unit.

We will support you in finding a placement or internship, and you will write a critical, reflective report based on this experience. Alternatively, you can choose to develop a research project with work-based applications. Research Methods workshops will enable you to begin working on your Major Project.

Autumn, term four

Units summary:

  • Major Project (continued)

Building on the work you completed during the Research Methods Workshops, you will continue to develop your Major Project. In this project you will consolidate the knowledge and skills you have acquired, applying them to a topic of your choice, either through theoretical or practice-based research.

Part-time mode

The content of the units in the part-time mode is the same as those described above in the full-time version of the course.

Year one

Autumn, term one

Units summary:

  • Media, Culture and Economy (20 credits)

Spring, term two

Units summary:

  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)
  • Professional Industry Practice (20 credits)

Summer, term three

Units summary:

  • Professional Industry Practice (continued)

Year two

Autumn, term one

Units summary:

  • Analysing Contemporary Media (20 credits)

Spring, term two

Units summary:

  • Media, Mobility and Culture (40 credits)

Summer, term three

Units summary:

  • Media, Mobility and Culture (continued)
  • Major Project (60 credits)

Autumn, term four

Units summary:

  • Major Project (continued)

If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards.

A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures/large group learning
  • Workshop and seminar learning
  • Academic tutorials
  • Self-directed learning
  • Outside speakers and visits
  • Assessed assignments

Assessment Methods

  • Practical project work.
  • Prepared writing.
  • Responses to case studies.
  • Oral and audio-visual presentation.
  • Creative work.
  • Written research projects.
  • The creation of a portfolio of work, which may contain a number of different activities.
  • Major Project.

Changes to courses

Information provided by the University is accurate at the time of first publication. Courses, however, remain subject to change. Changes may be necessary to improve the quality of educational services; in order to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body, bring course content in line with best practice activities across the Higher Education sector, respond to student feedback, and/or due to a lack of student demand for certain units or options.
Events may arise outside of the reasonable control of the University which leads to changes to courses. Such events may include industrial action, civil disorder, severe weather, and changes in applicable laws and/or safety requirements.
If you have accepted a place on a course, we shall notify you of any changes as soon as reasonably practicable.

Webpage updates

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.

Staff

Rebecca  Bramall

Rebecca Bramall

Course Leader, MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice

Adrian  Crookes

Adrian Crookes

Programme Director, Communications and Media

Jonathan  Wright

Jonathan Wright

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures

Sarah  Cefai

Sarah Cefai

Acting Course Leader, BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures

Susan  Flynn

Susan Flynn

Lecturer

Corinne  Silva

Corinne Silva

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures and MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice

Sara  Marino

Sara Marino

Senior Lecturer, Communications and Media

Zoetanya  Sujon

Zoetanya Sujon

Senior Lecturer, Communications and Media

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Media Communications & Critical Practice attracts applicants from a variety of backgrounds.

While some may have studied media, culture or communications before, others join the course with a background in business, marketing, economics, law, history, languages, the social sciences, and many other fields.

We also welcome applicants with an educational background in art or media practice.

The course will also be relevant to those who are already working in the creative industries or related fields, as well as those engaged in individual creative practice.

Students on the course may already have considerable experience within the above fields and wish to consolidate existing skills and knowledge, develop new abilities to support practice, or pursue a particular project or objective in the field of media and communications.

Alternatively, they may be looking to move into this sector through the career development opportunity that a Masters can offer.

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.

Language requirements (International/EU)

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.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection criteria

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

  • Evidence of practical experience of creating or producing media, or a demonstrable interest in developing creative practice-based skills.
  • 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 plans.
  • Evidence of collaborative skills and an awareness of the opportunities and challenges of collaborative work.
  • CV.

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Media Communications & Critical Practice. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Interview advice

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.

Deferrals

Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Making your application

We ask all applicants to complete an online application and upload additional digital items, via the Apply now link, below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process and additional the items you would also need to supply.

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results).
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement.

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level).
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details.
  • Employment history.
  • CV.
  • Personal statement.

Before submitting your application, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the application form. Once you have submitted the online application, we will send you a confirmation email.

Please note: if you’re an international applicant we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

There are no additional items (portfolio or study proposal) required for this course.

After you have submitted your application, the course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview or interview you via Skype, and will then make a decision on your application.

The admissions team will be in touch soon after that to let you know the outcome, and to guide you through the next steps.

Start your application now

Applications are accepted and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Full time mode:

Apply now (full time mode)

Part time mode:

Apply now (part time mode)

The online application can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you press submit.

As you progress through the application process we will send you emails with important information, so do check your inbox regularly (and junk folder, just in case).

After you apply

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

Full time mode: £10,890 (2019/20)

Part time mode: £5,445 per year (2019/20)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee

Full time mode: £19,930 (2019/20)

Part time mode: £9,965 per year (2019/20)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

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.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

Alumni

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