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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures

House of illustration public art gallery at Kings Cross | Image: Alys Tomlinson
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2022
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
P301

BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures explores what it means to study media and culture in a contemporary context and through a critical perspective. With a strong focus on key concepts in media and cultural studies, it investigates the role that media, cultural and creative processes play in shaping today’s world.

Apply to start in September 2022

This course has places available.

If you don’t need a student visa to study in the UK, complete our self-apply form.

If you do need a student visa to study in the UK, you must apply through UCAS.

To find out more, read our Guide to applying for a course starting this September through Clearing.

For a full list of UAL courses open for 2022/23 entry, visit the Courses with places available page.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • A unique blend of theory and practice: this theory-based course helps you develop critical thinking by putting your ideas into practice through the use of digital technologies, film and photography. You’ll develop a critical understanding of different media industries.
  • Personalisation: In year 1 and 2, you will have the chance to personalise your degree by choosing an optional unit from a course in the Media and Communications programme.
  • Work experience and networking: The course prepares you for a successful career in the media industry, from photography to filmmaking, curation to digital practices, providing insights into the creative industry. The industry-based speaker series in years 2 and 3 provide students with opportunities to network with industry professionals and organisations.
  • International opportunities: As part of Creative Week in Year 2, we organise a study trip to New York where you can visit various media companies and liaise with experts in the field.
  • Where graduates have gone to work: A great number of our recent graduates have been accepted into prestigious Master programmes in the field of Music, Fashion, Cultural Studies and Media. Our students have found full-time positions in media, communication and arts industries.

Open Days

The next Open Day for this course will be announced soon.

Explore life at LCC with our interactive Virtual Open Day.

Course blog

cmclcc.wordpress.com

Online Open Day

(Recorded November 2021)

Course Leader, Chiara Minestrelli, gives an overview of studying BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures.

Graduate Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • There Goes The Neighbourhood 🚶🏾‍♂️
    There Goes The Neighbourhood 🚶🏾‍♂️, Mina Sharada, 2021 BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures, London College of Communication, UAL
  • We Eat What We Waste
    We Eat What We Waste, Nakezia Avilly, 2021 BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Thea
    Thea, Thea Monteiro, 2021 BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures, London College of Communication, UAL

Student voices

Student voices: Nakezia Avilly

Graduate Nakezia's project examines urban cities and their relationship with plastic waste.

Student voices: Timothy Ogu

Timothy a graduate of BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures, formally known as BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies, talks us through their work.

Course stories

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.

Course overview

On BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures, you’ll develop the tools to become an effective communicator who can advocate for change in - and through - the media and creative industries.

As part of a new generation of changemakers, you’ll be supported to understand these industries as cultural centres responsible for communicating norms and ideals.

Focusing on social justice, equality and sustainability, you’ll explore how the media drives social transformation, and learn how to investigate and intervene for change through a set of critical approaches to the study of media and cultural industries.

What to expect

Connecting complex concepts in media and society with creative content skills, you will:

  • investigate media cultures and creative industries through the critical analysis and development of audio, visual and digital cultural texts
  • make choices to develop your subject interests across different option units 
  • develop a critical understanding of media and cultural theories that draw from critical theory, media and cultural studies and socially informed approaches to the creative industries
  • become an effective communicator for change with an advanced understanding of social and racial justice, environmental and climate advocacy, human rights and equality – particularly in relation to diverse local and international contexts
  • collaborate with peers on and outside your course, alongside diverse communities, media professionals and social justice advocates through applied, creative and conceptual work.
  • navigate dynamic social, cultural and media landscapes as advocates, changemakers, activists, and creative professionals
  • prepare for professional life by developing a portfolio of creative and critical work

Industry experience and opportunities

With employability embedded throughout the course, you’ll gain industry experience through opportunities to work on live briefs and connect with industry speakers, guests and alumni. You’ll also build skills in audio-visual and digital content creation, alongside effective communication for change.

In Year 2, the Professional Industry Practice unit will support you to apply for placements and collaborative opportunities through areas such as CV writing and interview workshops. In Year 3, the Creative Futures unit will support you to develop your online professional profile, network with industry professionals, and develop strategies for working in the creative industries.

Previously, graduates from BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures have secured roles in media and creative communications industries in companies such as Weber Shandwick UK, YES & NO Magazine, SDTA Productions); start-ups like Uptime and Leslie; and in government and non-governmental organisations in the UK and internationally (Young Norwood (YN), the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia). Graduates of this course also pursue freelance careers or go on to further study.

Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the UAL Diploma in Creative Computing between Years 2 and 3 to enhance your learning experience and employability skills.

Mode of study

BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures runs for 93 weeks in full time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 31 weeks.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

In common with all courses at 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) Contemporary Media Cultures qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

Introduction to Contemporary Media Cultures (20 credits)

This unit will welcome you to your course and introduce you to our learning approaches. We’ll introduce the UAL Creative Attributes Framework as a tool for understanding your university journey and feature sessions on independent study, collaboration, academic writing and academic conduct. You’ll also be introduced to the key topics that will be developed throughout your course.

Creative Foundations (20 credits)

Through a series of creative and technical workshops, this unit will provide a foundation for understanding and engaging with the creative process: from the early stages of creative thinking and skills development to realising and finalising creative outputs.

Representation, Diversity and Equality (20 credits)

You’ll develop a critical understanding of issues connected to equality and diversity through questions of representation, identity, difference and ethics - both within and outside the media industry. 

You’ll also be introduced to ideas and discussions about the complex intersection of identity, considering discourse around normativity and performativity while investigating inequalities and marginalisation in contemporary (media) cultures. 

Media, Communications and Culture (20 credits)

This unit will introduce you to the broad field of communication studies by mapping and applying key theories and approaches. 

You’ll explore ways of thinking about the formation, transformation, and influence of the communications industries, and contextualise contemporary debates about related practices, texts and users.

Platforms and Social Media (20 credits)

Providing an important foundation for understanding platforms and social media from a range of socio-cultural perspectives, this unit applies project-based learning to not only examine their complexity, but also to consider how they can be used for promotional and creative communication.

Media, Community and Change (20 credits)

This unit explores communicative and media strategies for engagement with a variety of different communities. By exploring key theories in communication, media theory and cultural studies, alongside sociological approaches to the notion of community, you’ll consider questions around the ethical implications of working and collaborating in highly complex environments.    

Year 2

Professional Industry Practice (20 credits) 

Supporting you to prepare for a career within or alongside the media and creative communications industries, this unit will introduce different modes of working in the professional landscape. 

You'll be encouraged to reflect on your own interests and creative skills in relation to employability, and to explore industry-based experiences such as placements, internships, live briefs, and freelance working.

Global Media Businesses, Practices and Cultures (20 credits)

You’ll examine the changing ways in which global communications are organised, the connections between business and cultural aspects of the media and creative communications industries, and their relationship to wider processes of economic, political, social and cultural change. 

You’ll also consider different work practices in the creative and cultural industries, and identify the competencies and behaviours required to work successfully within them.

Media and the Environment (20 credits)

In this unit, you’ll investigate the impact of media on cultural and societal structures, and on the environment itself. By studying media ecologies, geology and sustainability, you’ll make connections between media and the environment in creative ways, and make sense of the connections between media and socio-environmental justice through a series of local and global case studies

Interventions: Contemporary Media Activisms (20 credits)

You’ll have the opportunity to understand the changing panorama of social movements, protests and activism, developing the necessary theoretical and practical skills to become an advocate and critical agent in affecting and effecting social change through collaborations and activities. 

Communication Research Methods (20 credits)

You’ll be introduced to the research process by learning methods for data gathering and data analysis. With a focus on research outcomes, you’ll be supported to then apply these techniques to your written work as well as your creative practice and to produce a proposal for a research project in your final year. 

Level 5 Option Unit (20 credits)

This unit will enable you to choose an option that supports the further development of your creative production skills. Recent units offered have included:

  • Content Creation: Digital and Web
  • Content Creation: Film and Video
  • Content Creation: Podcasting and Audio
  • Professional Skills: Building Brands
  • Professional Skills: Data and Social Media Analysis
  • Professional Skills: Influencer Marketing Communications

Year 3

Dissertation (40 credits)

In this unit, you’ll undertake an independent research project in an area of study that you’re particularly interested in, which can be accompanied by an incorporated creative project.

Creative Futures (20 credits)

In this unit, you’ll explore potential career options and postgraduate opportunities to prepare for life after graduation. 

Reflecting on your journey throughout the course, you’ll identify your skills, strengths and aptitudes alongside your aims and ambitions for the future before producing a 12- to 18-month action plan to help you consider your next steps.

Final Major Project (40 credits)

In this unit, you’ll consolidate and further advance your creative skillset along with your professional development by engaging in a Final Major Project that represents key ideas you have developed through the course.

Level 6 Option Unit (20 credits)

You’ll have the opportunity to choose from a range of research-based options and specialist topics to develop your interests across media and communications.

The following units will be offered each year:

  • Critical Sound Cultures
  • Futures Thinking
  • Information Warfares: Misinformation, Conspiracy and Extremism
  • Love in a Digital Age
  • Special Topics*

*Your selection of special topics may potentially include:

  • Comedy and Satire in Media and Communications
  • Community Management
  • Digital Humanitarianism
  • Food Cultures
  • Global and Indigenous Media
  • Rhetoric, Media and Political Communication

Optional Diploma between Years 2 and 3

Between Years 2 and 3 of the course, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake one of the following additional UAL qualifications:

Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) (Optional) 

An optional, year-long learning opportunity which enables you to develop your professional skills by undertaking time out for industry experience. Supported throughout the year by academics, you’ll build on the knowledge gained on your course in a range of national or international locations, and graduate with an additional qualification of Diploma in Professional Studies.

Diploma in Creative Computing (Optional) 

Between Years 2 and 3, you can undertake the year-long Diploma in Creative Computing. This will develop your skills in creative computing alongside your degree. After successfully completing the diploma and your undergraduate degree, you’ll graduate with an enhanced degree: BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures (with Creative Computing).

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Project work
  • Individual and group work
  • Self-directed learning
  • Guest speakers
  • Study trips and visits
  • Assessed assignments
  • Online learning
  • Peer learning

Assessment methods

  • Reports and essays
  • Individual and group work
  • Audio-visual content creation
  • Portfolios
  • Presentations
  • Research projects including dissertation and Final Major Project
  • Reflective statements
  • Formative assessment

Associate lecturers

Emma Duester

Barbara Plotz

Tom Whittaker

How to apply

Information for disabled applicants

UAL is committed to achieving inclusion and equality for disabled students. This includes students who have:
     
  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism
  • Another long-term condition which has an impact on your day-to-day life
Our Disability Service arranges adjustments and support for disabled applicants and students. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL information.

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

80 UCAS tariff points, which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences).
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Merit, Merit, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, Business/ Business Studies, Media).
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Marketing, Humanities and Social Sciences, Film and Production).
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum 

And GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

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
  • A combination of these factors.

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

English language requirements

  • IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol. Please check our main English language requirements page for more information.

Selection criteria

The details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • A demonstrable interest in the discipline of contemporary media cultures;
  • An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach (through research and practice) to this area of study;
  • Commitment to the study and development of your own creative practice and subsequent career opportunities.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in contemporary media cultures, and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course. 
d
You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC. 

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future. 

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

Please note: This course does not require a portfolio as part of the application.

Making your application

Places available 2022/23

This course has places available for 2022/23 entry. If you don’t need a student visa to study in the UK, complete our self-apply form.

Please note that the guidance below relates to the main UCAS application process. To find out how to apply for a course starting in September 2022, read our Guide to applying through Clearing.

Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

Apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS):

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: P301

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 26 January 2022 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Erasmus

For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website.

Places available 2022/23

This course has places available for 2022/23 entry.

Please note that the guidance below relates to the main UCAS application process. To find out how to apply for a course starting in September 2022, read our Guide to applying through Clearing.

Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

There are 2 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

If you are applying through UCAS, you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: P301

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page, and for further advice for international applicants, please visit the UAL International Application page.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 26 January 2022 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Immigration history check

You will be asked to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. We will not be able to proceed with your application until you have submitted your completed Immigration History Form.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Study Abroad applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.

Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will consider you for a place on the course.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

International applicants may be invited to an online interview. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Track. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

We invite all offer holders to attend one of our online Offer Holder events. This is your opportunity to meet the academic team and fellow offer holders, find out more about the course, and get a taste of what it will be like to study here.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£23,610 per year

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

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

Careers and alumni

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 successful careers in the media, cultural and creative industries, including media and communication management and research, advertising, marketing, PR and film festival development.