Media Studies BA(Hons)
With its reputation as a centre of vibrant creativity, Brighton has become a magnet for media companies and freelancing professionals. The city is home to a multitude of creative businesses in sectors from digital film and TV production to music, social and mobile media. The city hosts an annual digital media festival, and has a reputation for innovative community, social and business media - it's the ideal place to study professional media of all kinds.
With its mix of theory and practice, Media Studies BA(Hons) at the University of Brighton gives you the means to become a versatile and innovative professional within this range of exciting and fast-moving creative industries.
You'll have the opportunity to build skill sets and connections that take you directly into a thriving South Coast media network, with carefully shaped options that give you both a sound theoretical framework and practical skills for whatever media role suits your ambitions.
As well as a thorough understanding of the issues and theories in contemporary media, you'll develop practical knowledge of the range of media disciplines that interest you most, with choices to include digital photography, filmmaking, editing, interviewing, scriptwriting, community building, or social and mobile media.
Most importantly, the environment at Brighton is designed to nurture and develop your pathway towards informed career choices. Our dedicated staff will guide you through the right options for you, including the media placement, which will help you to develop your skills and talents and also those real world experiences that will give you a vital edge in the job market. Organisations which have provided placements include online information giant Google UK; international film companies Working Title, Kudos and Mosaic Films, Warner Music International, Marks and Spencer and movie magazine Empire.
Studying at Brighton will also bring you into contact with media experts at the forefront of current practice. In addition to a team of industry-experienced teaching staff you will also have access to visiting media professionals, including directors, producers and scriptwriters, who can provide you with information about industry developments as well as encouragement and feedback on your own work.
Our innovative Media Studies course examines the relationships between media, culture and society in an increasingly connected and globalised world. With a wide range of modules for you to choose from, you will investigate the media while focusing on your personal interests, developing your creativity and critical thinking skills. You will combine diverse theoretical approaches with practice-based modules such as photography and video, as well as engage in community media work. Our students also gain practical and applied experience of the media industry through a four-week industry placement, benefiting from the professional industry connections of our staff. A range of our modules also include short field trips.
You will learn through a diverse mix of lectures, seminar discussions, workshops, practical sessions, individual and group work. In year 1 you will develop information literacy and an understanding of the key theoretical approaches and concepts in media studies. In year 2 we focus on media research skills and media industry experience. In year 3 you will develop your own media research project (dissertation or practice-based dissertation) under the guidance of an experienced academic supervisor.
Areas of study
This course explores media, film and cultural theories as well as practices. It increases your understanding of the relationships between media technologies and cultural forms, as well as in the creative industries and society on both a national and international scale.
Photographic practice (Years 1 and 2) and/or:
Film language and history
Media and popular culture
New media and society
Sound in media culture
Critical issues in political communication
Mediating science and technology
Genre and film
Video game studies
National and global media studies
Career and progression opportunities
Graduates are well equipped to enter careers in media and creative industries. Many of our students are offered full time roles with companies following their industry placements. Recent graduates have started careers with Times Higher Education (editorial assistant), Vogue (journalist), EMI (music promotion), 3sixtymag (web editor), Pageant Media (photo journalist, events production), Peter Rabbit Organics (Marketing Executive), Juice FM (Broadcast Assistant), Practical Action (Digital Fundraising Executive), Universal Pictures (Analyst), Punktastic (music journalist) and the Royal Opera House (social media manager). Many of our graduates progress to postgraduate study with us at the University of Brighton (eg Creative Media MA and Arts and Cultural Research MRes), as well as careers in teaching and research.
UCAS code P300
Full-time: 3 years
Part-time: 6 years
Access to HE Diploma
pass (at least 45 credits at level 3), with 24 credits at merit or above.
GCSE (minimum grade C) or Access Equivalent
at least three subjects including English language and mathematics or a science.
may enable you to start the course in year 2.
For non-native speakers of English:
IELTS 6.5 overall, with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in the other elements.
The fees listed here are for full-time courses for the upcoming academic year only. Further fees are payable for subsequent years of study.
The tuition fee you have to pay depends on a number of factors including the kind of course you take, whether you study full- or part-time and whether or not you already have a higher education qualification. If you are studying part-time you will normally be charged on a pro rata basis depending on the number of modules you take. Different rules apply to research degrees - contact the course team for up-to-date information.
Visit www.brighton.ac.uk/money for more information, including advice on international and island fee paying status, and the government's Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) policy.
BA(Hons) Media Studies
UK/EU (FT) - 9,000 GBP
Island Students (FT) - 9,000 GBP
International (FT) - 12,900 GBP
What does it mean to take Media Studies at Brighton? The scope of our Media Studies BA(Hons) is wide, and with the opportunity to shape the course to your needs part of the answer will lie in your own best pathway towards your individual ambitions. We believe that our society needs versatile and creative media professionals. We hope to develop people who will be media innovators, leaders, people who will drive and shape our shared future. This is what we seek to develop in you. We want to help you make the best start on a journey towards being a professional who can respond to new situations, within an ever-changing and dynamic set of industries.
You'll be looking at social responsibility and community engagement, visual media, traditional and new media. You'll examine the evolving relationship between media and culture in contemporary societies and gain the skills to influence them. By combining media, film and cultural theories as well as practices, the course will give you a real understanding of the relationship between information and communication technologies, industries and society on a national and international level. You'll engage with a whole ecology of media, film and cultural theories as well as practices, choosing from an evolving suite of modules with the flexibility to respond to socio-political and cultural change.
You'll gain real world experience through your four week media industry placement in year 2. This is an invaluable opportunity for you to experience how a successful media organisation is run, help develop new practical and professional skills, make helpful contacts for the future, as well as gain in self confidence.
As a student at Brighton you will have the opportunity to realise your intellectual and creative potential under the guidance of tutors whose experience in research, scholarship, creative and professional media practice will shape and support your development. The media staff here are leading members of a variety of professional communities and international media organisations and are leaders in their respective research fields within the media and the arts.
This year lays the foundations for your study, introducing ways of understanding and theorising the media and the social, cultural, economic, political and technological changes associated with their development.
Core modules include: Media Culture and Change, Producing and Consuming Social Media, Critical Approches to Media.
Among the options available are: Video Production, Sound in Media Culture, Film Language History, Photographic Practice, Understanding TV, Social Action and Community Media
Year 2 and 3
Year 2 is focused on an industry placement and research methods and methodology. The industry placement will give you invaluable insight into how media works in the real world and the opportunity to relate this practice to the theory you have been studying. We believe this gives you the ability to make confident and informed decisions when you come to deciding on a media career.
Research methods and methodology will equip you with the knowledge and skills to execute independent research as part of your final year dissertation, and in your professional career.
Your choices for modules in theory and critical analysis is expanded in year 2 and 3 to include, for example: Visual Media Culture, Mobile Media Cultures, Popular Music, Critical Approaches to the Videogame, Language Media and Power, Marketing, Genre and film, Journalism, Community media and Community development projects, Media policy.
In your final year you will produce a dissertation or production-based dissertation, under the guidance of one supervisor with expertise in their chosen field of study/creative practice. This is a major project which you will research independently, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to draw together the knowledge you have gained over the course in a sustained piece of writing/production of an artefact and critical reflection.
Learning and teaching
Face-to-face contact between students and tutors is at the core of our learning and teaching. You will learn through a diverse mix of classroom-based lectures, seminar discussions, tutorials, workshops, studio/lab-based practical sessions as well as individual and group work. Your learning will be further extended beyond the classroom time, using online, blended learning tools.
Over the three years you will experience a range of teaching methods. A typical week might include a class-based lecture and supporting tutorials and tutor-led seminars or (in year 3) student-led seminars. Practice-based modules might include lectures, screenings, visits to exhibits and lab based work. Community work modules involve considerable time spent outside the university, interacting with local community groups. A number of modules include short field trips and field work experience. Learning support for the industry placement consists of: a mixture of taught sessions and workshops, one-to-one tutorials and drop-in sessions and a media conference with professionals talking to students about their personal career paths.
You will have support from a personal tutor during your placement together with the placement coordinator and the module leader. Assessment across all the years is made on individual and group presentations, essays, exams, portfolio of production work, workbooks, including a final year theory or practice-based research dissertation.
All study is supported by the use of online learning environments. You will use online platforms to store and access learning materials on a 24/7 basis through Studentcentral, which is the university online learning environment. You will also have access to additional web-based platforms developed by staff, including blogs, wikis, content management systems and discussion forums, which are increasingly employed for collaborative learning.
Support for your studies
Personal tutor for advice and guidance
Student support and guidance tutor
Industry placement coordinator and database of placement contacts, directories and publications, reading material and templates for letters and CVs
Tutor support for dissertation/project
Computer facilities with specialist software
A selection of digital and analogue cameras, including DSLRs and lenses
Tripods, studio lights and flashguns
Offsite dark room
Apple Mac computer suite
A selection of video recording equipment including tape-based camcorders with tripods, Canon XM2 cameras with tripods and Sony VX200 cameras
Sound kits with portable sound mixers, microphone and boom poles
Video editing suite.
Extensive library facilities, which can be accessed online 24/7
Computer pool rooms
Student Services: counseling, student advice, careers part time jobs and volunteering, support for international students, subsidised childcare, Unisex, disability and dyslexia.
With a dedicated placement unit, our network of media companies, the best advice from our experienced personal tutors, and a course that is constantly updated to reflect new media industry needs, the University of Brighton puts employability at the centre of its Media Studies BA(Hons).
You may have firm plans already or you may know only that media is your passion and will be your future in someway or other. Whatever your current ambitions, as you move through the course our staff will be able to help you refine and decide your choices so that you leave us with the right skills and experience to continue your journey into a professional media future.
You may be headed for a career in advertising, business, tv or film production, entertainment industries, academia or journalism - whatever your aims, we have the means to guide you through choices that will make a difference to your potential for an employer or business opportunity.
Our dedicated placement unit will support you through the whole process of finding and fulfilling your professional placement. The long and productive relationship with companies both in Brighton, London and further afield has culminated in an extensive database of productive partnerships where students and media organisations benefit from the experience; whether that be as a one-off immersive experience, a set of contacts and references or, as indeed is common, directly into paid employment.
As well as business-focused careers our graduates also find work in the public, NGO and charitable sectors. Projects run at Brighton have an emphasis on engendering social responsibility and community interaction. This is typified by an ongoing initiative that brings our students into direct contact with communities in Kenya to help empower them through the development of digital skills.
Media Studies BA(Hons) at Brighton is led by a teaching team whose professional expertise and research ensures the course is up to date and always relevant to the changing media environment. As a Media Studies student you will cultivate skills in communication and teamwork, in thinking independently and critically, and in engaging in media and creative practice to promote social justice and change.
You will plot your own pathway through this flexible course towards the media career that interests you, or you can continue your study at postgraduate level, through the Creative Media MA and doctoral research. Whichever path you decide to take, you will receive tuition from staff who are experts in their field, together with practical skills and contacts essential to launching a successful media career.
You will have the opportunity to participate in community partnerships working on media projects designed to meet community needs and effect social change, encouraging you to harness and apply your media skills and knowledge whilst learning about social engagement and civic responsibility. These community media projects have been led by the research of Media Studies staff and their well developed relationships within a number of geographic communities in Brighton and Hove and the city’s community and voluntary sector. Collaborations have included the International Youth Council and ITSkills4RuralKenya, a registered charity established and run by former University of Brighton media students which works on establishing community ICT centres and community networks.
Professional links and community partnerships made with local, regional, national and international media companies and communities ensure that you will have all the right contacts when you leave. Following the placement in Year 2, many students are asked to stay on as part-time employees or interns, and are being employed as graduates by their placement organisations. These include Sky, BBC, Times Educational Supplement, Paramount, NME, Tru Thoughts Records, Melting Vinyl Promotions, Juice Radio, New Millennium Publishing, to name just a few.
At each level of your studies, you will receive career development advice and support, built around the mandatory industry placement module in year 2.
The course includes master classes from industry practitioners as part of the delivery and assessment (e.g. Video and Photographic Practice, Journalism and Marketing). Most notably the four-week industry placement in year 2 enhances the employability skills of students.
This process begins in year 1 with development sessions covering, for example, CV design, research skills, telephone skills and confidence building.
During year 2, you will develop further professional skills in your search for a placement.
In year 3, after your industry placement, you will receive more focused careers oriented support in conjunction with Student Services. The use of the ‘Student Profile’ pack provides a tangible learning resource and a reference for the future. Scheduled development sessions in year 3 and the use of the student profile pack will ensure you have additional careers-related skills to further enhance your employability and access to advice on your postgraduate study opportunities.
Graduates of the course have gone on to careers as: social media manager at the Royal Opera House; social media consultant at Moustache Class; journalist at Profit and Loss magazine; data research manager at Music Metrics; production project coordinator at Dazed & Confused; production manager at Sequence Creative; senior account manager at Brilliant Media.
Others have gone into acadaemia. Recent graduates have joined our Creative Media MA or chosen to pursue postgraduate study abroad at Universities in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Sydney.
Sarah Allen graduated from University of Brighton in 2011. This is her story...
"As part of my University course, I undertook two two-week work experience placements. My first was at Electric Sky Productions in Brighton, where I was giving various roles in television production, from researching new programmes to delivering materials and logging. My second placement was at Dacorum Borough Council in the communications department, where I helped a team write and manage the Council’s monthly newsletters and internal communications, including writing press releases and articles.
Both placements gave me an insight into two sectors in the media industry and gave me valuable experience which I could then take on to my next employers. In the summer before my third year I was offered the job of a production assistant at Back2Back productions in Brighton, following a two week placement. My paid employment there lasted three months and I worked on various tv programmes including The Hunks and Extraordinary dogs, as a runner and researcher.
After university I was offered a paid internship at Paramount Pictures in the New Release Marketing department, which would last three months. I love film, and this internship was the first stepping stone to my career in film marketing. After three months at Paramount, I then got offered a job as a marketing assistant at Universal Pictures International Entertainment, where I assisted on New Release and Licensees. I have worked on home entertainment film releases including Battleship, Contraband and Snow White and The Huntsman internationally. After ten months I left Universal to take on the position as a Junior Product Manager at Metrodome Group, a UK independent film company, where I manage films in Home Entertainment and Theatrically, including recent titles, Jackpot and St Georges Day."
Sarah has since been headhunted to work for Studio Canal, and has accepted a role as a Marketing Executive with them.