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BA (Hons) Media & Communications

  • UCAS
    P300
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: AAB/ABB
    BTEC: DDD/DDM
    IB: 33 points including three HL subjects
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department
    Media and Communications

Course overview

Bringing together media practice and communications theory, this degree covers a broad spectrum of critical perspectives on the media, and will introduce you to a range of contemporary media practices.

Why study BA Media & Communications at Goldsmiths?

  • You will study in one of the UK's and the world's top media and communications departments.
  • You'll be taught by leading names in media, communications and cultural studies.
  • We concentrate on high quality lectures and small group work, and all our teaching takes place on one purpose-built site.
  • On practice modules you'll be taught by industry professionals engaged in TV, film, journalism, radio, photography, scriptwriting, short fiction, illustration, interactive media and animation.
  • You'll have access to industry-standard practice facilities, including TV/film, radio and photography studios, digital video and audio editing suites, and animation software and hardware.
  • Our close links to the media industry bring you into regular contact with media professionals. You will have the opportunity to apply for an internship in the media as part of the course.
  • We regularly host debates and talks by international figures in media and cultural research and the media industry; recent guests have included Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha and Noel Clark.
  • You'll be taught alongside students from all over the world and with diverse cultural experiences that enrich the department and the learning experience.
  • You'll develop skills that you can use throughout your career whether in the media industries or elsewhere. Our recent graduates are now working as television producers, news readers, editors, journalists... Others have gone into a whole range of careers such as research, teaching and law.
  • We're ranked third in the UK for the quality and impact of our research (Research Excellence Framework), which means that by studying in the department you'll be working alongside academics who are leaders in their fields.

If you are an international student and you don't meet the entry requirements for this programme, you may be able to apply for our BA Media and Communications with International Foundation

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor

Modules & structure

Overview

The degree consists of 50% media theory and 50% media practice. We aim to provide an inspirational learning experience in which theory and practice influence and enrich each other in the production of original creative and intellectual work.

Far more than just a media degree this programme incorporates philosophical perspectives on technology and human life as well as sociological approaches to media production.

We look at issues of identity through critical race studies, queer theory and critiques of post-feminism. We investigate global screen cultures and also the role of news in democracy. All of this, together with critical, creative practice in production equips our students to be the thinking media practitioners of the future.

Level 4

Media Theory

In the first year, the theory element introduces you to the study of verbal and visual languages, and encourages you to assess changes in the media. You'll be acquainted with debates surrounding the term 'culture', and will look at how experiences of gender, age and race affect our understanding of the concept. You'll also examine various media texts, and take a module that will address theories of society and approaches to the modern state as they relate to media. 

You take the following compulsory 15 credit compulsory modules:

  • Media History and Politics
  • Culture and Cultural Studies
  • Key Debates in Media Studies
  • Film and the Audiovisual
  • Media Arts

Media Practice

In practice, you take an induction module that introduces you to some of the practice options offered by the Department – currently television (with the possibility of film fiction specialisation in years two and three), radio, journalism, animation, illustration, photography, and creative writing (script and short story). There is also a specialisation in interactive media in years two and three. You then choose two practice options.

You take the following compulsory modules:

Level 5

Media Theory

In the second year you take theory modules covering a range of approaches to the study of communications and the media. You'll look at theories of postmodernity, identity and globalisation; be introduced to differing psychological perspectives on the analysis of culture and communications; consider cultural theory; and investigate concepts of audience. 

You take the following core modules:

Module title Credits
  Psychology, Subjectivity and Power 15
  Media, Modernity and Social Thought 15

And a choice of two 15 credit option modules (one Autumn term, one Spring term). Options offered recently have included:

Module title Credits
  Culture, Society and the Individual 15 credits
  Moving Image and Spectatorship 15
  Money and the Media 15
  Media, Memory and Conflict 15

Media Practice

Practice modules introduce you to media production in a different area to the one you studied in year one.  You'll apply production skills in the creation of small-scale projects, and develop critical skills through the analysis of examples and of work produced in each area. You then choose a practice area in which to specialise.

You take:

  • Media Production Option 2
  • Media Production Specialisation (30 credits)

.

Level 6

Media Theory

You can choose any combination of options or dissertation to the value of 60 credits. Options offered recently have included:

Module title Credits
  Structure of Contemporary Political Communication 15 credits
  Race, Empire and Nation 30 credits and 15 credits
  The City and Consumer Culture 30 credits
  Music as Communication and Creative Practice 30 credits
  Embodiment and Experience 30 credits and 15 credits
  Strategies in World Cinema 15
  Media, Law and Ethics 15 and 30 credits
  Media, Ritual and Contemporary Public Cultures 30 credits and 15 credits
  Promotional Culture 30 credits and 15 credits
  Archaeology of the Moving Image 30 credits
  Politics of the Audiovisual 30 credits
  Social Media in Everyday Life -
  Media Audiences and Media Geographies 30 credits

You can also undertake a work placement as one of your option modules.

Media Practice

You undertake the research, planning and production of a major project or a portfolio of work in the practice area in which you specialised in Year 2 (60 credits).

Find out more about the practice options.

Assessment

Coursework, extended essays, reports, practical work, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Media Practice

In practice, you take an induction module that introduces you to some of the practice options offered by the Department – currently television (with the possibility of film fiction specialisation in years two and three), radio, journalism, animation, illustration, photography, and creative writing (script and short story). There is also a specialisation in interactive media in years two and three. You then choose two practice options.

You take the following compulsory modules:

  • Induction to Media Practice (15 credits) [you choose five from seven ]
  • Media Production Option 1 (30 credits) [options one and two are chosen from seven ] 

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB/ABB
BTEC: DDD/DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points including three HL subjects

You'll need to demonstrate practical experience in some aspect of creative work. If you are an international student and you don't meet the entry requirements for this programme, you may be able to apply for our BA Media and Communications with International Foundation

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 at distinction and 15 at merit
Scottish qualifications: ABBBB/ABBBC (Higher), AAC/ABC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 80%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A1 B2/A1 A1 A2 B1

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements

Department

We are ranked:
27th in the world for communication and media studies**
1st in the UK for the quality of our research***

Media and Communications

We’ve also been ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top graduate universities for media professionals, because so many of our graduates go on to find jobs in the industry.

The department includes some of the top academics in the world for this discipline – the pioneers of media, communications and cultural studies. They actively teach on our programmes, and will introduce you to current research and debate in these areas. And many of our practice tutors are industry professionals active in TV, film, journalism, radio and animation.

We also run EastLondonLines.co.uk – our 24/7 student news website – which gives students the opportunity to gain experience working in a real-time news environment.

And we run regular public events featuring world-renowned writers and practitioners that have recently included Danny Boyle, Gurinda Chadha, Noel Clark and Tessa Ross. So you’ll get to experience the latest developments and debates in the industry.

Find out more about the Department of Media and Communications

**QS World University Rankings by subject 2016
***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills. You'll also go to workshops and tutorials that will develop practical skills in media production.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.

Skills & careers

Skills

Some of the skills you'll develop during a Media and Communications degree include:

  • critical and analytical skills
  • proficiency in assessing evidence and in expressing ideas clearly
  • ability to bring together insights from a range of subjects
  • IT skills
  • communications skills
  • journalistic and creative writing skills

Careers

Alumni from the Department have gone on to careers in television, radio, the press, publishing, film-making, advertising, marketing and public relations, web design, teaching and research, advertising, arts and administration, business and industry, European Union private sector management and personnel work, and many more both in the media industries and elsewhere. You can read more about possible career options after graduating on our Media and Communications careers page.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student profiles

Vicki

"Goldsmiths lay the foundations for my career in writing and directing."

"I adored every minute at Goldsmiths, so much so that when I completed my first degree in Media and Communications (specialising in Journalism and Documentary), I remained on to study an MA in television drama (where I would write and direct a short fictional film). Goldsmiths lay the foundations for my career in writing and directing, giving me the tools, emotional support and confidence to write original scripts and go on and have a successful directing career in TV drama, documentary, music videos and commercials.

On leaving Goldsmiths, my graduation film Rifts about warring kebab shop owners scooped awards at film festivals and acted as a crucial calling card in my gaining employment in the industry. My first position was at Redbus (now Lionsgate UK) learning the ropes of the film industry taking films from script to screen as I worked in all departments from script reading to Press and Advertising before developing a documentary about Macy Gray. 

On leaving, I directed another short film, Broken, which garnered awards at film festivals internationally from India to LA, along with accolades from the Channel 4 4Talent Award to more recently the Square Mile 30 under 30 London Talent Award in 2011. BBC Comedy bought the rights to a TV series based on this student short film and more recently another production company have taken them-it may well end up on the BBC if commissioned though. My short film made at my time in Goldsmiths continues to inspire and influence my work, as does my time there and for that I am very grateful."

Vicki writes one of the most popular and critically acclaimed parenting and lifestyle blogs in the UK, Honest Mum (http://www.honestmum.com), and style site Mummy's Got Style (http://www.mummysgotstyle.com).

Vicki has also presented on ITV's Good Morning Britain and is regarded a pioneer in the parenting blogging niche. 

www.vpsarias.co.uk

Nick

"Goldsmiths was the perfect environment to foster my ambitions for a career in the creative industries."

"I run a video production company called High Six Media that specialises in creating online fashion, music and sport content for a variety of brands. As is invariably the case when you start a business, my time is split between quite a few different roles and responsibilities related to the running of a company. I take care of all sales and marketing as well as liaising with clients and suppliers and basic project management to ensure that projects run smoothly.

Goldsmiths was the perfect environment to foster my ambitions for a career in the creative industries. Firstly, just the people who I met and the experiences I had through them opened my eyes to the breadth of what is possible creatively.

Seeing what others - both tutors and students - were doing, saying and making really inspired me and positively pushed my own creative endeavours.

I also utilised the resources available to me at Goldsmiths to practice filmmaking technique during any spare time I had. Learning how to edit in the Digital Media Suite, or figuring out how to use cameras and lights kick-started my knowledge of the industry and allowed me the confidence to set out on my own once I had graduated.

The course I studied, while being mostly theoretical learning also put me in good stead for my future career. It taught me to view the way in which concepts such as society, identity and gender are constructed in the media with a critical eye. As important if not more than anything you can learn about white balance or shutter speeds. It's these principals that inform my filmmaking even to this day and evaluate the merits and faults of the work I and others in the industry produce."

Photo credit: Brendon Fraser Photography

Prudence

"The most important aspect of Goldsmiths, for me, was the opportunity to meet people in the same industry."

"I didn't think I was interested in going to University at all at first. I was unsure of my options and no courses particularly interested me. I was not 100% sure on my career path and I didn't wish to specialize too early and limit my options later on in life. I knew liked being creative but didn't know enough about what jobs were out there and how I could make money from my ideas.

After taking some time out where I travelled and worked in a variety of jobs I realized I wanted to work in film and media but as I tried to get work in this field (I interned for fashion magazines, worked as an extra for films, worked for Edinburgh fringe festival) I found the industry very impenetrable as I didn't have any contacts on the ‘inside’.

I then heard about Goldsmiths, through a friend who was applying for the same course. I read the course prospectus and liked the fact I would have an opportunity to try a variety of media- from illustration and journalism, animation, to photography and film. It enabled me to keep my options open for longer, which suited how I felt at the time. It also had a theoretical element to kick-start my brain and challenge me.

Goldsmiths is quite unique. Being based in London and not a ‘campus’ style university adds to its’ diversity. It’s easy to live an independent London life and gain great exposure to the media industry while still learning. There were also plenty of mature students who wished to take their course seriously, and were genuinely interested in working on exciting projects, and developing their skills.

I ended up specialising in documentary filmmaking, which I loved. My tutor was a working professional, who not only was I able to understand best working practices, but also introduced us to many visiting tutors who would give us a more in-depth knowledge of more specific roles in the industry.

When I left university I worked for on the marketing team for Red Bull managing events and media in East London, which allowed me to see a more savvy, commercial side of the industry.

I then left Red Bull in 2009 to set up my own film and events production company Mugshot Films.  I have since been making content and running events for a variety of well-known clients. As a company, we have been made documentaries for the British Museum, music videos, and are now working on a short film that will shoot in September 2012.  I also did a stint on the production team at the Disney film Frankenweenie, directed by Tim Burton. Which I got through another contact made during university.

The most important aspect of Goldsmiths, for me, was the opportunity to meet people in the same industry, which I was unable to do pre-university.   The students I graduated alongside are now all established in their chosen occupation. I now have a wealth of talented editors, technically skilled camera ops, animators and directors who I trust to work well on projects with me."

See more profiles for this programme

Fees & funding

How to apply

Please note that we don't accept applications for deferred entry.

Find out more about applying.

Related content links

University statistics for this course