BA (Hons) Media & Communications

By bringing together media practice and communications theory, this degree covers a broad spectrum of critical perspectives on the media, and introduces a range of contemporary media practices.

UCAS
P300
Course length
3 years full-time.
Entry requirements
A-level: AAB/ABB
BTEC: D*DM/DDM
IB: 34 points
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 at Distinction & 15 at Merit
or equivalent; see find out more about our general entrance requirements.
Additional requirements

You'll need to demonstrate practical experience in some aspect of creative work. We do not accept applications for deferred entry.

If your first language is not English, please check our English Language requirements.

Fees and funding
Please see undergraduate tuition fees.
Contact the department
Contact the Admissions Tutor, media-comms@gold.ac.uk.
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

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 courses 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 etc... Others have gone into a whole range of careers such as research, teaching and law.

What you study

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.

An introduction to the BA in Media & Communications

 
 
 
 

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Equivalent qualifications

Scottish qualifications: ABBBB (Higher), AAC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 80%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A1 A1 B1

Courses and structure

Over the period of the degree you take courses to the value of 360 credits, 120 credits in each year.


Year 1

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 course that will address theories of society and approaches to the modern state as they relate to media. 

You take the following compulsory 15 credit core courses:

  • 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 course 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 core courses:

  • Induction to Media Practice (15 credits) [you choose five from seven media practice areas]
  • Media Production Option 1 (30 credits) [options one and two are chosen from seven media practice areas] Find out more about the practice options.

Year 2

Media Theory

In the second year you take theory courses 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 compulsory 15 credit courses:

  • Intellectual Foundations of Social Theory
  • Communications Psychology and Experience
  • Culture Society and the Individual
  • Media Economy and Society

Media Practice

Practice courses 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)

Find out more about the practice options.


Year 3

Media Theory

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

  • Political Economy of the Mass Media
  • Structure of Contemporary Political Communications
  • Media Audiences and Media Geographies
  • Media Ethnicity and Nation
  • Music as Communication and Creative Practice
  • Contemporary Cultural Practice
  • Explorations in World Cinema
  • Screen Cultures
  • Embodiment and Experience
  • Cinema and Society
  • After New Media

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.

Learning and 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 transferable skills 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 and 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.


About the Department of Media & Communications

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The Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths is one of the UK’s leaders in the field of media theory and media practice. This reputation teamed with a thriving student community makes Goldsmiths a lively and challenging place to study Media and Communications.

Why choose Media and Communications at Goldsmiths?

We’re at the forefront of critical debates. Ranked within the top four departments in the country in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, we’re proud to be leading the field in terms of our teaching and research and proud to be known for producing the ‘thinking graduate’.

We’re dynamic and creative. From EastLondonLines – the first 24/7 news website to be run by our students – to a calendar of events with world-renowned writers and practitioners, at Goldsmiths you’ll be part of some powerful conversations and encouraged to see and do things differently.

We’re inside the media. Because industry professionals teach practice on our programmes, you’ll get an insight into fields such as TV, film, journalism, radio and animation and develop skills you can take straight into your career. You’ll also be part of a department that’s setting the standard – we’re home to the Goldsmiths Skillset Media Academy endorsed by Skillset, the UK's body for monitoring media industry skills and training

Facilities

The Department has up-to-date facilities in all of its media areas, and aims to provide practice facilities that emulate current industry use. These include:

  • digital and analogue acquisition for time-based media and photography
  • radio and TV Studios
  • photography studios
  • digital video and audio editing
  • ENPS facility
  • animation and image manipulation software and hardware
  • traditional darkrooms
  • computer rooms for student production

New Academic Building

Opened in September 2010 and located at the top of the College Green, the New Academic Building is the new centre for the Department of Media and Communications. The new facilities maximise students’ ability to develop their skills through modern technological and purpose built accommodation and equipment. The new building houses a large lecture theatre, meeting spaces and a café with outside seating.

Find out more about Goldsmiths

Graduate and student profiles

Jason

Broadcast journalist and media trainer Jason cut his teeth in the industry working as station manager of the Students' Union radio, Wired, during his Media and Communications degree at Goldsmiths.

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Ella

Media and Communications graduate Ella coordinates New Blood, the annual creative graduate showcase for D&AD, the body that promotes excellence in design and advertising.

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Sophie, production assistant at Mumsnet

BA Media & Communications, graduated 2012

"I remember the interviewer being so impressed that I'd been to Goldsmiths, and that's when I fully appreciated how special it was to have been part of such an amazing institution."

When I left Goldsmiths, I started my first job at a magazine in the same week. I remember the interviewer being so impressed that I'd been to Goldsmiths, and that's when I fully appreciated how special it was to have been part of such an amazing institution.

At Mumsnet I'm responsible for producing up-to-date content for the website and social media channels. This varies so widely day to day, but my role mainly includes writing short features on anything from food and travel to parenting and crafts, and making sure there's fresh content being generated daily from current affairs or the threads on our forum. I write and send out three newsletters a week with a joint readership of over 500,000.

The glamorous flip-side is that I get to interview loads of celebrities, from Idris Elba to Mary Berry. I also interview them on camera, and spend a lot of time editing the footage so it's ready for the site.

I'm part of a 'viral content' team that works across social media channels to create shareable content. This involves making 'sharing graphics' for our Facebook and Twitter pages, and running round the office with a camera taking photos for Instagram. I often live tweet from press and industry events on behalf of Mumsnet, and the freebies are great!

Being at Goldsmiths gave me the courage to speak up, and not be afraid of standing out. I think that's what a lot of people would say if they were asked about their time there. Everyone has an opinion, and being around so many people with diverse and differing views made seminars a hive of interactivity and education alone. The tutors reinforced the casual learning environment by encouraging debate and never telling you to back down. I learnt so much about so many different people, I could probably write a book about it (and maybe I will!).

Helen Fawkes, BBC journalist

"Aim really high. Make brave, bold decisions."

Helen was at the forefront of the BBC’s coverage of the Ukrainian Orange Revolution in 2004-5, where she was reporting on the demonstrations protesting against electoral fraud. She also reported on the aftermath of Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia, and the conflict between Russia and Georgia in 2008. She has been a roving reporter for the national news for many years. As well as her undergraduate degree, Helen has been made a Goldsmiths honorary fellow.  

“The practical parts of the BA Media and Communications were very inspiring. It was a chance to experiment and work out what I liked doing. You’d have different projects that you’d work on – news and drama, discussion programmes… all sorts of different stories to produce. That training was very useful, and it's something I’ve had to use throughout my career. It’s so important in the media – being able to have lots of ideas, and coming up with stuff that’s a little bit different, a bit unconventional.” The advice she gives to graduating students is: “Aim really high: make brave, bold decisions. Believe in yourself: it is possible.”

Goldsmiths lecturer 
Tim Crook, who taught Helen in the early 1990s, remembers her being full of these ideas. “Nobody could forget Helen,” he explains. “As a student she was creative, professional, disciplined, charismatic, original, and inspired her fellow students in the same way she inspires people now. Helen would surprise you with ideas and production plans that challenged our own thinking as well as her own courage and spirit of adventure.” 

Nindya 

I'm Nindy, a third year BA Media and Communications student specialising in Creative Writing. I come from Jakarta, Indonesia. I like to think things through and I have a tendency to over-analyse everything that goes on in my life – not that there is much going on in my twenty-one years of existence actually.

When I'm not busy running The Leopard with my fellow editors, I'm usually preoccupied with planning my post-graduation life although from my experiences, Life always happens despite all the plans that have been made. Oh well…

I never give up crazy times with my friends – and by crazy, I mean starting a band. Like, a real band with guitars and…uhm, xylophone (our band is less avant-garde than it sounds). Food, coffee, and road trips are a few of my favourite things.  I love dogs and I like to talk – wait, am I supposed to write something smart here?

Oh, I also tweet and write a blog (blogs are like tweets, except longer). Read my blog here - http://nindysm.tumblr.com

I'm hooked on: 'How I Met Your Mother'. I can spend the whole weekend staying in just to watch the sitcom over and over and I really hope that someday, me and my friends will have that kind of friendship. 

If I had more time to myself I'd: Relax and sleep

I can do a really good impression of: Fran Drescher as Fran Fine in The Nanny. I can do that nasal voice thing!

My favourite place in the world is: My bedroom, such a sanctuary

Arfah

"Goldsmiths allowed me to develop transferable skills that I can use in any career path."

I loved the course that I studied; the 50% divide of theory and practice made it perfect. The theory side touched upon psychology and even philosophy which really interested me, whilst the practice side allowed me to sharpen my technical skills so that when I got into the 'real' world I was ready to deal with media equipment. Goldsmiths allowed me to develop transferable skills that I can use in any career path. The course, and the College generally, enabled me to expand my mind.

Outside of my course I was very involved in Union life. In my first year I threw myself into many societies and campaigned on lots of issues from Palestine to cuts in uni fees. Goldsmiths is a place that gives you the time to be free with your opinion and campaign about issues that really matter to you. In my second year I was elected BME officer in the union and in my third year I worked in the union. I met people from the most diverse range of backgrounds and loved it.  

Last year just after I left Goldsmiths I co-founded "Discoverables" with a charity called Spark+Mettle I was involved in. We won a grant of £54,000 from the Design Council and Nominet Trust 
to help solve youth unemployment. Discoverables was our answer which is  a gameful designed, online journey that is aimed at young people  between 16-24. It helps them develop and showcase their skills and strengths to forward thinking employers and to flourish in work and life. 

Currently it is is being converted into a sustainable social enterprise. We have been shortlisted for the Big Issue Invest: Tech for Good Challenge and actually just pitched for £54,000 to help us with phase 2 of the developments. We find out if we won the pitch in 2 weeks time! The dream is that hopefully we manage to secure the funding this summer so that by September I can go full time as Marketing manager. 

Neil Rogers, Head of GB Student sports teams

BA Communications Studies, 2000

A lifelong passion for sport has lead Neil to a career working with some of the UK’s most talented student athletes.

As Head of International Programmes at British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), Neil Rogers works with some of the UK’s most promising student athletes. He is responsible for the Great Britain team that competes at the World University Games, the second biggest sporting event in the world after the Olympics. Some of the former student athletes have gone on to great success and include Olympic medallists Jessica Ennis, Michael Jamieson and Gemma Gibbons.

For Neil, sport is a lifelong passion and something he was able to enjoy while he was at Goldsmiths, as he held the role of Sports Sabbatical Officer for the Students’ Union. “My time at Goldsmiths was certainly very formative. I enrolled as a mature student in 1997, but did a great deal of growing and learning during this time. As well as my degree, I met some fantastic people at the College, some subsequent life-long friends, and it gave me an opportunity and environment in which I could flourish. My time as a Sabbatical Officer was absolutely fundamental to my career.”

After completing his degree, he carried on working in the field of university sport and qualified as a Performance Athlete Lifestyle Mentor, delivering lifestyle support and advice to dozens of national programme athletes – including Goldsmiths’ own Ken Parr, a Commonwealth Games shooter.

“Sport is a genuinely exciting sector to work in, as so many people have discovered this last summer at the Olympics” says Neil. “For someone who spends a lot of leisure time watching sport, the opportunity to work in an area I love is very rewarding. One of the best aspects is the opportunity to travel as part of my job, and in the last few years I have visited China, Hong Kong, Russia, Taiwan, Jamaica, Macau, South Africa, and many more countries in Europe – all for sports tournaments.”

Neil sums up what he loves most about his job: “The most rewarding aspect is knowing that a good number of athletes in my teams will go on to huge success in their sports in later years - and that you have, in a small way, been a part of that pathway. It’s certainly too late for me to compete at that level, but I take a great deal of satisfaction from knowing I can help others on their journey!”

Vicki

BA Media & Communications, graduated 2002

"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.

 www.vpsarias.co.uk

Nona

"I chose Goldsmiths because it is part of the University of London, which has good international recognition."

I chose Goldsmiths because it is part of the University of London, which I think has a good employment level and international recognition. I knew Goldsmiths from my media studies teacher when I was in college. He recommended it.

Before studying at Goldsmiths, I joined the Miss Indonesia pageant in 2007. After winning as Miss Indonesia Favourite and Miss Indonesia Java Island, I worked as a news anchor and host on two TV stations in Indonesia. Then, I decided to go to university in London. The course so far meets my expectations, and the College atmosphere is good because the teachers are helpful. Overall, Goldsmiths is my favourite place to study!

Olivia

"We are now professional journalists ready to be thrown into the creative London world!"

The New Academic Building [the home for the department] has been revolutionary for the Media and Communication Department. It brought to the students new spacious lecture rooms, a much brighter space for studying and great IT facilities at the same time. It gives the opportunity for all students to gather in one main building for their practical classes and to easily be in contact with their tutors.

Regarding the journalism practice, it was a unique experience. The course had a fair balance between theory and practice and we also had the chance to contribute to the East London Lines website for more than six months. We are now professional journalists ready to be thrown into the creative London world!

Nadine

"Goldsmiths does not accept the ordinary, it makes you endeavour for the extraordinary."

"I thought being at university meant pursuing a degree, but it’s more than that. At Goldsmiths you pursue your essence – you realise not your limitations but your horizon; you don’t fit in, you stand out! Goldsmiths does not accept the ordinary, it makes you endeavour for the extraordinary, raises your expectations.

Studying Media and Communications at Goldsmiths gave me that invisible throne that I confidently sit on, throughout my academic, social, and professional life. With all the knowledge and practical experience I have gained, I can with express my ideas with poise. You gain a degree of self optimism and strength. Oh how inspiring it is to be a Goldsmiths student!

Luqi (Gigi)

I'm Luqi (my friends usually call me Gigi), I'm from Mainland China. I'm a BA year 1 student in the Media and Communications Department. I decided to study media two years ago because I want to be a food journalist. When I was looking for a college in the UK, one of my friends recommended Goldsmiths to me because it is one of the leaders in the field of media study and it has really good reputation as well. Last year, I also took the foundation course at Goldsmiths. It really helped me a lot, from different directions, such as academic writing, English speaking etc. I really enjoy studying in Goldsmiths, I made a lot of new friends here and the school offered us a lot of chances to do different media practices as well.

Angus

"All of the units on my course were things I already wanted to know more about so that was really exciting"

I did well in school and college which is why I chose Goldsmiths. It seemed to fit my ability and offer the potential for even more growth, but mainly I was attracted by the critical nature of the whole institution. All of the units on my course were things I already wanted to know more about so that was really exciting. The location in South East London and Goldsmiths reputation for radical politics made it even more appealing.

Overall the course was great, it was more or less what I expected when I applied, and now I feel like I have a strong understanding of contemporary social issues, more so than my friends on similar courses elsewhere. 

If you're thinking about taking the BA in Media and Communications course at Goldsmiths then I would say go for it, it's definitely a worthwhile course.

Hyunjun Joe, works in PR for agency Weber Shandwick

"It has fuelled me with a breath of creative ideas, initiatives and ability to lead my life."

My time at Goldsmiths is turning out to be an immense asset at the current stage of my career as it has fuelled me with a breath of creative ideas, initiatives and ability to lead my life. All of these were possible with the help from second-to-none professors, students and staff from every corner of the globe, possessing top-notch capabilities in all aspects.  

I'm currently working for PR agency Weber Shandwick, providing PR/strategic communication counsels to tech/financial clients.


Content last modified: 09 Jan 2014

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