Your foundation year counts as the 'Year 0' of the four-year Integrated Degree. It is structured into the following three areas:
Learning to Learn (Study Skills)
These two-hour weekly sessions are designed to help you develop the skills you will need to thrive in Undergraduate study. They cover aspects of academic practice such as writing for academic purposes; how to unpack an essay question; how to get organised; how to read and make notes; how to reference; how to cite your source material and how to compile a bibliography. They include access to an academic tutor who is available for one-to-one tutorial sessions.
An Introduction to Media and Cultural Theory
On this module, you will be introduced to the key traditions and foundational theories of media and cultural studies. These will help you develop an understanding of the relationship between media forms, institutions and our societies. You will also be encouraged to develop critical thinking skills, begin to understand the importance of the relationship between media theory and practice and demonstrate your growing skills in academic writing (with the help of the weekly 'Learning to Learn' sessions). Each week there is a lecture on a particular topic, accompanied by set reading, which you are asked to discuss in more detail in our weekly seminars.
The first part of this module introduces you to some of the important key thinkers in media theory and considers elements such as the relationship between media ownership and control; competing debates around resistance to dominant ideologies, the power of the audience and the arguable 'effects' of media; questions around the meaning of 'culture' and the history of cultural studies; and concepts concerned with the coding and decoding of media texts. These are designed to give you a sound basis for moving on to contemporary ideas about the media as you progress through the year.
The second part of the module considers the social and cultural dimensions of the media in more detail. We will discuss further the role of the ‘culture industries’, the relationship between culture and sociological categories of class, race, sexuality and gender, and look closely at the academic research that has been done in these areas. We will look at moral panics, the study of subcultures, feminist perspectives of soap operas, studies of celebrity, 'Ways of Seeing' and popular cultural representations of the City. Throughout, your own experiences and identities will be central to the concepts and ideas you are studying in these sessions.
Media practice gives you the opportunity to create small-scale projects in TV and video, radio, stop motion animation and photography. You will have the opportunity to work through your ideas from conception to finished product, begin to develop production skills, and understand the importance of teamwork and the sharing of ideas.
You are taught in groups for TV and video, radio and stop motion animation and individually for photography. These 5-week ‘taster’ modules are taught by highly experienced tutors and technicians in studio settings, and utilise the same industry-standard facilities as the Undergraduate degrees.
The four-year integrated degree in Media & Communications is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, screenings, and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.
The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:
- Year 0 - 19% scheduled learning, 81% independent learning
- Year 1 - 20% scheduled learning, 80% independent learning
- Year 2 - 15% scheduled learning, 85% independent learning
- Year 3 - 15% scheduled learning, 83% independent learning, 3% placement learning
How you’ll be assessed
You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework assignments such as extended essays, reports, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects and reflective essays, as well as seen and unseen written examinations.
The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:
- Year 0 - 75% coursework, 25% practical
- Year 1 - 75% coursework, 25% practical
- Year 2 - 98% coursework, 3% practical
- Year 3 - 100% coursework
*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2022/23. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.
The pass mark for this foundation year is 50%. However, students must achieve 60% in all sections of the programme to proceed onto the BA Media and Communications. Students achieving between 50%-60% will be awarded the Goldsmiths Foundation Certificate in Media and Communications.
Download the programme specification.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
Between 2020 and 2022 we needed to make some changes to how programmes were delivered due to Covid-19 restrictions. For more information about past programme changes please visit our programme changes information page.