BA Media and Communication Studies

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

A video camera's viewfinder

In choosing to study the Media and Communication Studies Degree at Aberystwyth University you will be taught by the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, one of the largest and most significant departments of its kind in the UK. Uniquely, the Media and Communication Studies Degree enables you to combine the traditional and the new, with a special and distinctive digital media focus. You will develop dynamic insights into the nature of interactions between media texts, media audiences and media producers. This degree course offers an exciting interdisciplinary approach, including communication and media studies, sociology, psychology, cultural studies (including digital and visual cultures), history, philosophy, linguistics and marketing. The interdisciplinary approach will provide you with a wide range of the skills and knowledge that employers are increasingly seeking.

Top 15 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of Media and Communication (NSS 2016)
91% student satisfaction for our Media and Communication Studies degree scheme (NSS 2016)

Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies: 91% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of Film and Television Studies who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

Overview

The Aberystwyth Media and Communication Studies degree is an innovative, challenging and diverse scheme which will place you at the cutting edge of developments and debates in digital media and communication. 

Why study Media and Communication Studies at Aberystwyth? 

The Aberystwyth Media and Communication Studies degree scheme is accredited by Creative Skillset, and the Department is a partner institution in Skillset Media Academy Wales, meaning that you will receive an exceptionally high standard of education that is endorsed by industry.

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth is the highest rated Arts and Humanities Department in Wales, according to the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with 60% of research submitted being rated world-leading.

The Department is one of the largest and most highly regarded in Britain in terms of staff reputation and the quality of the student experience. We can offer you an unrivalled range of student choice, staff expertise, and state-of-the-art facilities for practical work, so that you can utilise your creative skills to the full, including a brand new PC lab designed specifically for work in digital media, and digital production and editing suites. Further facilities are available to you through our strategic partnerships with Boomerang+ Plc, Wales’s largest independent television production company, and also BBC Wales, whose local offices and broadcast studios are housed within the Department. The National Library of Wales’s Sound and Screen Archive is situated next to the campus, so that you can also benefit from an unrivalled source of material relating to Wales and its people.

The Department also offers a number of degree schemes and modules taught entirely or partially through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the Department.

Our Staff

All academic staff at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies are research active and/or involved in Knowledge Transfer projects and have either relevant academic qualifications at doctoral level or equivalent professional experience and expertise.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) Students must take the following core modules:

Semester 1

Studying Media FM10620

Semester 2

Studying Communication FM10720

Year 1 Options Students may take one or both of the following modules:

Semester 1

Introduction To Media Production FM10420

Semester 2

Media Production Project FM10340

Year 1 Options Students may choose options from the following Film & TV modules, or from module from other departments:

Semester 1

Studying Film FM10120

Hollywood Cinema: 1917-1960 FM10920

British Cinema FM11020

Semester 2

Studying Television FM10220

Year 2 Options Single Honours Media and Communication Studies Students must take at least 80 credits from the following Critical Theory modules:

Semester 1

Television Genre FM20620

Advertising FM21920

Media Industries: History And Policy FM23020

Semester 2

Contemporary Television Drama FM21220

News: Industry And Analysis FM22120

Digital Culture FM25520

Year 2 Options Single Honours Media and Communication Studies Students may take up to 40 credits from the following creative practice modules:

Semester 1

Creative Documentary FM26520

Semester 2

Creative Studio FM25420

Year 2 Options Single Honours Media and Communication Studies Students may take the following module:

Semester 1

Production Research Placement FM20300

Semester 2

Production Research Placement FM20320

Final Year Options Single Honours Media and Communication Studies Students must take at least 40 credits and may take up to 120 credits from the following Critical Theory modules (NB the Independent Research Project is worth 40 credits: 20 in each semester):

Semester 1

Children And The Media FM32520

Media In Wales FM33220

Independent Research Project FM36000

Semester 2

The Surveillance Society FM32420

Language And Media FM34020

Media Semiotics FM34120

Independent Research Project FM36040

Television And Society In Britain In The 20th Century FM36220

Final Year Options Single Honours Media and Communication Studies Students may take up to 80 credits of the following Creative Practice modules:

Semester 1

Experimental Media Production FM33500

Documentary Production FM33700

Semester 2

Experimental Media Production FM33540

Documentary Production FM33740

Employability

The degree scheme provides a balance between academic critical approaches and practical experience to develop the skills needed for career opportunities within the creative industries and beyond. Students are supported through every year of study to enhance their employability skills and are encouraged to develop their reflective practice and self-motivation.

Students learn how to become effective communicators and how to work as part of a team when collaborating in production groups. You will have access to some of the most up-to-date facilities such as three camera high definition digital television studios, over 40 high definition digital video cameras and digital and video projection facilities to develop your practical production work skills. Special master classes are arranged with specialists including: pitching competitions, sound design workshops, production design for film, hair and make-up design and special effects and presenting yourself professionally. Students can also develop their experience and knowledge of working in a bilingual environment and students can perform through the medium of Welsh and English.

The department has excellent links with local, national and international production companies providing students opportunities to gain an insight into the industry and develop their networking skills. A guest speaker programme gives students access to industry experts to develop their knowledge of the creative industries and showcase their work and ideas. The department is also a member of the Media Skills Academy and is accredited by Creative Skillset.

Work placements are actively encouraged to allow students to develop the transferable and professional skills which will enable them to succeed in the workplace. In recent years students have been able to take placement opportunities with the BBC, Fiction Factory and Boom Pictures.

The department has a close working relationship with the Careers Service and a link careers adviser will work with you to support your career development at university and the transition into the workplace. Careers events are held in the department to make students aware of opportunities available to them such as the Year in Employment Scheme (YES) and GO Wales. These schemes provide opportunities to gain valuable experience in the workplace and test out your career ideas.

Many students find employment with film and television companies, working in roles such as programme researchers for various broadcasting media, floor managers, camera operators, sound technicians, runners, producers and directors. The degree will also prepare you for areas such as teaching, research, marketing, media planning, events organisation, the computing industries, and public relations. Your degree will provide you with excellent inter-personal skills and transferable skills including experience in group work, leadership, planning, budget management and personal motivation, all valued by graduate employers.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

What will I learn? 

The Media and Communication Studies degree scheme has been carefully designed to ensure an integrated academic experience which will enrich and inform the development of your creative, critical and technical skills through innovative practical work and challenging scholarly enquiry. Taking an exciting interdisciplinary approach, you will encounter numerous academic traditions including communication and media studies, sociology, psychology, cultural studies (including digital and visual cultures), history, philosophy, linguistics and marketing.

In the first year, you will study the relationship between media forms, media institutions and society and assess the links between established media theory and contemporary approaches to new media. You will also examine the links between classic and contemporary debates in communication, and become familiar with research relating to such modes of communication as press, radio, advertising, mobile phone technologies and the internet. Optional modules cover the key concepts and techniques of media production with an emphasis on directing, cinematography and editing, and the academic analysis of film and television.

In the second and third years you will continue to develop your production skills and build up expertise in key production techniques. You will also study the specific histories, traditions and roles of each medium. Topics include television production, broadcasting history, experimental media production, website design, surveillance technologies and their implications, journalism, advertising, and scriptwriting. In your final year you will have the opportunity to produce, direct or edit a video short, which can be experimental, documentary or narrative fiction. The best works will be entered for the Royal Television Society Student Video Awards. In addition, through an original piece of individual research you will have the opportunity to specialise academically in an area of particular interest to you. 

How will I be taught? 

This degree scheme places greater emphasis on continuous assessment than on traditional written exams, reflecting the progressive nature of our module content. Our modules are primarily taught as lecture-workshops, placing an emphasis on student interaction and active engagement with the materials being discussed. Seminars, group-based project work, screenings, and technical demonstrations also form part of the diversity of activity which is an essential component of the Department’s philosophy, and creates a uniquely exciting and productive learning environment.

You will be assessed through a variety of methods including group-devised productions, individual film and video projects, research projects, practical analyses, production diaries and creative scriptwriting as well as formal essays and examinations. In addition, supplementary assessment methods, such as storyboards, screenplays, pitches, digital/on-line productions and films are designed to generate a working portfolio of material which you will be able to present to potential employers following graduation. You will also undertake compulsory work experience as part of your course, which will enhance your employability prospects and enable you to gain and reinforce valuable transferable skills. 

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

I have chosen this course as I have always been interested in global media and international relations. Studying Media at Aberystwyth University has developed my knowledge of these fascinating areas. Thanks to this complex programme which covers various topics connected with media and the sphere of communication I've improved my skills in the field of journalism and advertising. Long hours spent doing research for essays were not wasted. Modules such as Advertising were purely amazing in terms of broadening my knowledge of this exciting field as well as developing my own creativity in designing advertising campaigns. This course was a pleasure, not a duty for me. It's perfect for those with 100 ideas/min. The approach to students is unconventional here - it's all about clever thinking! Agata Monika Kielek

Communication is a course that it is an interesting one, even though it may sound a bit dull. Through lectures we talk about things that makes you snap your fingers and say: 'That was so obvious, but still no-one was conscious about it'. I love the fact that we are able to analyze the way our eye moves when we were asked a question about a photograph. What does the eye look for when asked the question: 'When was this photo taken?'. Sounds simple, but it's a totally new way of seeing ordinary things. All in all, the course is amazing, the teacher is amazing and makes everything interactive. As an international student I was able to understand him and the message he wanted to transmit to his students every week. I could call this course simple, but complicated; or in one word, lovely. Andrada Florentina Dumitrescu

Key Information Set

Places available in Clearing

0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

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Key Facts

UCAS Code: P300

Please note that the tariff below may not apply during Clearing. Contact us on 0800 121 40 80 or fill in the form above for more information.

Tariff Required: 280 - 300

Entry Requirements: Applicants offering an A levels/skills profile related to scheme will be made an offer at the lower end of the offer range. GCSE: Grade C in English or Welsh.

Course Length: 3 Years

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