Media and Cultural Studies BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Media and Cultural Studies BA Honours

Learn about the course below
October 2018
EU/International induction: September 2018
Entry is only for Year 2 or Year 3
3 years full-time
Usually 5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£12,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Stefan Lutschinger

This course is now available in Clearing

Please note this course only accepts applications for year 2 and year 3 entry.

Are you fascinated by the way mass media shapes and defines the world we live in? This course is ideal if who wish to gain a broad and practical understanding of how the media is constructed and consumed alongside cultural studies theory, preparing you for a range of media-related careers.

Why study BA Media and Cultural Studies at Middlesex University?

On our course you will undertake an in-depth critical exploration of culture and the mass media, and analyse the influence of mass media on society. We will encourage you to develop an independent critical voice and have the confidence to communicate your ideas. You will develop practical skills in media production and have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other media, journalism and advertising students – previous media projects include the creation of an app for Google and campaign pitches for Oxfam and Intern Aware.

All kinds of media are examined, including film, television, photography, newspapers and the internet. You will explore how these media products relate to broader social and political issues like globalisation, consumer culture and new technology. Using state-of-the-art facilities, you will also benefit from hands-on, practical experience of media production, from how different types of media are researched and produced to methods of circulation and consumption.

Course highlights

  • Our staff are professionally active within the media industry and we have long-standing industry relationships across the capital, from small independents to the BBC, including successful on-going work experience schemes
  • As part of our thriving Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, you will be based in the Grove, an £80m state-of-the-art learning facility, with professional standard TV and radio studios, art editing and digital publishing labs
  • You will learn directly from a wide range of successful creatives, writers and journalists through events like the North London Literary Festival and talks from guest speakers
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the BA Media and Cultural Studies?

This degree has been designed to combine media theory, knowledge of specific industry practices and hands on, practical skills.

Your first year will focus on helping you to develop your skills in key areas of media analysis and media production. You will explore a range of texts drawn from a variety of media within popular culture and you will be encouraged to ask critical questions about the meaning and implications of these texts, and the role of the media industries that produce them. These insights will then form the foundation of your own media production projects as you learn practical skills in areas like camera work, radio or news production, digital media or campaigning.

In your second year you will explore the issues and debates that surround new and social media, as well as choose from a range of exciting optional modules or a work placement preparation module. A crucial aspect of this year is the opportunity to build on your practical skills by undertaking advanced training in one specialist area of media production, as well as undertaking comprehensive training in research techniques to prepare you for your independent project in the third year.

You will be able to choose from an even wider range of optional modules in your third year that will test your skills in analysis, communication and creative writing or your capacity to lead, develop and manage social and political campaigns. This final year is where we encourage you to shine by developing and completing your own independent project, which will form the foundation on your industry portfolio and/or further academic study.


  • Year 1

    • Exploring Popular Culture (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the issues concerning the study of popular culture and its historical approaches and contexts. You will develop an understanding of the constitution of culture as an object of study and examine the relationship between culture, society, and identity. The module will also introduce key theoretical frameworks in cultural studies.

    • Introduction to Media and Society (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce a range of debates and discussions about the relationship between the media and issues in contemporary society. You will explore the complex relationship between media, culture and power, and gain an understanding and appreciation of the importance of locating media and promotional practices in a broader social, cultural, ethical and political context.

    • Media Analysis (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will equip you with the key skills for academic study. It will introduce the processes of meaning production in the media alongside developing a critical understanding of issues and concepts of cultural representation. It will also provide a critical context in which to introduce your Personal Development Portfolio PDP and graduate skills in personal learning and career planning.

    • Media Production (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will introduce the generic and subject specific media production practices across a range of platforms, including theoretical arguments concerning the role of technologies in shaping our understanding of media production practices. You will gain foundational skills and understanding necessary for advanced media production later on in the programme. You also be able to develop your skills in planning, time management and team-work.

  • Year 2

    • Advanced Media Production (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to build on the skills and knowledge developed in previous modules and to further develop subject specific media production practices in the execution of one or more major group projects. You will gain the advanced skills necessary for major independent projects and enhance your skills in planning, time management and team work.

    • Media and Participation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aim to build on skills developed in the Exploring Popular Culture and the Introduction to Media and Society modules. It will introduce the key debates surrounding media and participation, with particular regard to participatory culture, social media and the relationship between digital media and democracy. It will allow for critical reflection on your own participation and interaction in the media landscape and how that landscape is shifting and changing in regards to new media technologies.

    • Research Techniques and Approaches (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will enable you to identify, discuss and evaluate contemporary debates in media and cultural studies in a global context and apply this knowledge to the development and planning of a research proposal framed by a literature review. You will make productive connections between devising and developing independent projects and the frameworks of their taught programmes. The module aims to prepare you for the Independent Project, whether that takes the form of a work placement, an extended essay or practice-based work.

  • Year 2 optional modules - choose one of the following modules:

    • Communication Techniques (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to develop students abilities in a range of professional communication tasks which are characterised by a high degree of rhetorical convention alongside their need for individual creativity. Practical tasks during the module include introductory speeches, announcements, interviews, business presentations, press releases and written proposals, and focus on discourse strategies rather than basic English vocabulary or structures. In order to build awareness as well as practical ability, a range of linguistic approaches are used to illuminate discourse strategies appropriate to each given idiom and situation.

    • Media Work (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will introduce the key theoretical debates and empirical studies of media work. You will explore the nature of work within the media and cultural industries and reflect critically on the political, economic and social context in which media work takes place. You will build on the methodological skills developed in previous modules and conduct your own investigation into working practices and working cultures, particularly within media and the cultural industries.

    • Visual Cultures (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will enable you to identify, discuss and analyse a range of different uses of visual materials in different cultural settings and media. You will engage with a range of different theoretical approaches to the study of visual texts and be provided with a range of discourses for thinking about visual cultures that will deepen your understanding of other modules and professional practices.

  • Year 3

    • Independent Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will enable you to demonstrate, in the execution of a complex and large-scale project, high level academic and/or practical skills, relevant to your field of study and professional interests. It will test your confidence in your intellectual abilities and capacity to organise your time through an emphasis on self-directed learning and independent research. You will identify and apply relevant critical frameworks drawn from the programme and relevant to your professional interests. You will demonstrate independent thinking in the application and development of theoretical/practical projects.

    • Transgressive Culture (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will build on skills developed in the Media and Participation module, particularly in relation to the critical evaluation and analysis of transgressive texts, and your ability to reflect on the role of both institutions and audiences in shaping the reception of these texts. The module will introduce the media production outside the realm of mainstream, commercial media and enable you to situate these texts within the context of theories of transgression, exploitation and the production of cultural value. Situating transgressive culture within the wider framework of social, cultural and political debate will also be explored.

  • Year 3 optional modules: choose two of the following modules:

    • Campaigns and Social Change (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will enable you to understand social change and the role of the media, communications and community organising in bringing it about. It will introduce you to a range of different theories of social change and the history of those ideas in practice and allow you to carry out campaigns using the range of skills you have developed across degrees programmes in a manner appropriate to an assessed activity on a degree programme. You will build your confidence in dealing with the public, press and authority figures, gain experience working in a small public facing, interdependent group and develop the skills necessary to be effective in that situation.

    • Culture, Consumption and Identity (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to introduce key arguments and debates concerning subjectivity, consumer culture and the media, and develop your knowledge and understanding of the ways in which identity has changed as a result of the development of global consumer culture. It will also develop advanced skills in ethnographic research methods.

    • Language and Power at Work (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to build on previous Year 2 modules by giving you the ability to analyse a range of texts from different professional contexts and identify the ways in which power relations between participants operate. In doing so, you will engage with theoretical ideas about language, gender, power and identity at work. Through the use of examples from different professional contexts for example advertising, law and business, you will gain an extensive knowledge of the social and pragmatic details of professional genres and registers. Building on work carried out in the Communication Techniques module, this module also aims to give you a greater awareness of and skill at participating within particular professional speech events through interactive role play exercises based on interviews and meetings.

    • Media Events and News Cultures (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aim to develop a critical appreciation of the importance of information gathering and dissemination practices in contemporary society. It will develop detailed understanding of the extent and nature of processes and practices of media manipulation and the role of such manipulation in shaping public debate, and will develop understanding of information production as an organisational practice.

    • Regulating the Media (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will provide you with a sound critical understanding of media regulation. You will consider, both positive forms of regulation designed to facilitate the production of media, and negative forms of regulation aimed at proscribing certain kinds of working practices and prohibiting the production, circulation and consumption of questionable media content. You will explore both the established regulatory frameworks surrounding traditional media, as well as, exploring the multiple ways in which Governments, both national and international, organisations and individuals have responded to new media technologies.

    • Writing the City (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will enable you to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between individuals, media and the urban environment by considering a variety of media forms-from the hopeful hype of tourist guides to the errant strategies of novelists from outdoor advertising to digital communication networks. You will gain an understanding of the urban spaces we live in as complex assemblages of ideas, technologies and representational forms.

    • International and Digital Public Relations (30 credits) - Optional

      This module explores the theory and practice of international and digital communication management. You will gain the knowledge and understanding of the development and status of public relations in various parts of the world - among emerging as well as developed markets - and to develop advanced skills in the delivery and critical evaluation of public relations practices in international contexts.

    • Issues in Promotional Culture (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to introduce the major ethical issues, regulatory frameworks and political debates concerning the advertising and public relations PR industries, and develop your knowledge and understanding of the social, cultural and political impact of promotional practices in specific contexts. You will also develop advanced skills - drawing on the methods and critical vocabularies introduced in Years 1 and 2, in analysing and evaluating the social, cultural and political effects of promotional practices.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Media and Cultural Studies support your career?

The skills you develop on our course will prepare you to pursue a broad range of media-related careers. Previous graduates have progressed into the following media roles:

  • advertising account executive
  • press officer
  • public relations account manager
  • market research executive
  • information officer/manager
  • editorial assistant
  • arts administrator
  • event organiser
  • news producer
  • programme researcher broadcast/film/video
  • TV/film/video producer or production assistant
  • online journalist
  • media planner
  • cultural policy researcher
  • Bianca Raedler

    Media and Cultural Studies BA graduate

    The BA in Media and Cultural Studies at Middlesex University gave me a profound understanding of the impact of the media on our society.

    I liked the diversity of the degree. Even though a lot of theory was involved, the course also offered many practical and creative activities and prepared us for the job market. I also enjoyed the international atmosphere. I met people from different parts of the world and made friendships that will last for a lifetime.

    As part of my course I did an internship at a documentary film production company in London, which convinced me of my interest in that field. Now I am looking to gain further work experience in film production and to explore ways of using media to produce something meaningful.

  • Romano Basdeo

    Media BA graduate (2011)

    After graduating from Middlesex I started my career as a media executive at Mediacom (named media agency of the decade by Campaign Magazine) in their recruitment marketing department. Whilst there I became a digital direct response specialist, focusing on domestic market clients including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Metropolitan Police and Direct Line Group. My favourite project was RBS's sponsorship of Manchester Pride. With a minimal budget I was tasked with garnering as much free advertising and publicity as possible and negotiated a sponsorship partnership with Gaydar Radio.

    It was the research and analysis techniques that I honed during my time at Middlesex that helped me achieve this. My experiences at Middlesex have helped me greatly in my career as a media planner as I have been better able to understand markets, audience etc, planning my work accordingly.

Other courses

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Code: P307

Journalism and Communication BA Honours

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Code: P508

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