Journalism, Media and Sociology (BA)

This modern degree enables you to make sense of society and the role of mass communications in an era of globalisation and social change.

This joint honours degree is delivered in partnership by the School of Social Sciences and the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. It offers students the opportunity to explore current debates in sociological concepts and methods, communications and media studies.

You will benefit from teaching led by experts in the fields of journalism and media studies on the one hand and policy studies, criminology and education on the other.

Both schools are renowned for their research in their respective fields. Teaching in the School of Social Sciences is closely related to its research into the problems and challenges of modern society whilst teaching in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies is informed by its research into community journalism, human security and democracy.

The UK Government’s recent research quality review of higher education institutions ranked the School of Social Sciences third in the UK and the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies second.

Both Schools offer a range of postgraduate taught programmes for those wishing to continue their studies and opportunities for postgraduate research.

Key facts

UCAS CodeLP35
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
Studying in WelshThis course offers elements that are taught through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.
Typical places available
Typical applications received
Typical A level offerABB-BBB, excluding General Studies
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, plus grades BB at A level
Typical International Baccalaureate offer36 points
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

Sociology, Communication, media, film and cultural studies

Admissions tutor(s)

Ms Rachel Swann, Course Administrator

Ms Rachel Swann, Admissions Tutor

Dr Michael Berry, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published in July 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Journalism, Media and Sociology is designed to equip you with an understanding of how these closely-related disciplines complement each other as well as an appreciation of their distinctive approaches.

Sociology is an excellent subject to pair with journalism because of its close attention to cultural concerns and its ability to contextualize and inform our understanding of the important role of the media in society. Both Schools offer modules that will develop your understanding of, and interest in, contemporary and classical cultural and sociological theories, debates and processes.

Your Sociology modules will help you to make sense of the social and cultural contexts in which journalism is rooted and to which media debates respond – such as the changing nature of media networks, shifts in the nature of work, leisure and family life, transformation in institutions such as the education, welfare, political and legal systems, shifts in the ethnic make-up of Britain, the continuing significance of class and gender inequalities, and debates over increasing globalisation and new forms of technology, media, scientific innovation and medical intervention.

Sociology modules will help you to understand pressing questions raised by studying the media, such as society’s prevailing attitudes to immigration, why certain social groups are fascinated with celebrity, why young people seem to be less interested in politics today and whether it is really the case that we are becoming a more affluent and individualised society.

Your Journalism and Media modules will introduce many of the key themes, concepts, frameworks and skills necessary to begin your critical analysis of the media, your study of journalism and your understanding of mass communications.

They will compare scholarly and professional approaches to understanding the evolving nature of news in light of recent trends and developments and you will learn how to use historical and analytical approaches to think critically about contemporary media culture.

Year one

Year one includes six modules (120 credits). Year one introduces the pivotal ideas and approaches of your chosen disciplines.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Introduction To Social Science ResearchSI012420 credits
Sociology, Society and Social ChangeSI023720 credits
Key Ideas in Social ScienceSI016920 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
Understanding Journalism StudiesMC157820 credits
History of Mass Communication & CultureMC111020 credits
RepresentationsMC111420 credits
Media ScholarshipMC111520 credits

Year two

Students will again study 120 credits. By the end of Year Two, students will be equipped to conceive, design, research and write up an optional dissertation in year three.

Year three

A comprehensive range of modules are available in the third year with the option of a Dissertation.  All modules in Year three are optional and students must study a total of 120 credits.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Teaching in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Stduies is led and informed by our research. Students are taught in a supportive environment and assigned a personal tutor who is a member of academic staff and able to advise on a wide range of issues.

A number of modules also involve formative methods of assessment. These usually involve the production of proposals for research based essays (including the dissertation), allowing module tutors the opportunity to provide feedback to students before they embark on more substantial pieces of written work or other projects. In some cases, formative assignments will have a summative element, and form part of the overall assessment.

In 2013/14, 96% of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

The School’s graduates typically find employment both in Britain and abroad in a range of work – teaching, public service, the Civil Service, university, charity and arts administration, communications and public relations for a range of industries.

Many graduates progress onto our Postgraduate Journalism and Communications Masters, available at Cardiff and elsewhere, and from there to various jobs in the media.

In 2013/14, 95% of School of Social Science graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Turning theory into practical application and providing experience of the working world are important facets of preparing our graduates for life outside of education.

We encourage our students to think about life beyond University from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating.

Duration

3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

The School of Social Sciences admits over 340 students to their undergraduate degree programmes every year.

The School Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies admits 130 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes

Applications received

Typical applications received

1,500

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Sociology, Communication, media, film and cultural studies

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The Sociology and Journalism BA degree programme is designed to equip you with an understanding of how these two closely-related disciplines complement each other as well as an appreciation of their distinctive approaches. Sociology is an excellent subject to pair with journalism because of its close attention to cultural concerns and its ability to contextualize and inform our understanding of the important role of the media in society. Sociology modules are taken in the School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) and Journalism modules in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC). Both Schools offer modules that will develop your understanding of, and interest in, contemporary and classical cultural and sociological theories, debates and processes.  

Your Sociology modules will help you to make sense of the social and cultural contexts in which journalism is rooted and to which media debates respond – such as the changing nature of media networks, shifts in the nature of work, leisure and family life, transformation in institutions such as the education, welfare, political and legal systems, shifts in the ethnic make-up of Britain, the continuing significance of class and gender inequalities, and debates over increasing globalisation and new forms of technology, media, scientific innovation and medical intervention. Sociology modules will help you to understand pressing questions raised by studying the media, such as society’s prevailing attitudes to immigration, why certain social groups are fascinated with celebrity, why young people seem to be less interested in politics today and whether it is really the case that we are becoming a more affluent and individualised society.

Key concepts in Sociology relate to theoretical concerns that are central to media studies, including the nature of power, control, conflict, legitimacy and risk; the relationship between individuals, the media, the State and society; the social implications of capitalist and consumerist forms of exchange; concepts of mobility, solidarities, communities and networks, and value-systems such as environmentalism and community activism. Sociology also trains you to identify and assess the evidence supporting or refuting claims made by politicians and the media about the changing nature of society. A defining feature of Sociology at Cardiff is the strong emphasis placed on research methods, enabling you to learn about and apply a range of practical techniques for answering your own questions about the social world.

Degree programmes in SOCSI and JOMEC reflect the National Qualification Framework and benchmark standards of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (www.qaa.ac.uk). 

What should I know about year five?

Most modules are 20 credits. Students are expected to allocate 200 hours of study time to each of them: this is made up of lectures (22-24 hrs in Years 2 and 3, 44-48 in Year 1), tutorials/seminars/workshops (8-10 hours), independent study and time spent on assessment tasks. Students should attend all lectures and are required to attend all seminars.

Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study, which can be found at: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/govrn/cocom/equalityanddiversity/dignityatwork/index.html

Students are also expected to maintain regular contact with the personal tutor and, where appropriate, inform the School of any extenuating circumstances that might affect their academic performance.

In SOCSI we take the responsibility we share with you to support your learning seriously and if you have any particular requirements it is important that you let us know. In some instances you may just want to talk to your personal tutor or a member of the teaching team on a particular module. We also have a Disabilities contact and work closely with the Student Support Service.

How is this course/programme structured?

This is a 3 year full time programme, consisting of 120 credits a year.

What should I know about year four?

No specific equipment required

What should I know about year three?

Students will acquire and develop a range of skills, including both discipline specific and generic employability skills. These include: communicating and presenting oral and written information, arguments and ideas (individually and as part of a team); using ICT (word processing, data bases, internet communication, information retrieval and on-line searches); interpreting and presenting relevant numerical information through compulsory year 1 and 2 research methods modules; demonstrating interpersonal skills to enable team/group work; recognising, recording and communicating skills and knowledge to achieve personal/career goals; managing  learning and performance (including time management); demonstrating a commitment to continuing learning and development.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

Each year of study consist of 120 credits, usually taught as six 20 credit modules. In each academic year, there will be a number of core modules that provide the essential foundation for the degree scheme plus a number of optional modules that allow you to tailor your academic work to your own strengths and interests. In the third year, students have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation. The dissertation is counted as a double module and provides the opportunity for independent study and research supported by an academic supervisor.

A diverse range of teaching and learning styles are used throughout the degree. Students will attend lectures, participate in tutorials or seminars and carry out practical tasks as individual or group activities. Seminar and practical work is particularly important as it provides an opportunity to student to obtain feedback on their progress and understanding throughout the academic year.

You will receive formal feedback on your assessments in a variety of ways. You will receive individual, written feedback on coursework, the purpose of which is to improve your understanding of the subject and develop transferable skills that can be applied elsewhere. General feedback will also be given on examinations, with individual feedback available for students who have failed the module and require a resit. Many modules also offer formative assessments, which enable you to develop your skills and obtain feedback without affecting your final module mark.

What should I know about year one?

Each of the taught modules within the programme will be assessed using one or more of the following in-course assessments:

  • Essays and coursework;
  • Formal seen and unseen examinations;
  • Class tests;
  • Written reports;
  • Group presentations
  • Oral presentations;
  • Dissertation.

There are also opportunities for formative assessment: assessments which do not formally count towards the final grade and an opportunity for you to gain insight and feedback on your progress. We place a particular emphasis on formative assessment in the first year.

Alternative provision may be made for students with disabilities.

Other information

Students will be allocated two personal tutors -- one for sociology, one for journalism and media -- for the duration of their studies. Tutors make themselves available for scheduled meetings to discuss progress and provide advice and guidance, but they can also be called upon when needed.

All modules within the programme make use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard, on which students will find course materials, links to related materials and information relating to assessment tasks. Additional module-specific support is provided by seminar tutors, lecturers and/or module convenors. Support for the dissertation is provided by a supervisor who will meet with students regularly.

Opportunities for students to reflect on their abilities and performance are also made available via the University’s central services, which include:

  • Academic and Skills Development Centre: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/academicskills/
  • Information Literacy Resource Bank: https://ilrb.cf.ac.uk/
  • Careers Advice and Guidance: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/careers/

Distinctive features

A typical graduate from this programme will be able to:

  • understand key concepts and theoretical approaches that have been developed and are developing within Sociology and Journalism
  • appraise sociological and cultural theories and assess them in relation to evidence
  • demonstrate an awareness of social change, the nature of social processes underpinning them and their implications for social diversity and inequality
  • appraise and use a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods
  • demonstrate awareness of the distinctive character of sociology in relation to the discipline of journalism and media studies and also its relationship to everyday explanations.
  • demonstrate intellectual independence, critical engagement, personal and academic communication skills.

How will I be taught?

The distinctive features of the programme include:

  • the opportunity for students to learn in a School that was ranked 3rd in the UK for research quality in sociology and 5th for education in the 2014 Research Excellent Framework (REF)
  • the involvement of research-active staff in Scheme design and delivery
  • the emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment
  • the variety of modules on offer in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary School
  • progression through core and specialist option modules
  • an emphasis on developing practical research skills that will serve students well in the future
  • the opportunity to study abroad

Admissions tutors

Ms Rachel Swann, Course Administrator

Ms Rachel Swann, Admissions Tutor

Dr Michael Berry, Admissions Tutor


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.

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