Media, Journalism and Culture (BA)

The degree is concerned with the study and examination of an essential part of modern life – the media.

The overall aim of Media, Journalism and Culture is to equip you to become a well-informed citizen in a media saturated society.

The School's programmes study the many facets of journalism, media, culture and communications, and consider in an era of globalisation and dynamic social change their impact on society, politics and popular culture.

Our degrees provide you with job-specific skills such as research methods and optionally, journalistic practice as well as much broader transferable skills valuable to a range of sectors.

The degree begins from the assumption that in order to understand modern society, we need to understand the central role that media and the cultural industries play in that society.

While you will be able to take a limited number of more practical modules, the emphasis of the degree is academic and analytical.

You will join a stimulating intellectual environment commited to maximising your potential through personal development and careers events. Many of our experienced lecturers are internationally recognised in their subject areas.

Key facts

UCAS CodeR5V2
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 availableThe School typically has 125 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 600 applications
Typical A level offerABB, excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, plus AB 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

Communications, Culture and Society and Processes and Practices 

Admissions tutor(s)

Mrs Anna Hunt, Course Administrator

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 by May 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.

The degree begins with the assumption that in order to understand modern society, we need to understand the central role that media and the cultural industries play in that society. You will study the production, content and reception of media and the cultural industries, with particular emphasis on understanding the social production and circulation of meanings and ideas.

The BA also aims to equip you with an understanding of the historical and cultural basis of the study of the media and cultural industries and their roles in modern society.

You will develop skills in the close analysis of different media texts, including print, visual, audio and moving images. You will be able to follow a journalism and communication path as well as a culture and communication path throughout the three years of study which can culminate in a cultural studies or journalistic based dissertation.

Year one

In Year One, modules are taught mainly using a lecture/seminar format, whereby students are introduced to ideas and approaches in the lectures and then carry out more applied and team-based work in seminars.

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

Year two

Year Two will, like Year One, be taught mainly using a lecture/workshop format, although the tasks developed in seminars will be more ambitious. Students will be expected to develop research protocols, both on their own and in groups, and will begin to experiment with and design methodological procedures (such as survey methods, ethnography, and content and discourse analysis).

By the end of Year Two, students will have the skills necessary to write a dissertation in Year Three.

Students studying this course may take one or two modules from another Academic School, selected from the University’s Free Standing Module Collection.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Advertising and the Consumer SocietyMC345720 credits
Doing Media Research: Approaches and MethodsMC355120 credits
Popular CultureMC357720 credits
Media, Power & SocietyMC211620 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
Media, Power, SocietyMC111620 credits

Year three

Year Three consists of a dissertation, one core module and a choice of elective modules allowing students to specialise in their areas of interest. While a number of these will be based on a lecture/seminar format, the range of teaching methods will be more diverse and involve assignments of greater complexity and challenge. Students will conduct independent research and apply theoretical ideas and approaches to practical and/or analytical work.

Students studying this course may take one or two modules from another Academic School, selected from the University’s Free Standing Module Collection

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 is often 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's 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.

Jobs

  • Journalist
  • Digital Media Executive
  • Social Media Policy Advisor
  • Editor
  • Public Relations

Duration

3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

Applications received

Typical applications received

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Communications, Culture and Society and Processes and Practices 

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The degree is concerned with the study and examination of an essential part of modern life – the media.

Through lectures, seminars and one to one tuition the degree will develop your ability to think critically and write cogently.

From day one you will join a stimulating intellectual environment commited to maximising your potential through personal development and careers events.

Our experienced lecturers are internationally renowned in their subject areas. Their passion and expertise will be communicated to you. We are proud that our most recent graduates achieved a record number of first class honours degrees.

We want you to be integral to the life and culture of the department to ensure your time here is meaningful and productive.

What should I know about year five?

Students will develop the ability to:

  • Engage critically with major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within the field and put them to productive use;
  • Understand forms of communication, media and culture as they have emerged historically and appreciate the processes through which they have come into being, with reference to social, cultural and technological change;
  • Examine such forms critically with appropriate reference to the social and cultural contexts and diversity of contemporary society and an understanding of how different social groups variously make use of and engage with forms of communication, media and culture;
  • Carry out various forms of research for essays, projects, creative productions or dissertations involving sustained independent enquiry;
  • Draw on the strengths and understand the limits of the major quantitative and/or qualitative research methods, and be able to apply this knowledge critically in their own work.

 

Graduates will also be able to:

  • Work in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, self-direction and reflexivity;
  • Gather, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral or in other forms;
  • Retrieve and generate information, and evaluate sources, in carrying out independent research;
  • Organise and manage supervised, self-directed projects;

 

  • Put to use a range of IT skills from basic competences such as data analysis and word-processing to more complex skills using web-based technology or multimedia, and develop, as appropriate, specific proficiencies in utilising a range of media technologies.
  • understand key concepts and theoretical approaches that have been developed and are developing within Journalism.
  • demonstrate  a knowledge and understanding of the role of journalism in society
  • demonstrate an awareness of the economic concerning  journalism and the media generally;
  • understand  the particulars  of  discourse, with reference to the role and influence of journalism
  • convey a knowledge of the production processes and professional practices relating to journalism in a variety of contexts and forms.
  • exhibit a knowledge of the legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks in which journalists function.
  • understand the roles of communication systems, modes of representations and systems of meaning in the ordering of societies;
  • appraise and use a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods
  • understand the social, cultural and political histories from which different media and cultural institutions, modes of communication, practices and structures have emerged.
  • understand the roles of communication systems, modes of representations and systems of meaning in the ordering of societies;
  • demonstrate intellectual independence, critical engagement, personal and academic communication skills.
  • analyse how meanings are created through language, and the affective power of language
  • produce and analyse written texts of various kinds (which may include creative writing) 

 

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

How is this course/programme structured?

The overall aim of Media, Journalism and Culture is to equip you to become a well-informed citizen in a media saturated society. While you will be able to take a limited number of more practical modules, the emphasis of the degree is academic and analytical. The degree begins from the assumption that in order to understand modern society, we need to understand the central role that media and the cultural industries play in that society.

You will study the production, content and reception of media and the cultural industries, with particular emphasis on understanding the social production and circulation of meanings and ideas.

This degree also aims to equip you with an understanding of the historical and cultural bases of the study of the media and cultural industries and their roles in modern society. It will develop your skills in the close analysis of different media texts, including print; visual; audio and moving images.

Students on this degree will be able to follow a journalism and communication path or a culture and communication path throughout the three years of study which will culminate in a cultural studies or journalistic based dissertation.

Year One

Year One consists of the four compulsory modules below:

  • History of Mass Communication and Culture
  • Media Scholarship
  • Understanding Journalism Studies
  • Representations

Year Two

Year Two modules are designed to develop and refine ideas and arguments introduced in Year One.

Year Two Core Modules

  • Doing Media Research
  • Advertising and the Consumer Society

Examples of Optional/Elective Modules

  • Reporting Science, the Environment and Health
  • Media and Democracy
  • Yr Ystafell Newyddion
  • Media Law
  • Social Media Trends
  • Global Journalism
  • War, Politics and Propgaganda

Year Three

You will build on the first two years, pursuing a wide range of more specialist and advanced areas of study.

You will have a choice of modules allowing you to specialise in year areas of interest. Each module is 20 credits where the dissertation is 40 credits.

Examples of Optional/Elective Modules

  • Media Law
  • Spin Unpsun: Public Relations and the News Media
  • Sport and the Media
  • Debating Quality TV
  • Yr Ystafell Newyddion
  • The Making and Shaping of News
  • Media, Racism, Conflict
  • The Mediation of Political Violence
  • Popular Music and Identity
  • 21st Century British Television: Industry, Form and Audiences
  • Citizen Media
  • The Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Managing Media Communications
  • World Cinema, History and Culture

What should I know about year four?

There are no anticipated additional costs or specific equiptment required in order to study this programme.

All software and required equiptment is provided in our computer suites.

 

What should I know about year three?

The BA aims to equip students with :

  • An understanding of the historical and cultural bases of the study of the media and cultural industries and their roles in modern society;
  • A broad interdisciplinary training in humanities and social science approaches to media and society;
  • Skills in the close analysis of different media texts, including print; visual; audio and moving images;
  • The ability to read, analyse and synthesise complex written academic texts;
  • Critical and analytical thinking skills;
  • The ability to research, write and critique their own written projects according to high academic standards;
  • The ability to use modern information technology in researching and presenting their work;
  • The ability to work both independently and in groups.

 

Students who gain the BA award on completion of three years study will have demonstrated achievement of the following learning outcomes.

Communications, culture and society

  • An understanding of the roles of communication systems, modes of representations and systems of meaning in the ordering of societies;
  • An awareness of the economic forces which frame the media, cultural and creative industries, and the role of such industries in specific areas of contemporary political and cultural life;
  • An understanding of the ways in which participatory access to the central sites of public culture and communication is distributed along axes of social division such as disability, class, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and sexuality;

 

  • An understanding of the ways in which different social groups may make use of cultural texts and products in the construction of social and cultural realities, cultural maps and frames of reference;
  • An understanding of the social, cultural and political histories from which different media and cultural institutions, modes of communication, practices and structures have emerged.

 

Processes and practices

  • An understanding of key production processes and professional practices relevant to media, cultural and communicative industries, and of ways of conceptualising creativity and authorship;
  • An understanding of professional, technical and formal choices which realise, develop or challenge existing practices and traditions, and of the possibilities and constraints involved in production processes;
  • A knowledge of the regulatory frameworks which affect media and cultural production, circulation, and consumption.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

In Year One, the four core 20 credit level 1 introductory modules – History of Mass Communication and Culture and Media Scholarship in the first semester; History of Mass Communication and Culture and Representations in the second – are taught mainly using a lecture/seminar format, whereby students are introduced to ideas and approaches in the lectures and then carry out more applied and team-based work in seminars. Ideas are thereby introduced in the lectures, and then tested, discussed and applied in the seminars.

Year Two will, like Year One, be taught mainly using a lecture/seminar format, although the tasks developed in seminars will be more ambitious. Students will be expected to develop research protocols, both on their own and in groups, and will begin to experiment with and design methodological procedures (such as survey methods, ethnography, and content and discourse analysis). Year Two will include two advanced core modules: Advertising and the Consumer Society (20 credits) and Doing Research Methods (20 credits). By the end of Year Two, students will have the skills necessary to write a dissertation in Year Three, should they choose to do so.

Year Three consists of a choice of 20 or 40 credit Level 6 modules, allowing students to specialise in their areas of interest. While a number of these will be based on a lecture/seminar format, the range of teaching methods will be more diverse and involve assignments of greater complexity and challenge. Students will conduct independent research and apply theoretical ideas and approaches to practical and/or analytical work.

What should I know about year one?

The principal methods of assessment on the BA scheme will vary and will depend on the requirements and learning outcomes of individual modules. Summative methods of assessment include the following:

  • Essays
  • Research reports
  • Completion of practical assignments for more applied modules
  • Class presentations
  • Seen and unseen exams
  • Class tests
  • Dissertation – a 40 OR 20 credit elective module for Year 3 students
  • Portfolios of written work produced for seminars

 

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.

The criteria by which assessments are made are contained in the Student Handbook, in project and coursework documentation, and explained at introductions to the various components of the scheme.

All modules (up to 240 credits) taken in Year 2 (Level 5) and Year 3 (Level 6) count towards the degree (currently weighted 40% Year 2, 60% in Year 3). Students may graduate having achieved fewer credits under certain circumstances and in line with Senate Regulations.  In addition to internal moderation and second marking, at the end of Years 2 and  3 there is an additional layer of examination by external examiners.

Other information

As outlined in the QAA benchmarking statement, learning and teaching strategies will be geared towards some of the following learning processes:

 

In terms of the learning outcomes listed under the Communications, Culture and Society and Processes and Practices heading, the focus is on:

a)Conceptual and critical understanding: the process whereby a student engages in critical analysis of texts, fields of knowledge, concepts, and cultural and production practices, testing their analysis against received understandings and practices.

b)Critical reflection: the process through which a student reflects on new knowledge and understanding, and on their own learning experiences and performance, and acquires new awareness and understandings.

c)Practice experience:  the process through which a student acquires practical experience, skills and the opportunity for creative expression and/or thinking in a range of activities, from empirical research to production work, feedback on their performance.

 

In terms of the learning outcomes listed under the Skills of Intellectual Analysis and Research and General Skills headings, the focus is on:

a)Raising awareness and knowledge acquisition: the process through which a student is introduced to and engages with new areas of knowledge and experience, and broadens and deepens existing knowledges.

b)The familiarity with and use of techniques for the effective analysis and presentation of information: this will involve a wide range of possibilities, from writing essays and research reports, to doing presentation in seminars.

 

Reflecting the specific aims, emphases and learning outcomes of the degree programme, learning and teaching methods will draw on an appropriate balance from amongst the following: lectures, demonstrations, screenings, seminars, workshops, tutorials, group and individual project work, supervised independent learning (for those choosing the dissertation option), multi-media and new media learning, production practices (for those opting for some of the more practical modules).

Distinctive features

Teaching in the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies is research-led, ensuring that you experience leading-edge innovation and thinking.

Students are taught in a stimulating and supportive environment and assigned a personal tutor who is a member of academic staff and able to advise on a wide range of issues.

In Year One, four core 20 credit modules are taught mainly using a lecture/seminar format, whereby students are introduced to ideas and approaches in the lectures and then carry out more applied and team-based work in seminars.

Year Two will, like Year One, be taught mainly using a lecture/workshop format, although the tasks developed in seminars will be more ambitious. Students will be expected to develop research protocols, both on their own and in groups, and will begin to experiment with and design methodological procedures (such as survey methods, ethnography, and content and discourse analysis). Year Two will include two advanced core modules. By the end of Year Two, students will have the skills necessary to write a dissertation in Year Three.

Year Three consists of a dissertation, one core module and a choice of elective modules allowing students to specialise in their areas of interest. While a number of these will be based on a lecture/seminar format, the range of teaching methods will be more diverse and involve assignments of greater complexity and challenge. Students will conduct independent research and apply theoretical ideas and approaches to practical and/or analytical work.

How will I be taught?

Students will also have access to Erasmus and Study Abroad schemes offered within the school, students will be asked to complete an application form for these schemes at the end of Year 1.

Admissions tutors

Mrs Anna Hunt, Course Administrator


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