Media and Communications BA (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: P910
International Code: AHU085

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Start date

September 2023


Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

Our Media and Communications course will immerse you in the driving forces of media exchange (theory) and the single trait that unites most, if not all media content: storytelling.

Our Media and Communications course is designed to help you negotiate and operate in contemporary media. Our Media and Communications course is designed to help you negotiate and operate in contemporary media landscapes, exploring a wide range of communication, culture and media theory.

  • In the course of your study, you will explore Media through research, live and immersive projects, academic essays, multi-media venues such as podcasts, blogs, social media platforms, video and audio-visual content, potential live events, and more.
  • The course focuses on both the comprehension of contemporary developments in media and communication studies and the best-suited, most flexible creative practices to enter the creative industries.
  • This course addresses patterns of media production and consumption prevalent in the contemporary workplace, helping you to develop a wide range of skills, transferable knowledge and practical competences so you can thrive in relevant and current fields of employment, and in international settings.
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

  • Significant links with a wide variety of employers and media practitioners, such as Phoenix Cinema, Electric Arts and EA Games, many of whom offer professional experience opportunities in the forms of placements (subject to availability, successful application and additional costs may apply)2.
  • You will have opportunities to learn how stories are found, created and disseminated across a range of platforms working alongside students from other courses in the School of Media and Performing Arts. These collaborative opportunities allow you to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.
  • Recent graduates of the course have gone on to work within the film industry, advertising, television, radio, communication management and PR, publishing, the arts and creative media and media education for companies including, Apple, Nielsen, Spark 44, WPP, Virgin, EA Sports, Jaguar Land Rover, Linney Group, IKEA Group, KPMG, Selfridges, Reprezent Radio, Citroen and the BBC. Many also go on to pursue master’s level study.
  • From the outset, we aim to foster your critical thinking, to develop your technical, creative, reflective and analytical abilities, with the aim of giving you a thorough grounding in research, providing basic skills in production and post-production, as well as guiding you through project management experiences, which are essential skills to succeed in this ever-expanding and changing sector.

Tom's placement year with video game giants Electronic Arts

Third-year Media and Communications student Tom talks about his placement year with EA Games Guildford, and how Coventry helped him along the way.

Read his story
Tom at EA Games

What you'll study

This course has a common first year

The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.

If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).

Common first year courses

  • Media and Communications BA (Hons)
  • Journalism BA (Hons)

In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.

Modules

  • In this module you will be introduced to a range of tools that will enable you to produce content for established and emerging media platforms. You should develop a range of critical, technical and transferable skills, underpinned by an understanding of working practices common to many forms of media, and apply these to the production of a number of individual and collaborative projects.

    Compulsory

  • In this module you will critically explore who has the power to create media content, how meaning within global media has been constructed across different platforms and how it is understood in different ways by different audiences. It should enable you to critically engage with contemporary debates around media legislation, censorship, fake news and social media networked communities.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will work collaboratively on a range of practical communication projects using the idea of “creative play” to generate, refine and test out ideas for their impact on different audiences. You will explore how ideas for media content are created, developed, reflected, distorted and distributed across a range of written, broadcast, online and social media platforms.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to develop your understanding of how narratives are constructed. Using a range of technologies in specialist spaces such as the TV and radio studios and podcasting booths you will learn how to write and produce for various media platforms using words, sound and pictures, within different genres and for a range of audiences.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will explore media audiences and how and why people engage with a range of different media platforms and digital environments. You will analyse how different global audiences use media and social media to create and sustain cultures and communities considering issues around citizen journalism, networked communities and fandom, and audience and reception theory.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will work with students from other courses within the School of Media and Performing Arts to create some significant media output. Working to one of a series of set, real-world briefs, you will produce a collaborative project that enables you to produce work around your own interests as well as developing your own professional portfolio of work. The work from this module will be showcased in a public event.

    Compulsory

In year two, you will continue to develop the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt. We do this by embedding the following four principles into the curriculum and developing your:

  • Technical skills – digital fluency, backed with the right academic knowledge
  • Study skills – to be an adaptive, independent and proactive learner
  • Professional skills – to have the behaviour and abilities to succeed in your career
  • Global awareness – the beliefs and abilities to be a resilient, confident and motivated global citizen

In year two, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with: careers in the industry, new technologies, and the world of public relations, amongst others.

Modules

  • This module aims to help you build on the study of media representations in the first year by extending its scope towards deeper engagement with production, distribution and reception. You will be challenged to use multiple vantage points to challenge cultural placement including media regulation, accessibility and economy so as to reflect on its complex and interconnected nature.

    Compulsory

  • This module provides you with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills needed to engage with various careers in media fields and creative industry. You will research corporations, companies, and entrepreneurial outfits, explore the potential employment opportunities and be given professional support in how best to present your skills and abilities in your chosen industry area.

    Compulsory

  • The module encourages you to critically assess the production and usage of new technologies in our digital world. Using historical examples from the development of written languages to the use of AI it will ask you how we can characterise the relation between humans and technology. Do technologies threaten core aspects of culture or enhance them? Can we separate humans from technological systems? How is technology represented in the media?

    Compulsory

  • This module is designed as an overview of film and screen studies which provides students with the theoretical background to understand film and visual cultures at large. The classes will focus on the close reading of specific films and screen content – from the dawn of cinema, to the global present – addressing aesthetics, production, and the relationship of to audiences and users at varying levels.

    Compulsory

  • This module helps you explore the ways in which communication can be employed to bring about specified outcomes. It looks at a wide range of communication management skills, theories and practices within both the private and public sectors. This module aims to teach you how strategies are used within past and current campaigns, within public, private, and non-governmental organizations and how these apply to ethics to the fields of journalism and media.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will work with students from courses across the School of Media and Performing Arts and / or with industry collaborators, external groups or organisations to respond to an issue in the local, national or global community in which they are located. You will work collaboratively with fellow students in defined roles that reflect industry practice in your area of study on projects that reflect the range of skills within the group.

    Compulsory

There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.

Modules

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

  • This moduler2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from year one and two. Your studies could culminate in a dissertation, the production of a documentary film, or by launching a curated exhibition based on your independent research of an area of interest to you.

You will have the opportunity to choose between two specialist modules, ‘Global Networks and Communities’ and ‘Political Communication’ to total 120 credits in your final year.

Modules

  • This module aims to provide you with a detailed knowledge of research methods in preparation for you to undertake professional level research. It covers a range of quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, introduces the ethical and practical problems of data collection and enables you to develop research strategies reflecting the relationship between research paradigms, the research question and the choice of research methods.

    Compulsory

  • Choose one from the following two modules:

    • Global Networks and Communities - 20 credits
      This module enables students to consider global and local issues in an historical context through a critical exploration of interconnectivity. It reflects on topics such as neo colonialism, imperialism, and hegemony, encouraging you to view the world from multiple perspectives. In undertaking a field trip (this trip is fully funded by the course, except for food and other expenses) to a networked community, you will explore the impact of global networks of power, exchange and culture and how lives are shaped by the complexities of these forces.
    • Political Communication - 20 credits
      This module examines how changes such as the increased importance of ‘spin doctors’, image-based politics, the 24-hour news cycle and the globalisation of media are evolving and shaping political discourse. Throughout the module students will discuss the impact of media coverage of politics on audiences and explore the production and distribution of political content, news and information throughout traditional media forms and emerging social media.

    Optional

  • This module enables you to undertake complex investigations into issues and theoretical debates within contemporary media, communication, and digital cultures. Built on an understanding of concepts explored over the course of two previous years of study you are encouraged to form provocative questions, construct critical arguments, and identify issues in media and communications studies that engage with the complexities within contemporary media.

    Compulsory

  • This module examines the impact of culture, technology and history in defining our relationships in the world and our use of digital spaces. It highlights the forces shaping our awareness and definitions of geographic borders, limitations and possibilities to move around in the digital realm. You will undertake a significant live brief that focuses on a particular international city, enabling you to engage in a piece of live field research overseas when possible.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to undertake a major piece of research in your elected field of study within the area of media and communications. You will apply theories and concepts acquired during your course towards a substantial project on a topic chosen in consultation with an individual tutor.

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

Your personal tutor will regularly review and discuss your progress on the course.

Your development will be through academic writing and discussion as well as activity-led learning, live projects, real-world working simulations, experimentation and play. The Media and Communications mobility technology pack allows you to develop your own learning and working pattern in a flexible way, so your experience is adaptable and yet part of a strategic course vision.

The core aim of the course teaching and learning strategy is that, upon graduation, you are able to function as an agile creative professional within the media and cultural industries, understand the strategic and emerging trends in media and communications, and respond to and/or generate innovation.


Teaching contact hours

  • We understand that everyone learns differently, so each of our courses will consist of structured teaching sessions, which can include:
  • On campus lectures, seminars and workshops
  • Group work
  • Self-directed learning
  • Work placement opportunities2.

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 12 contact hours per week in the first and second year dropping to around 10-12 contact hours per week in the third and final year as you become a more independent learner.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 15 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules. 

Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning. During a typical week you will have time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills and knowledge you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs. This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

Assessment within the BA (Hons) Media and Communications course is integrative and aligned with the development of informed, motivated and critically reflective students and professionals of media and communication.

Given the complexity of the field of media and communications, you will be encouraged and supported to produce various forms of research and creative outcomes, including:

  • Pieces of academic writing
  • Media artefacts
  • Portfolios
  • Presentations
  • Reflection and creative works

You will acquire regular feedback on your development from tutors, peers, and instructors.
The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


International experience opportunities

Our course is designed to reflect the increasingly international context of media and culture; this is reflected strongly in the course curriculum. Modules such as ‘Transcultural Film’ and ‘Living in the Digital World 3’ heavily embed a specific attention to global issues both in terms of approached topics, international seminars and field activities.

We aim to provide a field trip2 in year one which will be in the UK (subject to availability costs of trip are included within course fees) and an international field trip2 in either year two or three. (Subject to availability, meeting visa requirements and additional costs) both of which are reviewed annually to ensure the choices are both timely and in response to previous student experiences. Recent fieldtrips have included: Reykjavik, Oslo, Berlin, Aarhus, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Prague, Geneva and more. Our course field trip projects involve researching real life case studies touching upon a wide range of creative industries, screen and digital media related issues, documenting and reflecting on the research and finally creating both a presentation event as well as crafting a media artefact.

Please note that all international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed2.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
A level BBC
GCSE Minimum 5 GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above to include English
BTEC DMM
IB Diploma 29 points
Access to HE The Access to HE Diploma. Plus GCSE English at grade 4 / C or above.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with a foundation year. We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Portfolio

You may be required to attend a portfolio showcase, activity session or audition or submit a portfolio via email (as is appropriate to your course), either virtually or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites for these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background. Find out more about our Fair Access Scheme.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:


You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Art, Design and Media will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Portfolio

You will be required to submit a portfolio via email or alternatively attend a showcase activity session or audition (as is appropriate for your course) which can be virtual or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites to send in your portfolio or attend these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5.

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £19,850 per year Not available

If you choose to do a work placement, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.


Facilities

Coventry University is home to superb facilities4 and our new Arts and Humanities building is planned to open in 2023.

Two male students presenting in a TV studio to a camera in the foreground.

Television Studio

You’ll have access to our on-site television studio The Tank, offering specialist equipment such as large cameras, mixing facilities and fibre-optic wiring throughout.
 

Male student setting up a photography light in a studio.

Photography Suite

This specialist facility is available to media students to take and process photos in a professional environment. There is also support for printing, high-end scanning and film processing.

 

Exterior front of the Ellen Terry building.

Media Loan Shop

Our media loan shop provides you with access to all the equipment and support you need to excel in your studies – from basic audio recorders to professional cameras and expert advice from our technicians.


Careers and opportunities

On successful completion, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking around the history and development of media and communication forms in local, national, and global contexts.
  • Critically analyse the convergence of theory and practice across diverse modes of media and communication landscapes.
  • Engage in creative production practices utilising the most appropriate media and communications tools to further modes of media storytelling.
  • Understand the role of changing technology, including emergent digital technologies in media and communications, content manipulation, distribution, access and participation and how to adapt core skills in line with industry requirements.
  • Demonstrate how media and communication genres inform, disrupt and impact on central areas of content creation, public cultures and socially diverse communities.
  • Be adaptable, creative and self-reflexive in producing research and content in event organization and participation for a variety of audiences and in a variety of media and communication contexts.
  • Comprehend the media field as a broad and multifaceted area and deploy interdisciplinary skills in order to navigate the fluid, flexible and changing nature of media production and reception.
  • Consider the role of media and communications industries from an ethical and professional stance, demonstrating knowledge and insight in order to see their value for a variety of organisations and contexts, from local community groups to global corporations.

The creative media industries account for some of the most exciting and diverse careers available – you could go on to become a producer, technician, presenter, reporter, PR specialist, writer, editor or critic.

We take great pride in our outstanding track record of graduate success – with 97% of graduates in work or continuing their studies after six months, DHLE 2016/17, (published 2018). Our course places your future career at its core, aiming to prepare you professionally and providing opportunities to gain substantial practical experience so you’re ready to launch a successful career in the media and cultural industries. It is designed to enable you to work for a range of media organisations, which may include the BBC, independent companies, global media organisations, or as a freelance/independent media manager, producer or researcher.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and aims to give you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The university's Talent Team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates of the course have gone on to work within the film industry, advertising, television, radio, communication management and PR, publishing, the arts and creative media and media education for companies including, Apple, Nielsen, Spark 44, WPP, Virgin, EA Sports, Jaguar Land Rover, Linney Group, IKEA Group, KPMG, Selfridges, Reprezent Radio, Citroen and the BBC. Many also go on to pursue master’s level study.

 

Further study

There is also the chance to go onto master’s level study upon successful completion of your undergraduate degree.

You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.

I knew I wanted to do a Media and Communications course because it covers so many aspects of the industry I love. Once I met my tutors during Open Day and could see the passion they had for the subject, I knew Coventry was for me. Every year, we get to do a portfolio module which is a great way to build our skills and showcase our work to employers.

Jennifer Cassidy, Media and Communications BA (Hons) student, 2021
Media and Communications students sat down and smiling

How to apply

  • 1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2023/24 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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