University of Chester

Programme Specification
Multiplatform Production MA
2017 - 2018

Master of Arts

Multiplatform Production

Multiplatform Production

University of Chester

University of Chester

Warrington Campus

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year FT, 2-3 years PT

6 Years

Biannual - January - September

P310

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Media

Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies

N/A

Media

Thursday 2nd October 2014

In its 2010 Employer Survey, Skillset (‘the industry skills body for the Creative Industries’) noted a number of ‘Specific Skills Gaps’* such as ‘knowledge of new technology and platforms’ and ‘Design and Creation of Digital Content for Individual Platforms’.  The Multiplatform Production programme goes some way to respond to these employee skills deficits, equipping students with a variety of practical and cognitive abilities related to creating content for a range of platforms. 

Rather than becoming redundant, the more traditional forms of media, radio and television, are now just two of the platforms that audiences use to access content today.  Online catch up services, social media, live streaming, mobile technology and tablets are all ways that contemporary viewers and listeners engage with digital content.  Students on this programme gain much of their practical experience through specific radio and television modules, because these remain dominant media platforms.  However, students will immerse themselves in the convergent media marketplace, gaining an understanding of new technology and platforms and how these can effect the production and consumption of content. 

This programme aims:

  • To produce graduates who possess the necessary practical, theoretical and subject-specific knowledge and capabilities, as well as professional qualities and transferable skills, for working in a range of employment, primarily in a multiplatform/media environment.
  • To develop the conceptual awareness of Master's students and encourage critical analysis and evaluation.
  • To provide a structured and supported framework and environment for students' learning.
  • To provide a Master's degree programme which acknowledges and endeavours to meet the Media Industry's skills needs, in terms of graduates possessing multiplatform production capabilities. 
  • To prepare students for progression to Higher degrees or further research, including PhD.
  • To provide a Master's degree, which fulfils the criteria suggested in the QAA subject standards and benchmarks.

*‘Specific Skills Gaps specified by Employers within the wider Content for Multiple Platforms, Business, Technical and Production Skills Areas’

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of considerable aspects of the Multiplatform sector of the Media Industry, much of which is informed by academic and professional discipline-specific research and theory. (ME7247, ME7248, ME7251, ME7254, ME7255, ME7258, ME7259)
  • Evidence a critical awareness of key issues, debates and developments impacting on Multiplatform Media Production. (ME7251, ME7254, ME7258, ME7259)
  • Demonstrate a systematic knowledge of aspects of law, ethics, compliance and regulation and how these impact on Multiplatform projects. (ME7247, ME7248, ME7255)

  • Develop and present work in a coherent, sophisticated and discipline-appropriate format. (ME7247, ME7248, ME7254, ME7255, ME7259)
  • Interpret, critically analyse and evaluate current ideas and debates related to Multiplatform production. (ME7251, ME7254, ME7258)
  • Devise, sustain and validate arguments employing a wide range of techniques, ideas and concepts. (ME7251, ME7255, ME7259)

 

  • Utilise and apply a wide range of specialist professional, practical, technical and creative skills and techniques in diverse contexts and situations. (ME7247, ME7259)
  • Evidence an ability to integrate and evidence theoretical learning and knowledge within practical contexts. (ME7254, ME7259)
  • Exemplify a knowledge of contemporary multiplatform production with regards technologies, techniques and styles.(ME7248, ME7251, ME7259)
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, develop, support and sustain ongoing career and advanced skills development through the understanding and application of, and critical reflection upon, professional process. (ME7248, ME7254, ME7255, ME7258)
  • Make informed and measured decisions in a variety of contexts. (ME7248, ME7255, ME7259)

  • Communicate ideas, information and arguments with clarity and sophistication. (ME7248, ME7251, ME7259)
  • Demonstrate excellent team work skills. (ME7247, ME7254, ME7255)
  • Evidence the ability to solve complex problems both independently and as part of a team. (ME7247, ME7248, ME7254, ME7255, ME7258, ME7259)
  • Demonstrate personal responsibility. (ME7247, ME7254, ME7255, ME7258, ME7259)

The programme offered is a Master's degree studied over one year full-time or two/three years on a part-time basis.  Each module is worth 20 credits with 200 hours of notional student learning, except for the 60-credit Major Production Project, where the hours of student learning activity are notionally 600 hours. 

The proposed programme takes into account the FHEQ level 7 descriptor relating to Master's awards, and the structure has at its core the establishment and development of knowledge and discipline-based skills, and a conceptual understanding of multiplatform production.  The dual intake proposed for the programme has meant the framework and delivery of the modules has had to be carefully considered and dovetailed.  For instance, a student starting the programme in September, will take the following modules in the first few months:  

  • ME7247 Multi-skilling for Television (20 credits)
  • ME7251 New Media Practices (20 credits)
  • ME7254 Radio Studio: Strip formats and Magazine Programmes (20 credits)

These modules will enable students to gain “a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship”, which FHEQ states is a requirement of a Master's degree.  Furthermore, the mix of theoretical and practical teaching and learning will enable students to demonstrate ‘conceptual understanding’ and reflection and contextualisation of their own practice.  There is a clear mix of media platforms studied within these modules, from online, social media and mobile devices to TV and radio.  Full-time September intake students will then study the following modules: 

  • ME7248 TV Formats and Features (20 credits)
  • ME7255 Radio Live: outside broadcasts and ‘remotes’ (20 credits)
  • ME7258 Multiplatform Industry Practices (20 credits)

Again, these modules reflect the range of media utilised in contemporary Industry and highlights synergies, connections and differences in the platforms and technologies.  The Multiplatform Industry Practices module will allow students to engage directly with the Media Industry/ industries regionally, nationally and/ even globally.   All six taught modules will develop students’ skills and discipline-based knowledge further as they prepare to undertake the large-scale practice-based project module:

  • ME7259 Major Production Project (60 credits) 

This major project is in line with FHEQ guidance that a Master's degree “typically include [s] planned intellectual progression that often includes a synoptic/research or scholarly activity.”  This final project allows students to produce an artefact as their cumulative piece of coursework, which evidences advanced research and practice-based methods, skills and techniques.  The skills, knowledge and independent learning required for this substantive piece of work chimes with the FHEQ guidelines for graduates of Master's degrees to be able to exhibit “initiative and personal responsibility” as well as “demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.”  Furthermore, students gain “a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline”(FHEQ).  Additionally, all the 20 credit modules require students to show initiative and independent learning. 
 
Whilst students entering the programme in January would take modules in reverse order (bar the Project), they will be in no way disadvantaged as the delivery of the programme is structured to ensure 20-credit modules can be taken without pre- or co-requisites.  This approach means that studying the course on a part-time basis is also feasible.
 

A full-time student on the MA in Multiplatform Production, joining the Department in September would have the following academic journey: 

September

January

June

ME7247 Multi-skilling for Television

ME7248 TV Formats and Features

MA7259 Major Production Project

ME7255 Radio Live: Outside broadcasts and ‘remotes’

ME7254 Radio Studio: Strip Formats and Magazine Programmes

 

ME7251 New Media Practices

ME7258 Multiplatform Industry Practices

 

 

A full-time student on the MA in Multiplatform Production, joining the Department in January would have the following academic journey: 

January

September

June

ME7248 TV Formats and Features

ME7247 Multi-skilling for Television

MA7259 Major Production Project

ME7254 Radio Studio: Strip Formats and Magazine Programmes

ME7255 Radio Live: Outside broadcasts and ‘remotes’

 

ME7258 Multiplatform Industry Practices

ME7251 New Media Practices

 

The following is an indicative academic journey for a part-time student, joining the programme in September:

Year one

September

January

ME7247 Multi-skilling for Television

ME7258 Multiplatform Industry Practices

ME7255 Radio Live: Outside broadcasts and ‘remotes’

 

Year two

 

September

January

June

ME7251 New Media Practices

ME7248 TV Formats and Features

MA7259 Major Production Project

 

ME7254 Radio Studio: Strip Formats and Magazine Programmes

 

 

Students could exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate in Media, after obtaining 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma in Multiplatform Production after obtaining 120 credits.  Students wishing to exit with the Master's in Multiplatform Production would need to obtain 180 credits.   

 

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
ME7247 7 Multi-skilling for Television 20 Comp
ME7248 7 TV Formats and Features 20 Comp
ME7251 7 New Media Practices 20 Comp
ME7254 7 Radio Studio: Strip Formats and Magazine Programmes 20 Comp
ME7255 7 Radio Live: Outside Broadcasts and 'Remotes' 20 Comp
ME7258 7 Multiplatform Industry Practices 20 Comp
ME7259 7 Major Production Project 60 Comp

All modules are compulsory:

60 credits for the award of Post Graduate Certificate in Media
120 credits for the award of Post Graduate Diploma in Multiplatform Production
180 credits for the award of MA Multiplatform Production

N/A

N/A

A first degree; there is no requirement for prospective students to hold a first degree specifically in a media subject, as the level of theoretical and practical teaching and learning accounts for students who hold degrees from different disciplines.

Applications from non-traditional or mature students, with relevant professional experience, are welcomed.

Applicants may be invited to attend an interview and/or submit a portfolio of work.

For those international/overseas students whose first language is not English, an IELTS score of 6.5 is required.

 

 

 

 

The programme accords with the subject benchmark statements for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies and Master's Degree Characteristics document (www.qaa.ac.uk).   

Developing a systematic and comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the multiplatform sector of the media industry will clearly be at the heart of the programme; there will be a focus on key areas such as legal, ethical and creative constraints and considerations, issues and developments related to new media technologies as well as more traditional media forms and honing of production-related skills. Incorporating the study and practice of new media reflects a contemporary focus on ‘fusion skills’ and convergence, which relates directly to an MA characteristic as defined by QAA: “an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the discipline informed by current scholarship and research, including a critical awareness of current issues and developments in the subject.”   Students of all the PGT Media programmes will take an industry practices module to develop a critical understanding and knowledge of the media industry. Emphasis will be placed on regulation, policy and practice.  Furthermore, students will develop an awareness of the current media job markets with specific focus on freelancing and entrepreneurship and there will be opportunities for employer engagement and client liaison.

The subject benchmark states (1.5) that “Degree programmes in communication, media, film and cultural studies are characterised by a diversity of emphases, drawing in different ways on the disciplinary and professional sources outlined above, and offering a range of approaches to theoretical, critical, practical and creative work within these fields.”  Both the content of the programme, for instance the study of new media technologies and practice, and the diversity of delivery and assessments chimes with QAA’s guidance on the characteristics of a Media degree.
 
A defining principal of such a degree is stated (subject benchmark statements for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, 2.3) as a programme, which has “the aim of producing graduates who have an informed, critical and creative approach both to understanding media, culture and communications in contemporary society, and to their own forms of media, communicative and expressive practice”.  The Major Production Project is the culmination of the development of these practical and conceptual skills but all the modules aim to address this principal.  For instance, New Media Practices requires substantial systematic and evaluative research skills and Multi-skilling for Television requires students to critique their own practice.
 
In the M-level Characteristics guidance, QAA states that graduates of Master's degrees generally have
 
“A range of generic abilities and skills that include the ability to:
·      use initiative and take responsibility
·      solve problems in creative and innovative ways
·      make decisions in challenging situations” and “communicate effectively, with colleagues and a wider audience, in a variety of media”

 
Whether in conceptual or practical contexts, this programme aims to produce graduates who can demonstrate a critical awareness of their discipline and their own practice.

Students will experience a range of teaching and learning methods, which are related to, and relevant for, the acquisition of key and subject specific knowledge and skills. The curriculum and learning experiences offered to students will be designed to reflect the specific aims, emphases and learning outcomes of the programme. Students will be made aware of these at the outset from the programme and individual module handbooks available through the VLE. Further, students of this programme will reap the enormous benefits of exploring a range of materials and sources, from both academic and non-academic contexts cognate with the field of study.

As graduates, students of the MA Multiplatform Production programme will already be expected to have a level of aptitude for independent learning and autonomous decision-making. However, in applying these skills to a technically, intellectually demanding area such as content production, students will be guided through initial stages of idea generation and production skills, allowing them to gain confidence as they progress through the programme.  Students will increasingly be expected to demonstrate the individual ability to originate, research, assimilate, develop and critically review and reflect on ideas, in accordance with level-related assessment criteria. This increasing emphasis on student self-direction and personal responsibility will be reflected in the learning and teaching strategies and methods deployed.  Students will have opportunities to reflect upon their own background/nationality etc., and contextualise their work with this perspective.

The concurrent and subsequent reflection on their own and current industry practices should enhance the student’s portfolio of knowledge and experience and enable them to think critically and engage openly with their chosen field. Significantly, students must directly engage and liaise with industry in the Multiplatform Industry Practices module; periods of work-based learning or placement can be utilised within assessment on this module. Students may also gain valuable experience with the Department of Media's commercial enterprise, the Hot Room, working on live briefs for internal and external clients.  Some opportunities may be embedded in the curriculum but some students gain paid employment through the Unijob system, therefore gaining both money and work experience to detail on their CV. 

There will also be opportunities for students to work collaboratively, not just with students on the MA Multimedia Platform programme, but with students from across the Department of Media's PGT courses.  Such collaborative projects must be tutor-approved.

Learning opportunities will be via a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials given by lecturers, visiting lecturers, external contacts and practicing media professionals from across the media industries.  Lectures and seminars will be the typical method of learning and teaching, with seminars allowing for whole and smaller group activities to take place.  Individual and group presentations, screenings, discussion of own and others' work can all take place successfully in this environment. Workshops will be offered in which students will learn, practice and develop technical and creative skills and competencies. The workshop is one of the most instrumental and important methods of sharing creative and technical practice, offering a supportive environment for the discussion and dissemination of tutor-guided student-centred practice and constructive peer criticism. The tutorial will be a forum within which individual and group ideas and projects will be discussed, critically developed and strategies for successful completion evolved.  Tutorials will also be utilised for the discussion and development of individual portfolios of work and written projects.

Guest speakers will be involved in the delivery and success of the programme; industry representatives willing to share their knowledge and experiences with the group will be invited to add breadth and depth to the experience of the cohort and add to the currency and vibrancy of the programme.  Students will engage throughout the course with external bodies to facilitate research and development of both academic and production outcomes; thus developing a network of future contacts and forging working relationships between themselves, the media creative industries and the University.

Students will be expected to work independently outside timetabled teaching sessions. They will be provided with structured reading for seminars and expected to work individually and within groups, to successfully complete both academic and practical assignments. Students will be expected to keep up to date with current affairs and developments related specifically to the media industry and content production across platforms, and they will, naturally, be expected to read critically a wide range of media-related academic texts, newspapers, journals and magazines and engage meaningfully with a variety of media forms.

Assessment on this programme is designed to provide feedback to students on their performance in order to shape future learning, to verify achievement in order that students can progress through and beyond the programme and to evidence for internal and external use the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the programme.

Many of the modules on the MA Multiplatform Production programme utilise industry-focused 'briefs' for assessments, which could be to generate ideas or artefacts for a particular channel or an online campaign, as examples.  At times, students are given 'live' briefs, in consultation with industry figures.  These kind of assessments require students to consider many key aspects of broadcast production such as audience, compliance and cost. Students can benefit enormously from these assignments as they replicate industry practice. 

The plagiarism detection software Turnitin continues to be used in the Media Department and now feedback is also generated through this application's grademark facility.  This process allows tutors to give specific feedback on assignments and for students to utilise this for future projects and to recognise the importance placed on accurate referencing and original work.

The assessment strategy of this programme is based on the following assumptions and practices:

  • Assessment is acknowledged to be a major driver of student learning.
  • A variety of assessment practices will be employed in order to provide students with a range of opportunities to display intellectual, practical and transferable skills, and to accommodate the different learning styles of individual students.
  • Clear criteria for grading and the rules and regulations for assessment and awards will be available for all students throughout their programme.
  • Assessment will focus on evidencing the acquisition and development of knowledge, skills and understanding as well as the students’ ability to independently synthesize these.  As the academic year progresses students will have significant elements of self-direction in their coursework. 
  • Tutors delivering the programme have explored and discussed maps of module aims, learning outcomes and assessments across the programme during the programme's design process in order to understand how their module assessments complement others in the programme and to develop equivalences in assessment weightings and balances.

 

Graduates of this programme may pursue careers in a range of production areas, working on a variety of platforms in the creative industries.  Roles could include web production,  production runner or assistant, online content producer with major broadcasters or independent companies whilst other students may wish to move into corporate content production.  The emphasis on multi-skilling and multiplatforms on the programme means students could move in and out of a variety of cognate areas, throughout their career.

Graduates of this programme will be equipped with a mix of effective key and transferable skills and competencies aligned with media specific methodologies and practices, most specifically related to Multiplatform production.  Where the more practically focused aspects of modules will benefit from an underpinning theoretical knowledge of past forms and contemporary practices, the more academically focused elements will allow the aggregation of practical and professional skills and practices to be examined in aesthetic, cultural, social, historical and political contexts.  Having produced a practice-based project for the culmination of their postgraduate qualification, graduates may wish to pursue a Higher degree through research by practice.

The Media Industry partnerships and liaisons that the department fosters and encourages will allow for a close and positive working relationship to continue with a range of media practitioners.

The development of the programme and curriculum has been informed by the graduate characteristics detailed in the benchmarking statements for ‘Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies’ in addition to the QAA ‘MA Characteristics’ document. A course that has at its core the synergy between theory and practice, relating critical and reflective thinking in an academic environment to the practice of media production and practice, is likely to reflect many of the characteristics detailed in these documents.

Typically, students graduating from this PGT programme will display many of the characteristics detailed in the ‘Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies’:

  • "Engagement with forms of critical analysis, argument and debate, expressed through an appropriate command of oral, written and other forms of communication."
  • "Understanding of production processes and professional practices within media, cultural and communicative industries."
  • "Critically informed competency in the management and operation of production technologies, procedures and processes."
  • "The ability to engage with and to advance creative processes in one or more forms of media or cultural production."
  • The ability to consider views other than their own, and exercise a degree of independent and informed critical judgement in analysis."
  • "The ability to work across a variety of group and independent modes of study, and within these to demonstrate flexibility, creativity and the capacity for critical self-reflection."
  • "Knowledge of the central role that communications, media and cultural agencies play at local, national, international and global levels of economic, political and social organisation, along with the ability to explore and articulate the implications of this.”

 

 

 

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

Not applicable.

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