Media BA (Hons) (Single Honours)
2017 - 2018
Bachelor of Arts (Single Honours)
University of Chester
University of Chester
Undergraduate Modular Programme
Classroom / Laboratory,
Annual - September
Arts and Humanities
Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies.
University of Chester
Arts & Media
Thursday 25th September 2014
To produce graduates who have an informed and critical approach to understanding the contemporary media and media products.
To provide a degree programme that acknowledges and references the '360-degree' deployment of the contemporary media industry, whilst providing learning opportunities in the same.
To develop the cognitive potential of undergraduates through degree-level study focusing on the processes of media.
To encourage critical analysis and reflection on media.
To provide necessary practical, transferable and subject skills to enable the graduate to work in a range of employment opportunities primarily in the media.
To provide a supportive and sequenced framework for students' learning.
To provide a degree that fulfils the criteria suggested in the relevant QAA subject standards and benchmarks.
Knowledge and understanding of the workings of the mass media within their cultural, historical and sociopolitical contexts. (ME4734)
A systematic and critical understanding of the workings of the mass media within their theoretical, aesthetic, cultural, historical, economic and sociopolitical contexts. (ME5701/ME5706/ME5707/ME5708/ME5709/ME5712/ME5713/ME5714/ME5715/ME5716/ME5720/ME5727/ME5728)
A theoretically informed ability to evaluate, analyse and critique the workings of the mass media within their aesthetic, cultural, historical, economic and sociopolitical contexts, and to apply this critical analysis to and in creative and professional media practice. (WB6001/ME6710/ME6712/ME6720/ME6737)
Understanding of the mass media and the ability to apply this understanding within academic and professional contexts. (ME4701/ME4709/ME4712)
Engagement in the understanding and analysis of the mass media and the ability to apply such modes of engagement to develop solutions within academic and professional contexts. (ME5701/ME5707/ME5708/ME5709/ME5713/ME5714//ME5715/ME5716)
Critical and innovative modes of intellectual engagement in the understanding and analysis of the mass media and the ability to apply such modes of engagement to develop creative solutions within academic and professional contexts. (ME6710/ME6712/ME6721/ME6737)
Practical Skills: The ability to deploy appropriate media research skills; the ability to research, write and reference academic prose. (ME4734)
Practical Skills: The ability to deploy and apply current, effective and appropriate media research skills; the ability to research, write and reference academic prose and to apply the outcomes of such academic writing to develop responses to professional media scenarios. (ME5716)
Transferable Professional Skills: The ability to plan ongoing career and skills development through the understanding and application of, and reflection upon, professional processes. (ME5703/WB5004)
Practical Skills: The ability to deploy and apply current, effective and appropriate media research skills to high professional and academic standards; the ability to research, write and reference academic prose and to apply the outcomes of such academic writing to develop creative responses to professional media scenarios. (ME6737)
Transferable Professional Skills: The ability to plan, develop, support and sustain ongoing career and skills development through the understanding and application of, and reflection upon, professional processes, conventions and modes of conduct within the contexts of one’s own working practices. (ME6704/ME6709/ME6726)
Effective communication skills; the use of contemporary communication technologies for the dissemination of information; knowledge of key legal and regulatory issues affecting media practices. (ME4702/ME4708/ME4709/ME4735/ME4736/ME4737/ME4738/ME4739/ME4741)
Effective academic and professional communication skills; the deployment of stylistic and technical proficiency in key media of communication; the use of contemporary communication technologies for the effective dissemination of information; knowledge of the key legal, ethical and regulatory issues affecting media practices. (WB5004/ME5702/ME5703/ME5706/ME5712/ME5717/ME5718/ME5719/ME5720/ME5727/ME5728)
Effective academic and professional communication skills; the deployment of advanced levels of stylistic and technical proficiency in key media of communication; the use of contemporary communication technologies for the effective dissemination of information and argumentation; a working knowledge of the key legal, ethical and regulatory issues affecting media practices. (WB6001/ME6702/ME6703/ME6705/ME6724/ME6728/ME6729/ME6733/ME6737)
The programme offered is a Single Honours subject programme studied over three years on a full time basis. Each module is worth 20-credits with 200 hours of associated teaching and learning, except for the 40-credit modules with 400 hours of teaching and learning, and one 60-credit module with 600 hours of teaching and learning. The programme takes into account the benchmarking statements for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies, Music and the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The structure has at its core the establishment and development of knowledge, skills and understanding of media situated within the political, social and economic factors which impact upon them and upon which they impact. Assessment of these modules will be through academically, personally and vocationally orientated outcomes designed to prepare the student for graduate level work and / or further study.
At Level 4 students will study core modules in the fields of Media Representation, Radio Production and Television Production. As such, the 120 credit-accumulation along the 'student journey' is arrived at by a variety of routes, but can generally account for between 80 to 120 credits at level 4, and must not exceed the 120-credit threshold.
Beyond optionality within core subjects, a variety of pathways become available:
If students opt for one of the 20-credit variants and one of the 40-credit variants in Radio Production and Television Production, there will be one additional 20-credit option available.
If students opt to study all of the 20-credit variants in Radio Production and Television Production, there will be two additional 20-credit options available. Additionally, if the credit accumulation between core Radio Production and Television Production results in a sufficient number of optional credits remaining available, students will have the option to study either a 20-credit or 40-credit Commercial Music Production module, although they cannot be studied concurrently.
All of the optional modules at level 4 draw from four media fields (Advertising, Commercial Music Production, Digital Photography and Film Studies), and allows students to construct a tailored suite of studies through which they will gain exposure to a range of skills and practices underpinning media and its study.
# Compulsory * Compulsory to take either ME4736 or ME4737 - cannot be studied concurrently ** Compulsory to take either ME4738 or ME4739 - cannot be studied concurrently *** ME4735 and ME4741 - cannot be studied concurrently
Level 5 includes a choice of 20-credit compulsory opportunities for work-based or experiential learning, one of which must be taken. This accumulates to a total of 20-credits worth of compulsory modules, allowing for a further 100-credits of options. All of the optional modules at level 5 draw from eight media fields (Advertising, Commercial Music Production, Digital Photography, Film Studies, Journalism, Media Studies, Radio Production and Television Production). The vast majority of optional modules are 20-credits, except for the 20-credit / 40-credit variant in Commercial Music Production. Students will have the option to study either the 20-credit or 40-credit Commercial Music Production module, although they cannot be studied concurrently. Additionally, students can replace the entire year with an exchange year and / or complete an additional 120 level 5 credits at an overseas partner institute.
As part of the departmental Option Choice process, students will be advised concerning selection of the 'Research for Professions, Practice and Academic Purposes' module (ME5716) and the potential impact upon project / research opportunities at Level 6. Additionally, as part of the departmental Academic Programme Approval process, option choices are monitored to ensure validity and relevance for students.
WB5004 (Learning in the Wider World) is similar in ambition to WB5101 but facilitates undertaking the work based learning placement at a location outside the United Kingdom. WB5004, although available to all students as an alternative to WB5101, must be applied for and participation is restricted to students who meet the criteria of interview, attendance and behaviour during Level 5. All students will be required to receive clearance from their PAT prior to departing on their overseas placement. Students must complete and have a Risk Assessment approved before they are eligible for this module.
WB5008, The Study Abroad Experience, will be offered as a complementary year of study abroad to students who have successfully completed their second-year of study (Level 5). Application will occur in January of Level 5. As such, students may be required to present evidence of successful completion of Level 4, satisfactory on-going assessment, academic references and attendance in order for their application to be accepted. Students must also complete a Risk Assessment to indicate that they are fully aware of the requirements for the exchange, university/college and destination that they are applying for.
Level 5, 120 credits from:
[Level 5 credits can be substituted for a full year exchange via the module WB5007 120 credits]
* It is compulsory to choose one of these modules. These cannot be studied together. ** ME5727 and ME5728 cannot be studied together
[Level 5 credits can be followed by WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience 120 credits (non-award credits and by application)]
Level 6 provides continuation of the opportunities for application in specialist areas. Students must study a 60-credit ‘Final Major Media Project’ (although, in special circumstances and through departmental consultation, they may be allowed to substitute this 60-credit module with the 40-credit experiential learning module). Depending on the exact nature of the credit accumulation, a further 60 to 80 credits of options is then available. If students opt for the 60-credit ‘Final Major Media Project’ module, they are required to select a further 60-credits of optional modules. If students opt for the 40-credit experiential learning module, they are required to select a further 80-credits of optional modules. The optional modules draw from eight media fields (Advertising, Commercial Music Production, Digital Photography, Film Studies, Media Studies, Music Journalism, Radio Production and Television Production). The 60-credit ‘Final Major Media Project’ is provided in two forms: academic and production, but cannot be studied concurrently with the 40-credit experiential learning module (thus allowing for 80-credits of optional modules). Through the three levels of graduated study students will have developed both subject specific and key/transferable skills applicable in a wide range of contexts relevant to the media.
It should be noted that ME6719 and ME6727 are only available for transnational delivery.
120 credits at Level 4 entitles the student to a Certificate of Higher Education
240 credits by the end of Level 5 entitles the student to a Diploma of Higher Education
360 credits by the end of Level 6 entitles the student to a Bachelor’s degree
104 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent.
BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: merit/distinction profile
B in 4 subjects
QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma, Open College Units or Open University Credits
OCR National Extended/Diploma: merit/distinction profile
The Advanced Diploma: acceptable on its own
Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer
The Subject Benchmark Statements for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies are available on the QAA website (www.qaa.ac.uk). The UK Standards Statements for Radio Production and Broadcast Journalism are available on the National Occupational Standards website (www.ukstandards.org.uk). This programme accords with the relevant Benchmarks and Occupational Standards and the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The programme content provides for a broad knowledge of the radio industry and the role that it plays in the media and communications industries.
Media modules will engage students with, for example, understanding and knowledge of the processes linking production, distribution, circulation and consumption; key production processes and professional practices relevant to media, cultural and communicative industries, and of ways of conceptualising creativity and authorship, professional, technical and formal choices which realise, develop or challenge existing practices and traditions, and of the possibilities and constraints involved in production processes; the legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks that affect media and cultural production, manipulation, distribution, circulation, and consumption; how media, cultural and creative organisations operate, communicate and are managed; how in creative industries individuals, or collaborative project-oriented teams, are developed, operate and complete their work (Subject Benchmarks Section 4)
There are strong links at all levels with a range of the National Occupational Standards which are reflected in the modules' aims and learning outcomes.
The modes of learning and assessment will engender in students the ability to "consider and evaluate their own work in a reflexive manner, with reference to academic and/or professional issues, debates and conventions". (QAA Subject Benchmarks)
Students will progress through the programme, developing from a position of reliance and dependency on tutor guidance and support in the initial stages to a self-supporting, self-directed and autonomous approach to their studies. Students will increasingly be expected to demonstrate the ability to originate, research, assimilate, develop and critically review ideas across a range of practically and academically focused modules, in accordance with level-related assessment criteria.
Level 4 study will provide opportunities for students to develop key and core skills, knowledge and understanding, thereby creating an effective platform from which greater autonomy, academic awareness and production skill may be evolved. Students, typically, will not necessarily work with external bodies at Level 4 but will be evolving skills and practices relevant to a workplace environment. At level 5 and 6, students may engage with external organisations through their production modules and experiential / work based learning, forging working relationships between themselves, industry and the University.
Students will experience a range of teaching and learning methods related, and relevant to 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 modules.
Students of this programme will reap the benefits of exploring a wide range of materials and sources, from both academic and non-academic contexts cognate with the field of study. Learning opportunities will be via a selection of lectures, seminars and tutorials given by a wide range of personnel, including, for example, lecturers, visiting lecturers, external contacts and practising professionals from industry, who would have first hand and current experience of the opportunities in the discipline for potential graduates and an ability to relate the course to contemporary practices and trends. Opportunities for active assimilation, application, questioning, debate and critical reflection are therefore provided.
The Work Based Learning or experiential learning module at Level 5 will also afford students the opportunity to develop skills in the workplace and other relevant environments. Reflection on their own and industry practices should enhance the student's portfolio of knowledge and experience, enabling them to think critically and objectively about their chosen field.
As students progress through the levels of the programme they will be expected to become more independent in their learning and to develop the capacity for critical reflection. From the student point of view, the three levels of study can be considered to be foundational, developmental and independent in their nature. The increasing emphasis on student self-direction and self-responsibility will be reflected in the learning and teaching strategies and methods deployed.
The variety of methods employed may include the following:
Lectures, demonstrations, seminars, workshops, tutorials, group and individual project work, supervised independent learning, computer-aided research, open and resource-based learning activities, field activities, group and individual presentations, small group tutorials, independent study, dissertation and work based or experiential learning.
Students will be expected to work independently outside timetabled teaching sessions. They will be provided with structured reading 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 in the area of media and they will be expected to read critically a wide range of media-related texts and think critically about a wide variety of media texts and products.
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. In the early stages of the programme, the formative role of assessment to help students learn may be as important as the summative assessment for certification. As students progress through the programme more emphasis may be placed on the verification of achievement.
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 at early stages of the programme will focus on evidencing the acquisition and development of foundation undergraduate knowledge, skills and understanding: later stages of the programme will focus on the demonstration of students' ability to independently synthesise advanced knowledge and skills. Assignments and projects at the start of the programme will be largely tutor determined. By Level 6 students will have significant elements of self-determination in their coursework assessments.
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.
Throughout the writing of this programme, the team has been mindful of the graduate characteristics detailed in the benchmarking statements for ‘Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies’. Though these are specific aims, it is understood that it would be unlikely for any one programme of study to achieve all of them. However, a course that has at its core the synergy between theory and practice, relating critical and reflective thinking in an academic environment to the professional practice of music production, is likely to achieve most of them.
Typically, students graduating within this programme will display characteristics from the following ‘Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies’ benchmarks:
“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.“
Typically, students graduating within this programme will also display characteristics:
“Demonstrate the ability to gather and assimilate information and to synthesise and organise relevant outputs.“
“Demonstrate the ability to develop ideas and construct arguments in both verbal and written form and to evaluate such ideas and arguments critically.“
“Demonstrate the ability to work independently, and to show self-motivation and critical self-awareness."
Graduates of this programme will be equipped with a mix of effective key and transferable skills aligned with media industry-specific methodologies and practices. The abilities to critically analyse, apply knowledge in a wider context and present arguments in a coherent and appropriate way are skills much valued by employers. Further, they will have broad knowledge of the central role that media and cultural agencies play, along with the ability to explore any issues arising.
Outside of any formal experiential learning modules, through links with sections of the media and closely related industries, learners may have opportunity to implement, synthesize and hone knowledge, understanding and skills within a work-place context and / or via a negotiated work-brief. Opportunities such as this, whilst they cannot always be guaranteed due to external industry forces, are actively sought and developed by the programme team. Learners are also encouraged to seek out and develop independent extra-curricular links with industry, which may provide other fruitful opportunities.
The programme has been devised to provide students with the skills and knowledge required by the creative industries and associated agencies and also enable them to undertake further study. The skills and knowledge mix explored within the three years of the programme will maintain the overall paradigm of a synergy between theory and practice where the more practically focused modules will benefit from an underpinning theoretical knowledge of past forms and contemporary practices whilst supporting modules will keep the practical application of such knowledge at its core.
The programme is responsive to the needs of a wide range of employers in the media industry, business related positions, the postgraduate study and education. Graduates will also acquire key transferable, analytical, organisational, personal, writing and communication skills, which will always prove valuable in a competitive job market.
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.
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