University of Chester

Programme Specification
Media Studies BA (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)

Media Studies

Media Studies [NEW]

University of Chester

University of Chester

Warrington

and

KDU College (PJ) Sdn Bhd, Damansara Jaya Campus

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

7 Years

Annual - September

Various

P300

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Media

Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies

Not Applicable

Media

Wednesday 20th March 2013

  • To offer Media Studies as a dynamic, complimentary and academically stimulating field of study in combination with relevant disciplines, both inside and outside the media environment.
  • To develop the cognitive potential of undergraduates through degree-level study of media and its relationship to society.
  • To encourage autonomous critical reflection on the centrality of the media - economically, politically, culturally and socially.
  • To provide transferable skills of relevance to work in or beyond the creative and media industries.
  • To provide a degree that fulfils the criteria suggested in the relevant QAA subject standards and benchmarks.
  • To provide a supportive and sequenced framework for students' learning.

Students will, typically:


At level 4, students will able to apply a range of theoretical concepts and approaches to media texts and the context of their production - political, economic, cultural and social. They will develop an understanding of ownership and control, the strategies employed by those who use the media to convey messages and how to analyse a range of media organisations, texts and genres. (ME4719, ME4720, ME4721)


At level 5, students will demonstrate knowledge about the links between ownership, policy and practice and how these impact on what is produced and how. In this year of study they evidence significant insight into the range of research approaches available regarding media professions, academic, industry and practice through the Media Department's dedicated research module. They also apply the skills and knowledge acquired to real life situations and briefs through either a Media Experiential Project or Work Based Learning. (ME5714, ME5715, ME5716, WB5101)


At level 6, students demonstrate independence and have greater choice over their areas of study. As such, they exhibit considerable skills in relation to the critical evaluation, and the synthesis, of key paradigms, past and emerging trends, the debates and issues surrounding the role of the media within society through a range of media forms and genres. They evidence the ability to recognise current and emerging issues within the media and to engage in independent research on a chosen topic. They also evidence knowledge of, and strategies regarding, employment in the media sector, and beyond. They demonstrate the ability to recognise the transferable skills that they have acquired and relate them to the requirements of roles within the media, and other, employment environments. (ME6720, ME6721, ME6722)

 

Academic knowledge and understanding in relation to the media and wider society, and the media's place in an economic, political, cultural and social environment, should enable the student to progress from a basic understanding and application of key theoretical ideas to a more thorough critical evaluation of the concepts including the confidence to challenge and reinterpret existing and established ideas.

At level 4, students will establish a framework for researching, understanding and applying key theoretical ideas to given scenarios and examples. (ME4719, ME4720, ME4721)

At level 5, they demonstrate the ability to examine media principles, policy and practices in a sophisticated manner and exhibit the ability to select appropriate examples for analysis. They will evidence the ability to critically assess media texts, from a range of genres and forms, as both consumers of them and also as interactive participants with them through new technology, and possibly producers of media texts themselves. (ME5714, ME5715, ME5716)

At level 6, the student should demonstrate independent, critical analysis of independently selected examples and topics. The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to create a culmination of academic study developed from a topic of their own choice that has evolved or developed from their previous study in the programme, and may also be an issue that is current or emerging. Students will demonstrate understanding of how their work and research (academic, practical and employment related) relates to their future plans - further study or employment. (ME6720, ME6721, ME6722)

 

These skills are developed throughout the three years of the programme, but are typically acquired:

At level 4,

  • Gather, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral and other forms.
  • Deliver work to a given length, format, brief, and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem solving approach.
  • (ME4719, ME4720, ME4721)

At level 5,

  • Communicate effectively in inter-personal settings, in writing and in a variety of media.
  • Work productively in a group or team, showing abilities at different times to listen, contribute and lead effectively.
  • Demonstrate a broad range of research abilities. (ME5714, ME5715, ME5716, ME5703)

At level 6,

  • Retrieve and generate information, and evaluate sources, in carrying out independent research.
  • Organise and manage supervised, self-directed projects.
  • Work in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, self-direction and reflexivity. (ME6720, ME6721, ME6722, WB6001) 

     

Students will, typically:

At level 4, students will demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas in a variety of written forms using appropriate academic conventions and discuss basic grasp of ideas in seminars/tutorials. (ME4719, ME4720, ME4721)

At level 5, students exhibit a broader range of communication skills, including more sophisticated written communication, understanding of interview techniques and how to utilise them, communicating effectively verbally with peers and clients, discussing and proposing ideas to lecturers, peers and clients/employers. (ME5714, ME5715, ME5716, ME5703)

At level 6, students will demonstrate sophisticated written and presentation skills. Will effectively communicate their own abilities and skills in relation to careers and employment. They will recognise the importance of adopting a professional approach to all forms of communication - verbal, written and interpersonal. (ME6720, ME6721, ME6722)

The programme offered is a combined 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 dissertation modules, which carry a 40 credit value and 400 hours teaching and learning. The structure has at its core the establishment and development of knowledge, skills and understanding of media theory, and the media, creative and communication industries. As such level 4 has all compulsory modules, level 5 allows for some options on the student's part with level 6 offering wider choice for students.

Level 4 is concerned with key areas such as analysing texts (ME4721), developing an understanding of ownership and control (ME4719) and evaluating the persuasive strategies employed by various interested parties through the media (ME4720).

Level 5 explores the media's approach to challenges and opportunities presented by policy initiatives (internal and external), developments in new technology and regulatory changes (ME5714). Developing on the skills acquired at level 4, the strategies employed by documentary makers to convey particular meanings is explored at level 5 (ME5715). At this level there is the opportunity to study research for professions, practice and academic work, compulsory if combining with another media programme,  which has relevance and currency for all media programmes (ME5716). Also there are a range of options available at level 5 for gaining invaluable work experience - through the Media Department's Experiential Project in Media (ME5703), Enhancing your Employability through Work-Based Learning (WB5101) or even taking a gap year and studying abroad.

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 6 provides the student with greater choice and independence, exemplified by the selection and research of a dissertation topic within the broad discipline of media studies. The academic modules to select from allow for more critical questioning, synthesis and application of theoretical ideas to specialist areas, which include news (ME6720), celebrity (ME6721).

It should be noted that ME6719 is only available for transnational delivery.

Level 4: 120 credits from:
ME4719 20 credits*
ME4720 20 credits*
ME4721 20 credits*
Plus 60 credits from Combined Subject Area
leads to Certificate of Higher Education 120 credits

Level 5: 120 credits from:
[Level 5 credits can be substituted for a full year exchange via the module WB5007 120 credits]
ME5714 20 credits*
ME5715 20 credits*

And, 60 credits from:
either ME5716 20 credits
or Combined Subject Area Modules (minimum 40 credits)
And, 20 credits from:
ME5703 20 credits (Experiential Learning),
Combined Subject Area Module 20-credits (Experiential Learning),
or WB5101 20 credits (Enhancing your Employability through Work-Based Learning)
or WB5004 20 credits (by application)


WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience 120 credits (non-award credits)

Level 6: 120 credits from:


Major - 80 credits from:
ME6719 20 credits#
ME6720 20 credits*
ME6721 20 credits*
ME6722 40 credits**
WB6001 40 credits**
Combined Subject 40 credits

Equal - 60 credits from:
ME6719 20 credits#
ME6720 20 credits
ME6721 20 credits
ME6722 40 credits**
WB6001 40 credits**
Combined Subject 60 credits

Minor - 40 credits from:
ME6719 20 credits#
ME6720 20 credits*
ME6721 20 credits*
Combined Subject 80 credits


*Compulsory
** Not combinable with each other
# Transnational delivery only

 

Combined Honours only
Mod-Code Level Title Credit Major Equal Minor
ME4719 4 Creative Media Industries: Ownership and Control 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME4720 4 Creative Media: Persuasive Strategies 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME4721 4 Reading and Analysing Media 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME5703 5 Experiential Project in Media 20 Optional Optional Optional
ME5714 5 Creative Media Industries: Policy and Practice 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME5715 5 Documentary: Modes and Meanings 20 Comp Comp Comp
ME5716 5 Research for Professions, Practice and Academic Purposes 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5007 5 International Exchange Module – Full academic year 120 Optional Optional Optional
WB5008 5 The Study Abroad Experience 120 Optional Optional Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional Optional Optional
ME6719 6 Creative Media Industries: Careers and Landscapes 20 Optional Optional Optional
ME6720 6 News: Agendas, Discourse and Commercialisation 20 Comp Optional Comp
ME6721 6 Understanding Celebrity Culture 20 Comp Optional Comp
ME6722 6 Media Academic Dissertation 40 Optional Optional N/A
WB6001 6 Work-based Project (40 Credit) Module 40 Optional Optional N/A

  • 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

 

N/A

N/A

UCAS points:   104 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent. Typical offer - BCC/CCC
BTEC:    BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: merit/distinction profile
Irish /Scottish Highers:    B in 4 subjects
International Baccalaureate:    26 points
QAA:    QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma, Open College Units or Open University Credits
OCR:    OCR National Extended/Diploma: merit/distinction profile
Extra Information:    
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) This programme of study is strongly linked to these subject benchmark statements and all of the modules integrate appropriate benchmark statements in varying degrees. For example:

Level 4 modules (although not exclusively)

  • integrate 'awareness of the historical formation of their particular objects of study, and their contexts and interfaces' - this is a feature of all level 4 modules ensuring that students understand the historical contexts in which representations are made (ME4721), how ownership and control has changed and developed (ME4719), how various 'parties' have developed strategies to persuade through the media (ME4720).

Level 5 modules (although not exclusively) 

  • integrates 'knowledge of appropriate research practices, procedures and traditions, and some awareness of their strengths and limitations', particularly in the media specific research module (ME5716) which is designed to develop research skills for professional, practice and academic purposes.
  • and '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.' These aspects inform students' study into how policies affect practice - locally, nationally and globally - and the consequences (ME5714)

Level 6 modules (although not exclusively)

  • Enable students to exhibit  'awareness of the diversity of approaches to understanding communication, media and culture in both historical and contemporary contexts, and of the uses and implications of these approaches'. This benchmark statement is addressed where students are invited to critically analyse various theoretical approaches and are assessed on their ability to critique, discuss and synthesise academic theories (ME6720, ME6721, ME6722).
  • 'knowledge of a range of texts, genres, aesthetic forms and cultural practices, and the ability to produce close analysis of these, and to make comparisons and connections'. This is evidenced in the opportunity for students to select their own topics/examples for discussion and analysis and engage in independent research, most notably in the dissertation (ME6722).

A key benchmark statement that informs the programme is 'the ability to use their knowledge and understanding of communication, cultural and media processes as a basis for the examination of policy and ethical issues, whether in the public domain or in other aspects of democratic participation and citizenship'. In one form or another all modules on this programme are concerned with the media and its central role within society, culture, politics and the economy and students assessments are designed to encourage to consider these relationships in a critical and academically informed manner.

Students will experience a range of teaching and learning methods that are related to, and relevant for, the acquisition of key and subject specific skills. An academically oriented course such as Media Studies is effectively delivered through a traditional structure of lectures and seminars but with scope for other methods such as workshops, group projects, computer aided research and learning, group and individual presentations, small group tutorials, independent study, dissertations and work based or experiential learning.

  • Visiting lecturers will be used wherever practicable. The teaching and learning will take place at Warrington Campus.
  • Work based learning, Experiential Media Project or study abroad and research may/will take place beyond the campus.
  • All the students may take a Work Based/Experiential Learning module, which may give them the opportunity to apply the critical thinking and analytical skills, gained from Media Studies, in a practical setting.
  • Students will be expected to work independently outside timetabled teaching sessions.
  • They will be provided with structured reading at the start of modules and for seminars.
  • Students will be expected to keep themselves informed about contemporary media issues in local, national and global contexts.
  • They will be expected to keep up to date with current affairs and developments, especially in the area of media and communications and they will, naturally, be expected to read critically a wide range of media-related academic texts, newspapers, journals and magazines and engage with broad and narrowcast media.

During the programme, students will move from reliance on tutor guidance in the initial stages of skills acquisition, to greater reliance on their own evolving skills and individual ability to originate, research and develop ideas across a range of academically focused modules, in accordance with level related assessment criteria.


Level 4 seeks to develop key and core skills, creating an effective platform upon which to build future confidence and success. Usually at this level students are prescribed examples, or examples to choose from, for their analysis in assessments. There are also key sessions embedded in the learning schedule where advice and guidance for each assessment is given, and this material is published online in the module space. Tutorial support and formative feedback is provided prior to each assessment submission. Exam workshops are also an essential part of those modules that include exams in their assessments. Assessments are staggered over the year enabling feedback to feed forward into future assessments

Level 5 prepares students for more autonomous and reflexive practice in Media Studies and this is reflected in students identifying appropriate examples themselves, in discussion with tutors. As at level 4 assessment advice and guidance is provided and published online, likewise tutorial support with formative feedback and exam workshops, where applicable.

Level 6 work, in particular the dissertation, provides an excellent opportunity to apply the skills acquired and refined over the previous two years of study. Students are expected to show independence and greater autonomy in their approach to their studies, but advice, guidance and support is still a feature of all modules at this level

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 synthesize 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 and their dissertation. 
  • 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 compliment others in the programme, and to develop equivalences in assessment weightings and balances.
     

An honours graduate of this programme will have developed an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, some of it at the current boundaries of an academic discipline. Through this, the graduate will have developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many different types of employment. The graduate will be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements and to communicate effectively. An honours graduate should have the necessary qualities for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making in complex and unpredictable circumstances. Through specific module demands and the work-based or experiential learning scheme the programme will draw upon and develop students' capabilities in analysis, critique, and synthesis. This will enable students to analyse, contextualise and apply skills, theories and practices in an informed and intelligent manner.

Graduates from this programme will be equipped with a mix of effective key and transferable skills, which, although they are not targeted at a specific profession, are extremely useful in many fields - for example in the media and cultural industries, researching, marketing, advertising, public relations and corporate communications. These skills can also contribute to the student becoming better, informed citizens by raising awareness and encouraging reflection on wider issues such as the relationship between the media and politics.

A major benefit of this programme is that it contains the kind of challenging and rigorous academic training that prepares students for postgraduate studies.

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.

Media Studies is an ideal combination with other programmes within the Media Department which include: Television Production, Radio Production, Journalism, Sport Journalism, Advertising, Digital Photography, Commercial Music Production, and Film Studies.

It has proven equally attractive as a combination for students studying programmes in the following: Sport, Business Studies, Marketing, Public Relations, and Events Management.

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