- A level requirements: ABB
- UCAS code: P3T9
- Study mode: Full-time
- Length: 3
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In a world where political conflicts are negotiated through social media, labour is mediated by apps, algorithms discriminate users on the base of their race and class, art circulates through the blockchain, and entertainment is consumed via streaming platforms, it becomes impossible to disentangle contemporary culture from our digital technologies. The BA Media and Culture will provide you with the intellectual and specialist skills to critically evaluate and intervene in our contemporary society.
This is a new programme and is subject to formal university approval.
You will study how art, entertainment and politics are produced and consumed through digital media, and how the new technological landscape affects the future of our society.
In year one, you will study the foundations of communication and media studies, and learn how to analyse digital technologies and social media. In your second year, you will explore the key debates of cultural studies and the methodologies for researching the culture industries. Your final year will include a major project where you will apply the skills and methodologies learnt in the first two years, under the supervision of an experienced member of staff.
The programme has a unique structure that takes advantage of the broad range of modules offered by the School of the Arts. In your second and final years, you will have the opportunity to select from a broad range of modules in Communication and Media, Sociology, Philosophy, English, Architecture, and Music. The wide range of options will allow you to pursue your own interests and specialise in particular media and cultural industries, such as music, cinema, photography, journalism, and videogames.
This programme is available with an optional year in industry. If you choose this option, year three is spent on a paid placement within an organisation in industry, broadly defined. You will be supported by the School of the Arts and the Department throughout, and your reflexive written account of the experience will contribute towards your final degree result. If you wish to study this programme with a year in industry, please put the option code ‘YI’ in the ‘further choices’ section of your UCAS application form.
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
Your first year will consist entirely of compulsory modules, which will build the foundations of the rest of your degree.
This module will give students foundational knowledge about ways that communication, media, and culture can be systematically and critically analysed: students will learn about key concepts and theories from the field of media and communication studies and about how these are applied as tools for analysis. The module offers examples of the craft of social scientific and anthropological research, as well as cultural studies. These will be analytical approaches that students can subsequently use in the course of their studies.
This module will provide a broad introduction to digital communication and social media as an object of study. It will facilitate students in thinking about the role of the internet, digital platforms and social media apps and their role in culture, society and democracy. It will firstly ask what is different about digital and social media compared to more traditional media, and pose the question of whether we need new tools and ways of thinking in relation to these newer media. It will then introduce several topics and case studies to allow students to think about the role and potential influence the rise of these tools may or may not have had on society.
This module will introduce students to foundational knowledge in the field of communication and media studies. Students will learn how communication practices and media technologies have developed historically and their relevance for social, political and economic changes, as well as learning about the development of Communication and Media as a broad and diverse academic field. The module familiarises students with different theoretical perspectives both historical and contemporary.
This is an introduction to issues and concepts surrounding media and communication industries and institutions. The module gives students exposure to core and current debates and issues such as the political economy of media, relations with power and regulation, and processes of globalisation, digitalisation and conglomeration. Students will learn about creative roles and the practices and lived experiences of professional media workers, including the process of conceiving and developing media texts. Successful students will be able to critically consider media and communication studies with an emphasis on its industries and institutions.
This module will enhance students’ understanding of academic research in the field of communication and media studies. It is the first of a series of two modules that will equip students with the skills and techniques needed to analyse, execute, interpret, and present academic research. The module will also prepare them for advanced academic projects such as their final-year projects/academic dissertations. This module will introduce students to the basics of academic research – from the key elements in a research study to the difference between primary and secondary, and quantitative and qualitative research. Students will be taught how to write literature reviews and what ethical considerations to bear in mind when designing a research study.
This module will enhance students’ understanding of academic research in the field of communication and media studies. It is the second of a series of two modules that will equip students with the skills and techniques needed to analyse, execute, interpret, and present academic research. The module will also prepare them for advanced academic projects such as their final-year projects/academic dissertations. This module will introduce students to specific research methods such as quantitative and qualitative approaches to the study of media audiences and producers such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, ethnography as well as archival research and digital research. Students will also be taught how to formulate research questions, what makes a good student dissertation/final year project and how to communicate their research. They will then be required to prepare research proposals for their final year projects/dissertations, which they will be asked to present at an end-of-year conference.
Introduction to Cultural Studies provides a foundational understanding of the key approaches, methods and theoretical perspectives in the interdisciplinary field of cultural studies. The module starts with an historical overview of the development of cultural studies and explores its links with related fields such as anthropology, sociology, and everyday life studies. Blocks 2-4 are organised around core thematic areas of focus which provide, respectively, an introduction to perspectives in the study of contemporary visual cultures; an introduction to urban cultural studies and the spatial humanities; and critical reflection on ‘future cultures’ and the shifting boundaries that define understandings of ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ in the age of the posthuman and the Anthropocene. Engaging with theoretical perspectives and debates that address a broad range of contemporary issues in the study of culture, media and everyday life, the module draws extensively on ethnographic, text-based and other qualitative methods, with a particular emphasis towards understandings of culture and media as forms of social, embodied and political practice and the everyday ‘doingness’ of cultural experience.
The objective of the module is to promote an understanding of the forces that shape the human-made environment and the role played by design professionals. It aims to help students as future designers to understand that the city is a complex and dynamic system. It also aims to stimulate their active thinking and positive responses to various urban phenomena in order to generate appropriate strategies that can effectively solve design problems and facilitate the city’s sustainability. Through a series of lectures on urban history, case studies, urban design theories and methodologies, as well as debates on urban sustainability, this module is to enhance students’ awareness of the nature of cities, the formation and transformation of their urban forms and to obtain basic urban design skills.
This module introduces students to feminist media studies: they will become familiar with key concepts and debates relating to gender, with reference to a range of media, as well as thinking about how we conceptualise media audiences. Students will consider the gendered nature of representations as well as various media cultures; the intersection of gender with, for instance, race, class, and sexuality; and sites of/for audience participation, ‘prosumption’ and the resistance of normative ideals.
This module examines the transformation of Hollywood cinema as a distinct mode of film practice with its own codes and conventions to a complex and multifaceted global media enterprise that now encompasses film, television, the internet and other screen-based media. With film being increasingly consumed away from the theatres, and with the talent that is involved in entertainment media circulating fluidly across different media and markets, Hollywood is not only about cinema but about a number of entertainment industries that are controlled by a handful of giant conglomerates. The module is organised in two blocks. The first block examines the key characteristics of Hollywood cinema as these were crystallised in the earlier decades of the 20th Century. Concepts such as the studio system, the classical narrative and style, modes of representation, film genres, stardom, technology and performance are discussed in detail. The second block deals with the transformations that started taking Hollywood by storm especially from the 1970s onwards, including: the emergence of the blockbuster film culture, the conglomeration of the film industry, the rise of franchise entertainment, the links to independent film production, Hollywood’s relationship to television (cable and online/streaming) and others.
The media are now central to any discussion of contemporary war and conflict while global news reporting is supposedly in decline. How can we understand the interplay between global news, media and war in the context of rapidly evolving communication technologies and journalistic practices? This module explores the broader context of global news focusing on media in different parts of the world and the way they report on global issues. It considers the professional practice of foreign reporting and the challenges that notions of ethics, objectivity and attachment present for journalists. Then it engages with both the responses of states, including the use of media management and persuasion, and those of audiences who are often conflicted in reaction to distant conflict. The module concludes with an investigation of specific wars of recent years and a look at the future of reporting war and beyond.
The second-year module Immersive Media and Virtual Worlds explores the histories, theories, and industries related to the production of immersive experiences, digital technologies and virtual realities and worlds. In particular, the module will focus on video games and cinema.
The module aims to prepare students for a smooth transition into a work placement year and, more broadly, to develop lifelong skills, attitudes and behaviours and support students in their continuing professional development. This will help students lead flexible, fulfilling careers working as a professional in their field, and enable them to contribute meaningfully to society.
This course examines the ongoing relationship between technological development, popular music and the cultures which surround it. Students are introduced to major perspectives on popular music and technology in order to examine social, aesthetic and historical issues.
Besides introducing you to a variety of remarkable and sometimes rare documentary texts, this module examines the key purposes, forms and approaches employed at different moments in the history of documentary, how documentary represents the “real world”, and notions of “truth”, ethics and audience engagement. The module also focuses on how documentary form and content can be analysed.
The majority of the world’s population can now be said to be urban and the most acute social challenges of the age to centre on cities. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to classical and contemporary social scientific studies of urban contexts. Tracing the development of theories of urban life – and the empirical studies that have accompanied them – this module is concerned with the variety of ways in which social scientists have sought to understand the complex and contested social spaces of cities.
Converged Media and Screen Entertainment B examines key ideas and arguments in the broader field of media industry studies with a view to provide students with wide-ranging account of how the screen industries produce and distribute commercial entertainment within a converged media environment, while operating as part of organizational arrangements and professional practices that separate them from industries with an information focus. The module accounts for the local, national and global dimension of screen entertainment with case studies and examples taken from a variety of geographical contexts and covers a number of industries, mainly film and television, but also with references to games and social medial.
Organised around 4 blocks – Terms of Reference, The Global Spectre of Entertainment, The Production of Entertainment and Entertainment Labour – the module kicks off with some conceptual issues and definitions around what entertainment is and how the landscape in which it is produced and disseminated is defined by media convergence and – increasingly – deconvergence. With these terms of reference accounted for, the second block surveys some key characteristics related to the global nature of screen entertainment: the issues at stake in regulating its circulation across different geographical, political and cultural environments; the ways in which its production tends to be clustered around particular hubs and networks, the ways in which it contributes to global media flows organised around distribution power and the ways it is also disseminated through informal or piracy networks.
After an independent study week that enables students to catch up with reading and prepare for their first assignment, the module continues with a block on the production of entertainment, with an emphasis there being on some of the textual characteristics of entertainment products as these are influenced by marketing and brand integration, by intellectual property management and the increasing reliance on narrative universes and world-building, and by promotional content designed to move swiftly across media platforms and to attract online interaction. Some of these characteristics distinguish clearly entertainment media from media that revolve around information. Finally, the last block deals with issues relating to working in screen entertainment industries, focusing primarily on issues relating to unions and crafts and the ways they try to control entertainment with an environment where the power of the unions has declined as well on issue of diversity in the screen industries work force.
This module will explore theoretical perspectives on Public Relations cultures and the professional practice of writing for the media, a key skill within and beyond PR. Students will develop understanding of what it means to be a creative professional in the PR or media writing industries by learning to organise their time effectively, produce work to specific briefs, work effectively in teams, allocate work equitably and monitor their progress.
This module considers issues of race and racism from a philosophical perspective. Given the philosophical breadth of the topic, this module will cover a wide range of philosophical approaches. These include aesthetics, phenomenology, critical theory, politics, epistemology, language, metaphysics and science. Students will be introduced to these topics in lectures. These lectures provide background context to understanding the topics. Students then read prescribed readings and do independent research in preparation for seminars. This will help students learn how to engage in constructive debate on controversial social topics
At mid-term students will submit an opinion piece in the form of a blogpost. At the end of term students will submit an essay.
Students taking this module will improve their skills in reading and writing philosophy. Students will gain skill in explaining complex information in a concise manner to an audience, in practising the intellectual virtues associated with philosophy, in conducting their own independent research and in critically discussing important social ideas.
You will take entirely optional modules.
This module considers the links between the rise of urban forms of living, economic change, and the place of ‘culture’ within society. It asks questions such as why cities are at the heart of cultural development, why culture is seen by some as having a role to play in dealing with urban social problems, how the nature of cultural expression changes as dominant economic forms change, whether cultural and economic values are really opposed, what the role of culture is in a ‘new economy’, and how governments seek to intervene in this area.
A dissertation is a self-contained piece of original research. It is your chance to study a topic that interests you in depth, guided by a member of the Department’s academic staff who will act as a supervisor for your research. While it is not expected that the dissertation will achieve the standard of a published article, a general idea of the length, format and style of presentation envisaged can be obtained by scanning academic articles in the area that the dissertation will deal with. In terms of presentation, dissertations must be word-processed, double spaced and bound.
This module will provide students with the opportunity to work on a final year project. The nature of the project will be negotiated between the students and their supervisors. It might include: working on live academic research projects or working on live projects in collaboration with academic staff and external partners or working on practical outputs related to a specified (research) task.
Games and Algorithmic Culture investigates how videogames are responding and contributing to the current technological and cultural changes in the use of AI, data mining, procedurally generated content, metrics and automation. The module provides a fundamental knowledge of the videogame industry and its new markets and trends, such as eSports, live streaming, independent productions, casual and mobile gaming. It explores how these new social, cultural, and aesthetics trends of game culture are framed around a broader algorithmic culture that pervades our contemporary technics of digital production and distribution. The module will enable students to understand the specificity of games as new media, to critically analyse the technical, economic and social factors that frame contemporary digital culture, and identify areas of intervention within the global entertainment industry.
This module focuses on debates about the nature, cultural television practices and significance of ‘cult’ television. Students will critique the idea of ‘cult’ from textual, industry and audience perspectives, as well as considering its relationships with the rise of ‘quality’ TV forms in the US and UK and with fan studies, including tracing shifts in representation and audience practices related to marginal groups and identities.
Investigating both early and contemporary photography, this module examines the role photography plays in remembering private and public events, particularly those that test the limits of visual representation. It will unpack contemporary debates among photographers, journalists and art historians on topics such as photographing suffering and the relationship between photography, affect and emotions. We will discuss the difference between analogic photography and digital photography; ID pictures and family photos; artistic photography and journalistic photography; and personal and public pictures. Students will also learn to read, discuss and critically write about how the different components of a photograph (such as framing, montage, lighting and materiality) serve as a tool of expression and means to interpret events.
This module is suitable for anyone who is interested in the role of music in everyday life, ie people’s quotidian engagement with music. Students will develop a practical understanding of music’s ability to support individual and social functions, the ability to engage in current debates in the research literature and the capacity to explore new directions to advance research in this field. The module is interdisciplinary, drawing on perspectives such as music, psychology and sociology, however no prior knowledge of any specific discipline is necessary.
The module includes a series of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials. Lectures support the students in identifying pertinent topics concerning the uses of music in everyday life and how to approach these topics from a research perspective. Seminars place a strong focus on the gradual development of enquiry skills through guided engagement in various research activities. Individual tutorials will be scheduled with students to support the preparation of coursework.
Assessment takes the form of a written research proposal (100%) on a subject chosen by the student themselves. Students will have the opportunity to receive formative feedback on an early version of their proposal.
This module examines the concept of news and how it is constructed. Students will be introduced to key debates related to the historical development of journalistic norms and ideals such as the rise of objectivity and impartiality. The module also considers key theories which help to explain how news is produced such as ‘news values’ and ‘agenda-setting’ and furthermore, the potential implications for audiences as citizens. The module will also consider the future of journalism in a digital age, examining the challenges of producing news in times of declining revenue and the rise of the Internet and social media platforms.
This module introduces students to the major philosophical issues associated with play, games especially digital games and virtual worlds. It examines both the philosophical literature around play and contemporary concerns expressed in relationship to the growth of the video games industry, including addiction, violence, ‘gamification’ and the use of play and software for education and therapy. Students will learn to challenge common assumptions, including their own, about the triviality of play in relation to modern constructions of labour and value, and develop an understanding of how these assumptions underpin both popular and academic discussion of games.
The module is taught by pre-recorded online mini-lectures (approximately 1 hour per week), and a guided online reading group comprising synchronous discussions via video chat and asynchronous discussions via online discussion board, based on a selection of key texts. Assessment consists of a 3-part project: a formative pitching meeting with the module leader in the first 5 weeks of the course, a short report on that meeting (500 words, 35%) including a research plan, and a final essay (2,500 words, 65%).
F FULL ON-CAMPUS TEACHING RESUMES: The module is taught by lecture (1 hour per week) and seminar (1 hour per week). Assessment consists of a 3-part project: a formative pitching meeting with the module leader in the first 5 weeks of the course, a short report on that meeting (500 words, 35%) including a research plan, and a final essay (2,500 words, 65%).
The module explores how popular culture can be political by examining a range of popular cultural commodities discursively. The module surveys a range of views on how to examine popular culture in order to contextualise discourse analysis. This is examined and then used to critically consider the political potential of popular culture. Successful students will be able to critically analyse a range of popular cultural commodities such as film, television programmes, digital popular culture, popular music and the tabloid press. The module is delivered in the forms of lectures and more hands on analysis during seminars. Students are assessed by an essay, which is an analysis of a popular culture commodity.
Queer Film, Video and Documentary explores the different ways in which ‘queers’, specifically lesbian, gay, and transgender people, have been represented in moving images, produced their own films, videos, and documentaries, and shaped reception practices, politics and moving image cultures specific to them. The module will introduce students to queer theory alongside advanced moving image analysis paying particular attention to key theoretical debates and texts in queer politics and film, video and documentary, that demarcate shifts in knowledge, representations, sexual identities, cultures, and practices related to ‘queerness’. The module will be structured around three conceptual blocks. The first block is an overview of the foundational theories, debates and concepts in queer theory including their relationship to canonical films and documentaries. The second block on the AIDS crisis addresses the historical trauma’s centrality to the development of queer theory and the politics of queer identity. The final block examines particular moments in queer moving image history from underground cinema to multiplex acceptance.
This module looks at the impact of colonialism on patterns of migration to Britain in the post war period. It examines the changing nature of racism as an ideology by exploring and contextualising scientific and institutional forms of racisms. You will look at the conflictual relationship between the state and minority ethnic communities through an examination of various struggles including anti-immigration ones. The module will also seek to unpack constructions of ethnic and national identity in the context of post-colonial Britain
This module is an opportunity for you to undertake a placement in a setting which matches your academic and possible career/industry interests, develop materials and/or undertake tasks within a practical or vocational context, apply academic knowledge from your degree, and develop your personal and employability skills within a working environment. SOTA300 is not open to students who have taken SOTA600.
This module examines the significant contemporary media phenomenon of stardom and celebrity. It investigates fame and public identity across a range of media contexts, platforms and public spheres, including film, television, social and digital media, music, PR, advertising, and print. Students will analyse the way in which stardom and celebrity is constructed by producers, consumers and users through film texts, marketing discourses, multimedia platforms, and national/transnational contexts and specific historical circumstances. They will embark on research projects that develop an understanding and application of critical and cultural theory to their own case studies. The module offers a critical insight into the history of stardom within mainstream and alternative media from the 19 th century up to the present day, and from early media personalities and Hollywood stardom, to powerful international cross-media stars or ‘ordinary’ celebrities in reality and social media. It will explore conceptual approaches to celebrity culture and star images, including the democratisation of stardom through the everyday performance of self, ideas of authenticity and identification, and portraiture. It will consider the financial value of stars and celebrity to global media industries and networks, including branding, labour studies and media control. And it will analyse the interplay between the economic, the political and historical, the theoretical, and the formal elements that inform our ongoing engagement and fascination with public personalities.
This module offers students a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical production skills enabling the design, production and marketing of ‘viral videos’. Students develop their own creative practice and take a highly active role in designing, presenting and producing their own videos, and promoting them through video-sharing and social media networks.
Viral videos are an important and rapidly evolving cultural phenomenon. As yet there is little consensus on a definition but essentially they are videos that gain popularity by being shared and recommended through online and offline sharing and recommendations (France et al 2016: 20).
The module is aimed at students considering a career in digital communications, public relations and corporate, political and third sector communications.
France, S., Vaghefi, M. and Zhao, H. (2016) Characterizing viral videos: Methodology and applications. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications 19: 19–32.
This is an opportunity to spend the third year of your studies working as part of your degree programme. The placement year is not just about gaining work experience, it is also about deepening your academic understanding in your subject. Whatever modules you have taken previously, your prior studies in Years 1 and 2 will have given you some appreciation of general issues and theoretical concerns in your subject area. Your placement will give you some real-world experience against which to compare that academic knowledge. The experience will in turn inform your studies in your final year, providing you with material to discuss in such modules as the Independent Project or the Dissertation. You will have the opportunities to learn and practise a range of intellectual, interpersonal and technical skills relevant to your chosen industry. You will be encouraged to think creatively and to develop skills in adapting and responding positively to changing circumstances. Ultimately, your academic learning will be enhanced in the final year of study through this opportunity to contextualise your studies in the workplace. Students who have taken SOTA600 are not allowed to take SOTA300.
Weekly lectures and seminar discussions may be supplemented by screening sessions, presentations and opportunities for group work where appropriate. We regularly invite expert speakers and practitioners to speak to our students about their work. Some modules also make use of our specialist equipment or software.
Dissertation and work placement modules involve more independent study, but always under the careful individual supervision of a member of academic staff.
We are committed to using a range of different forms of assessment, so types of assessment vary widely from module to module. Depending on your choice of modules, these may include coursework projects, essays, blogs, reports, literature reviews, writing exercises, presentations, online tests and unseen examinations.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.
We are a friendly, close-knit Department with well-established systems to support you to make the most of your abilities. As such, we will get to know you and treat you as an individual, providing support and guidance from your very first day.
From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:
This degree will open you to a myriad of jobs in media-related industries and you will have opportunities to undertake a relevant work placement or their own independent research.
Many of our modules seek to develop practical skills – such as media writing, blogging, analysis of social media data and video-making.
Our graduates have gone on to careers including:
Former graduates include a television documentary maker, a BBC Radio 1 DJ, senior journalists at local and national newspapers, a partner in a New York-based advertising company and the features editor of a music weekly.
Hear what graduates say about their career progression and life after university.
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)|
|Full-time place, per year||£9,250|
|Year in industry fee||£1,850|
|Year abroad fee||£1,385|
|Full-time place, per year||£21,000|
|Year in industry fee||£1,850|
|Year abroad fee||£10,500|
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and student finance.
We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.
Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
T levels considered in a relevant subject.
Applicants should contact us by completing the enquiry form on our website to discuss specific requirements in the core components and the occupational specialism.
|GCSE||4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics|
Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is BBB with an A in the EPQ.
|BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma||
BTEC applications are encouraged. We evaluate each BTEC application on its merits and may make offers at DDM.
|Irish Leaving Certificate||H1, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3|
|Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher||
ABB in Advanced Highers, combinations of Advanced Highers and Scottish Highers are welcome
|Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced||Accepted including two A levels at BB.|
|Access||Applications considered. Pass Access with 30 Level 3 credits graded at Distinction and 15 Level 3 credits graded at Merit.|
Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.
Last updated 18 August 2023 / / Programme terms and conditions /