Communication and Media Add to your prospectus

Key information


  • Course length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: P900
  • Year of entry: 2019
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33 / BTEC : Applications considered
comms-and-media-6

Module details

Programme Year One

In Year One, you will be introduced to a variety of approaches to the study of media institutions, language, film and journalism, but the focus is also on developing study skills, learning how to use information resources and working independently and in groups.

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Media, Politics and the Everyday (COMM104)
    Level1
    Credit level30
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims
  • To develop an understanding of the relationships between media, politics and society and the ways in which we use media and media use us. 

  • To develop an understanding of some of the key concepts and theories which seek to explain the communication and mediatisation of public and political life.

  • ​To develop an understanding of the ways in which media operations and news discourse affect the representation of issues such as race, gender, war and the environment

  • ​To explore the ways in which the public are becoming both conusmers and producers of media texts as well as their subjects, and the implications of new technologies and social media on everyday politics and social life.

  • Learning Outcomes

    ​An understanding of the central role of the media in circulating and mediating democratic information

    An understanding of key theories and debates concerning journalistic practices, including what makes news and issues of objectivity, bias and framing

    ​An understanding of the importance of media represntations in generating public perceptions of and responses to significant issues in society

    ​An understanding of the ways in which new media technologies are transforming realtionships between the public, medai and those whom the media depict

  • Analysing Communication: Forms, Texts and Contexts (COMM106)
    Level1
    Credit level30
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims
  • This module will introduce you to the analysis of communication and in identifying and understanding the forms that communication takes i.e., the discussion of meaning and how it is created through words, images, images and sounds. As well as analysing these various forms of communication,

  • We will also examine the ways in which we consume and enjoy the products of the communication and media industries (radio programmes, films, TV series and games). This is one of two foundational modules for students seeking to study Communications in years 2 and 3. Either of these foundational modules will be regarded as offering adequate preparation for Level 2 study, though students who are taking Communications as a Joint or a Major subject will do both.

  • Learning OutcomesHave some familiarity with the role of still and moving images in mass communications along with the implications they have for media messages.

    Have gained an understanding of the role of sound, and sound and image, in the production of meaning within cinema and television.

    Be able to engage in critical debates about the nature and use of language in written, spoken and online contexts.

    ​Understand at a foundational level how linguistic and non-linguistic modes of communication interact with one another.

    Have extended your familiarity with the role of moving images in mass communications with reference to genre, realism and narrative structure

    ​Be able to identify media texts as a product of particular economic, institutional, cultural and technological environments.

  • Language and Media (COMM151)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    ​This module aims to/seeks to provide students with skills for analysing the linguistic aspects of media texts whilst developing their understanding of other communicative modes in relation to language proper. It will provide a foundation for students to undertake more advanced topics in subsequent modules e.g., English Voices, Literacy and Society, Understanding Magazines. It will also create opportunities for specific kinds of independent work in respect of undertaking projects and/or the dissertation in the final year of the programme, with a linguistic focus.

    Learning Outcomes

    ​Students will be able to learn to identify similarities as well as differences between language modes literally understood and ''language'' understood metaphorically when applied to other communicative systems.

    ​Students will be able to learn to apply linguistically-derived concepts to a range of media texts.

    ​Students will be able to develop an understanding of theoretical issues within which the study of media language may have a part to play.

  • Sound, Image and Meaning (COMM152)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to provide students with a foundational understanding of:

    Notions of influence within work in Communication Studies

    The role of sound and visuals in signifying meaning in media texts

    How meaning and influence have been researched, and the difficulties involved in designing successful research in these areas

    In helping students to develop these types of knowledge and understanding, it seeks to provide skills that can be drawn on in subsequent modules that involve formal analysis of media texts and work on media content and institutional organisation more broadly.

    Learning Outcomes

    ​Students will be able to develop a critical understanding of the role of reader interpretation in helping to determine the meaning of media texts and in guiding responses to them.

    ​​Students will be a ble to learn to analyse the ways in which different components of media texts are organised to signify meanings.

    ​Students will be able to gain an introductory understanding of the ways in which meaning and influence have been conceptualised and researched.

    ​Students will be able to practise and develop an ability to apply research, understanding and analysis in seminar and group discussion and in producing coursework.

Year One Optional Modules

    Programme Year Two

    Students have a free choice of modules after Year 1, so you can begin to specialise in areas which interest you most or which might prove valuable for your chosen career.

    (NB. most of our Year 2 modules are offered in 15-credit and 30-credit versions so, for simplicity, the list below only includes 30-credit versions)

    Year Two Optional Modules

    • Immersive Media and VIrtual Worlds A (COMM210)
      Level2
      Credit level30
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1. ​To introduce students to the histories of immersive media and virtual world forms.
      2. To introduce students to theories and conceptual approaches to immersion, digital realism, cognition and simulation.
      3. To encourage students to develop advanced textual analysis skills in relation to virtual images.
      4. To encourage students to widen their knowledge and understanding of the industry contexts in which immersive experience and virtual worlds are produced and consumed.
      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the histories and theories of immersive experiences and virtual realities and worlds.

      ​Students will demonstrate the capacity to develop critical insight and textual analysis skills of virtual reality texts.

      ​Students will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate and accurate terminology and concepts when explaining immersive and virtual reality technologies.

      ​Students will demonstrate an understanding of the industrial and entertainment contexts around, and uses of, immersive experiences and virtual realities.

    • Public Relations Cultures and Writing Practices A (COMM232)
      Level2
      Credit level30
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      The aims of the module are to enhance critical understanding of PR industries, contexts and practices as part of promotional culture and to develop practical skills which enhance employability for students wishing to work within PR, media writing and related communication fields. 

      The first block provides students with an understanding of the historical development of PR in the West including its part in the growth of neoliberal capitalism and branded cultures, and enables critical reflection on its relationship with the wider reporting media and its industries. Further, the course aims to provide students with knowledge of mainstream and alternative organisations’ perspectives on the role of public relations in building images, reputations and brands as part of wider promotional activities, and on the ways they approach the practice of media writing.

      The second block develops knowledge and experience of media writing skills including those associated with PR such as news releases and media packs, and those associated with journalism such as news and feature writing. The course aims to support students to develop practical skills though critical engagement with theoretical frameworks and tools, case study analysis and practical exercises. The module also aims to develop student understanding of legal, regulatory and professional frameworks associated with PR, media writing and journalism and the role of social media and networked journalism in the contemporary communications workplace.

      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students will develop critical understanding of PR cultures, theory and practice.

      ​Students will develop understanding of teamwork and presentation skills.

      ​Students will develop understanding of professional frameworks for PR, media writing and journalism.

      ​Students will develop practical skills in persuasive and journalistic media writing.

      ​Students will develop understanding of workplace cultures and practice, and what it means to be a creative professional in the PR or media writing industries.

    • Feminist Media Studies: Texts and Audiences A (COMM204)
      Level2
      Credit level30
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      1.    To introduce students to key concepts and debates relating to gender and the media.

      2.    To provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the relationship between gender and media and ways of disrupting normative gender constructions.

      3.    To assess and examine specific theories of the relationship between media texts and their audiences.

      4.    To give students practical experience of designing and carrying out audience research amongst their peers.

      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students should be able to recognise the ways that women and menare treated differently in mainstream media.

      Students should know and be able to discuss research on various aspects of the relationship between gender and media.

      ​Students should gain a good understanding of the key methodsused in audience research​.

      ​Students will be able to design and carry out a piece ofqualitative audience research​

    • Global News, Media and War (COMM212)
      Level2
      Credit level30
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1. ​To examine the interplay between global news, media and war in the context of rapidly evolving communication technologies and journalistic practices.
      2. To compare and contrast the contexts and challenges in which journalists operate across the world.
      3. To trace the evolution of foreign reporting.
      4. To explore and analyse media management approaches and audience responses to the reporting of distant conflict.
      5. To assess and examine the differing ways in which media coverage frames war and humanitarian crisis and the theoretical perspectives that underpin such frames.
      Learning Outcomes

      Students will be able to define and critically evaluate key theories and concepts that explain the interplay between global news, media and war.

      Students will be able to discuss the current state of media freedom and journalistic practices around the world as well as the main contextual factors that influence those practices and the role journalists play both in the global South and in the global North.

      Students will be able to identify and analyse the history and ethics of foreign correspondence and explore the key factors that have contributed to the evolution and decline of foreign correspondence.

      Students will be familiar with and critically analyse different perspectives on the way states manage and audiences relate and react to distant conflict.

      Students will be able to articulate knowledge and a critical understanding of the historical shifts and continuities in war reporting in the modern era.

    • Documentary (COMM231)
      Level2
      Credit level30
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
      Aims
    • Students will be encouraged to develop an analytical knowledge of the range of purposes claimed for documentary



    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Students will be encouraged to develop an analytical knowledge of key forms and approaches employed at different moments in the history of documentary

    • ​​​​​Students will be encouraged to develop an analytical knowledge of relationships between documentary work and the ''real world'' to which it refers

    • ​​Students will be encouraged to develop an analytical knowledge of issues of ''truthfulness'' and the ethics of documentary represntations

    • ​Students will be encouraged to develop an analytical knowledge of documentary-makers'' strategies to appeal to audiences or yield repsonses from them

    • Learning Outcomes

      ​Demonstrate a critical awareness of debates surrounding the representation of ''the real'' in film and television texts

      ​Demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of the terms and concepts used in describing and evaluating documentary work in film and television

      ​Demonstrate a familiarity with and understanding of key visual and verbal components of documentary organisation

      ​Demonstrate the ability to read and critically evaluate film and television texts based on real subjects

    • English Voices (COMM230)
      Level2
      Credit level30
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1. To introduce the basic study of segmental phonology in its application to the English language, as appropriate for a Level 5 module where the students have no prior knowledge of this form of analysis, but have at level 4 been introduced to the study of language and communication at a more general level.
      2. To develop skills of transcription of English phonology in a standard Southern/RP accent; and to identify specific variations on that accent on a national and international basis (i.e., to include American pronunciation, Indian pronunciation, Geordie pronunciation etc.),as appropriate for a Level 5 module where the students have no prior knowledge of this form of analysis, but have at level 4 been introduced to the study of language and communication at a more general level.
      3. To critically explore the social semiotics of vocal meaning (van Leeuwen 1999) with particular reference to the timing of speech, the melody of speech and voice qualities.
      4. To apply the knowledge and understanding gained through reading academic accounts by producing a significant Case Study.
      Learning Outcomes

      Students will recognise and use symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet which are commonly used to transcribe English speech in a Received Pronunciation accent, and they will thus demonstrate, specifically through the class test, that they understand how to make practical use of the IPA and have the skill to do so themselves in reference to spoken English.

      Students will be able to specify what vowel and consonant sounds mark the difference between RP and one or more other English accent such as General American or Cockney. Students will not all focus on the same accent(s), but will be given via VITAL,  resources (recordings, access to relevant books, articles, web sites) to explore the particular accent(s) they are interested in. They will need to do this because a required component of the case study is a paragraph or two on their chosen speaker’s accent. The chosen speaker may be a performer who changes accent deliberately for communicative effect.

      Students will understand Erving Goffman''s dramaturgical model for the analysis of speech events in terms of production format and participation framework (aspects of footing). They will need to understand the model as a condition of using it for their own purposes: a required component of the case study is a paragraph or two on the footing arrangements of the performance they are analysing. For example, they may need to explain that not all of the people at the event are part of the audience for that performance, and use Goffman’s framework to indicate what other participant roles are available in that context.

      Students will understand that the speaking voice has meaningful qualities that go beyond the actual words used. They will focus specifically on meanings conveyed through timing of delivery, meanings conveyed through melody of delivery, meanings conveyed through voice qualities. This will require a social semiotic approach and the framework developed by Theo van Leeuwen will provide that approach. Students will need to understand this framework as a condition of using it for their own purposes: required components of the case study focus specifically on timing, melody and voice quality.

      Students will understand the concept of rhetoric and be able to identify rhetorical devices such as repetition which rely on specifically vocal characteristics (in contrast to, e.g., metaphor, where the actual sound is not relevant in its own right to the effect and works just as well in writing as it does in speech).

    • Global Hollywood: From Film Art to Media Entertainment (COMM201)
      Level2
      Credit level30
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      ​The aims of this module are:

      • To introduce students to the role played by the Hollywood film industry in the development of modern trans-national entertainment networks.
      • To enable students to understand the relationship between film style (aesthetics) and structures of industrial organization at various points in Hollywood''s history.
      • To provide students with an understanding of the ways in which national / cultural identities in Hollywood films relate to changing industrial and social contexts of film production and consumption.
      • To help students understand recent debates about media convergence and the globalisation of media entertainment.
      Learning Outcomes

      Students will be familiar with a number of terms and concepts used in film criticism and analysis.

      ​Students will have developed an understanding of the role played by US films in mobilising social and cultural identities, especially around particular formations of nationality and gender. 

      ​Students will have the ability to identify the commercial imperatives of film and television texts.

      Students will be able to demonstrate how economic, industrial and institutional factors shape film and television texts.

    • Media, Self and Society (COMM235)
      Level2
      Credit level30
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting40:60
      Aims
      • To critically examine key debates and perspectives relating to issues of selfhood, body and identity in a global media age.
      • To develop critical insights into the construction, consumption and regulation of selfhood and identity in a global media age.
      • To develop critical insights into the impacts of digital cultures and technologies on practices of selfhood and identity in a global media age.

      Learning Outcomes

      ​A critical awareness of debates and perspectives relating to issues of selfhood, body and identity.

      ​To gain understandings and knowledge of some of the key concepts used in theoretical approaches to media, self and society in the media and cultural studies literature.

      ​To demonstrate knowledge of issues and debates relating to selfhood and the media.

      ​To critically apply knowledge of these issues and debates to specific examples and case studies.

      ​​​​​

      ​​

    Programme Year Three

    All final year modules are optional.  They are designed to provide opportunities to specialise further in your chosen areas of the subject and to strengthen your employability and research skills.  You can choose to undertake a piece of sustained, original research by taking the Dissertation module or complete a briefer original research project as part of the Independent Study Project module.  Our Work Placement module is available to students who have not taken our Year in Industry pathway (P901 Communication with a Year in Industry).

    Year Three Optional Modules

    • Dissertation (COMM401)
      Level3
      Credit level30
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1.    To facilitate students to construct an extended and original research project on an appropriate topic which is clear and realistic in scope and seeks to make a distinct contribution both to your own learning and to debates within your chosen field


             

      2. ​To facilitate students to develop independent research skills

      3. ​To facilitate students to develop professional standards for the presentation of research material

      Learning Outcomes

      ​​​​ Students will demonstrate a deep knowledge and understanding of their chosen topic and a critical awareness of the relationship of their own research to other work in the field

      ​Students will identify and apply research methods which are appropriate for their project

      ​​​​Students will apply core theoretical and conceptual approaches in the study of communication and media in order to construct a coherent and sustained argument as appropriate to the research project and method of enquiry

      ​Students will present research information and argument in an appropriate form and to a professional standard, applying recognised academic methods of referencing to bibliographic material

    • Literacy and Society (COMM311)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      • To introduce students to theoretical debates about the nature and function of literacy.
      • To explore the role of literacy in a range of different social contexts.
      • To test the boundaries of what we mean by ''literacy'', specifically, to examine where written language interacts with considerations of visual communication more generally.
      Learning Outcomes​By the end of this module students should be able to discuss various uses of the term ‘literacy’ in different academic and public debates.

      ​By the end of this module students should be able to assess critically and in depth the views of various authors on the importance of literacy in society.​

      By the end of this module ​students should be able to demonstrate a certain level of analytic ability in relation to English language texts (note: this is not designed as a formal English language programme or module and the emphasis upon terminology etc. will be relatively light)​.

    • Queer Film, VIdeo and Documentary (COMM305)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1. To introduce students to queer theory and queer politics through the history and analysis of the production and reception of moving images.
      2. To encourage students to develop advanced moving image analysis skills and use them to differentiate between the forms and practices of film, video and documentary.
      3. To introduce key concepts and key theories around LGBTQ+ identity as historically, culturally, and politically situated.
      4. To encourage students to widen their knowledge and understanding of LGBTQ+ equality and diversity through the theory, history, ethics, and politics of queer moving images. ​
      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of queer film, video and documentary.

      ​Students will demonstrate familiarity with key concepts and debates in queer theory.

      Students will demonstrate skills in advanced moving image analysis.​Students will demonstrate a practical ability to facilitate a workshop discussion.Students will demonstrate a practical ability to conceive of a thematic queer film season for an LGBT+ film festival with underpinning rationale and theory. 
    • Media and Campaigning (COMM302)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
      Aims

      ​This module aims to develop students with knowledge and understanding of the role of the media in the conduct of public life. 

      Learning Outcomes

      ​To gain a knowledge of the role the media plays in theshaping of political opinions and political outcomes​

      To be aware of theseeffects within the broader context of the forces that affect electoral outcomes​

      ​To become aware of the history of campaigns and the media​

      ​To develop appropriate ''data literacy'' via examples and case studies ofdata used in the press / media​

    • Media and Morality (COMM321)
      LevelQ6
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1. ​To provide students with an understanding of the moral issues of media production and consumption.

      2. ​To develop students'' abilities to think critically about these moral issues.

      3. ​To furnish students with the ability to both understand media through moral theory and to interrogate moral theory in light of media developments.

      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students will be able to have a critical awareness of the impact of media on moral life and the ethical issues that arise from media production and consumption.

      Students will have familiarity with relevant ethical theories and moral concepts.

      Students will have the ability to utilise ethical theory and moral concepts to explore empirical ethical issues in media.

      Students will have the ability to reflexively engage with ethical theory in response to developments in media production and consumption

    • Young People and the Media (COMM343)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      • ​To explore the relationship between children and young people, society and the media.
      • To provide a critical overview of the main debates and theories on the role of the media in children''s and young people''s lives.
      • To investigate the media''s role in key processes such as socialisation and social identity.
      Learning Outcomes

      Students will be able to evaluate the main debates on the role the media play in children''s and young people''s lives.

      Students will be able to explain the relationship between children/young people, society and the media by drawing upon relevant theoretical frameworks.

      ​Students will be able to analyse key processes in children''s/young people''s lives that the media contribute to such as socialisation and social identity.

      ​Students will be able to synthesise evidence from a range of sources and present well-structured arguments.

    • Mediating the Past (COMM339)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
    • The module aims to provide students with an introduction to key issues relating the representation and mediation of cultural heritage and memory​

    • The module will enable students to acquire both theoretical and practical insights into ​the mediation of heritage and memory.

    • The module will provide students with a broad knowledge of the range of practices and discourses of cultural heritage, from the broadcast media, to museums, and archives and archival practices. ​

    • The module will provide students with practical research skills in observing, as part of a heritage/museum field trip, ​and in presentating a report of their observations in a class setting.

    • The module will enable students to gain practical and creative skills in digital media as part of blog-based coursework assessment.

    • Learning Outcomes

      Students will be ​able to demonstrate knowledge of key theories and debates on media, heritage and cultural memory.​

      Students will be able to understand and apply these theories and debates to specific examples and case studies linked to the media and heritage industries.​

      Students will acquire practical research and dissemination skills, including orally presenting work based on a group field exercise, and ​designing an online multi-media heritage blog​

    • Issues in Photography (COMM323)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
      Aims

      ​To develop students’ abilities to read, discuss and write critically about the photographic image, by recognizing its aesthetic components, its role in memory politics, and the ethics of the photographic gaze and consumption.

      To provide students with an introduction to the history of photography, from the daguerreotype to the digital photograph.   To examine key theoretical frameworks and contemporary debates on photographs of suffering and human rights violations. 
      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students will develop the capacity to distinguish all the components of a photographic image, its different private and public uses, and its historical changes.

      Students will be able to discuss relevant theories, debates and key concepts in the analysis of photographs.

      ​Students will develop a critical awareness of the impact of photography in key events related to the violation of human rights that took place during the second half of the twentieth century and the twenty-first century.

    • Independent Study Project (COMM319)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1. to develop independent learning activities in the field of the communication and media studies.

         

      2. to enhance students'' knowledge and understanding of the world of media through a personal exploration of a topic in communication and media studies

      Learning Outcomes

      be able to formulate a research project in the area of communication and media studies 

      be able to demonstrate how a research methodology influences the shaping of a research project

      be able to produce a substantial research-led, written piece of work following standard academic convention​

      be able to critically engage with a range of critical, conceptual or historical insights which are produced by different perspectives in communication and media studies research

    • Understanding Magazines B (COMM341)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      ​To provide a critical overview of the (predominantly UK) magazine industry from its origins to the present day.

      To encourage students to consider contexts of production and reception in relations to magazine texts.

      To provide students with opportunities to evaluate existing research on magazines and produce their own analyses using similar approaches.


      Learning Outcomes

      ​​​​​​Students will be able to discuss the conditions of magazine production in different times and contexts.

      ​Students will be able confidently to discuss and reflect on the impact of digital technologies on magazine production

      ​Students will critically reflect on the relationships between magazines and readers

      ​Students will have demonstrated the ability to analyse various magazine texts and evaluate them in relation to key issues in the literature

    • Media, Culture and the City (COMM320)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1. To provide an introduction into the different ways that cities and urban life are represented, experienced, and engaged with as spaces of culture.
      2. To explore the mediation of cities from a number of strategic perspectives, encompassing both representations of cities ''in media'' (e.g. film, advertising, maps, museum displays) and media ''in cities'' (e.g. billboards/urban screens, locating filming, mobile and ''locactive'' screen media).
      3. To introduce students to a wide range of key perspectives and debates on cites from across the film, media and cultural studies literature.
      Learning OutcomesStudents will be able to demonstrate knowledge of some of the core theories and concepts on cities and urban space in the media and cultural studies literature.Students will be able to understand and apply these theories to specific examples and case studies.Students will be familiar with debates on the role of culture in processes of urban regeneration and renewal.​Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the impact of digital cultures and technologies in shaping perceptions, experiences and the consumption of cities.
    • American Independent Cinema (COMM316)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
      Aims
      1. To examine the ways in which American independent cinema represents a distinct mode of filmmaking from mainstream Hollywood by exploring the industrial and economic conditions that have given birth to independent films, especially in the post-1980 period 
      2. To examine the ways in which American independent cinema represents a distinct mode of filmmaking from mainstream Hollywood by exploring the aesthetic choices and representational strategies filmmakers of independent films have made and how those might differ from choices and strategies associated with dominant aesthetic and representational regimes.  ​
      3. To examine the ways in which American independent cinema represents a distinct mode of filmmaking from mainstream Hollywood by exploring the relationship of a number of independent films to broader social, cultural, political and ideological landscapes (such as Reaganite politics, the politics of counter-culture, racial and gender politics, etc.) 

      Learning OutcomesDemonstrate an understanding of the debates that have surrounded the concept of independence in American cinema
      Demonstrate an understanding of the manner in which independent film has been mobilized to respond to particular economic and social-cultural changes in the United States

      Be able to identify the key aesthetic choices employed in a number of such films and the ways in which they differ from dominant regimes of representation

      ​Be able to understand American independent cinema as an industrial product determined by a specific mode of production and circulation/distribution
    • Media and Human Rights (COMM317)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
      1. To examine key debates relating to the interaction between news media and human rights.

      2. To subject the underlying rationale for media representation and reporting of critical human rights issues to scrutiny​.

      3. To assess and examine specific cases of media and human rights interaction​.

      Learning Outcomes

      Students will be familiar with the key theories of human rights and the development of international norms of human rights. 

      Students will be familiar with political and institutional structures involved in addressing human rights.

      ​Students will be familiar with the historical and current changes in the relations between media and human rights.

      ​Students will be able to understand and explore a range of salient media issues which relate specifically to the definition, construction, protection or abuse of human rights.

      ​Students will acquire in-depth knowledge, using case studies of specific issues that are problematising and, at times, re-defining the relations between media and human rights.

    • News Media and Society (COMM301)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      ​To examine the structures and dynamics of news productionand reception

      To critically assess the professional practices andideologies of journalists in democratic contexts

      To examine the effectiveness and quality of journalism in avariety of specific cases

      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students will gain a good understanding of the democraticrole and performance of journalists in contemporary society

      ​Students will possess a good understanding of key theoriesand perspectives within the sociology of news

      ​Students will be able to discuss contemporary perspectiveson journalism and how social, political, economic and technological changes areaffecting the way news is produced and consumed


      Students will be able to apply wider theories about newsproduction and representation to analyse a range of particular issues or cases

    • Stardom and Media Celebrity (COMM303)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      ​This module is designed to introduce students to the academic disciplines of star studies and celebrity studies, and to help develop students’ understanding of vocabulary, theoretical perspectives, and advanced concepts related to the areas of stardom and media celebrity. It will encourage students to differentiate between historical periods in stardom and mediated identities, and across different media platforms and contexts. It will encourage students to widen their knowledge of public figures and celebrities via conceptual, technological, economic, political and formal approaches to the topic, and to make connections between the idea of stardom/fame and other media topics and discourses.

      Learning Outcomes

      The student will demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts in and theoretical approaches to stardom and celebrity.

      ​The student will critically evaluate historical shifts in celebrity cultures.

      ​The student will analyse the roles played by audiences, actors, employers and different media forms in the construction of stardom.

      ​The student will analyse the way in which case studies of specific examples illustrate stardom and celebrity.

      ​The student will relate this analysis to wider concerns within mainstream filmmaking and media performance, across cinema, television, advertising, digital media, and alternative media forms.

    • School of the Arts Work Placements Module (SOTA300)
      Level3
      Credit level30
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims
    • To develop materials and/or undertake tasks within a practical or vocational context.

    • ​To apply within that practical or vocational context professional, pedagogical, theoretical and other knowledge relevant to the development and delivery of the placement materials and/or tasks.

    • ​To apply academic and/or theoretical knowledge within a practical context, and reflect and report on the relationship between the two.

    • ​To develop and identify a range of personal/ employability skills, and reflect and report on this development.

    • Learning Outcomes

      To demonstrate an ability to develop materials and/or undertake tasks, according to a given specification and requirement, within a practical or vocational context.

      ​To reflect on and evaluate the efficacy of the materials developed and/or the tasks undertaken.

      ​To identify the connection between academic and/or theoretical knowledge and its practical or vocational application.

      ​To identify, reflect and report on a range of personal/employability skills.

    The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.


    Teaching and Learning

    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 Mac suite. Dissertation and work placement modules involve more independent study, but always under the careful individual supervision of a member of academic staff.

    All students will receive teaching in study skills as part of their core first year programme, with sessions including information literacy, essay writing, assessment and feedback, referencing, and degree progress.


    Assessment

    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.