Mass communications shape the world we live in – from accessing information and taking part in social and political change, to impacting on our personal everyday relationships.
On this course you'll develop an understanding of the relationship between mass media and society and drawing on other disciplines such as sociology, political science and cultural studies, you'll be introduced to some of the key approaches to analysing the media-society relationship.
You'll explore the ways in which meaning is produced in the media as well as how issues of representation such as gender, sexuality and stereotyping are examined in relation to theories of discourse. Plus, you'll study key developments in the media, how media texts are produced, distributed, regulated and consumed, and the ways in which the media can influence society.
You will also gain an in depth understanding of the issues and institutions of news media in Britain, focusing on traditional forms of news and current affairs such as newspapers; television and radio broadcast news as well as the emerging forms of news production and distribution such as blogs and citizen journalism.
Developing the skills employers will value is an important part of the course as well. We currently offer a module specifically designed to prepare you for the world of work - you'll learn to understand and speak employers' language and develop your confidence to put your career plan into effect. There are also opportunities to put these skills into action by undertaking a work placement in many areas of the creative industries.
In your first year you'll be introduced to key aspects of theory within the field of media and cultural studies, focusing on different concepts relating to the notion of identity. You'll gain an in-depth understanding of development of the mass media, with a particular focus on the British context, and the recent appearance of multimedia forms. You may also examine the relationship between photography and culture.
In your second year you'll explore the ways in which media engages with social changes and presents them to its public and examine the range of different types of language use in contemporary British media - press, television and radio. You will have the chance to focus on specific areas of the media, such as radio podcasting, and learn important skills, including how to undertake quantitative and qualitative research.
In your third year you'll explore the key issues in the history, development and future of popular journalism and tabloid culture. You may study big 'media events' such as 9/11, undertake a work placement and research a topic of interest to you for your dissertation. Other modules currently offered include Understanding Globalisation, Media and the Public Sphere, Reporting Africa and Cult Film and TV.