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Please note: Last year of entry for this course was September 2023. For September 2024 entry, please see BA (Hons) Media & Communication.

Are you ready to immerse yourself in a dynamic and exciting environment, to learn about the ways media influences our daily lives and the world around us?

The BA (Hons) Mass Communication course is an innovative media-based degree that allows you to develop specialist knowledge of the concepts, theories, practices and methods that characterise contemporary media, communication, and cultural studies.

From day one, you will be supported in developing an independent critical understanding of the key advances within mass communication, a field of study that encompasses a wide variety of media organisations, technological innovations, cultural industries, and audiences. 

You will develop your knowledge, skills and abilities on a course that will enable you to critically evaluate contemporary mass communications industries and to understand the technological, social and political factors that shape those industries.

 The course’s unique framework structure allows you to tailor your interest in media towards a particular career route in your third year, specialising in specific modules that are directly applicable to your future employment, whichever career path you choose.

 

Why choose Northumbria to study Mass Communications?

  • 100% of students studying Media Studies at Northumbria felt free to express their ideas, opinions, and beliefs (NSS, 2023).
  • Communication & Media Studies at Northumbria is ranked 9th in the UK for overall Student Experience (Times Good University Guide, 2024).
  • Communication & Media Studies at Northumbria is ranked Top 30 in the UK by the Complete University Guide for 2024.

See other similar courses you may be interested in: Mass Communication with Business, Mass Communication with Advertising, or Mass Communication with Public Relations.

Course Information

UCAS Code
P301

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department
Arts

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Fees
Fee Information

Modules
Module Information

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Book an Open Day / Experience Mass Communication BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Mass Communication. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

GCSE requirements:
A good GCSE profile is expected including Maths and English Language at minimum grade C or equivalent.  If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a minimum grade 4.

UCAS Tariff Points:
120-128 UCAS Tariff points including one or more of the following: 

GCE and VCE Advanced Level: 
From at least 2 GCE/VCE A Levels 

Edexcel/BTEC National Extended Diploma:
Distinction, Distinction, Merit 

Scottish Highers:
BBBC - BBBBC at Higher level, CCC - BCC at Advanced Higher 

Irish Highers:
BBBBB  - ABBBB

IB Diploma:
120-128 UCAS Tariff points including minimum score of 4 in at least three subjects at Higher level

Access to HE Diploma:
Award of full Access to HE Diploma including 18 credits at Distinction and 27 at Merit

Qualification combinations:
The University welcomes applications from students studying qualifications from different qualification types - for example A level and a BTEC qualification in combination, and if you are made an offer you will be asked to achieve UCAS Tariff points from all of the qualifications you are studying at level 3.  Should the course you wish to study have a subject specific requirement then you must also meet this requirement, usually from GCE A level.

Applicants from the EU:
Applicants from the EU are welcome to apply and if the qualification you are studying is not listed here then please contact the Admissions Team for advice or see our EU Applicants pages here https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/international/european-union/eu-applications/ 

International applicants:
The University is pleased to welcome international applicants from over 100 countries and considers a wide range of qualifications for entry to its programmes.  For specific information please visit our International Admissions pages here https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/international/international-admissions/ 

International applicants are also required to have one of the following English language qualifications with grades as shown below

  • A British      Council International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.0      (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing,      Listening and Speaking of 5.5
  • Pearson      Academic score of 54 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of      Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 51

The University also accepts many other English language qualifications and if you have any questions about our English Language requirements please conta

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1: TBC

* The maximum tuition fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by government. Tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, these are subject to government regulations and in line with inflation.


EU Fee in Year 1: TBC

International Fee in Year 1: TBC


Please see the main Funding Pages for 24/25 scholarship information.

 


ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

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How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

MI4019 -

Personal and Professional Practice (Core,20 Credits)

This module aims to provide you with a range of academic and professional practice skills, and an awareness of a range of professional contexts in which the knowledge of your degree study may be applied.

The module begins with a series of sessions dealing with generic and subject-specific research skills, including how to do presentations, literature reviews, e-learning and writing in different contexts (i.e. essays, portfolios, reports, criticism). These skills will allow you to become independent learners and will then be put into practice through the first assessment task, which is a recorded presentation. The second half of the module is themed around professional development. Through attendance at class, individual tutorials and directed and independent learning, you will explore a variety of professional contexts for your degree study. This will include visiting speakers and training sessions in relevant skills such as podcasting. This will culminate in the second assessment task, a podcast.

More information

MP4015 -

Approaches to Media and Culture (Core,40 Credits)

This module will introduce you to the study of mass communication and culture (with an emphasis on popular media forms). Throughout the module you will explore key issues in the study of mass communication alongside influential critical concepts, and be asked to consider how one analyses ”media objects” in relation to such ideas: what knowledge is required to contextualise the analysis? How does one select and integrate theory into analysis? What primary and secondary sources are considered “legitimate” in academic analysis, and how are these decisions made?

The focus of the module is at once to allow you to engage with mass communications first-hand and develop your analytical skills (in terms of written work and collaborative group discussion), but also to expose you to methodological frameworks—a foundation that will act as the basis of your future studies.

More information

MP4016 -

Writing for Digital (Core,20 Credits)

The purpose of the module Writing for Digital is to learn the basics of how to identify stories, source information, interview and write journalism for a range of publications including newspapers and online. As such you will learn to become an independent journalist, developing a sense of what is news and the best means to tell a story across a variety of media. You will also be taught how to write clearly and concisely, which is the heart of good journalism and online digital communication more broadly. You will be taught how to identify and write for your intended audience (rather than for yourself), and how to avoid the use of meaningless jargon and generic content. You will also be taught the importance of social media—where brevity is essential—in the digital age. These skills are fundamental for any career in communications, including public relations, journalism, advertising, social media management, and so forth. They will also provide a bedrock for your future employability by helping you to understand how to communicate about yourself and your interests in a professional manner.

More information

MP4017 -

Key Debates in Media History (Core,20 Credits)

This module sketches the creation of the modern media and the development of modern ‘mass’ media communications and the significance this has for contemporary society. It begins with a consideration of pre-renaissance methods of communication, focusing on the importance of inscriptions to public communication and highlighting the enduring nature of this and other forms of public communication. The nature and function of early manuscripts and the significance of these to the social whole is explored. The module will chart the practice and social consequences of printing in the fifteenth century, photography and the news print media in the nineteenth; radio, cinema, television and, advertising in the twentieth century. The module concludes with an introduction to information and communication technologies (ICTs). The module aims to chart and debate the main historical developments in the creation of the contemporary mass media and relate these to politics and contemporary society.

More information

MP4018 -

Media and Morality (Core,20 Credits)

‘Media and Morality’ introduces you to a range of theoretical paradigms and arguments within moral philosophy. These ideas will be explored via contentious debates located in current affairs. Examples from news, media and popular culture will be drawn upon in order to a) illustrate the continuing relevance of moral concerns raised by classical thinkers such as Kant and Aristotle, and b) demonstrate the ubiquity of moral concerns in contemporary culture. The module aims to evince the ways in which moral theory can deepen our understanding of contentious issues that impact on our lives and rights as citizens. The module also aims to develop your ability to work with theoretical concepts and to present your views on such matters in the form of focused arguments (both during class discussion and the final written assessment).

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

MP5017 -

Media Cultures (Core,20 Credits)

This explores the major trajectories of communication technology, cultural readings of communication technologies and their impact in terms of human communication, technological progression, economics, business, popular culture, and cultural human space. This module will take a case study approach to media cultures which will resonate explicitly with examples which are central to the daily lives of young people as a way to explore both these and wider issues of media and cultural engagement. Such examples include the online world of social media, the 21st century music industry and global consumer culture and can be applied to more unfamiliar media cultures. The second part of the module takes a historical turn. Moving from the contemporary to the historical gives the opportunity to reflect on the current historical moment and how this is linked to longer trajectories in the development of media cultures

More information

MP5019 -

Researching Audiences (Core,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to several things. First, it will give you a grounding in some of the main recent traditions for thinking about and researching media audiences, and the historical contexts of these; the rise of the European cultural studies approach to audiences, the mainly American mass communications approaches, the reception studies tradition, and the growing interdisciplinary field of fan studies. What links all of these approaches is an emphasis on the contexts which shape how audiences engage with and respond to different media and cultural products.

The module will also ensure you are experienced at reading and evaluating original audience and reception research. In other words, that rather than just reading second-hand summaries or excerpts, you read in detail actual empirical work in order to think about and understand the processes undertaken, and assess what distinguishes good/strong from poor/weak research.

Finally, alongside tackling the intellectual issues of audience research, the module aims to do something quite unusual – to give you experience of the processes involved, and the challenges encountered, by giving you a chance to carry out your own small piece of audience research. This necessarily has to be small-scale and preliminary, in order to fit it within the confines of one module over one semester. But working in a small group you will design, conduct and compare some different ways of learning about audience responses.

More information

MP5021 -

Media Methodologies (Core,20 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to key theories and approaches employed when researching media, and provide you with the practical skills needed to undertake a major independent research in your final year (the dissertation). In the first half of this module, you will engage with the key processes involved in designing an academic research project, undertaking the research work and analysis, and presenting the results. In the process, you will be shown how to position your work in relation to an intellectual context; construct research questions that are practical and realistic; implement appropriate methodologies; write research proposals; and structure longer written projects (such as dissertations). The second half of the module will put research approaches in focus; academic experts will provide sessions on particular methodological approaches such as analysing media texts and archival research.

More information

MP5022 -

Cultural Identities on Screen (Core,20 Credits)

The module will focus on the televisual representation and articulation of cultural identities in Britain and the US. We will look at how gender, ethnicity, national and regional identities are constructed through an examination of different genres and areas of screen media, such as drama, comedy and current affairs. We will explore issues such as class, gender and racial stereotypes, visibility of minority groups and integration. Throughout the course we will also consider the function of television, considering what its role might be in the construction of cultural identities.

More information

MP5023 -

Media Industries (Core,20 Credits)

You will examine mass communications in the context of contemporary practices, trends, developments and trajectories that have developed and are developing within contemporary mass communication industries. The module takes a distinctive pedagogic approach in that the core of the module consists of three team-taught and research-led ‘symposiums’ that address a specific debate, development or controversy within the field of mass communication industries (broadcast, digital, advertising) and enable you to acquire a critical, multi-perspective, and evaluative grounding in the issues shaping such industries. Complementing and reinforcing the Media staff-led symposiums will be a series of lectures provided by industry guest speakers (from television, radio, advertising and digital/web companies) that will provide practical and state-of-the-art insights into key issues underpinning mass communication operations and developments. Finally, two workshop sessions will be based upon you undertaking personal research into salient issues (the front-facing components of Apple stores, the ‘brand’ and customer typology) and research-informed reflexive approaches to social networking technologies.

More information

MP5024 -

Media Events (Core,20 Credits)

Following a case study approach, you will investigate the idea of media events in historical, conceptual and organisational terms. The module will explore how particular events (e.g. media festivals and award ceremonies) are developed, structured and organised. The aim is to consider how we, as scholars of media and culture, might conceptualise events and in so doing gain a clearer understanding of their dynamics, practices and their impact upon industry and society. In this way, the module will illustrate the key ways in which specific media events have been framed in scholarship and how these ideas might begin to be applied in the real world. As such, the module encourages you to develop a critical response to media events and, in so doing, reflect upon their broader historical, cultural and socio-political significance. The lectures will introduce key concepts that will be explored in the seminars. The main part of each seminar will focus upon group tasks and discussion of the theme, specific event or set texts. Seminar discussions are also intended to develop your communication skills and your ability to develop and respond to ideas in a collaborative environment. You are expected to prepare for the sessions by studying the set text(s) for each week, and also by carrying out additional recommended reading/viewing (which will be indicated in the module guide and on the e–Learning Portal).

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5001 -

Arts Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks). You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Specific learning will depend on the nature of the employer and the placement secured. In general terms, this module is an opportunity to gain significant experience of industry practice, and to learn professional, role-specific skills ‘on the job’. It’s also a great opportunity to improve transferable skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, personal organisation, time management, presentation, commercial awareness, entrepreneurial skills, branding, and professional conduct generally; and to enhance your CV and personal portfolio. Students who have carried out placements in previous years often describe it as a transformative experience; they report greatly increased personal confidence both in terms of launching their future careers, and in returning to their final year of study. Your employer will agree in advance what your learning is likely to include, and will help you reflect on this learning at the end of your placement.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AD5002 -

Arts Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year abroad at a partner university equivalent to 120 UK credits. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

MP6006 -

Media Dissertation (Core,40 Credits)

‘Media Dissertation’ involves the researching and writing of an 8,000-10,000 word media-related dissertation on a subject of your own choosing. You should attend a series of mandatory lecture/workshop sessions in which the fundamental requirements of preparing and researching a dissertation will be examined and explained. These sessions will be spread across semester 1 and semester 2. In Semester 1, you will develop your initial dissertation proposal up to the point where you are ready to start writing the dissertation itself. You will develop your information-retrieval skills, familiarise yourself with your chosen subject, find solutions to any problems arising out of your research design, consider the significance of any ethical constraints, formulate your principal research question, and determine the methodology you will use. You are required to complete a 2000 word dissertation plan as part of your progress (however, the module grade will be entirely assessed against your final 8000-10000 word dissertation). In Semester 2 you will develop and amend the ideas in your dissertation plan, carry out further research, prepare and write the final dissertation. Supervision will continue to be provided through regular meetings with your supervisor.

More information

MP6021 -

Mass Communication Case Study (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide a space to familiarize yourself with the case study as a tool for the investigation of social, economic, cultural and technological phenomena connected with the field of mass communication studies. Whether your interests lie in how people from ethnic minorities or standards of beauty are represented in the media, success stories in the market of mobile apps, use of social media for marketing purposes or how Twitter is used in discussion of popular television, this module will offer you a mix of knowledge, materials of reference and guidance to engage in choosing, planning, conducting and writing a case study for your assessment. A key component of the module will involve the study of iconic case studies such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Netflix and the BBC, through which you'll be able to identify the characteristics of well-designed study cases. The module will be a valuable experience to learn aspects of the research process you could apply for writing essays, under- and postgraduate dissertations, whilst providing you with skills you could apply in a variety of professions such as journalism, marketing, public relations, and policy-making. Part of the core knowledge and skills that you will be expected to develop for this module will involve you in familiarising yourself with the extensive array of Northumbria University’s digital resources. You will then be expected to use electronic repositories of data, reference, archive and multimedia materials, such as LexisNexis, WaybackMachine, Box of Broadcasts, and EBSCO, among others, to research the original content required to develop your own case study.

More information

MP6029 -

Cinema and Society (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will critically examine the relationship between US filmic institutions (films and industrial bodies – hereafter “cinema”) and different social contexts, including, for example: changes to the Hollywood Studio System (and the birthing of the “New Hollywood”), cinema’s responses to war and global trauma, and cinema’s engagement with issues surrounding race, gender and sexuality. Taught through lectures, demonstrations (film screenings) and student-led seminars, the course explores many of the ways cinema has engaged with key societal concerns.

You will be required to read and reflect on specific theoretical and empirical academic work by leading scholars and commentators and, using your analytical and interpretive skills, relate this work to the issues raised in class and by the accompanying film screenings. The module is assessed by a written essay or equivalent video essay, which is designed to test your knowledge of film history and industry (one of the world's major mass communications industries), to evidence a sophisticated understanding of the issues under scrutiny, and your ability to work to a deadline. Ultimately, the module asks you to consider: What is the significance of studying cinema as a mass communications industry, an outlet for personal expression, and as a political tool? What can cinema tells us about history? What can cinema tell us about ourselves?

More information

MP6037 -

Sport, Media and Society (Core,20 Credits)

‘Sport, Media and Society’ is designed so you learn to apply critical thought, sociological analysis and relevant theories to contemporary mediated-sport. The content will necessarily be dynamic and continually evolving to reflect the fluid nature of the relationship between contemporary sport and the media (particularly through the development of new and social media) as well as related theoretical and political debates. However, the module will be built around the following key themes which are likely to remain central to it
• The history of mass media, using sports media as an exemplary case study, with focus on related social and cultural institutions (eg advertising and government)
• Sports-media as an agent of socialisation and source of social and cultural power.
• The emergence of ‘new’ and ‘social’ media (including, but not limited to, Twitter, Periscope, gambling, gaming) and its impact on traditional forms of media as well as the construction of sports-media narratives, identity and other social relations.
• Underlying theoretical, ethical and political issues in the relationship between sport and the mass media, including, but not limited to, the representation of gender, sexuality, class and regional and national identities.

More information

MP6038 -

Digital Media and Society (Core,20 Credits)

This module is designed to give you a critical understanding of current debates over the development of new media and their relationship with society. You will be introduced to the key theories, issues and debates about the use, production, and distribution of digital media. You will become familiar with key issues and ideas in new media theory and in the interrelationships between digital media, technologies and societies. You will develop critical skills in analysing digital media and understanding their roles in the information society. The module will look at how these developments are related to social inequalities by asking crucial questions about the rise and persistence of the digital divide, raising the issues of inequalities in accessing, using and getting advantages from new media. The module will also analyse how social media are changing and reshaping our social world. Finally, the module will look at recent case studies and examples to understand how new media are permeating our society and everyday life, transforming the way in which we think and act in a digital society, affecting our perception of crucial social issues such as surveillance/privacy, online identities and activism.

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

MI4019 -

Personal and Professional Practice (Core,20 Credits)

This module aims to provide you with a range of academic and professional practice skills, and an awareness of a range of professional contexts in which the knowledge of your degree study may be applied.

The module begins with a series of sessions dealing with generic and subject-specific research skills, including how to do presentations, literature reviews, e-learning and writing in different contexts (i.e. essays, portfolios, reports, criticism). These skills will allow you to become independent learners and will then be put into practice through the first assessment task, which is a recorded presentation. The second half of the module is themed around professional development. Through attendance at class, individual tutorials and directed and independent learning, you will explore a variety of professional contexts for your degree study. This will include visiting speakers and training sessions in relevant skills such as podcasting. This will culminate in the second assessment task, a podcast.

More information

MP4015 -

Approaches to Media and Culture (Core,40 Credits)

This module will introduce you to the study of mass communication and culture (with an emphasis on popular media forms). Throughout the module you will explore key issues in the study of mass communication alongside influential critical concepts, and be asked to consider how one analyses ”media objects” in relation to such ideas: what knowledge is required to contextualise the analysis? How does one select and integrate theory into analysis? What primary and secondary sources are considered “legitimate” in academic analysis, and how are these decisions made?

The focus of the module is at once to allow you to engage with mass communications first-hand and develop your analytical skills (in terms of written work and collaborative group discussion), but also to expose you to methodological frameworks—a foundation that will act as the basis of your future studies.

More information

MP4016 -

Writing for Digital (Core,20 Credits)

The purpose of the module Writing for Digital is to learn the basics of how to identify stories, source information, interview and write journalism for a range of publications including newspapers and online. As such you will learn to become an independent journalist, developing a sense of what is news and the best means to tell a story across a variety of media. You will also be taught how to write clearly and concisely, which is the heart of good journalism and online digital communication more broadly. You will be taught how to identify and write for your intended audience (rather than for yourself), and how to avoid the use of meaningless jargon and generic content. You will also be taught the importance of social media—where brevity is essential—in the digital age. These skills are fundamental for any career in communications, including public relations, journalism, advertising, social media management, and so forth. They will also provide a bedrock for your future employability by helping you to understand how to communicate about yourself and your interests in a professional manner.

More information

MP4017 -

Key Debates in Media History (Core,20 Credits)

This module sketches the creation of the modern media and the development of modern ‘mass’ media communications and the significance this has for contemporary society. It begins with a consideration of pre-renaissance methods of communication, focusing on the importance of inscriptions to public communication and highlighting the enduring nature of this and other forms of public communication. The nature and function of early manuscripts and the significance of these to the social whole is explored. The module will chart the practice and social consequences of printing in the fifteenth century, photography and the news print media in the nineteenth; radio, cinema, television and, advertising in the twentieth century. The module concludes with an introduction to information and communication technologies (ICTs). The module aims to chart and debate the main historical developments in the creation of the contemporary mass media and relate these to politics and contemporary society.

More information

MP4018 -

Media and Morality (Core,20 Credits)

‘Media and Morality’ introduces you to a range of theoretical paradigms and arguments within moral philosophy. These ideas will be explored via contentious debates located in current affairs. Examples from news, media and popular culture will be drawn upon in order to a) illustrate the continuing relevance of moral concerns raised by classical thinkers such as Kant and Aristotle, and b) demonstrate the ubiquity of moral concerns in contemporary culture. The module aims to evince the ways in which moral theory can deepen our understanding of contentious issues that impact on our lives and rights as citizens. The module also aims to develop your ability to work with theoretical concepts and to present your views on such matters in the form of focused arguments (both during class discussion and the final written assessment).

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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MP5017 -

Media Cultures (Core,20 Credits)

This explores the major trajectories of communication technology, cultural readings of communication technologies and their impact in terms of human communication, technological progression, economics, business, popular culture, and cultural human space. This module will take a case study approach to media cultures which will resonate explicitly with examples which are central to the daily lives of young people as a way to explore both these and wider issues of media and cultural engagement. Such examples include the online world of social media, the 21st century music industry and global consumer culture and can be applied to more unfamiliar media cultures. The second part of the module takes a historical turn. Moving from the contemporary to the historical gives the opportunity to reflect on the current historical moment and how this is linked to longer trajectories in the development of media cultures

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MP5019 -

Researching Audiences (Core,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to several things. First, it will give you a grounding in some of the main recent traditions for thinking about and researching media audiences, and the historical contexts of these; the rise of the European cultural studies approach to audiences, the mainly American mass communications approaches, the reception studies tradition, and the growing interdisciplinary field of fan studies. What links all of these approaches is an emphasis on the contexts which shape how audiences engage with and respond to different media and cultural products.

The module will also ensure you are experienced at reading and evaluating original audience and reception research. In other words, that rather than just reading second-hand summaries or excerpts, you read in detail actual empirical work in order to think about and understand the processes undertaken, and assess what distinguishes good/strong from poor/weak research.

Finally, alongside tackling the intellectual issues of audience research, the module aims to do something quite unusual – to give you experience of the processes involved, and the challenges encountered, by giving you a chance to carry out your own small piece of audience research. This necessarily has to be small-scale and preliminary, in order to fit it within the confines of one module over one semester. But working in a small group you will design, conduct and compare some different ways of learning about audience responses.

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MP5021 -

Media Methodologies (Core,20 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to key theories and approaches employed when researching media, and provide you with the practical skills needed to undertake a major independent research in your final year (the dissertation). In the first half of this module, you will engage with the key processes involved in designing an academic research project, undertaking the research work and analysis, and presenting the results. In the process, you will be shown how to position your work in relation to an intellectual context; construct research questions that are practical and realistic; implement appropriate methodologies; write research proposals; and structure longer written projects (such as dissertations). The second half of the module will put research approaches in focus; academic experts will provide sessions on particular methodological approaches such as analysing media texts and archival research.

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MP5022 -

Cultural Identities on Screen (Core,20 Credits)

The module will focus on the televisual representation and articulation of cultural identities in Britain and the US. We will look at how gender, ethnicity, national and regional identities are constructed through an examination of different genres and areas of screen media, such as drama, comedy and current affairs. We will explore issues such as class, gender and racial stereotypes, visibility of minority groups and integration. Throughout the course we will also consider the function of television, considering what its role might be in the construction of cultural identities.

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MP5023 -

Media Industries (Core,20 Credits)

You will examine mass communications in the context of contemporary practices, trends, developments and trajectories that have developed and are developing within contemporary mass communication industries. The module takes a distinctive pedagogic approach in that the core of the module consists of three team-taught and research-led ‘symposiums’ that address a specific debate, development or controversy within the field of mass communication industries (broadcast, digital, advertising) and enable you to acquire a critical, multi-perspective, and evaluative grounding in the issues shaping such industries. Complementing and reinforcing the Media staff-led symposiums will be a series of lectures provided by industry guest speakers (from television, radio, advertising and digital/web companies) that will provide practical and state-of-the-art insights into key issues underpinning mass communication operations and developments. Finally, two workshop sessions will be based upon you undertaking personal research into salient issues (the front-facing components of Apple stores, the ‘brand’ and customer typology) and research-informed reflexive approaches to social networking technologies.

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MP5024 -

Media Events (Core,20 Credits)

Following a case study approach, you will investigate the idea of media events in historical, conceptual and organisational terms. The module will explore how particular events (e.g. media festivals and award ceremonies) are developed, structured and organised. The aim is to consider how we, as scholars of media and culture, might conceptualise events and in so doing gain a clearer understanding of their dynamics, practices and their impact upon industry and society. In this way, the module will illustrate the key ways in which specific media events have been framed in scholarship and how these ideas might begin to be applied in the real world. As such, the module encourages you to develop a critical response to media events and, in so doing, reflect upon their broader historical, cultural and socio-political significance. The lectures will introduce key concepts that will be explored in the seminars. The main part of each seminar will focus upon group tasks and discussion of the theme, specific event or set texts. Seminar discussions are also intended to develop your communication skills and your ability to develop and respond to ideas in a collaborative environment. You are expected to prepare for the sessions by studying the set text(s) for each week, and also by carrying out additional recommended reading/viewing (which will be indicated in the module guide and on the e–Learning Portal).

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YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5001 -

Arts Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks). You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Specific learning will depend on the nature of the employer and the placement secured. In general terms, this module is an opportunity to gain significant experience of industry practice, and to learn professional, role-specific skills ‘on the job’. It’s also a great opportunity to improve transferable skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, personal organisation, time management, presentation, commercial awareness, entrepreneurial skills, branding, and professional conduct generally; and to enhance your CV and personal portfolio. Students who have carried out placements in previous years often describe it as a transformative experience; they report greatly increased personal confidence both in terms of launching their future careers, and in returning to their final year of study. Your employer will agree in advance what your learning is likely to include, and will help you reflect on this learning at the end of your placement.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

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AD5002 -

Arts Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year abroad at a partner university equivalent to 120 UK credits. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

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MP6006 -

Media Dissertation (Core,40 Credits)

‘Media Dissertation’ involves the researching and writing of an 8,000-10,000 word media-related dissertation on a subject of your own choosing. You should attend a series of mandatory lecture/workshop sessions in which the fundamental requirements of preparing and researching a dissertation will be examined and explained. These sessions will be spread across semester 1 and semester 2. In Semester 1, you will develop your initial dissertation proposal up to the point where you are ready to start writing the dissertation itself. You will develop your information-retrieval skills, familiarise yourself with your chosen subject, find solutions to any problems arising out of your research design, consider the significance of any ethical constraints, formulate your principal research question, and determine the methodology you will use. You are required to complete a 2000 word dissertation plan as part of your progress (however, the module grade will be entirely assessed against your final 8000-10000 word dissertation). In Semester 2 you will develop and amend the ideas in your dissertation plan, carry out further research, prepare and write the final dissertation. Supervision will continue to be provided through regular meetings with your supervisor.

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MP6021 -

Mass Communication Case Study (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide a space to familiarize yourself with the case study as a tool for the investigation of social, economic, cultural and technological phenomena connected with the field of mass communication studies. Whether your interests lie in how people from ethnic minorities or standards of beauty are represented in the media, success stories in the market of mobile apps, use of social media for marketing purposes or how Twitter is used in discussion of popular television, this module will offer you a mix of knowledge, materials of reference and guidance to engage in choosing, planning, conducting and writing a case study for your assessment. A key component of the module will involve the study of iconic case studies such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Netflix and the BBC, through which you'll be able to identify the characteristics of well-designed study cases. The module will be a valuable experience to learn aspects of the research process you could apply for writing essays, under- and postgraduate dissertations, whilst providing you with skills you could apply in a variety of professions such as journalism, marketing, public relations, and policy-making. Part of the core knowledge and skills that you will be expected to develop for this module will involve you in familiarising yourself with the extensive array of Northumbria University’s digital resources. You will then be expected to use electronic repositories of data, reference, archive and multimedia materials, such as LexisNexis, WaybackMachine, Box of Broadcasts, and EBSCO, among others, to research the original content required to develop your own case study.

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MP6029 -

Cinema and Society (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will critically examine the relationship between US filmic institutions (films and industrial bodies – hereafter “cinema”) and different social contexts, including, for example: changes to the Hollywood Studio System (and the birthing of the “New Hollywood”), cinema’s responses to war and global trauma, and cinema’s engagement with issues surrounding race, gender and sexuality. Taught through lectures, demonstrations (film screenings) and student-led seminars, the course explores many of the ways cinema has engaged with key societal concerns.

You will be required to read and reflect on specific theoretical and empirical academic work by leading scholars and commentators and, using your analytical and interpretive skills, relate this work to the issues raised in class and by the accompanying film screenings. The module is assessed by a written essay or equivalent video essay, which is designed to test your knowledge of film history and industry (one of the world's major mass communications industries), to evidence a sophisticated understanding of the issues under scrutiny, and your ability to work to a deadline. Ultimately, the module asks you to consider: What is the significance of studying cinema as a mass communications industry, an outlet for personal expression, and as a political tool? What can cinema tells us about history? What can cinema tell us about ourselves?

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MP6037 -

Sport, Media and Society (Core,20 Credits)

‘Sport, Media and Society’ is designed so you learn to apply critical thought, sociological analysis and relevant theories to contemporary mediated-sport. The content will necessarily be dynamic and continually evolving to reflect the fluid nature of the relationship between contemporary sport and the media (particularly through the development of new and social media) as well as related theoretical and political debates. However, the module will be built around the following key themes which are likely to remain central to it
• The history of mass media, using sports media as an exemplary case study, with focus on related social and cultural institutions (eg advertising and government)
• Sports-media as an agent of socialisation and source of social and cultural power.
• The emergence of ‘new’ and ‘social’ media (including, but not limited to, Twitter, Periscope, gambling, gaming) and its impact on traditional forms of media as well as the construction of sports-media narratives, identity and other social relations.
• Underlying theoretical, ethical and political issues in the relationship between sport and the mass media, including, but not limited to, the representation of gender, sexuality, class and regional and national identities.

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MP6038 -

Digital Media and Society (Core,20 Credits)

This module is designed to give you a critical understanding of current debates over the development of new media and their relationship with society. You will be introduced to the key theories, issues and debates about the use, production, and distribution of digital media. You will become familiar with key issues and ideas in new media theory and in the interrelationships between digital media, technologies and societies. You will develop critical skills in analysing digital media and understanding their roles in the information society. The module will look at how these developments are related to social inequalities by asking crucial questions about the rise and persistence of the digital divide, raising the issues of inequalities in accessing, using and getting advantages from new media. The module will also analyse how social media are changing and reshaping our social world. Finally, the module will look at recent case studies and examples to understand how new media are permeating our society and everyday life, transforming the way in which we think and act in a digital society, affecting our perception of crucial social issues such as surveillance/privacy, online identities and activism.

More information

YA5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Arts (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

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Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

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All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

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