Written by Tia
BA (Hons) Communication and Media
I think the question should really be, what isn’t BA (Hons) Communication and Media about? The courses covers pretty much every topic from PR and marketing to media and society, language matters, and writing for the media. You can look at all the units on the course page here. It is heavily coursework based, with only a few exams throughout your time. I personally found it slightly more written or essay based than practical, however there are lots of opportunities to be more creative or do a practical assignment instead, I just often didn’t choose these options.
In first year there is a lot of group work to help introduce you to the curriculum and get everyone to the same standard. I found there were more presentations in this year than the others (probably because of the group work). You’ll also learn the university style of writing, tips and tricks, and key features such as harvard referencing. There is quite a jump in the style and quality of writing expected from you, from A Level to university so this year is pinnacle for that. My favourite units were:
- Communication & Marketing – In this we learnt about the world of marketing, how it works, theories and this all gets put into practice in your assignments.
- Media & Society – This does what it says on the tin. You learn about how media interacts with society and the impact this has.
- Adaptation – This is a subject I didn’t think I would particularly enjoy but did. You look into how things are adapted into other things. For example, books to films, films to merchandise, and so on. I really enjoyed the assignment for this as you had to come up with your very own adaptation, my group adapted Wes Anderson films into eyeshadow palettes as each movie has its own colour scheme.
I personally love second year a lot and did very well in most of my assignments. I put a lot of hard work in and enjoyed each unit. You get much more independence in your work from this point on and have little to no group work for assignments. The unites I especially enjoyed were;
- Media & Marketing Research – For this we wrote a mini dissertation which was really useful for helping write the actual thing. We could write it on pretty much anything we have an interest in (within reason), so I wrote mine on Beyoncé!
- Media: Messages and Meanings – I found this unit really interesting when applied to things in life. We wrote an essay about messages on hip hop videos which I loved writing as not only do I love hip hop but it was also fascinating.
- Web & Mobile Communication – For this you make a wordpress blog. This was such a great unit to be creative but also learn new skills such as coding. I have my own blog so this helped me to develop that even further.
- Global Current Affairs – This was A LOT of information to take in but I learnt so much. This was very different from a lot of the other subjects I studied so it was a nice change. From doing well in my assignment, along with some of my fellow students, I was given the opportunity to work on a real brief for NATO.
I opted for the 30-week minimum placement but you can do a 4 week one in the summer between second and final year. This gives you an opportunity to graduate with experience as well as a degree. It was the pinnacle year for me to make me feel actually confident and career ready.
All the options for this year are optional so you pick four units you want to do, along with your dissertation of course. So, I can only tell you about the ones I did, but the others you can read about on the website. I chose advertising, media, crisis and conflict, PR, and celebrity culture. I thoroughly enjoyed each unit and they gave me a great insight into what I wish to do upon graduation.
Advertising – for this you create a campaign, following a brief from a company, ours were for Lego, Amazon Audible and Marmite. In lectures and seminars you’ll get to learn about the advertising industry in great depth.
Media, Crisis and Conflict – for this you look into how crisis and conflicts are reported or dealt with for example. The assignment is a blog post on a subject of your choosing, so if you wish to explore a topic that fits under these umbrellas then this is a great subject for you. It was very different from my choices which I loved as, similarly to global current affairs, it was something new and an area of media I hadn’t considered a career. But, after this unit I think it will be an interesting option.
PR – you come up with a campaign, also following a brief for a company, to change the public attitude around a certain topic. They may sound very similar but they were very different!
Celebrity Culture – If you love anything from celebrity gossip and scandal to their representation and image, this is the unit for you. It was a lot of fun and you can write about any celebrity that fits the brief meaning you can write about something you will enjoy writing or works with your future career prospects.
Dissertation– This is probably the most important part of your degree as it makes up a large portion of your grade. People always say you’ll hate the topic you write about by the end of it but I actually thoroughly enjoyed writing mine and easily could have written more than 10,000 words. I chose to write my dissertation of how male musicians use fashion to subvert gender identity as it fits with the career I wish to pursue. Make the most of your academic supervisors as they are such an important part of your process, you love the topic, and start early!!