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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 industires.

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 yur future employment, whichever career path you choose.

Northumbria was ranked in the Complete University Guide 2017 top 30 for Communication and Media Studies

Course Information

UCAS Code
P301 BA/MCm

Level of Study
Undergraduate

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

Department
Social Sciences

Location
Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City
Newcastle

Department / Social Sciences

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.

This course has an excellent academic support system provided by knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff, who have a shared passion for their profession and the course.

Our tutors are leading experts in the fields of media, cultural studies and mass communications. Our staff bring a wealth of research experience to the course, with specialiams in digital technology, philosophy, contemporary cinema, popular culture, and audience research. Their research is underpinned by successful collaborative partnerships with external organisations such as the BBC and a number of international film festivals. 

Our experienced academic staff will engage you in a range of stimulating, contemporary debates that explore the global influence of the mass communication industries and the factors that drive changes in media industries. Our tutors are committed to excellence in teaching and learning, and delievering an outstanding student experience.

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.

As a pathway degree, the BA (hons) Mass Communication framework provides greater opportunities to tailor your degree to your future career aspirations than most other courses usually offer.

The course's core and option modules provide you with a detailed knowledge of mass communications, encompass, media and cultural theory, media organisations, technological innovations, creative industries, and consumers.

The first two years of the course will follow a core programme of study, whether you have chosen to study Mass Communication as a single subject or combined with Advertising, Business or Public Relations.

In your third year you will specialise by undertaking specific modules and completing a major project or dissertation applicable to your chosen area.

You will be assessed via a wide variety of methods including essays, presentations, exams and blogs. The variety of assessment mechanisms will develop your ability to present your ideas in a variety of forms, thereby encouraging you to become a flexible and dynamic thinker.

Staff / Meet the Team

We are an enthusiastic, committed, knowledgeable and likeable staff team, who are here to motivate you and propel you through your degree and beyond.

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.

We provide a supportive and informal learning environment, staffed by tutors who are focused on your learning needs. This course encourages you to develop independent learning skills as well as the ability to work efficiently and effectively in a group. You will be taught discipline specific knowledge. You will also develop transferable intellectual and professional skills, which will be directly relatable to your future career.

We use technology to enhance your learning experience on this course, including tools such as electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research. Each module is accompanied by a 'Blackboard' eLearning portal that contains lecture slides and assessment information. Electronic Submission and Feedback (eSAF) is used to hand-in and provide feedback on on your assessments.

You will have access to our award winning library, which not only provides access to a vast array of books and journal articles, but also supplies high quality training guidance materials that will support your personal and professional development. 

 

University Library

At the heart of each Northumbria campus, our libraries provide a range of study space and technology to suit every learning style.

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.

Our team of academic staff is comprised of highly research-active experts in the field, whose international influence has been demonstrated by our success in the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment.

Our tutors are leading experts in the fields of media, cultural studies and mass communications. Our staff bring a wealth of research experience to the course, with specialisms in digital technology, philosophy, contemporary cinema, popular culture, and audience research. Their research is underpinned by successful collaborative partnerships with external organisations such as the BBC and a number of international film festivals. All of the modules on this course are informed by our team’s research expertise. 

 

 

Research / Social Sciences

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.

The course is designed to prepare you to meet the challenges of employment or entrepreneurial endeavour in a society in which the cultural and communications industries play an increasingly central role.

On this course, conceptual thinking is used to analyse the trends that shape media and cultural industries. Historical knowledge is related to contemporary employment environments in a way that will allow you to anticipate and develop practical solutions to the complex, unpredictable challenges you will face in your future career.

This course is designed to equip you with the key transferable skills that you will draw upon in your career, so that you will be able to confidently meet the challenges of employment (including enterprise related activities). These skills include team-working, self-motivated organisation, and communication skills.

The course draws upon Newcastle’s status as a vibrant cultural city. The faculty has established partnerships with numerous local cultural hubs including the Baltic gallery, the Tyneside cinema, the Sage, and St James Park.

 

Student Life

A great social scene can be found at the heart of our campuses, featuring award-winning bars and a huge range of clubs and societies to join you'll be sure to meet people who share your enthusiasms.

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.

On graduating you will have the knowledge and skills required for employment in a wide range of media-related professions, including careers in the creative and cultural industries, marketing, journalism, management, public relations and press offices.

This course is designed to instil key transferable skills that you will draw upon in your future career, including communication skills, literacy skills, and the ability to work in teams.

Graduates from this course are currently employed by high profile companies such as BBC Digital, Wolff Olins, Framestore and Nexus. 

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.

Course in brief

Who would this Course suit?

The Mass Communications course builds towards the Northumbria Graduate qualities as you progress through the course.

At Level 4, you will gain experience and understanding of the key theories and debates that are pertinent to studying Mass Communications.

At Level 5, you will attain a more detailed knowledge of the scholarly debates, methods, and skills that characterise Mass Communications studies and you will apply that knowledge in a range of increasingly specialised contexts; the introduction of pathway-specific modules will allow you to focus on both relevant theoretical matters, and also relevant professional considerations.

Level 6 modules, as the culmination of your studies but the beginning of your career-path, Level 6 places emphasis on continuing professional development beyond your undergraduate degree.

Entry Requirements 2018/19

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:
BBBCC - 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

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How to Apply

Applications via UCAS

Most full-time and sandwich first degrees, extended degrees, DipHE and HND courses require that application is made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) Clearing House.

If you are at school or college, staff there will advise you on how to apply. If you are not at school or college, you can apply using the UCAS secure, web-based online application system ucasapply.

Applicants apply via UCAS apply wherever there is access to the internet, and full instructions and an online help facility is available. Application details can be checked and printed at any time, text for personal statements and references can be copied and pasted into applications from a word processing package, and applications can normally be processed by the relevant Clearing House within one working day once submitted. More details on apply can be found on the UCAS website at www.ucas.com.

  • The UCAS institution code for Northumbria University is NORTH N77

If you wish to defer your entry, you should ensure you indicate this in section 3i of the application form. Full details of application deadlines and the application fee can be found on the UCAS website. Please note, however, we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry to our Teacher Training, Nursing, Midwifery and Operating Department Practice programmes.

Application Deadlines

Equal consideration is given to all applications received at UCAS by 6.00pm on 15 January. Details of all UCAS deadlines can be found on the UCAS website www.ucas.com.

UCAS will accept applications up to 30 June, but we can only consider these if there are still vacancies in relevant subjects. You are advised to check with the University before applying for popular courses which may already be full. Candidates applying for any courses after early September must follow the UCAS Late Registration Procedure, and we will provide the appropriate form.

Decision Making Process

When we receive your application it will be forwarded to the Admissions Tutor who will consider your application in accordance with the University’s Admissions Policy.

Most subject areas do not require applicants to attend an interview as part of the selection procedure. However, if the standard procedure is to interview candidates, this is specified in the degree programme entrance requirements. Some courses, such as Health, Social Work and Teacher Training, require specific checks or requirements to be put in place during the normal selection process. These are detailed on the individual course details pages.

Fairness and Transparency

The University is committed to a system of admissions that ensures fairness, transparency and equal opportunities within the legal framework of the UK and best practice. All reasonable effort will be made to ensure that no prospective or existing student is unreasonably treated less favourably on the grounds of age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental/carer status, political belief or social or economic class, or any other type of discrimination.

What Happens Next

You will receive one of the following from UCAS or our Admissions Office:

  • Conditional offer which depends on you achieving certain grades from forthcoming examinations, completing relevant checks, or other requirements prior to entry. You may be asked to send us a copy of your certificates/qualifications once these have been received to enable us to confirm your offer. Not all examination results are sent to Universities via UCAS.
  • Unconditional offer if you have already satisfied entry requirements.
  • Reject your application.

Tuition Fee Assessment

Tuition fees are set at different levels for Home/EU and International Students. Before you begin your course the University must establish your tuition fee status. In many cases, the University will be able to make this assessment without requiring any additional information.

Guidance can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website www.ukcisa.org.uk to help you understand how Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) make an assessment on your fee status.

Selection Process

Interviews

Applicants who may not have the standard entry qualifications are welcome to apply and may be interviewed. Some courses will interview as part of the selection process. This applies particularly to courses in art and design, teaching and health.

Health Screening

Applicants for Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Primary (Early Years) and Social Work will be required to complete a health questionnaire, and you may be required to attend a doctor or nurse assessment at the University Health Centre.

Prior to beginning your programme, all applicants to Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are advised to start a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations, available from your own GP. In addition, Midwifery applicants must provide evidence before they commence training that they are immune to Hepatitis B or have Hepatitis B non-carried status.

Applicants to these courses who have had contact with MRSA in the previous 6 months may be asked to provide evidence that they are not colonised by submitting negative swabs results prior to commencement of training. Alternatively, you may be screened on commencement of the programme.

All applicants will receive vaccination screening at the University Health Centre on commencement of their programme.

Disclosure of Criminal Background

To help the University reduce the risk of harm or injury to any member of its community caused by the criminal behaviour of other students, it must know about any relevant criminal convictions an applicant has.

Relevant criminal convictions are only those convictions for offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, and convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking. Convictions that are spent (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered to be relevant and you should not reveal them - unless you are applying for one of the courses outlined within the following paragraph.

If you are applying for courses in teaching, health, social work and courses involving work with children or vulnerable adults, you must complete the section of your UCAS application form entitled ‘Criminal Convictions’. You must disclose anycriminal convictions, including spent sentences and cautions (including verbal cautions) and bindover orders. Further information on how to complete this section is available from the UCAS booklet ‘How to Apply’. For these courses, applicants are required to undergo police clearance for entry and will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure form. 

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Access to the DBS checking service is only available to registered employers who are entitled by law to ask an individual to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions - also known as asking 'an exempted question'. The University is such a 'registered employer' and will send you the appropriate documents to fill in if you are offered a place in the course.

If you are convicted of a relevant criminal offence after you have applied, you must tell UCAS and the University. Do not send details of the offence; simply tell UCAS and the University that you have a relevant criminal conviction. You may then be asked to supply more details.

Anti-fraud Checks

Please note that both UCAS and the University follow anti-fraud procedures to detect and prevent fraudulent applications. If it is found that an applicant supplies a fraudulent application then it will be withdrawn.

Plagiarism

Applicants suspected of providing, or found to have provided, false information will be referred to UCAS if their application was made via UCAS. The same is true for applicants who are suspected of omitting, or found to have omitted, information that they are required to disclose according to UCAS regulations. Applications identified by UCAS’s Similarity Detection software to contain plagiarised material will be considered on an individual basis by Admissions Staff, taking into account the nature, relevance and importance of the plagiarism. The University reserves the right to cancel an application or withdraw any offer made if it is found that an application contains false, plagiarised or misleading information.

Extra

The Extra process enables applicants who have not been offered a place, or have declined all offers received, can use EXTRA to apply for other courses that still have vacancies before Clearing starts. The Extra process normally operates from late February until the end of June and Applicants should use the Course Search facility at UCAS to find which courses have vacancies.

Clearing

If you have not succeeded in gaining a place at your firm or insurance university, UCAS will send you details about Clearing, the procedure which matches course vacancies with students who do not have a university place. Information about degree vacancies at Northumbria is published in the national press; and you can also find information on our dedicated Clearing web pages during this period. We operate a Helpline - 0191 40 60 901 - throughout the Clearing period for enquiries about course vacancies.

Adjustment
If an applicant has both met and exceeded the conditions of their firmly accepted offer, they will have up to five calendar days from the time their place was confirmed (or A level results day, whichever is the later) to research places more appropriate to their performance. Applicants will have to nominate themselves for this system, and their eligibility will be confirmed by the institution they apply to adjust to.

Going to University from Care
Northumbria University is proud of its work in widening participation of young people and adults to university. We have recently been successful in being awarded the Frank Buttle Trust Quality Mark for Care Leavers in Higher Education. This mark was created to recognise institutions who go that extra mile to support students who have been in public care. To find out more, visit our Going to University from Care web page.

Disabled Students

Northumbria welcomes enquiries and applications from disabled students whether disability is due to mobility or sensory impairment, specific learning difficulties, mental health issues or a medical condition. Applications from disabled students are processed in the usual way, but applicants should declare their disability at the application stage so that the University can contact them to assess how to meet any support needs they may have. Disabled applicants may be invited to visit the University so that this can be done in person.

To find out more contact:
Disability Support Team
Tel +44 (0)191 227 3849 or
Minicom +44 (0)191 222 1051

International Students

The University has a thriving overseas community and applications from International students are welcome. Advice on the suitability of overseas qualifications is available from:

International Office
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 8ST
UK
Email: international@northumbria.ac.uk
Tel +44 (0)191 227 4274
Fax +44 (0)191 261 1264

(However, if you have already applied to Northumbria and have a query, please contact internationaladmissions@northumbria.ac.uk or telephone 00 44 191 243 7906)

Provision of Information

The University reserves the right at any stage to request applicants and enrolling students to provide additional information about any aspect of their application or enrolment. In the event of any student providing false or inaccurate information at any stage, and/or failing to provide additional information when requested to do so, the University further reserves the right to refuse to consider an application, to withdraw registration, rescind home fees status where applicable, and/or demand payment of any fees or monies due to the University.

Modules Overview

Modules

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

MP4012 -

Concepts, Culture and Society (Core, 40 Credits)

Concepts, Culture and Society will introduce you to a range of philosophical and political theories, exploring how these ideas can help us to understand culture and society. The module bridges between theory and concrete media/cultural examples in a manner which serves as a foundation for subsequent academic study at level 5 and in preparation for level 6. The course is based around central conceptual ideas including justice, freedom, liberty, equality, and ethics. By introducing you to ideas by thinkers such as Kant, Aristotle and Singer, and applying those ideas to contemporary events and cultural objects, the course will provide you with an understanding of how theoretical concepts can help us to critically reflect on our circumstances. Additional study skills sessions will focus on your professional development, focusing on strategies for critically engaging with academic arguments.

More information

MP4013 -

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 the main historical developments in the creation of the contemporary mass media and relate these to politics and society.

More information

MP4014 -

Global Media (Core, 20 Credits)

The module aims to explore major concepts and approaches to the study of global media in the context of contemporary societies. You will learn about diverse theoretical approaches developed mainly within the political economy of media tradition, however, more ‘culturalist’ approaches will also be discussed.

You will study materials that examine how global media industries and communication systems are shaped by ownership, market structures, technologies, labour practices, government policies and audiences. You will learn to identify and critically examine social relations that constitute the production, distribution and consumption of communication resources. You will also gain an understanding of the complex relationship between media systems and political institutions and practices.

• The module combines theoretical insights and empirical information so you can appreciate the empirical implementation of theoretical frameworks.

• The module aims to familiarize you with theoretical perspectives that inform the study of global media. By the end of the module, you will be able to apply, question and relate appropriate intellectual arguments stemming from these to a range of subjects, e.g. media systems, media regulation.

• The module consists of lectures and seminars that will provide you with an environment in which you can discuss and explore the issues covered in the module.

• You will have an opportunity to develop their own ideas on a range of topics with tutor and peer feedback.

• Assessment will take the form of a 1,500-word assignment of original work and a 1 and ½-hour unseen examination.

More information

MP4015 -

Approaches to Media and Culture (Core, 40 Credits)

This module will introduce you to the study of culture through popular media forms. Throughout the module you will examine examples of popular culture (ranging from tabloid newspapers, film and television) and critical concepts (such as “feminism,” “nationalism” and “retro”), and will be asked to consider how they analyse such objects and 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 media and culture first-hand and develop your analytical skills (in terms of written work and collaborative group discussion), but also to provide you with a strong methodological framework—a foundation that will act as the basis of your future studies.

More information

MP5007 -

Everyday Media (Core, 20 Credits)

‘Everyday Media’ uses the context of “the everyday” to critically interrogate the ways in which people adapt to and subsume media into their everyday lives in a naturalistic manner, and the ways in which those forms of media impact or shape daily life. You will consider case studies examining living spaces and everyday behaviour surrounding everyday media technologies (television, interactive TV genres, music consumption, computers, mobile technologies, social media, apps and search engines). You It will study the ways in which such media are central components of our daily lives. Lectures and seminars will cover a range of relevant contemporary topics: the nature of brands, brand culture, the fundamentals of the branding process and consider how advertising professionals and corporate agencies design and establish an effective brand identity for a product or service nationally or globally. You will also examine a range of case studies including Starbucks, luxury fashion brands and Apple.

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

MP5018 -

Spaces, Media and Society (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will be familiarized with various notions of space that are relevant to understanding processes of human interaction, perception, dwelling, as well as the ways in which ideologies, cultures and symbols are transmitted across various media, and in interpersonal interactions. Debates about differences and similarities between physical and online spaces; imagined futures and spaces of “the past”; and the ways spaces are represented and constructed in media will be some of the themes you will learn about. You will also connect practical examples from popular culture and current affairs with theoretical perspectives advanced by leading specialists in the field like Manuel Castells, Anthony Giddens, John B. Thompson and David Harvey. The perspectives and concepts advanced by such authors will endow you with the analytical tools to theorize about developments such as the role of social media in creating contested social spaces, and debates surrounding immigration, social responsibility and the policing of borders. Media Spaces is a module with a solid theoretical grounding as well as potential for application in the professional world.

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

MP5020 -

Mass Communication 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

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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YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities & Social Sciences (Optional, 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

AD5017 -

Social Sciences 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.

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

More information

AD5018 -

Social Sciences 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 of study abroad at a European University under the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme or at an approved partner University elsewhere. 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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MP6020 -

Convergence Culture (Core, 20 Credits)

You will explore the role of convergence in contemporary processes of mass communication. Through a series of case studies you will examine how processes of convergence are shaping and altering business and entertainment practices in a number of realms including advertising, marketing and public relations as well as investigating how convergence culture changes the relationship between producers and consumers of media content. On completion of the module you will be able to evaluate and compare how processes of convergence affect and shape a variety of communication practices in different ways and the implications of convergence on the future development of mass communication.

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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 working class people 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, Sony, Microsoft, Google, News International Corporation and Al Jazeera, 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.

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MP6022 -

Postmodern Media Culture (Core, 20 Credits)

You will survey some of the major themes in postmodern media culture and how it is defined by the principal theorists in the field. The module relates postmodernity to cultural practices, to attitudes to the new media and the rise of ‘consumerism society’. The module aims to introduce you to a field of cultural study with which you may be relatively unfamiliar, such as concepts as Rizhome or Postpanoptic society or simulacra and simulation, to explain how our models for the real have taken over the place of the real in postmodern society. The module focuses on the contemporary cultural phenomena and contemporary media, and consumer culture in terms of postmodern theory. Teaching methods are designed to ensure that on completion of the module you will have gained a sound knowledge and understanding of some general postmodernist themes and issues, such as the forms of postmodernity, the rise of late capitalism and the rise of consumerism society in which we live. However, you will also be expected to develop an appreciation of how this broad overview needs to be modified and qualified when we look at specific and detailed examples, like the politics of postmodernity or the cultural controversies concerning the interpretation and reinterpretation of postmodernity. You are expected to read some key theoretical texts on the postmodern, including extracts from the work of Fredric Jameson, Jean-François Lyotard and Jean Baudrillard.

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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 3000 word 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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YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities & Social Sciences (Optional, 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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