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Are you interested in the decisions that managers make to respond to constant change in the cultural and creative industries? Do you want to learn more about the business models of firms like Netflix, Vice and Google, and about the challenges and opportunities faced by public communicators in the evolving digital landscape ?

Mass Communications Management at Northumbria offers you an exciting opportunity to study the issues and trends across mass communication platforms such as TV, radio, newspaper, movies, music, PR, advertising and social media.

You’ll recognise how all these platforms are connected, and how they relate to ideas and problems of society in national and global contexts.

You’ll develop awareness of the media and communication industries in the 21st century, through research-informed and practical learning activities aimed at advancing your knowledge of how communications are produced, distributed and consumed.

Applying academic theory to a range of real-world issues, this course also includes training in cultural management, enterprise and leadership, providing you with the skills and confidence to succeed in the mass communication industry.

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
16 months full-time

Department
Social Sciences

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
January 2020

You’ll learn through a mixture of theory and practice, including taught sessions, field trips, lectures, seminars and group assignments.

You’ll discover the theories and issues informing real-work examples within the media and cultural industries and then put these to use in workshop activities that reinforce the links between theory and practice. You will be encouraged to develop your communication skills by taking an active part in seminars. 

The dissertation module provides an opportunity for you to put learning into practice by designing, executing and writing up an original piece of research on a topic negotiated between you and your dissertation supervisor.

You’ll have the opportunity to go on an industry visit and hear from speakers from a mass communication industry. Student trips have included the BBC Broadcasting Centre in Newcastle as well as sites that represent successful local cultural regeneration such as The BALTIC arts centre and Sage, Gateshead.

Dr. Ibrahim Seaga Shaw was nominated Best Lecturer for student-led teaching by the Northumbria Students Union, and for an award for Communication for Social Change at Queensland University, Australia in 2013. His background as a reporter, editor, sub editor and correspondent in Sierra Leone, France and the UK brings real-life issues to the classroom.

Dr Gabriel Moreno Esparza practiced journalism for 13 years, including as a general and financial news correspondent with Reuters news agency in Mexico City. He was awarded a PhD in Journalism and Mass Communication from Westminster University and is currently involved in research projects involving new media and migration, and social media and environmental communication. He became a fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy in December 2015.

Your learning experience is enhanced by new technology used to deliver and assess your course modules, including online reading lists and electronic submission of assignments. You’re also encouraged to use social media to communicate with your colleagues and students regularly develop module Facebook groups for this purpose.

You’ll have access to an e-learning portal that provides lecture materials, assessment criteria, handbooks, and additional learning materials such as videos, podcasts and news items.

You will make use of state of the art facilities such as the university library, which has been recognised as joint first in the country, according to Times Higher Education 2015/16.

If you’re an International student, you can develop your literacy and communications skills through English for Specific Academic Purposes.

Northumbria University is ranked in the UK top 20 for the quality of research outputs in communication, cultural and media studies (REF 2014).

70% of Northumbria’s research in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies is rated as being either world leading or internationally excellent.

Mass Communications Management is designed with the help of industry practitioners so you’ll be graduating with the latest knowledge and skills required by the creative and media industries.

You’ll be learning from tutors who are specialists in their disciplines and who continue to be active at the cutting-edge of research. Their expertise and industry experience helps to bring theory to life in the classroom.

You’ll develop your own practical research skills and will be able to demonstrate your own interest in at least one aspect of the wider cultural industry through planning, executing and writing-up an empirically-focused research project. As part of the research methods module, for example, you will explore using online forms for survey research, including social media and generic software tools such as SurveyMonkey.

Your course is designed to give you the skills and competencies, theory and practical experience that employers in the media industries are looking for.

You’ll be encouraged to think like an entrepreneur and to understand the behaviours you need to succeed in your future career aspirations. Graduates are global citizens who are critical and independent thinkers who are prepared to ask the big, challenging questions.

The diverse examples and case studies which are used across the modules provide a good grounding in a range of different media industries, enabling you to be a credible applicant for opportunities in roles including advertising, PR, social media, film and legacy media.

Taking part in seminar discussions and group activities encourages you to develop teamwork and a range of other transferable skills including effective communication, relationship-building and personal time management.

This course will foster your intellectual curiosity and help you become a critical and independent thinker, especially on issues, trends, policies, and challenges in mass communication industries in national and global contexts.

You will have the opportunity to develop skills in effectively interrogating ideas to clarify and boost your critical understanding. This combination of critical knowledge and skills will provide you with  solid foundations for your future career prospects.

Upon graduation you could progress onto a career within business management and media industries including advertising, marketing, media and journalism.

Course in brief

Who would this Course suit?

For anyone interested in mass communication and the transformations that the cultural and creative industries are undergoing as consequence of technological, economic and political change. This course has an international focus that explores decision-making processes in regard to the production, use and circulation of media content in the digital age. 

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have: 

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent.

International qualifications 
 
If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry 
 
English Language requirements 
 
International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
 
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: TBC

Full EU Fee: TBC

Full International Fee: TBC

ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.

 

 

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How to Apply

How to Apply

Application for most courses is direct to the University via our online application form. Simply click on the 'Apply Online' button you will see on each of our course entries.

However, there are some courses where the application method is not directly to the University. These are:

 

Postgraduate Research
If you wish to apply for postgraduate research then please submit a research enquiry.

Application Deadlines 

Whilst most of our courses do not set an exact deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early to secure your place and organise any sponsorship or funding. Overseas students should submit applications to us by no later than 31 July for courses starting in early September or 1 December for courses that commence in January. This allows sufficient time to process our decision, for you to obtain visas and to organise your accommodation and travel arrangements.

Graduate Teacher Training Courses
Equal consideration is given to all applications received by UCAS Teacher Training by the main application deadline, details of all deadlines can be found on the UTT website.

Law professional courses
For details about the selection and allocation process for the full-time Law Professional courses please see the relevant website. For the Legal Practice Course (LPC)/Common Professional Examination and the Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE/GDL) courses www.lawcabs.ac.uk, and for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC and BPTC LLM) https://www.barsas.com

 Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Master of Fine Art (MFA) We encourage all applications to the MFA programme for entry in September 2017 to apply prior to our guaranteed application review date of 1st June 2017. After this date, we will review applications subject to there being remaining spaces on the programme.

 

Decision Making Process

Most courses require at least one reference, but some may need two. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure Northumbria receives a satisfactory academic reference. If you have not been in education for a number of years, then a reference from your employer may be acceptable.

We try to reply to applicants as soon as possible but you should receive a response within 10 working days, and this will be one of the following.

  • Conditional offer which will normally be upon the completion of your undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification and achieving a particular classification or grade. You will be required to send us a confirmation that you have passed your current degree course as soon as you receive notification to enable us to confirm your offer. 
  • Unconditional offer is made if you have already met the entry requirements of your chosen course 
  • Reject your application 

You will be asked to confirm your acceptance in writing of any offer made.

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.

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. They may be required to attend for doctor or nurse assessment at the University Health Centre.

Prior to beginning their programme, all applicants to Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are advised to start a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations, available from their 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, they 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.

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 any criminal 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 inform the university immediately. Do not send details of the offence; simply tell the University that you have a relevant criminal conviction. You may then be asked to supply more details.

Anti-fraud Checks
Please note that the University follows 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
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.

 

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 2019/20

Modules

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

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

MP7003 -

Working in Mass Communication Industries (Core,30 Credits)

This module provides you with a critical understanding of mass communications in the context of contemporary theories, practices, trends, and work patterns that have developed within contemporary mass communication and creative media industries. It is sub-divided into two distinctive components: theory and practice. The first part takes a ‘macro-social’ perspective and examines issues such as the nature of the mass communications industries, the characteristics of mass media products, the regulation of media industries with a specific focus on the political economy of communication, the role of audiences in consuming media products and finally the main trends in mass communication industries. The second part looks at expressions of practice in the form of distinctive case studies in TV, movie, print, and new media. You are assessed by a presentation on an industry professional of your choice and a 3000-word essay.

More information

MP7010 -

Managing Mass Communications in the Digital Age (Core,30 Credits)

In taking this module you will familiarise yourself with a sophisticated conceptual framework for the study of mass communication, particularly when it comes to understanding the decision-making actors and processes which shape dynamics of production, distribution and consumption of broadcast, audiovisual and print media, and their integration within the digital communicational landscape. Lectures will emphasise two main dimensions: a) the transition from analogue to digital technologies in media content dynamics, thereby reflecting upon theoretical and practical changes and continuities that pertain to the business models of film, TV, journalism, and the videogames sectors, as well as to the various forms of impact upon consumer trends and behaviours; b) the challenges and opportunities that come with various forms of disruption at the economic, political and technological level, and which shape the work, knowledge and skills of individuals with management responsibilities. The developments in question will also provide an avenue to explore the changing profiles of media content which are now found in the form of streaming television and music, e-advertising and books, and the effects of algorithms on consumer choice. The ultimate aim of the module will be to endow you, as a student enrolled in the MSc Mass Communication Programme, with an understanding of the relationship between actors within the cultural industries and the various forces that shape mass communication in the digital age.

More information

SO7002 -

Social Sciences Postgraduate Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

In this module you will demonstrate advanced and independent critical thinking skills about the research process and a specific, substantial topic of your choice. In doing so you will develop robust, coherent and substantiated, advanced academic arguments in an identifiable area of enquiry. There are a number of options for the dissertation: literature-based, empirical, or placement-based dissertations. In formulating, research, and writing your dissertation you will be guided by your dissertation supervisor. The dissertation is the culmination of your taught experience and will enable you to deploy the skills develop during the taught programme.

More information

VA7006 -

Cultural Management, Enterprise & Leadership (Core,30 Credits)

In this module, you will consider the skills and attributes that are key to effective management, enterprise and leadership within cultural and creative practice. You will examine the tensions that exist between cultural considerations and the more commercial, business aspects, where at times the focus may be on profit, at other times on creative development - and often a mix of the two. The cultural manager and leader thus needs to be familiar with both sets of demands. The emphasis throughout the module is on professionalism and ensuring that the creative process is effective and efficient and that goals can be met without compromising product, process or vision.

You will identify and reflect on the unique skills, capabilities and understandings required to deal with such complexities. From public-sector supported organisations and institutions at one end of the scale to micro businesses and individual creative practitioners and freelancers at the other end, the environment in which these disparate activities take place is shaped by the political, social and economic environment, and it is this framework that you will interrogate. The relationships between management, enterprise and leadership are considered, and you will be encouraged and supported to consider your own skills development needs in this regard. CVs and professional development will be considered with an eye to career progression and in readiness for the placement module that is part of the programme.

More information

VA7029 -

Research Methods (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will be equipped with a range of core skills essential to research in the arts, as well as specific methodologies appropriate to your specialist field of enquiry (as historian, critic or theoretician). There are four key elements to the module: identifying the key issues and methodologies appropriate to your subject; identifying and retrieving appropriate data and sources; understanding ways to evaluate and employ these sources, and the implications of doing so; and developing and a practicable appreciation of how theory, research methods and practice mutually inform the creation of knowledge in the arts.
On completing the module you will have an enhanced awareness of how the choice of methodologies can fundamentally influence the direction of your research, and be able to: Understand and employ a range of advanced research skills, methods and critical approaches necessary to conduct a major academic research project in the arts; exhibit enhanced skills in the identification and evaluation of research sources relevant to your specific project and articulate a strategy for retrieving and utilising those sources; understand the characteristics of research questions, and frame your specific research questions within a feasible and sustainable topic of enquiry, appropriate to available research materials; develop original responses to the historical and conceptual questions posed by the research topic and to be able to situate your research within the larger context of research in the arts; communicate complex arguments and methods in written, visual and verbal form in a clear and credible way.

More information

Modules Overview 2020/21

Modules

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

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

MP7003 -

Working in Mass Communication Industries (Core,30 Credits)

This module provides you with a critical understanding of mass communications in the context of contemporary theories, practices, trends, and work patterns that have developed within contemporary mass communication and creative media industries. It is sub-divided into two distinctive components: theory and practice. The first part takes a ‘macro-social’ perspective and examines issues such as the nature of the mass communications industries, the characteristics of mass media products, the regulation of media industries with a specific focus on the political economy of communication, the role of audiences in consuming media products and finally the main trends in mass communication industries. The second part looks at expressions of practice in the form of distinctive case studies in TV, movie, print, and new media. You are assessed by a presentation on an industry professional of your choice and a 3000-word essay.

More information

MP7010 -

Managing Mass Communications in the Digital Age (Core,30 Credits)

In taking this module you will familiarise yourself with a sophisticated conceptual framework for the study of mass communication, particularly when it comes to understanding the decision-making actors and processes which shape dynamics of production, distribution and consumption of broadcast, audiovisual and print media, and their integration within the digital communicational landscape. Lectures will emphasise two main dimensions: a) the transition from analogue to digital technologies in media content dynamics, thereby reflecting upon theoretical and practical changes and continuities that pertain to the business models of film, TV, journalism, and the videogames sectors, as well as to the various forms of impact upon consumer trends and behaviours; b) the challenges and opportunities that come with various forms of disruption at the economic, political and technological level, and which shape the work, knowledge and skills of individuals with management responsibilities. The developments in question will also provide an avenue to explore the changing profiles of media content which are now found in the form of streaming television and music, e-advertising and books, and the effects of algorithms on consumer choice. The ultimate aim of the module will be to endow you, as a student enrolled in the MSc Mass Communication Programme, with an understanding of the relationship between actors within the cultural industries and the various forces that shape mass communication in the digital age.

More information

SO7002 -

Social Sciences Postgraduate Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

In this module you will demonstrate advanced and independent critical thinking skills about the research process and a specific, substantial topic of your choice. In doing so you will develop robust, coherent and substantiated, advanced academic arguments in an identifiable area of enquiry. There are a number of options for the dissertation: literature-based, empirical, or placement-based dissertations. In formulating, research, and writing your dissertation you will be guided by your dissertation supervisor. The dissertation is the culmination of your taught experience and will enable you to deploy the skills develop during the taught programme.

More information

VA7006 -

Cultural Management, Enterprise & Leadership (Core,30 Credits)

In this module, you will consider the skills and attributes that are key to effective management, enterprise and leadership within cultural and creative practice. You will examine the tensions that exist between cultural considerations and the more commercial, business aspects, where at times the focus may be on profit, at other times on creative development - and often a mix of the two. The cultural manager and leader thus needs to be familiar with both sets of demands. The emphasis throughout the module is on professionalism and ensuring that the creative process is effective and efficient and that goals can be met without compromising product, process or vision.

You will identify and reflect on the unique skills, capabilities and understandings required to deal with such complexities. From public-sector supported organisations and institutions at one end of the scale to micro businesses and individual creative practitioners and freelancers at the other end, the environment in which these disparate activities take place is shaped by the political, social and economic environment, and it is this framework that you will interrogate. The relationships between management, enterprise and leadership are considered, and you will be encouraged and supported to consider your own skills development needs in this regard. CVs and professional development will be considered with an eye to career progression and in readiness for the placement module that is part of the programme.

More information

VA7029 -

Research Methods (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will be equipped with a range of core skills essential to research in the arts, as well as specific methodologies appropriate to your specialist field of enquiry (as historian, critic or theoretician). There are four key elements to the module: identifying the key issues and methodologies appropriate to your subject; identifying and retrieving appropriate data and sources; understanding ways to evaluate and employ these sources, and the implications of doing so; and developing and a practicable appreciation of how theory, research methods and practice mutually inform the creation of knowledge in the arts.
On completing the module you will have an enhanced awareness of how the choice of methodologies can fundamentally influence the direction of your research, and be able to: Understand and employ a range of advanced research skills, methods and critical approaches necessary to conduct a major academic research project in the arts; exhibit enhanced skills in the identification and evaluation of research sources relevant to your specific project and articulate a strategy for retrieving and utilising those sources; understand the characteristics of research questions, and frame your specific research questions within a feasible and sustainable topic of enquiry, appropriate to available research materials; develop original responses to the historical and conceptual questions posed by the research topic and to be able to situate your research within the larger context of research in the arts; communicate complex arguments and methods in written, visual and verbal form in a clear and credible way.

More information

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

bc.applicantservices@northumbria.ac.uk

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints

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