Communication and Media Studies BSc
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About the course
Despite being a central part to our existence, we tend to take for granted and to underestimate or even ignore the social and cultural impact of media communications in today's world.
As a student on this course you will learn, both theoretically and practically, how the communication and information media actually work and what their importance to our society is.
This course enjoys a very close relationship with Sociology at Brunel, and particular attention is paid to the social and cultural dimensions of the media, and especially to the social and cultural consequences of the new technologies of communication and information.
The focus of study is upon all aspects of society: its personal, social and cultural dimensions.
We have a strong research reputation that enhances all our undergraduate teaching, with particular expertise in areas such as: contemporary social structures and social change; the role of technology and the media; race and ethnicity; and power, inequality and prejudice in modern societies.
All of our academic staff are actively engaged in research and many have international reputations in their field.
- You will gain a mature, critical and sociologically-informed understanding of the place of the media in today’s society, with a particular focus on the new communication and information technologies.
- Throughout the degree you will be encouraged to link together the theoretical and practical parts of the course as you engage in a broad-ranging sociological study of the contemporary media.
- You will have the opportunity to specialise in areas of particular interest to you, for example in the impact of the Internet and of other information and communications technologies, social media, media policy and regulation.
- The course also offers you the ability to gain experience in video editing and production.
We provide a stimulating introduction to the social sciences by teaching a broad base of cross-disciplinary modules in the first year. Thereafter, you specialise increasingly in your particular disciplines.
The BSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
Film Production: Introduction to Documentary
Introduction to Media Studies
Media, Culture and Society
Introduction to Social and Cultural Research
Introduction to Social Enquiry
Film Production: Advanced Documentary
Media Genres and Society
Research in Practice
Media, Culture and Representation
Work and Society
Sociology of Health and Illness
Communication and Media Studies Dissertation
Film Production: Fiction Film
Comedy, Culture and Media
Body, Media and Society
Forensic Science and Society
Multiculturalism: "Race", Ethnicity and Difference
The Age of New Media
Sport, Globalisation and International Politics
Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
- We have an international reputation for research and excellence in teaching, with particular expertise in areas such as television and media audiences, the public sphere, media discourse, globalisation and social transformation, the sociology of leisure and urban spaces, the politics of popular culture, health and the politics of protest, multiculturalism, race and ethnicity.
- Our courses are multi-disciplinary and flexible – you will have the option to take modules in other social sciences subjects.
- Professional work placements are integral to the four-year course and allow you to develop invaluable skills in a variety of organisations.
- Communications and Media Studies students have access to video production equipment and training, a number of industry-standard AVID video editing suites and ample IT facilities.
- Our courses will help you to develop specific skills in the practical methods associated with your discipline, including ethnographic fieldwork. A full range of laboratory and technical facilities is used in the teaching of experimental psychology, video production, psychophysics and the use of information technology.
Teaching and Assessment
We pursue excellence in both teaching and research. Our aim is to produce degree programmes which combine innovative and grounded teaching methods with leading-edge research, and which recognise the value of practical work experience in the learning process.
We take great pride in both the quality of teaching and the extensive pastoral care of our students.
All members of the academic staff are actively engaged in research and many have international reputations in their field. Their innovative findings feed into your courses to ensure that teaching is up-to-date.
How will I be taught?
The course is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and small group projects.
Lectures – Most modules involve one or two hours of lectures a week. These provide a broad overview of key concepts and ideas relating to your course and provide you with a framework from which to carry out more in-depth study.
Seminars – These relatively small groups are used to discuss the content of lectures as well as issues arising from the modules. Seminars are often student-led. You can use seminars to clarify your own ideas in an atmosphere of discussion and debate.
Laboratory/research work – All students take part in practical modules. Video production modules are taught throughout the programme. In addition, you will study social research methods, which include observation, interviewing, questionnaire design and more specific research techniques.
One-to-one – You will get one-to-one supervision on your final year dissertation and at all levels you will have a tutor who is available to discuss academic (and personal) issues.
If you go on work placement, you will also be allocated a tutor who will monitor your progress and provide further support if you need it.
Lecturers are usually available to answer particular queries outside of scheduled hours – either in one-to-one tutorials or by email.
Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark but you must pass this level to continue with your course. Level 2 is worth a third and Level 3 is worth the rest. The final year dissertation is worth a third of Level 3 marks.
Methods of assessment vary and depend on which modules you select. Some courses are assessed on coursework only, some by (seen or unseen) examination only, and some by a combination of the two.
Students will acquire knowledge in understanding traditional and new information and communications technologies and processes. Students will develop a set of transferable skills that are useful in the workplace across a wide range of careers. Rigorous training is provided in methodologies and research skills.
You can enter a wide variety of careers ranging from public relations and corporate communications to research and production work for video and television companies.
Although you will have plenty of practical experience in information technology and video production, this course is not designed to offer vocational qualifications in either information technology or film and television production.
Recent graduates now work in events and production co-ordination, research and buying in the media industries.
Students on our four year sandwich course (with Professional Development) have the opportunity to gain professional work experience in a variety of settings. We offer high-quality work placements and students benefit from our links with external organisations. Past placements have included work in TV, film and video production, advertising, the music business, local radio and public relations.
The positive impact of a sandwich placement on graduate employment outcomes across Brunel is considerable. Those who have done placements are also much more likely to be in employment for which their degree was a formal requirement or where they believe their degree gave them a competitive advantage in recruitment.
Placement leavers from Communications and Media experienced the following outcomes:
- 92.3 per cent progressed into employment or further study.
- 58.3 per cent were engaged in a graduate-level activity (employment or further study).
- 58.3 per cent of employed leavers were working in the top three categories of graduate level employment.
- The average starting salary was £18,000.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2017/18 entry
£9,250 full-time; £1,000 placement year
Additional course related costs
See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants
The Government has proposed changes to allow tuition fees for UK and EU students to rise by inflation. These changes are currently subject to approval, but if approved, would result in tuition fees of £9,250 per year from 2017/18.
Entry Criteria 2017/18
- GCE A-level BBC (all subjects considered).
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject, with an A-Level at grade B.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in any subject, with A-Levels grade BC.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 29 points.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merits in all units.
5 GCSEs to include Maths at Grade C and English Language at Grade C are also required.
Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English. Find out more information about English course and test options.