Triangle

Course overview

Communication defines us as human beings.

This degree gives you a chance to think critically about media and communication in your own society and in a global context.

Learn the theory

Drawing on a range of approaches (such as sociology, communication theory, politics and cultural studies), you’ll explore:

  • technology - what we use and how it shapes communication 
  • content - what we say and how other people understand it
  • impact - how individuals, groups and countries engage with different forms of media and communication
  • industry – how media and communication work as an economic sector
  • history – how past knowledge and experience inform current media and culture
  • politics - how media empowers individuals and groups and helps change society
  • ethics - the informed choices we all make in our communications and daily life
  • sustainability – how the industry can help tackle global challenges such as climate change and women’s rights

Language and culture

Language learning is a compulsory part of the course. Choose from nine languages with classes tailored to your existing ability - both beginners and experienced speakers welcome!

You’ll also explore how culture shapes communication. Your language and cultural knowledge will enable you to create coursework in ways that suit you.

Skills development

The degree focusses on media theory and cultural history. It helps develop critical skills in:

  • media analysis
  • cultural awareness
  • industry engagement

The broad range of teaching and learning approaches means you'll develop skills sought by many sectors, both media-related and wider.

Many of our students gain extra practical skills through the Students' Union award winning media projects – NSTV, Radio, Impact magazine as well as the Creative Student Network.

Your department

Find out more about the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies

 

"I chose this degree as it provided me the possibility to combine the research of culture and media with a language. This added a global perspective to my studies and aided me to succeed in an internship in a Chilean television station."

Pia-Charlotte Schafer, International Media and Communications BA 2019

Why choose this course?

Beginners welcome!

No previous language skills necessary - all levels catered for

Quality teaching

Over 90% of our students think staff are good at explaining things

Media Zone

Build practical skills with the Students' Union award-winning media groups - television, radio, magazine

9 languages

Choose the language right for you

Internships

Opportunities in US and UK creative sectors

International

A diverse student and teaching body combined with a transnational curriculum broadens your horizons and challenges your assumptions.

Industry insights

Networking and practical advice with leading industry experts through the Creative Student Network


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level ABB

Please note: Applicants whose backgrounds or personal circumstances have impacted their academic performance may receive a reduced offer. Please see our contextual admissions policy for more information.

IB score 32

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you have already achieved your EPQ at Grade A you will automatically be offered one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject.

If you are still studying for your EPQ you will receive the standard course offer, with a condition of one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject if you achieve an A grade in your EPQ.

Foundation progression options

You can also access this course through our Foundation Year. This may be suitable if you have faced educational barriers and are predicted BCC at A level.

Mature Students

At the University of Nottingham, we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on the mature students webpage.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

We work hard to introduce students a wide range of approaches and perspectives. In the latest National Student Survey (2022) over 85% of our students agreed that the course has provided them with opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics – a key success of our interdisciplinary approach.

Teaching quality and support

In the past five years, two of our department's lecturers have earned Lord Dearing awards - nominated by students and peers to acknowledge their outstanding teaching.

You'll have a personal tutor who will review your academic progress and help find solutions to any issues affecting your studies.

"As a personal tutor, I work with you on your academic progress, but I also have a pastoral role with regards to your well-being. I see how you get on across all your modules, which enables discussions about you as an individual."

Dr Gabriele Neher, Senior Tutor

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Placements
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Your assessments will vary according to the topic studied. As well as traditional essays, exams and presentations you might also:

  • produce a podcast
  • create a video essay
  • pitch a business idea
  • develop a portfolio

Assessment methods

  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Presentation
  • Reflective review
  • Written exam
  • Commentary

Contact time and study hours

The minimum weekly scheduled contact time you will have is:

  • Year one - at least 12 hours
  • Year two - at least 10 hours
  • Year three - at least 8 hours

Weekly tutorial support and the accredited Nottingham Advantage Award provide further optional learning activities, on top of these class contact hours. Your lecturers will also be available outside your scheduled contact time to help you study and develop. This can be in-person or online.

As well as your timetabled sessions you’ll carry out extensive independent study. This will include course reading and seminar preparation. A typical 20 credit module involves three to four hours of lectures and seminars per week.

Your lecturers will be members of our academic staff many of whom are internationally recognised in their fields.

Class sizes vary depending on topic and type. Typically,

  • a lecture will have around 50 to 100 students
  • a weekly seminar will have 15 to 20 students

Study abroad

Pre-pandemic, over 1,500 of our students a year benefitted from living and learning in a different culture. As borders re-open we'll once again be enabling and encouraging our students to take advantage of the opportunities Nottingham's position as a global university brings.

You've a range of options - from short summer schools, a single semester to a whole year abroad.

We've a dedicated team to help you with the practicalities and many opportunities mean you pay reduced fees.

If you need support for your language skills before you go our Language Centre will have resources to help.

Explore the university-wide opportunities

Placements

On your course

Our work placement module provides opportunities to build workplace skills that apply to whatever career you develop.

Internships, placements and other work experience

Our competitive internships offer you the opportunity to get experience with leading US and UK media companies.

Creative Pathways with Lakeside Arts

Events and internships to help you gain insight and experience of the creative industries sector.

Across the university

Our reputation means we can work with top employers to offer high quality general internships and work experience placements. Check out our Careers and Employability Service for what’s on offer.

Nottingham Advantage Award

Boost your employability with a range of employer-led projects and career development opportunities through the Nottingham Advantage Award.

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

Modules

Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. The first year ensures everyone has the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive on the degree.

You'll get a firm foundation in the themes and approaches of cultural studies and media studies. There will be a focus on the role of new media and technologies in a changing public sphere.

You will also begin studying your chosen language at the right level.

Watch some of our academics introduce their modules. 

 

"The modules offered me a chance to explore all my interests; politics, society, technology, and how they interact with each other."

Elisa Nevalainen, International Media and Communications BA 2019

Core modules

Communication and Culture

We live in culture and we communicate with each other every day, online and offline. What is communication? How is it shaped by culture? In this module, you will learn theories on communication, media and culture. These theories include Marxism, structuralism, poststructuralism, feminism, queer theory, postcolonialism, critical race studies and digital media studies. They will enable you to look at society and culture with fresh eyes and use media and communication more self-consciously. You will be aware of how social structures and power relations shape media and communication practices, and what we can do as individuals and social groups to challenge these structures and relations. Eventually, you will use these theories to critically analyse a wide range of media and cultural texts and practices such as film, television, journalism, advertising, popular culture and social media. This module is worth 20 credits.

Cultures of Everyday Life

While we may take the idea of our daily lives for granted, they are filled with 'realities' and phenomena that exceed our abilities to account for them: associating it with routine, familiar and repeated experiences, our everyday lives are, simultaneously, punctuated by the exceptional, the random and the disruptive. This module explores the cultural theory of everyday life, and covers the work of key theorists Michel de Certeau and Henri Lefebvre. You will be introduced to methods for representing everyday life in arts and media. You will also look at a wide range of attempts to register daily existence, including the modernist novel, photography, film, time capsules, poetry, video diaries and comics. This module is worth 20 credits.

Media and Society
In this module you will critically examine the social forces that have shaped different media, focussing on the press, broadcasting, the internet, and film & television. You will explore key debates surrounding the development, composition and function of these different media forms, and examine the social, political, economic and cultural conditions that shaped their evolution.
You will be introduced to a range of theoretical approaches to understanding the production, content and reception of media messages and representations, with a particular focus on the social and political role of the mass media.
This module is worth 20 credits.
Communication and Technology

This module takes a detailed look at debates around the impact of new information and communications technologies such as the internet, digital TV, and mobile and wireless communications on processes of communication. The module emphasises the social, economic and political implications of information communication technology adoption, such as the ongoing 'digital divide' between the information-rich and -poor. It also investigates issues surrounding human-machine interaction, exploring the reshaping of communication forms and practices together with notions of posthumanism and cyberbodies.

Questioning Culture: An Introduction to Research

This module supports first year students as they make the transition into degree level work. You will gain skills in independent and collaborative learning with the aid of guided and self-directed learning tasks and individual and group research projects. The module prepares the ground for subsequent research training and for the final year dissertation.

Language modules

You will take 20 credits of modules in your chosen language (10 credits in each semester). 

The language you select will also be studied in year two.

Year structure

You will take 120 credit-worth of modules split as follows:

  • core media, communication and cultural studies modules - 100 credits
  • language modules - 20 credits

You must pass year one in order to progress but your first-year marks do not count towards your final degree classification.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 04 August 2022.

Specialised optional modules allow you to explore issues around public relations, political communication and transnational media.

You'll also get dedicated research training to help you prepare for your final year dissertation.

In addition, you will take your language learning to a more advanced level.

Core module

Researching Media and Culture

For this year-long core research module you'll spend two hours a week in lectures and workshops to become familiar with different approaches to investigating research topics which interest you. This will include learning about and trying out first-hand a range of research methods and techniques commonly applied in ethnographic, historical and textual study, and determining their suitability for different projects. You’ll learn about the kinds of research that a range of industry professionals from diverse sectors within the media, creative, entertainment and heritage industries pursue, and have opportunities to reflect on how you could incorporate that learning into your own research. You'll also investigate the interdisciplinary nature of culture, film, media, the arts and critical digital studies and demonstrate this knowledge by choosing your own research project and methods. This module is worth is 20 credits.

Optional modules

You will take four optional modules.

Political Communication, Public Relations and Propaganda

We're bombarded with political messages every day and in every way. They aim to influence our thinking and affect our behaviour. Some are blatant ("Hands. Face. Space.") some are more subtle ("A report launched by a thinktank today highlights..."). Some don't seem like deliberate messages at all ("Have you seen this Boris GIF. 😂").

We'll explore this world of political communication, public relations and propaganda in its widest form. In particular we'll look at:

  • communicators - established institutions and power groups as well as those in opposition to them, both in formal politics and civil society
  • global contexts - the political, economic, social and cultural landscapes that structure and influence political journalism and public debate.
  • the public – as passive audiences, as a political imaginary, as part of a deliberative public sphere, and as actively campaigning partisans
  • form - the discourses and symbolic strategies used and the influence of technology
  • ethics – whether persuasive communication is good or bad for democracy, and whether free or regulated media better serve the public interest

Taking a global approach we'll explore specific practices from around the world.

And with a focus on current political communication, you'll be expected to maintain an interest in recent events and to be able to discuss up-to-date examples.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Understanding Cultural Industries

In this module you'll learn how show business is broken down into 'show' and 'business' in film, television and promotional industries and examine how creative decision-making, technology and legislation influence those industries. You'll also learn about how advertising and market research influence the design and production of media in certain regions and how film and television industries have developed in different contexts and periods. This module is worth 20 credits.

Transnational Media

In this module you'll learn about the concepts of ‘transnational’ and ‘postnational’ media, taking into account the movement and interactions of people, finance, technology and ideas around the world. The module addresses in particular global media interactions emerging from tensions between forces of cultural homogenisation and heterogenisation. You'll also develop a foundation of theoretical knowledge to be applied to case studies in global film, television and other screen and print media. This module is worth 20 credits.

Media Identities: Who We Are and How We Feel

This module develops critical modes of attention to the mediation of identity. On our screens and in our headphones, we shape and reshape our selves. Media do not reflect identities but play an active role in bringing them into being. This module takes up the question of 'identity politics', enhancing students' knowledge and understanding of key identity categories that have been advanced and problematized by media scholars, such as gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, national, regional and local belonging, age, ability and disability, and more. The module also interrogates the mediated forms these identities take, considering the politics of looking and visual culture, the politics of hearing and auditory culture, and the politics of affect, emotions and embodiment. The module encourages historical as well as contemporary perspectives.

Digital Communication and Media

Digital communication and media are significantly transforming the ways our societies operate. In this module you will critically explore key issues behind this transformation, and investigate theoretical and practical foundations of digital communication and media and their relationship to contemporary culture. You will study the cultural, political, economic, technical and regulatory contexts from which digital communication and media have emerged and in which they continue to operate. To link conceptual frameworks to real-life experiences and situations, the module also provides opportunities for you to explore the interactive forms and practices that result from the use of digital communication and media through a range of both individual and group activities. This module is worth 20 credits.

Memory, Media and Visual Culture

Media, TV, film and visual culture play a central role in forming our knowledge of the past. There is no memory without its representation in language or images. Using a range of case studies, you will explore how different forms of remembrance add weight to what they represent. Who remembers what, when, where, why and to what purpose? Why do screen and other media retell certain stories over and over again, and how is such remembrance linked to the erasure of other pasts? What is the relationship between national and transnational memories, when set against memories of enslavement and its visualisations? These, and other questions, will guide our approach to an interdisciplinary field of media, film and visual studies. The module will also encourage you to reflect critically on regimes of visibility and narration, and on the distinct ways that memories of certain events are communicated via different genres, institutions, and artefacts. This module is worth 20 credits.

Black Art in a White Context: Display, Critique and The Other

You will explore the works and practices of Black artists that have been displayed or produced in Europe and America from the nineteenth century to the present day. This includes how methods of display, tactics of critique and attitudes towards the 'Other' have defined and influenced how Black art is viewed and produced in the Western world.

Moving through time we'll:

  • examine nineteenth-century attitudes towards African objects
  • explore the influences of ethnography and African material culture on artists working in the early to mid-twentieth century, such as the Surrealists
  • consider artworks produced in the Harlem Renaissance by painters like Aaron Douglas and photographers like James Van Der Zee
  • discover how artists like Jeff Donaldson and Faith Ringgold sought to recover African history, culture, and forms of memory in the context of the civil rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and how their work responded to the political and social pressures of this period
  • look at the practices of more recent artists like Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon, and Kara Walker, and explore how artists have critically re-presented history’s narratives in ‘the present’ before focusing on the curatorial works of Fred Wilson

To finish we'll consider the rise of contemporary African art within European and American art markets, and the related economic and political shifts that have occurred since the colonial era. 

This module is worth 20 credits.

Film and Television in Social and Cultural Context

During this year-long module you'll:

  • think about industries, audiences and surrounding debates from a social and cultural viewpoint
  • learn about the way that social and cultural meaning is produced by film and television programmes​
  • explore the social practices that surround the consumption of media, such as movie going and television viewing

Some of the specific questions we might look at together include:

  • How do value judgements shape the way in which movies and television programmes get made
  • What is "good" television?
  • What challenges are public service broadcasters, like the BBC, facing and how should they address these?
  • How have writers and producers attempted to use television drama to enact social change?
  • What kind of TV programmes are preferred by streaming services and why?
  • How might binge watching impact on the viewer's experience and social communication?

This module is worth 20 credits.

Art and Architecture in Nottingham

A vital introduction to the first-hand study of art and architecture.

Through a series of weekly site visits you’ll explore:

  • space - residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, ceremonial
  • function - art galleries, streets, churches, factories, monuments, municipal buildings, museums, private estates, public parks
  • identity - civic, familial, institutional, political, religious

We’ll examine how these change as a city develops and ask important questions about heritage and conservation.

The on-site study will be supported by archival material from Manuscripts and Special Collections. This might include architectural drawings, guide books, maps, newspapers, pamphlets, and photographs.

Los Angeles Art and Architecture 1945-1980
This module introduces a number of artistic and architectural practices that emerged in Southern California after 1945. Exploring their cultural and historical context, we will consider the role of Los Angeles in the development of post-1945 American art and architecture, including mid-century modernism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Light & Space Art. Central to this module is the question of whether all art made in Los Angeles can be classified as “Los Angeles Art” – that is, the extent to which the art and architecture of the region necessarily reflected the geographical location, climate, and expansive urban layout of Los Angeles. To this end, we will consider the critical reception of art of this period, investigating, amongst other critical constructs, the notions of centre and periphery, regionalism and the cultural construction of the American west that shaped much writing on California during the period.
The Sixties: Culture and Counterculture

Described variously as an era of dissent, revolution and experiment, the 1960s offers a unique vantage point from which to explore a range of issues and topics pertinent to media and cultural studies. The art of the period brings into view a volatile world where distinctions between different media were becoming blurred (as in performance art, for instance) and where inherited ideas, hierarchies and values were contested, if not exploded. Notions such as the Establishment, the underground, celebrity, obscenity, mass culture, alongside those of personal identity (gender, race, class, sexuality) were all subject to radical questioning in an era where events, such as those of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, challenged the received order of things. This module critically evaluates the idea of the 1960s, starting with its status as a fabled decade that is said to cast its shadow today. Historiographical and geographical questions structure the module.  When and, crucially, where were ‘the Sixties’? Was it primarily an Anglo-American phenomenon? Was it the 1950s until 1963? Did it end in the early 1970s, as some believe, with the Oz Trials?  These and other questions will help us to demythologise the period and begin investigating it anew.

European Avant-Garde Film

Explore how film can be regarded as an art form through the study of avant-garde cinema in early 20th century Europe.

We’ll start by looking at what is meant by the term ‘avant-garde’, and consider the development of experimental filmmaking in the context of artistic movements such as:

  • Futurism
  • Cubism
  • Dada
  • Surrealism
  • Constructivism

The focus will be on developments in Germany, France and the Soviet Union and consider key trends from abstract animation to Cinema Pur.

We’ll also explore some key concerns of non-mainstream cinema such as:

  • Narrative
  • Abstraction
  • Reflexivity
  • Spectatorship
  • movement, time and space

You’ll examine how experimental film engaged with modernity, including the aesthetic and political strategies of the European avant-gardes.

By the end of the module you’ll be able to:

  • contextualise the avant-garde in relation to broader artistic and historical developments
  • understand the relationships between film and other media

This module is worth 20 credits.

Work placement

Combine our in-depth sector knowledge with the Careers and Employability Service skills development experience to get noticed when applying for jobs and during interviews.

From constructing an outstanding CV to practicing graduate level interview skills we'll build on your existing abilities.

You'll also get something concrete to talk about through a multi-week work placement. This will be tailored as far as possible to your subject and career aspirations.

This sort of attention to detail is what makes Nottingham graduates some of the most sought after in the job market.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Language modules

You will take a further 20 credits worth of modules in your chosen language. This will be the same language as studied in year one.

Year structure

You will take 120 credit-worth of modules split as follows:

  • Core research module - 20 credits
  • Optional specialised modules - 80 credits
  • Language modules - 20 credits

You must pass year two in order to progress to year three. Your second-year marks count one third towards your final degree classification.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Choose advanced modules ranging from activist uses of digital media to media coverage of conflict and disaster. These research-led modules support your independent dissertation project.

There's also the option to further develop your language skills.

Core module

Dissertation in International Media and Communications Studies

This module gives students the opportunity to work independently on a chosen subject area of their choice, with an appropriate supervisor.

Optional modules

Group 1

You will take one or two modules from this group.

Self, Sign and Society

This module equips students you with the theoretical tools needed to explore how social identity is both asserted and challenged through the deployment of signs broadly conceived. 'Sign' is understood here primarily with reference to Saussurean linguistics, and the impact of the structuralist and then poststructuralist movements on disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, semiotics, postcolonial theory, cultural studies and visual culture.

  • How does our accent function as a sign of our class origins or cultural sympathies?
  • Does skin colour always function as a social sign?
  • How do the clothes we wear align us with particular lifestyles and ideological positions and how is this transgressed?
  • How has the phenomenon of self-branding colonised our everyday lives?
  • What does our Facebook profile say about how we would like to be read by the wider world? Does the logic of the sign itself exceed what we intend to do with it?
  • How do the signs that construct a social 'self' circulate in the context of new media?
  • Are there psychological costs associated with living in this society of the sign?

This module will address these and other related questions by introducing students to the approaches of thinkers such as Freud and Lacan, Saussure and Greimas, Barthes and Baudrillard, Levi-Strauss and Geertz, Derrida and Bhabha, and Mirzoeff and Mitchell among others.

Global Cinema

Almost every country has a cinema industry. Yet what’s shown, and why, varies wildly.

We’ll look at how films outside Hollywood are made, distributed and received globally, and how these reflect local, regional and international trends.

We’ll ask how these cinemas:

  • reflect past and current international film industries setups and audiences’ tastes
  • are driven by local cultural specifics and global changes
  • might benefit different institutions and structures in society

We will also try to untangle categories such as national cinema, transnational cinema and world cinema, as well as to make sense of different filmic traditions, genres and modes around the world. Who creates these categories and who do they serve?

With an entire global cinema to draw from, the focus will narrow in any year to particular regions, filmic genres or movements.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Mediating Disaster

This module critically evaluates the roles that media play in scenarios of disaster. From war and famine to train crashes and natural disasters, the media play a central role in our understanding of, and imaginative engagement with, disaster. From the disaster movie to documentary photography and news coverage, a variety of media forms regularly link us to the real and imaginary landscapes of disaster, war, conflict and emergency, particularly with the technological expansion of the means of image-making in the 21st century. The module investigates the aesthetics and ethics of representation where disaster is concerned, introducing students to research in fields concerned with the mediatisation of disaster, conflict and emergency.

Working in the Cultural Industries

The cultural and creative industries are at the forefront of government strategies across the world for developing post-industrial economies, are seen as exciting places to work, and regularly feature at the top of graduate employment destinations.

  • But what are these industries, and what is it like to work in them?
  • How do you gain entry to these competitive, highly skilled jobs?
  • What is ‘creativity’ and why is it so important to modern economies?
  • And what does the future hold for cultural and creative sectors?

We’ll examine the structure, organisation and working patterns in the creative and media industries alongside more practical exercises designed to help you to identify and evaluate your own skills and interests. This combination of industry knowledge and personal reflection is aimed to help you to find a rewarding and exciting career when you leave university.

You’ll also examine key aspects of contemporary work including:

  • the concept of creativity, the knowledge economy and precarious labour
  • important issues such as internship culture, exploitation and inequality

There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss and build upon your own experiences and aspirations, and to conduct independent research on areas of creative and media work that interest you.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Photographing America

This module examines the development of photography in America from roughly 1945 onwards. The module breaks the period down into themes and considers:

1. the transformation of ‘documentary’ photograph;

2. the emergence and importance of colour photography;

3. experimental, conceptual and post-conceptual photography;

4. issues of serialism and seriality;

5. landscape photography;

6. the photobook

7. analogue/digital

The module will draw on the work of a diverse range of photographers, including Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Ed Ruscha, Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams, Robert Heinecken, Stephen Shore, Todd Hido, William Eggleston and Doug Rickard.

Group 2

You will take one or two modules from this group.

Auditory Cultures: Sound, Listening and Everyday Life in the Modern World

This module introduces students to the cultural and social role of sound and listening in everyday life. Scholars have argued that, since the Enlightenment, modern societies have privileged sight over the other senses in their desire to know and control the world. But what of hearing? Until recently, the role of sound in everyday life was a neglected field of study. Yet Jonathan Sterne argues that the emergence of new sound media technologies in the nineteenth century - from the stethoscope to the phonograph - amounted to an 'ensoniment' in modern culture in which listening took centre stage.

Beginning with an examination of the relationship between visual and auditory culture in everyday life, this module introduces a variety of cultural contexts in which sound played an important role, including:

  • how people interact with the sounds of their cities
  • how new sound technologies allowed people to intervene in everyday experience
  • why some sounds (such as music) have been valued over others (such as noise)
  • the role of sound in making and breaking communities
  • the role of sounds in conflict and warfare
  • the importance of sound in film and television from the silent era onwards.

We use a variety of sound sources, such as music and archival sound recordings, in order to understand the significance of sound in everyday life from the late eighteenth century to the present.

Public Cultures: Protest, Participation and Power

Explore the relationship between public space, politics and technology using overlapping and interdisciplinary fields, including:

  • cultural studies
  • cultural geography
  • digital studies
  • urban sociology
  • cultural politics

You will engage in debates about the changing nature and uses of public space, with an emphasis on urban environments and digital space.

A range of protest movements will also provide case-study material and offer a central focus for your theoretical and practical explorations of the role of new technologies in:

  • controlling space
  • resisting control
  • enabling new forms of civic participation.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Gender, Sexuality and Media

Examine how issues of gender and sexuality relate to media and popular culture.

Using the intersectional fields of feminism, queer theory, and media and cultural studies we'll ask some crucial questions such as:

  • How are gender and sexuality represented in media and popular culture?
  • How do media and cultural industries structure gender and sexual inequalities?
  • How are identities and practices of media audiences and users gendered and sexualised?
  • How can gender and sexual norms be challenged in creative and radical ways?

This module is worth 20 credits.

Screen Encounters: Audiences and Engagement

Develop and expand your understanding of the relationship between screen media and their most important component – the audience.

We’ll explore widely across history including:

  • pre-cinema moving images
  • the changing nature of cinema space
  • the impact of domestic television and VCRs
  • the playing of games and use of smartphone apps
  • experimental forms of screen media

You’ll also consider the impact social and political factors, and changes in daily living, have on screen media’s relationship with its audience.

Alongside the theory you’ll also get practical experience by using questionnaires and focus groups to conduct your own audience research.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Film and Television Genres

Many films share common traits. Together they might be classed as “action”, “made for television” or “low budget”. But how does as film get assigned a genre? Who does the assigning? And what impact does this assigning have?

During the module we’ll delve deep into a particular genre. We’ll examine it’s:

  • key concepts and texts
  • development
  • influence and influences

Building on what you’ve learnt in years one and two you’ll also look at the genre in the context of production and consumption.

As well as knowledge of a specific genre you’ll also develop the skills to apply your learning to other genres.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Other optional modules

Teaching Film and Media Studies for Undergraduate Ambassadors

This module is part of the nationwide Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme, which works with universities to provide academic modules that enable students to go into local schools to act as inspiring role models. You will split your time between the university-based seminar and your allocated school, where you will be placed in an appropriate department as a teaching assistant. You will design and deliver a teaching project aimed at improving pupil understanding of selected aspects of media studies. You will be supported by the module convenor, the education specialist on campus, and the school's contact teacher. The module typically includes fortnightly seminars and seven half-days spent in school. Placements are in secondary schools and Sixth Form or FE colleges.

Language modules

You have the option to take a further 20 credits of language modules at the appropriate level. This will be the same language you've studied in the previous years.

Year structure

You will take 120 credit-worth of modules split as follows:

  • Core dissertation module - 40 credits
  • Optional research and language modules - 80 credits

You must pass year three which counts two thirds towards your final degree classification.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2022*
Keep checking back for more information

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

Essential course materials are supplied.

Books

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts.

A limited number of modules have compulsory texts which you are required to buy. We recommend that you budget £100 per year for books, but this figure will vary according to which modules you take.

The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (for example Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith). They also offer second-hand books, as students from previous years sell their copies back to the bookshop.

Volunteering and placements

For volunteering and placements (such as work experience and teaching in schools), you will need to pay for transport and refreshments.

Scholarships and bursaries

Faculty of Arts Alumni Scholarships

Our Alumni Scholarships provide support with essential living costs to eligible students. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

University of Nottingham bursaries and scholarships

The University offers a wide range of funds that can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. See our bursaries and scholarships page for what's available.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

You'll be well placed to start a career in the media, communication, and cultural sector with knowledge of:

  • different types of content
  • how media contents are used and presented
  • the impact these contents have in different contexts

You'll also have a critical understanding of the creative and cultural industries (and how they operate). This will allow you to explore multiple career pathways.

The degree will also build a wide set of skills for success across different sectors, such as:

  • ability to conduct and report on in-depth research
  • think critically and communicate effectively
  • operate independently and as part of a team
  • construct reasoned arguments and be able to defend them

The skills you develop will make you:

  • resilient - as the nature of work changes you can adapt
  • flexible - you can choose across different sectors as you develop and grow and opportunities arise

Find out more about skills gained and career destinations of International Media and Communications students.

Key fact

Only 14% of employers state that specific degree subjects are a selection criterion. (Institute of Student Employers recruitment survey 2019)

Average starting salary and career progression

81% of undergraduates from the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £23,938.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Dummy placeholder image
" The department has really helped me throughout my years at university by giving me useful and constructive feedback on various different projects as well as helping to guide me through my dissertation process, which can be quite daunting at times! "
Daisy Slater, International Media and Communications Studies and Spanish BA

Related courses

Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.