Media and Communication BSc (Hons) - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey

Framework

FHEQ Level 6

Final award and programme/pathway title

BSc (Hons) Media and Communication

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
Ord Media and Communication
DipHE Media and Communication
CertHE Media and Communication

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time ULE10015 360 credits and 180 ECTS credits
Full-time with PTY ULE10015 480 credits and 240 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Sociology

Other internal and / or external reference points

N/A

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Sociology

Programme Leader

WEIDHASE Nathalie (Sociology)

Date of production/revision of spec

17/05/2024

Educational aims of the programme

  • To provide students with a critical understanding of key media theories, institutions, and methodologies relevant to contemporary mediated societies.
  • To enable students to demonstrate an ability to apply their understanding and thus develop strong critical media literacy skills to confidently navigate the contemporary media landscape.
  • To provide students with a range of relevant, intellectually stimulating Media module choices, supplemented with relevant module choices from sociology and criminology to foster interdisciplinary thinking.
  • For students to demonstrate the ability to apply media-focused social sciences research skills to solve problems and provide evidence-based solutions in the contemporary media landscape
  • To develop awareness of how those skills are of value for employability.
  • To develop in students a broad range of transferable skills, including communication, analytical and organisational skills and the confidence to apply them in academic and professional contexts.

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Have a critical understanding of media and communication theory relevant to an understanding of contemporary mediated societies. K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of media in organisations, institutions and individual lives in contemporary societies. K DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Have a critical understanding of the ways in which media and communication theory helps understanding future challenges, including digital media literacy, sustainability, and global media industries. K DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Be familiar with the range of qualitative and quantitative methods used to generate data in sociological research. K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Display knowledge of different approaches to sociological research on media and communication and distinguish between and evaluate different methodological approaches to the study of media and communication K DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Be aware of the links between the analysis of media, communication and other sociological topics. K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Be able to design and execute sociological research studies, and be competent in the collection, management and analysis of research data. K BSc (Hons)
Be able to synthesise and evaluate data from a variety of sources, and evaluate the relationship between theoretical arguments and evidence. K DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Identify, summarise and apply key concepts in media and communication. C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Synthesise and evaluate data from a variety of sources. C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Critically compare and contrast different theoretical approaches to media and communication. C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Identify and interpret the relationships between digital technologies, institutions, texts, audiences and wider global sociocultural relations. C CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Plan, conduct and report an individual research study. C BSc (Hons)
Collect, manage and analyse quantitative and qualitative data competently, including through the use of digital technologies. P DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Locate, organise and use appropriate theories and concepts in order to inform media and communication research in a variety of sociocultural contexts. P Ord, BSc (Hons)
Collect, evaluate and utilise relevant primary and secondary sources in order to inform and resolve questions and problems related to media and communication. P CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Work individually and as part of a group to elaborate upon key issues and debates relating to media and communication. P CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Present oneself confidently to prospective employers, including in applications and on networking platforms. P Ord, BSc (Hons)
Communicate ideas, principles and theories by oral, written and visual means. T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Work effectively, individually and as part of a group, to critically analyse and reflect on key issues in global mediated societies, inequalities, and mediated social change. T DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Confidently work towards targets under pressure through discipline and careful organisation. T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Use information and digital technologies for a variety of generic and subject specific purposes. T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Apply and present basic statistical and numerical data in an appropriate way. T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Confidently navigate a globalised media world with intercultural awareness. T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure

Full-time

This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over three academic years, consisting of 360 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Full-time with PTY

This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over four academic years, consisting of 480 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5, 6 and the optional professional training year). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)

N/A

Modules

Professional Training Year (PTY) -

Module Selection for Professional Training Year (PTY) -

Students taking the PTY Year must choose one of the following modules; SOCP010, SOCP011 or SOCP012

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) Y
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) Y
Dual degree N

Other information

Level 4 introduces students to the key concepts and theories required to succeed in a media and communications degree. Alongside the media-specific modules, they also gain a firm understanding in key concepts in sociology, and qualitative and quantitative research methods. All modules are compulsory at this level to ensure students gain the knowledge in media and communications required to succeed in their degree.
Level 5 enables students to further develop their understanding of key issues in media and communication through 4 compulsory modules on media audiences, media, power and regulation; global media and communication, and media research methods. Additionally, students will choose 4 optional modules (from a choice of 8-10) from sociology, criminology and media and communication to give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge further in areas of specific interest and relevance for future career aspirations.
The optional Level P offers the chance to spend a full academic year undertaking a work or study-abroad placement (or a mixture of the two), enhancing students¿ professional development and employability skills and enriching their curriculum vitae in preparation for further career pathways.
Level 6 further increases optionality while maintaining a core media identity through two compulsory Media modules in data and the digital (semester 1), and PR in the digital age (semester 2). In addition, a year-long compulsory dissertation or independent project gives students the opportunity to research a topic in media and communication of particular interest to them. Students choose a further 3 optional modules (from a choice of 10-12) in sociology, media, politics, and criminology, enabling students to focus on topics of their choosing.

The Department of Sociology is committed to developing Media and Communications graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience in the following ways:

Employability
Employability is at the core of this programme, with the aim to develop career-ready graduates. The embedding of employability throughout the programme is detailed in each module descriptor and are developed across all levels of study. In level 4, students are introduced to key issues in the media industries (¿Key Concepts in Media and Communication, Current Issues in Digital Societies), and begin to think about their own employability and career choices in a careers-focused assessment (Current Issues in Digital Societies). Key transferable skills are developed early on through a diverse assessment strategy across modules that fosters communication skills in writing and verbally, presentation skills, and team working skills. Students further build on and develop key skills such as communicating to different audiences and through different media on compulsory modules, and take the employability-focused module PR in the Digital Age, which culminates in a PR portfolio. On both compulsory and optional modules, students have the chance to engage with Media professionals in a range of professions.

Resourcefulness and Resilience
Students will be fully supported throughout their academic journey to help them develop resourcefulness and resilience. The programme develops students¿ independence, problem-solving skills, creativity and confidence early on. The range of modules and diversity of teaching and assessment styles on the programme will help to facilitate the students¿ independent thinking and self-management skills throughout.

The transition from secondary education to University is supported throughout the first year, but especially through the integrated study skills provision in the first year Media module Concepts and Theories for a Mediated World. Building on their existing learning skills, key academic skills required to succeed in higher education are developed here, including researching academic works, reading scholarship effectively synthesising information, referencing, and building arguments, integrated with the teaching of media and communications theory as key analytical tool as part of their media literacy skills.

Building on students¿ independence and confidence, other aspects of the programme will support them in developing key collaborative skills and dealing with the challenges that may come with teamwork. Students will build their confidence to speak in seminars, building up to giving group and individual presentations. Group presentations on compulsory level 5 modules such as Audiences and Users in Media and Communication offer supportive spaces in class and with lecturer support to navigate and build teamworking skills.

Further opportunities to develop resourcefulness and resilience in a professional context are offered through the voluntary PTY year, and other, shorter placements that students may engage with. This includes media-specific activities on campus, such as getting involved with student media, or social media management for a student society.

Throughout the course, students may face challenging and unfamiliar learning situations but will be supported to develop their capabilities in successfully navigating this academic journey. Assessment feedback is a key part of this, formally through ¿feedforward¿ and ¿feedback¿ summative feedback, and through a range of assessments that incorporate peer feedback, for example in online discussions (for example on Media, Power and Regulation).

At the end of the programme, students will have benefitted from a supportive learning environment that enabled them to become resourceful and independent problem solvers in an ever-changing media landscape.

Digital Capabilities
Key digital capabilities in the form of critical and digital media literacies are at the heart of the degree programme¿s educational aims and learning, teaching and assessment strategy, and are central to the module learning outcomes of our core modules (please see individual module descriptors for more details). Key knowledge in digital transformations is developed on the modules Current Issues in Digital Societies, Audiences and Users in Media and Communication, Analysing Media and Digital Communications, and Data and the Digital in Platform Societies.

Throughout their academic journey, students will use the University¿s Virtual Learning Environment, and engage with a range of multimedia and online learning resources in the form of captured content. This extends to library reading lists, learning materials, assignment submission, and use of digital databases for research. In addition, in-person learning in the classroom is regularly enhanced through the use of interactive learning technology and the critical engagement with digital platforms.

The assessment strategy is further designed to develop key digital capabilities. Students are introduced to digital communication through informal online discussions (For example on Communicating Difference and Media, Power and Regulation), and digital research skills through level 4 assignments. This builds up to creating blogs and vlogs on core and optional modules, enabling students to develop skills in communicating in a range of digital media formats. Remote working skills are developed through a recorded group presentation on Audiences and Users in Media and Communication. By the end of their degree, students have developed key digital media literacy skills and the ability to both navigate a range of digital environments, and communicate through a range of digital media.


Global and Cultural Capabilities
Developing students awareness and understanding of a globalised media landscape is central to the degree. Students are introduced early on in level 4 to key concepts and definitions around globalisation, and a critical understanding of global digital divides (for example on Current Issues in Digital Societies) and develop critical analytical tools when it comes to representations of cultural and social difference (for example on Communicating Difference in Visual Culture). Our compulsory level 5 module Global Media and Communication builds on this, expanding and deepening students¿ understanding of global media cultures. Other modules discuss globalisation in the context of audiences, regulation, and media research methods (with a particular focus on de-centring Western approaches). Modules aim to include a diverse set of case studies from around the globe, from bog data in the global south to K-pop as global popular culture.

Students are encouraged to share their experiences and knowledge from their own backgrounds and cultures, and in turn are expected to appreciate diverse perspectives. This is facilitated and developed through inclusive, supportive classroom discussions, and an approach to teaching media and communications that centres awareness of globalised media cultures. In-class group work and discussion, and group assessments that bring students from different backgrounds together help facilitate this development. The programme aims to develop a learning community that enables students to critically interrogate ethnocentric approaches to media and communication, and through this develop key global and cultural awareness.

Sustainability
Critical media literacy as developed on this programme includes an awareness of sustainability, including understanding social structures and processes in a mediated society. Sustainability as defined by the Sustainability Development Goals of the United Nations, is thus recognised as a key component throughout the degree. This embedded in module content, for example through awareness of global digital divides (goal 1 and 4), global media industries (goal 8 and 9), an understanding of media as site for (gendered, raced, and classed) resistance (goal 5), and corporate responsibility (goal 12). The new optional module Media and the Environment (which will run from 2025/26 onwards) centres goal 13, ¿climate action¿, and gives students intellectual and professional skills to advocate for sustainability in a range of contexts. An ethical approach that considers issues of social justice in mediated societies is central to the learning and teaching approach on the degree and in the department.

The dissertation or independent project provides further opportunity for students to consider these issues in greater depth, and further develop their critical and analytical thinking in these areas. By the end of the programme, students are expected to have developed confidence in their ability to analyse issues of global and local mediated inequalities, and promote sustainable practice in the future in social, cultural and professional contexts.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

https://www.surrey.ac.uk/quality-enhancement-standards

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.