1 year full time, 2 years part time
Starts September 2017

Cultural and Creative Industries

This MA is for you if culture, technology, power and business excite and intrigue you.

You study cultural industries, institutions, texts, identities and practices from a critical perspective. You’ll explore the meaning of culture as politics and philosophy, and also:

  • explore cultural innovation, promotion and value in a fast-changing world
  • build a critical understanding of how business, technology and the law are redefining cultural practices today
  • graduate with professional skills relevant to cultural and creative organisations in the private and public sectors.
The mesh and clash of culture and industry is thrilling and vital – at Sussex, you can explore this important area of study in contemporary global society.”Margaretta Jolly
Reader in Cultural Studies

This course is currently subject to validation, in line with our procedures for assuring the quality of our degrees. This means that some course detail may change. The validation process will be concluded before the course starts.

Key facts

  • We were ranked 7th in the UK for research impact in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) and in the top 100 in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.
  • You enjoy opportunities for placements including in the vibrant city of Brighton & Hove, a hub for cultural, creative and activist enterprise.
  • You will gain awareness of the challenges within creative industry and culture in contemporary globalised societies and economies, which is an advantage in many areas of employment as well as further study.

How will I study?

Teaching is through lectures, seminars and workshops and includes guest lectures from industry professionals and researchers.

In the autumn term, you’ll take two core modules. In the spring term, you choose two options. In the summer term, you decide what to work on for your final assessment:

  • a supervised research-led 15,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice
  • a dissertation with industry experience in a relevant organisation
  • a practical project.

Assessment is by term paper, presentations and portfolios.

Industry experience

An optional industry experience may be arranged with local employers (subject to convener agreement). 

Speak to the course convener as early as possible if you’re considering the industry experience or practical project options because preparation and/or previous experience may be needed.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to study this course full time or part time. For details about the part-time course structure, contact us at

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Media Theory and Research

      30 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      The module offers you the chance to explore at an advanced level a number of principal theories and methods within a cultural studies approach to media studies, and to consider how these shape the ways we might think about and research particular media industries, forms and issues. The theory element aims to introduce you to the key thinkers, traditions and debates in media and cultural studies and contributing disciplines. It investigates media as institutions and systems of representation and explores problems of production and consumption in a variety of social and geo-political contexts. You will be encouraged to prepare informal presentations and to engage in discussion with other members of the seminar group. Each week there will also be a short introduction to the following week’s topic in the lecture given by members of the Media and Film faculty.  The research element aims to develop a systematic and critical understanding of the practical, epistemological and ethical issues involved in conducting different kinds of media and cultural research. It also aims to make you methodologically self-conscious in your own research and written work.


    Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

    • Body and Society: Representing Women

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      From the 1970s onwards, women artists, curators and cultural theorists have actively intervened in contemporary politics. In contesting images of women and representations of the gendered body, they have challenged regimes of power and knowledge. In this course you will consider the role of gender in critical writing as well as in art practice.

    • Global News Industries A

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module explores the function, impact and current status of international journalism in an increasingly 'deterritorialised' media environment. The module will cover a comparative study of different news media systems in the world, the global news flow, institutional and professional issues in international news reporting, and the transformation in international journalism. It will also investigate the extent to which the audiences of global journalism might constitute alternative news networks and a putative global public sphere. New technologies from blogging to multiplatform television, twitter to online distribution, have also transformed the way news is made, disseminated and consumed. This module provides a critical consideration of the economics, culture, politics and sociology of journalism on a global scale. It examines fundamental issues in theories and practices of journalism and assesses ongoing developments in the area of journalism development, expansion, ethics and policies. The module aims to enable you to understand rapid technological changes and further internationalisation of journalism and the impact and consequences for future of journalism.

    • New Developments in Digital Media 1a

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module critically surveys developments in the expanding field of new media and explores the dynamics driving digital convergence, which is viewed as an industrial, political, social, economic and technological process. You will consider what drives convergence between previously discrete industries, technologies, and contents, and what limits convergence processes. You will explore key developments in the field of new media, including phenomena such as social networks, pervasive and locative technologies, new forms of knowledge organization and gathering.

      The module is both theoretical and practical, with seminars exploring the areas outlined above through critical reading, while a series of workshops provide you with an understanding of core technologies underlying contemporary developments, and help you gain literacy in approaches to content development in this field.

    • The Politics of Promotional Culture

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module is not about advertising per se or the marketing 'tools' usually suggested by the term promotion but an exploration of 1) how advertising has crossed over into domains beyond the commercial with an alleged collapse of boundaries, and 2) how branding seems increasingly to take over aspects of the lifeworld. According to Andrew Wernick, from whom the term promotional culture is borrowed, advertising 'has come to shape not only culture's symbolic and ideological contents, but also its ethos, texture and constitution' (1991: viii).

      The module is about understanding contemporary promotional culture via a grasp of historical developments. These include the development of the capitalist market, the rise of a sign-culture and women as key consumers.

      The module opens up theoretical ideas and debate via a series of case studies which may include 'the department store', 'spin', 'celebrity politics', PR journalism, 'the spectacular university', 'the branded self'. The questions it is concerned with include: does it matter that commercial advertising has been overtaken by branding and promotion extending into politics, public services, the arts and charity organisations? Does this mark a problematic undermining of a 'public sphere'? Or can the 'inauthenticity' of promotional culture be democratically enabling in so far its practices lay open the malleability of social life? Do the developments of other modernities (eg. South/East Asia) suggest we should think about the rise of the market, branding and promotion in different ways than is suggested in a Western literature?

    • Working in the Creative Industries: Critical frameworks

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module addresses the changing scope and experiences of working in the creative industries.

      Work is situated in the context of neoliberal economic-political developments and the discursive shift from ‘cultural’ to ‘creative’ industries. It focuses on your own work lives and empirical case studies (from sociology, media, urban and cultural studies) to explore and understand the tensions and contradictions of such work: competitive and collaborative, creative and repetitive, passionate and precarious.

      Critically it draws on a range of ideas including immaterial labour and precarity; field, capitals and cultural intermediary; emotional/affective labour; governmentality and individualisation; prosumer/co-creation and ‘gifted’ labour.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in media, film or another relevant social sciences or humanities subject. We also welcome applications from those with relevant professional experience.

English language requirements

Standard level (IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?


Home: £7,700 per year

EU: £7,700 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £7,700 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Our internationally recognised scholars in the fields of cultural studies, media and the arts, law and business encourage you to combine approaches while developing a critical and intellectual perspective.

Researchers specialise within three interlocking themes:

  • cultural histories and cultural politics
  • creative industry technology, form and experience
  • critical business and legal studies. 
  • Faculty profiles

    Prof David Berry
    Professor of Digital Humanities

    Research interests: Algorithms, Code, Computation, Critical Digital Humanities, Critical Reason, Critical Theory, Digital Humanities, History of the University, Philosophy, Political economy, Post-digital, postdigital, Social and political theory, Software Studies, University

    View profile

    Dr Benedict Burbridge
    Senior Lecturer in Art History

    Research interests: Art History, Art Theory & Aesthetics, Critical Theory, cultural politics, Digital Culture, Museum And Gallery Studies, Photography art and politics, Photography History, Theory and Practice

    View profile

    Dr Roberto Camerani
    Research Fellow

    View profile

    Dr Maria Frabboni
    Lecturer in Law

    Research interests: intellectual property law, Law and economics of intellectual property, Policy, Arts Management & Creative Industries

    View profile

    Prof Ivor Gaber
    Professor of Journalism

    Research interests: Broadcast News, Journalism, Labour Party, Media and Elections, Media and Policymaking, Media and Social Work, Media Bias, Media Regulation, News Agendas, political communication, Political Parties, Polling, Social Media

    View profile

    Dr Margaretta Jolly
    Reader in Cultural Studies

    Research interests: Creative and critical writing, Cultural and Creative Industries, cultural studies, Everyday Life, Feminist theory, genre, history of feminism, letters and diaries, Life writing, Mass Observation, oral history, Self-identity, self-narratives, women's liberation

    View profile

    Prof Tim Jordan
    Professor of Digital Cultures

    View profile

    Prof Kate Lacey
    Professor of Media History & Theory

    Research interests: 20th C German History, Broadcasting History, Gender Studies, History of sound, Listening, media history, media theory, Public sphere theory, Radio Studies, Role of the media in processes of democratisation, Sound studies

    View profile

    Dr Eleftheria Lekakis
    Senior Lecturer In Media & Communication

    Research interests: civic engagement, consumer activism, cultural politics, Digital Culture, digital media, global communication, Humanitarianism, media activism, media sociology, Nationalism, political communication, political consumerism, promotional cultures

    View profile

    Prof Sally Munt
    Professor of Cultural/Gender Studies

    Research interests: 'race' and class, Alternative Spiritualities/New Religious Movements, cultural geography and space, cultural studies, Culture and Identity Rights, Everyday Life, Gender and Sexuality, history of emotion, Mental Health and Well-Being

    View profile

    Ms Lizzie Thynne
    Reader in Film

    Research interests: art cinema, contemporary television, Cultural and Critical Theory, Documentary theory and practice, Experimental Documentary, Feminist Art History, Film drama, Gay & Lesbian Studies, Gender and Sexuality, Life writing, Queer studies, Television History, Theory and Criticism, Visual fields, women's liberation

    View profile

    Ms Janice Winship
    Reader in Media & Film Studies

    Research interests: Film-based media

    View profile


Graduate destinations

94% of students from the Department of Media and Film were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent graduates have gone on to jobs including:

  • video editor, MWP Digital Media
  • internet content and new media officer, Parks Canada Agency
  • news editor, Alpha Media Holdings.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers in:

  • media, digital, creative and cultural industries
  • publishing
  • research
  • teaching
  • journalism
  • public relations
  • development work
  • curation.

Some of our graduates also go on to further study.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Contact us