Media and Cultural Studies MA

Key information

Duration:
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Start date:
September 2019
Apply by:
1 August 2019 (International), 1 September 2019 (UK/EU)

Taking a cultural studies approach to the media, this course invites you to engage with key theoretical debates that bridge the arts and social sciences. 

You study the media (the press, broadcasting, film and digital media) as institutions, texts and systems of representation, exploring the media’s political, social and cultural power in everyday life and the public sphere. You’ll:

  • develop a skills portfolio in critical analysis, creative thinking and research methods
  • choose from a wide variety of options, allowing you to set your own intellectual agenda
  • gain methodological knowledge to research a wide range of media.

Why choose this course?

  • 100% of Communication, Cultural and Media Studies research impact was rated outstanding or very considerable in terms of reach and significance in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014 REF).
  • We offer exceptional opportunities for graduate study, with a thriving research culture in media theory and cultural studies.
  • This Masters offers you an exciting opportunity to understand and question forms of communication and culture in contemporary globalised society.
“The interdisciplinary approach to study enabled me to learn about social and individual aspects involved in analysing and interpreting mass media.” Linda Huang
Media and Cultural Studies MA

Entry requirements

Degree requirements

You should normally have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above. 

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please select your country from the list.

Argentina

Degree requirements

Licenciado/Titulo with a final mark of at least 7.5-8.5 depending on your university. 

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Australia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Azerbaijan

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4 or 81%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bahrain

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.0/4.0 (Grade B).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bangladesh

Degree requirements

Masters degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brazil

Degree requirements

Bacharel, Licenciado or professional title with a final mark of at least 7.5 or 8 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brunei

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second class upper division or GPA 3.1/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3/4.0 (grade B+).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Chile

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 5-5.5/7 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of at least 72%-85% depending on your university.

As evidence of completing your degree you must provide both a Degree Certificate and Graduation Certificate.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Colombia

Degree requirements

Licenciado with ‘Acreditacion de alta calidad' and a GPA of 3.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Ptychion with a final mark of at least 7.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ecuador

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 17/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Egypt

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a university with an overall grade of at least 70%-75% depending on your university

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

France

Degree requirements

Licence with mention bien or Maîtrise with final mark of at least 13.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Germany

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Magister Artium with a final mark of 2.4 or better.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ghana

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a public university with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Greece

Degree requirements

Ptychion from an AEI with a final mark of at least 7.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of at least 55-70% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Indonesia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from an 'A' accredited university with GPA 3.0/4.0. 

Bachelors degree from a 'B' accredited university with GPA 3.2/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (Licence or Karshenasi) with a final mark of at least 15.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Degree requirements

Diploma di Laurea with an overall mark of at least 105.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Japan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a minimum C/GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Jordan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 80%.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kazakhstan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of 4 or better (on a scale of 1-5)/GPA 3,33.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kenya

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kuwait

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lebanon

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.5/4.0 or 14/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malawi

Degree requirements

Masters degree, depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Mexico

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 8/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nepal

Degree requirements

Masters degree with overall mark of 80%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division or CGPA of at least 3.0-3.5/5.0 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall grade of B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Oman

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Pakistan

Degree requirements

Four-year bachelors degree with overall grade of 65% or Masters with 60%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Palestine

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with at least 80% or GPA of at least 3.0/4.0

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Paraguay

Degree requirements

Bachelors with a final mark of at least 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Peru

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 13/20 from a public university or 15/20 from a private university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Philippines

Degree requirements

Masters degree with 1.5/5.0 (where 1 is the highest) or 3.7/4.0

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Qatar

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall CPGA of at least 3 (on a scale of 4).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Russia

Degree requirements

Bakalavr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Saudi Arabia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a CGPA 3.5/5.0 or 3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division or CAP 4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Degree requirements

Bachelors (honours) degree with second-class division 1.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Korea

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a CGPA of at least 3.3/4.5 or 3.1/4.3 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 2/4 or 7/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sri Lanka

Degree requirements

Bachelors Special degree with upper second honours.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Degree requirements

Licence or Diplôme with 5/6 or 8/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Taiwan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with overall mark of at least 67%-80% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Thailand

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 2.8 - 3.0/4.0 or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Degree requirements

Lisans Diplomasi with CGPA of at least 2.8 - 3.0/4.0 or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

United Arab Emirates

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.3-3.5/4.0 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Vietnam

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (with a Graduate Thesis/research component) with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0 or 7.5/10.

As evidence of completing your degree you must provide both proof of graduation in addition to your transcript.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zambia

Degree requirements

Masters degree with GPA of 2.0/2.5 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zimbabwe

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in media and communication studies or a relevant social sciences or humanities subject. You may also be considered for the course if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Standard level (6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component).

Check your IELTS qualification meets all of our entry requirements and find out more about IELTS

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade B or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language (Grade 4 or above in GCSE from 2017).

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

Grades A - C in English language

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 1119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-6 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades A1-C6 (1-6) in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirement. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this, we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Admissions information for applicants

How to apply

You apply to Sussex using our postgraduate application system

Personal statement

Yes. You must submit a personal statement as part of your application. 

Find out how to write a personal statement

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, contact us

Pre-Masters

Need to boost your academic skills for your taught course? Find out about Pre-Masters routes

Application deadlines

1 August 2019 (International), 1 September 2019 (UK/EU)

Course details

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.

For details about the part-time course, contact us at mfm@sussex.ac.uk

How will I study?

As this is not a practice-based course, teaching is through lectures, small-group seminars and individual tutorials.

This MA is structured around core modules and options in the first two terms. In the final term, you undertake a supervised research-led dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Most modules are assessed by 5,000-word papers. Assessment methods can also include presentations or portfolios. In addition, you submit a 15,000-word dissertation.

Modules

These modules are running in the academic year 2018/19. We also plan to offer them in future academic years. They may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

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.

Options

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

Life as a Masters student

Our experts

Prof Caroline Bassett

Prof Caroline Bassett

Professor Of Media And Communications

Research interests

Critical Digital Humanities, Critical Theory, cultural and media policies, Design of public spaces, Digital Humanities, digital media, media history and theory, media technology and innovation, Sexual and gendered subjectivities, Socio-cultural impact of new media, sociology of expertise

View Caroline Bassett's profile

Prof David Berry

Prof David Berry

Professor of Digital Humanities

Research interests

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

View David Berry's profile

Dr Katherine Farrimond

Dr Katherine Farrimond

Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies

Research interests

crime fictions, cultural studies, Feminist theory, Film, film noir, Gender and Sexuality, genre, girlhood, Gothic, horror, Media, Nostalgia, popular culture, representation, retro and vintage, science fiction, television, The body, virginity

View Katherine Farrimond's profile

Prof Ivor Gaber

Prof Ivor Gaber

Professor of Political 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 Ivor Gaber's profile

Prof David Hendy

Prof David Hendy

Professor of Media and Cultural History

Research interests

BBC, Broadcasting History, Cultural History, history of emotion, History of sound, media history and theory, Modern British history, oral history, social and cultural history, Television History, Theory and Criticism, Transnational history

View David Hendy's profile

Prof Ben Highmore

Prof Ben Highmore

Professor of Cultural Studies

Research interests

19th and 20th century visual cultures, 20th Century art and culture, Art History, Cultural History, Everyday Life, Literary And Cultural Theory, Material Culture and Objects, Mood, Playgrounds, Postwar British Culture, Structures of Feeling Research

View Ben Highmore's profile

Dr Malcolm James

Dr Malcolm James

Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies

Research interests

childhood and youth, cultural studies, diaspora race/ethnicity, ethnography, participant methods, postcolonial studies, Race and colonialism, race and ethnicity, Sound studies, urban culture

View Malcolm James's profile

Prof Margaretta Jolly

Prof Margaretta Jolly

Professor of 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 Margaretta Jolly's profile

Prof Kate Lacey

Prof Kate Lacey

Professor of Media History & Theory

Research interests

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

View Kate Lacey's profile

Dr Eleftheria Lekakis

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 Eleftheria Lekakis's profile

Prof Sarah Maltby

Professor of Media & Communication

Research interests

cultural memory, Media & Communication Studies, media and war, memory and war, Military, Sociology

View Sarah Maltby's profile

Dr Monika Metykova

Dr Monika Metykova

Senior Lecturer in Media Communications/Journalism Studies

Research interests

cultural and media policies, Journalism, media and democracy, media and diversity, media and migration, political economy of media

View Monika Metykova's profile

Dr Sharif Mowlabocus

Dr Sharif Mowlabocus

Senior Lecturer Of Media Studies/DigitalMedia

Research interests

'race' and class, Critical Digital Humanities, Digital Culture, digital embodiment, digital media, E-Health, Embodiment and Technologies, Gay & Lesbian Studies, Gender and Sexuality, Human Touch for ICT, Ideas of pornography, M-Health, Media & Communication Studies, Mobile Apps, Pornography, Queer and Transgender Representation, Queer Theory, representation

View Sharif Mowlabocus's profile

Prof Sally Munt

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 Sally Munt's profile

Prof Kate O'Riordan

Prof Kate O'Riordan

Professor of Digital Culture

Research interests

Biodigital Life, Bioinformatics, Critical Digital Humanities, Digital Arts History, Theory and Practice, Digital Culture, digital media, Feminist and qualitative research methods, Feminist theory, Genomics, Media & Communication Studies, Post-digital, Queer studies, Research Ethics, Science Studies

View Kate O'Riordan's profile

Dr Niall Richardson

Dr Niall Richardson

Senior Lecturer

Research interests

ageing and gender, body image in film and media, Disability Studies, Gay & Lesbian Studies, Minority Rights, representation of gender and sexuality in film and popular culture, Transgender politics and representation

View Niall Richardson's profile

Dr Ben Roberts

Dr Ben Roberts

Lecturer In Digital Humanities

Research interests

Automation, Critical Theory, Media Archaeology, Philosophy of Technology, Stiegler

View Ben Roberts's profile

Dr Pollyanna Ruiz

Dr Pollyanna Ruiz

Senior Lecturer

Research interests

Cultural Theory, Digital Culture, Protest, Public Spaces, Public sphere theory, Social networking

View Pollyanna Ruiz's profile

Prof Lyn Thomas

Prof Lyn Thomas

Emeritus Professor

Research interests

'Suspect communities' in the British press, Annie Ernaux, contemporary French literature, cultural studies, French feminisms, Life writing, lifestyle television, memoir, religion and media, The Archers

View Lyn Thomas's profile

Prof Sue Thornham

Prof Sue Thornham

Professor of Media & Film Studies

Research interests

Cultural Theory, Feminist theory, Film History, Theory and Criticism, Gender Studies

View Sue Thornham's profile

Course enquiries

+44 (0)1273 877538 
mfm@​sussex.ac.uk

Find out about the School of Media, Film and Music

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

UK/EU students:
£8,500 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
£8,500 per year
International students:
£16,750 per year

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

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

You can borrow up to £10,609 to help with fees and living costs if your course starts on or after 1 August 2018. Loans are available from the Student Loans Company if you’re from the UK or if you’re an EU national studying for a Masters.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

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.

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

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

Careers

Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers in:

  • media and cultural industries
  • publishing
  • research
  • teaching
  • journalism
  • PR
  • development work.

Some of our graduates also go on to further study.

Graduate destinations

92% of students from the School of Media, Film and Music were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent graduates from the School of Media, Film and Music have gone on to jobs including:

  • journalist, The Independent
  • projects and campaigns coordinator, Long Run Works
  • media executive, All Response Media.

(HESA EPI Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers From Higher Education 2017 survey)

Dissertation (Media & Cultural Studies)

  • 60 credits
  • All Year Teaching, Year 1

The preparation for the media and cultural studies dissertation consists of dissertation workshops, individual tutorials, participation in a 1-day research in progress conference and independent research and study. The dissertation builds on the taught modules to enable the development of a research agenda identified by you in consultation with the programme convenor and a faculty supervisor.

The process entails the development of a research proposal and development of a bibliography in the first two teaching blocks leading to the execution of original and independent research using appropriate methodologies and conceptual approaches during the final teaching block and summer vacation.

Media Theory and Research

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, 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.

Media, Culture and Communication

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, 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 module begins with a focus on questions concerning media production, distribution and consumption. In the latter part of the module, we pay attention to a variety of methodological approaches which draw attention in particular to different ways of conceptualising the relation between the media and concepts like subjectivity, identity, perception and experience.

The theory element aims to introduce you to the key thinkers, traditions and debates in media and cultural studies and contributing disciplines. You will investigate media as institutions and systems of representation and explore 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.

Animals and Screen Media

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

This module examines the representation of non-human animals in screen media, including film, television, video, and the Internet. You will be introduced to key critical and theoretical debates related to the construction of ‘the animal’ and consider the cultural, industrial and technological contexts that have shaped the representation of animals and human-animal relations in modern media from early cinema and popular television to digital platforms such as YouTube and Instagram.

From ‘The Battle of the Ants’ (1922) to ‘Planet of the Apes’ (2011-17), this module investigates how the diverse animal kingdom is represented on our screens for the purposes of entertainment, education or both. The module addresses how the media represents specific categories of animals (such as pets) as well as particular species (such as penguins), and will consider both mainstream and avant-garde examples of documentary and fiction film, as well as animation.

Approaches to Film Noir

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

Cultural Identities: Social Practices

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1

How do our beliefs create material realities? This module examines discourses: fields of meaning within culture that produce and reinforce identity, subculture, community, and everyday social practises. Using a range of critical approaches from Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Pierre Bourdieu, Beverley Skeggs and Sara Ahmed, you will study key social paradigms such as space, gender and sexuality, habitus, emotion, politics and protest, religion and spirituality.

You look at contemporary subjectivities and everyday life, thinking about the social effects of cultural narratives embodied within (for example) emotions such as shame, new spiritualities and paranormal culture/occultures, global/local political resistances, contemporary relations of power and their social embodiments, and queer activisms and utopias. You will consider how such discourses carve out meanings and behaviours in individuals, and how they are contested, resisted, and redefined.

Using material drawn from cultural politics and social change, you will explore how people perform, and/or are performed by, cultural narratives, and how the politics of representation can be challenged by cultural activisms.

Feminism and Film

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1

The module begins with an exploration of the relationship between feminism, feminist theory and film theory, and feminist filmmaking.

Beginning from the assumption that feminism is first and foremost a politics, and its theories – its feminisms – must exist in that space, which Stuart Hall calls the ‘tension ... between ... political and intellectual concerns’, it traces a history, firstly of feminist film theory and criticism, and secondly of feminist film making.

In the first part, it explores issues of representation, asking what kinds of representations of women mainstream film constructs, how these representations function within wider social discourses and power structures, how film – through its representations – works to construct particular subject positions for its viewers, and how particular genres structure these positions differently through their specific play of realism, ideology and fantasy. In terms of a feminist film practice, it asks how far feminist film makers can intervene in film practices, and what such an intervention might/should look like.

In each session, a specific film text will be studied in the light of the theoretical issues raised.

Film Analysis: Theories and Methods

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1

This module presents you with a mapping of the intellectual histories, key approaches and theoretical debates within the field of film studies. You will begin with early debates around realism and auteurism, moving to genre theory and ideological and structuralist approaches. Later sessions deal with psychoanalytic and feminist approaches. The module finishes with contemporary critiques of both the textual focus of traditional film studies and the concept of representation itself. Throughout, the concern is to link theoretical approaches with methodologies inviting you to explore, critique and reflect on the discipline's intellectual history.

First Person Film (MA)

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

First Person Film examines the ways in which film can be used as a personal, subjective medium, whether in fiction or documentary. Autobiographical or analytical, abstract or essayistic, professional or amateur, the first-person modality is increasingly present in all filmmaking practices. This module seeks to introduce you to theories of subjectivity whether from psychoanalysis, post-structuralism and/or literary theory considering the multiple theoretical incursions on the unity of the subject from Lacan to Butler and Nancy, and even the outright denial of the author (Barthes). We will explore questions of subjectivity such as: what constitutes a subject? from what position does s/he speak? and what or who is the 'I' that speaks? From this will arise further questions regarding the address: to whom does s/he speak and to what avail? who is being interpellated as audience? and how is identification constructed? The module will survey a range of first-person filmmaking, including the fictional autobiography, artist's experimental films, first-person documentary, the essay film, the home movie and the proliferation of YouTube direct address.

Gender and Representation

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1

This module addresses the gendered nature of both mainstream and minority discourses and representations in history and culture.

It introduces you to the conceptual and theoretical frameworks, which facilitate understanding of the production and reception of powerful representations of masculinities, femininities and sexualities, and how gendered discourses operate in different spheres.

The first part of the module concentrates on key issues in feminist and queer theories, focusing specifically on the concepts of gender, representation, and constructions of masculinities, femininities and sexualities.

The second part of the module considers these theoretical constructs within the frame of various media-centred case studies.

You also examine the way in which theories of gender and representation across a number of academic disciplines are located within specific cultural and historical contexts which themselves are both structurally and institutionally gendered.

Gender, Sexuality and Digital Culture

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1

This module seeks to explore relationships between the 'hardness' of technology and the 'softness' of the body. Moving through cyber-feminism and cyber-queer studies to critiques of social networking and reconfigurations of space - both public and private - the module seeks to engage with the diverse range of connections made daily between gendered subjects and technologies of media production and reception.

The aim is to provide you with an array of critical approaches that will allow you to discuss, analyse and critique such connections at a depth commensurate with M-Level work. While popularly conceived as an opposition to the organic, the corporeal and the subjective, technologies of mediation are intrinsically linked to and indelibly marked by issues of embodiment just as our understanding of the body has historically been coded through technologies of media production and reception.

Hollywood deploys the post-organic as a means of expressing contemporary cultural anxieties, while mobile phones are being used as a platform for gendered software. Online, the digital divide cuts across more than just geographical lines providing a space for both the re-inscription and subversion of hegemonic masculinity in multiple ways. This module addresses intersections, advances and ecologies across an array of media technologies and associated practices and cultures.

Global Cinemas

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1

You examine the forms and cultural contexts of a wide range of post-1945 non-Hollywood films and learn to analyse these films through studying theories of 'globalisation' and 'world cinema'.

Key topics may include:

  • the development of art cinema
  • New Waves
  • Third Cinema
  • postcolonial and indigenous cinemas
  • cosmopolitanism
  • the economics of film festivals
  • modern film industries
  • transnational cinemas.

You will study films from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Europe, as well as the relationships between these geopolitical regions and film movements.

Global News Industries A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, 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.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Cultural and Creative Industries

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

The creative economy has driven growth and innovation in recent years thanks to the cultural and creative industries.

This module aims to introduce you to the complexities of innovative and creative processes, meaning you develop a deep knowledge of how innovation occurs and how it is commercialised.

By linking theory with real-world practices, you will learn how companies leverage creativity, innovation and technology to create value. You can then assess different value creation mechanisms.

Journalism in Transition A

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1

The International Journalism in Transition module explores debates that are crucial for an understanding of the roles of journalism and its actual practises in contemporary societies. It opens with a discussion of the broader context of media's roles in contemporary societies and the relationships between these and democracy. It then explores key debates on audiences, contents and media professionals to shed light on areas and developments that have had a major impact on journalism. Throughout the discussion close attention is paid to the influence of economic, political and technological changes on media and journalism. The concepts and theoretical approaches discussed in the course of the module are of an interdisciplinary nature, they stem from sociology, cultural studies and media studies as well as the political economy.

Media Audiences

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

On this module you will explore and evaluate the broad tradition of critical research into media audiences which has developed over the past two decades.  You will consider, through an exploration of this tradition, how we should understand the nature of media texts, and in particular how meanings, uses, (dis)pleasures and responses are produced in the complex interactions between audiences and texts, in specific social settings.  This module gives you the chance - and to develop the skills to be able - to carry out a small piece of original audience research. Key methods encountered on the module include interviews, semi-structured focus group discussions, open-ended questionnaires, respondents' letters, and participant observation.

Media Histories and Cultural Change

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

This module explores key changes in the media over the past 120 years and how these have both reflected and shaped our cultural life in profound ways. 

By focusing on the emergence of 'new' media, such as radio and cinema in the early 20th century, television in the later 20th century and the internet on the eve of the 21st century, the module looks at key transitional moments in electronic media forms. It assesses how these media were the products of the cultural life of the time and how they subsequently enriched or, arguably, damaged this broader culture. 

The module is arranged in three sections that:

  1. Explores the emergence of broadcasting and cinema between the 1890s and the 1930s, and discusses them in the context of new ideas in America and Europe about communication, mass culture and social psychology, and in the context of new artistic ideas such as modernism.
  2. Explores the rise and spread of television between the 1940s and the 1990s, and discusses it in the context of wider debates about visual culture, the consumer society, the Cold War, the witnessing of global media events, national identity and globalisation
  3. Tackles the spread since the 1990s of internet and social media, discussing them in the context of fierce international debates about the changing nature of knowledge and literacy and in particular the alleged creation of a 'distracted' mindset and a superficial and banal popular culture 

In drawing on specific case studies at each stage, the module aims to enhance your skills in using historical evidence, including written and audio-visual archives and oral history testimony, to develop arguments about media.

Music and the Media of Performance (Theory)

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

During the past fifty years the parameters of musical performance have expanded enormously. For John Cage all musical performance was inherently theatrical since it engaged both eye and ear. The visual aspect of musical performance, and the relationship of music to the spatial and to the embodied, has often been overlooked, and has led composers such as, eg, Cage himself, Mauricio Kagel and Heiner Goebbels to explore the extended theatricality of musical performance in directions beyond opera. Other artists like Meredith Monk, Philip Glass and Robert Wilson have restored the term 'opera' to refer to music theatre works that reconfigure the traditional media of opera (music, language, voice, sound, body, space, image) in new ways. More recently musicians such as Michel van der Aa have incorporated sonic and visual media in a live performance context.

The module will examine both theories and practices of experimental music theatre and multi-media performance through critical and practical engagement with the ideas that lie behind such practices. The module will be assessed by an essay, through which you will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key theories and practices in experimental music theatre or multi-media performance.

New Developments in Digital Media 1b

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

This module critically surveys developments in the expanding field of new media.  You will explore the dynamics driving digital convergence, viewed as an industrial, political, social, economic and technological process. You will ask what drives convergence between previously discrete industries, technologies, contents, and what limits convergence processes. You will also explore key developments in the field of new media, including phenomena such as social networks, pervasive and locative technologies, new forms of knowledge organisation and gathering. This version of the module is theoretical; seminars explore the areas outlined above through critical reading, seminar discussion and presentation, and you will also write a 5000-word term paper.

Promotional Culture

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, 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?

Queering Popular Culture

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

This module offers you the chance to explore lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer contributions to, and perspectives on, the key fields of popular culture, including film, television, the press, popular music, fashion and style. Topics for detailed study will include lesbian representation in mainstream television genres; cinematic homosexualities and their historical context; lesbian and gay 'community television'; contemporary lesbian and gay magazines and newspapers; queer pop from David Bowie to the Pet Shop Boys and beyond; sexuality and style politics; and the pleasures and problematics of camp.

You will investigate issues of representation, consumption and interpretation; unravel debates over stereotyping, subcultures and sensibilities; and ask whether a specifically 'queered' critique of the existing academic discourses used in the study of popular culture is conceptually feasible and/or politically desirable. You can expect to sharpen and deepen your skills in interdisciplinary cultural analysis, and there will be a particular emphasis on a self-reflexive examination of (y)our own popular cultural tastes and practices, exploring the connections and contradictions between theoretical accounts of popular images and forms and our experiential investments in them as consumers located in (or interested in) sexual minorities.

The approach on this module is unrepentantly interdisciplinary - there is no overarching theoretical model to which you will be obliged to subscribe. Students with or without backgrounds in cultural studies will be made equally welcome.

Race, Culture and the Media

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

This module explores the intersection of race, culture and analogue/digital media.

It begins by looking at the origins of these debates and introduces how their transformation can be approached through discourse and performance.

It then moves to explore key theoretical lenses through which this module’s topic can be engaged, including a discussion of:

  • whiteness
  • class
  • gender
  • post-colonialism

Following this conceptual grounding, the course explores a number of contemporary debates that highlight different transformations of race, culture and the media.

These include explorations of the War on Terror, drone warfare, urban multiculture (sound systems, pirate radio and YouTube music videos), #blacklivesmatter, and debates on post-race. Through these means the module complements the School’s offerings in the areas of media, digital media, culture and social change in addition to complementing Global Studies options.

Subjects may include:

  • origins and transformations: race, culture and media
  • whiteness
  • race and class
  • race, gender and difference  
  • post-colonialism and orientalism
  • the War on Terror: Twin Towers to Jihadi John
  • drone warfare
  • urban multiculture: from analogue to digital
  • #blacklivesmatters
  • post-race and rehumanistion

Researching Cultural and Creative Industries

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Semester, Year 1

You study the historical, social and ideological work of the critical and creative industries, linking questions of culture to those of business, skill, technology, law and power.

Using frameworks such as the Frankfurt School, Cultural Studies and the digital humanities, you will address key debates in the field, including public-private relationships, intellectual property and access, consumption, fair trade, capital, time and value.

You will also consider the identities and lived experiences of those working in the sector and the meanings and possibilities for cultural innovation and promotion today.

Assessment is through pitch-presentation and an essay which will help you to develop industry skills.

The Cinematic Body

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1

This module examines the interplay between body and cinema. This includes not only the representation of the body in films but also how the body of the spectator and cultural formations of the body influence and shape cinema itself. You will draw on a wide range of theoretical frames (including film studies, psychoanalysis, gender studies, philosophy, feminism and cultural theory) to consider a variety of themes including: the body as resistance and force; notions of beauty and the sublime; the hysterical body; discipline and punishment; the body as desire. The module will also consider recent developments in film, including the idea of cyber-cinema and its impact on the body.

Working in the Creative Industries: Critical frameworks

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Semester, 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.

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