BA (Hons) Media Studies - University of Portsmouth
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BA (Hons)

Media Studies

UCAS codeP300

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Investigate the evolution of media, from the early days of the press to the digital age

Course Overview

Why take this course?

We gain a sense of the world and our place in it from the media – through the webpages we browse, the magazines we read and the television programmes we watch. You will explore media as sources of information, entertainment and identity. You will also investigate the evolution of media, from the early days of the press through to the digital age. In addition, our Media Studies programme gives you opportunities to develop key practical skills in areas such as media writing, script writing and video production.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Learn about the present, past and possible futures of Media around the world.
  • Learn by doing – take a placement year between you second and final year and experience the media industry first hand.
  • Create your own film script, write a TV drama or pick up some video production skills.
  • Be taught by specialist staff with wide-ranging research interests.

What opportunities might it lead to?

We teach people who want to work in and with the Media. The transferable and creative skills you’ll develop during your time with us will be highly regarded in the jobs market.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • media research
  • public relations and marketing
  • journalism
  • publishing
  • new media development


Elle Carrick, Year Three BA (Hons) Media Studies student 2016

I would like a career in social media or PR and the skills I have learned on this course will help me with that. I've really enjoyed the PR module, its great experience for my chosen career path.

Elle Carrick, Year Three BA (Hons) Media Studies student 2016


Film, Media and Performing Arts

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The creative atmosphere that encourages students to explore their own interests and ideas
  • The excellent facilities which you will have access to
  • The lively mix of creative practice and critical understanding, ensuring that knowledge and learning is stimulating, cutting-edge and relevant to the wider world

Browse all courses in Film, Media and Performing Arts

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

The first year covers several central topics and begins your training in the skills and techniques you’ll be using throughout your course. You will be taught by specialist staff with strong research interests across a range of media.

Core units in this year include:

  • Advanced Media Research
  • Understanding Film Production
  • Contemporary Media Events
  • Introduction to Media Studies
  • Media Study Skills
  • Media Writing: Critical Reviews and Features

Year two

This year allows you to start to specialise in the areas that interest you most. Choose to focus on specific media forms, practise your production skills and spotlight on certain topics.

Core units in this year include:

  • Print Media
  • Screen Media

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Approaches to Popular Culture
  • Marketing Movies
  • Media Networks: Exploring Digital Culture
  • Media Writing for Public Relations
  • Media Writing for the Press
  • Media Writing for the Screen and Radio
  • Media, Culture and National Identity
  • Production Introduction - Script and Shooting
  • Professional Experience
  • Researching Genre
  • Social Issues in the Media
  • Student Enterprise
  • Transmedia Narratives and Strategies

Year three*

In the final year you will have the freedom to tailor your studies to your particular areas of interest. You will choose from a selection of optional topics ranging from comedy to British drama and you’ll have the choice between a dissertation or production/writing project to round off the course.

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • British TV Drama and Society
  • Comedy Culture and Form
  • Cultures of Consumption
  • Media Fan Cultures
  • News, War and Peace
  • Practical Video Project
  • Representing Science in the Media
  • Researching Animation
  • TV Talk Shows
  • The Entertainment Industries
  • Documentary Screens

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)

Placement year

Between the second and third years of study you will have the option to undertake a work placement year. There are two exciting options for the placement year:

We offer a range of salaried professional placements as part of your degree.  You can gain invaluable work experience to help you prepare for your graduate employment.  The University can provide you with advice on how to secure a work placement that matches both the needs of your degree and your future career plans, as well as giving you useful links and contacts.

Interested in running your own business instead? We also offer students the chance to start-up and run their own company for a year as an alternative to the traditional work-based placement. Students who choose this option often start-up their companies with fellow, like-minded students, working together, as a bona fide operation, in an attempt to build a successful venture. The Faculty and University provide mentoring and support throughout the year.

To find out more visit our Employability and Enterprise page.


The greatest feature of our course is that it allows for your intellectual freedom and choice. By attending workshops, seminars, lectures, practical performance sessions and simulations, you’ll approach the exciting discipline of media studies in innovative ways using a range of texts and current media artefacts.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 73% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 24% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 76% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 9% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 91% studying independently and 0% on work placement


Assessment takes many forms enabling you to demonstrate the variety of your skills and talents, including through:

  • essays
  • presentations
  • scripts
  • video productions
  • programme proposal/pitch
  • reports/magazine features
  • examinations
  • dissertation/project

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 0% by written exams, 20% by practical exams and 80% by coursework
  • Year two students: 0% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 88% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 13% by practical exams and 87% by coursework

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Facilities & Features

Screening room

Watch movies in our purpose-built 80 seater screening room, with high quality surround sound and cinema-style seating.

Specialist software and equipment

You’ll have access to a range of current creative industry-standard software to put the skills you’ll be learning into practice. We have our own TV channel and radio station, both with production studios kitted out with the latest equipment.

Creative Careers Centre

As part of your degree, you will have the opportunity to take a placement year, either in industry or by setting up your own business. The Creative Careers Centre provides a comprehensive service to both students and employers, which includes coordinating the advertising and recruitment for placement and internship positions.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

There may be costs for items such as DVDs and MiniDV tapes for use on practical units of approximately £20 - £30. Material costs for individual project work may cost between £50 - £100.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

This course is a great springboard to an array of creative and professional industries. On graduating you’ll possess sharp communication and research skills, as well as excellent writing and critical thinking abilities, alongside a good understanding of the contemporary media landscape.

Opportunities exist in organisations ranging from small, independent production companies to major studios. Some of our alumni have gone on to work for big names such as the BBC, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures International. Some also go on to do postgraduate research or short skills-based courses in various aspects of media production. Whatever your career plans, this course will ensure you have the versatility and employability to take on a range of job opportunities.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • production manager
  • sound and vision engineer
  • film/video producer
  • advertising journalist
  • assistant publicist
  • PR and communications officer

Work experience

Work experience
Employment-boosting opportunities

Here at the CCI’s Creative Careers Centre we are committed to improving your employability. Whether it’s placements, self-employed placements, internships, short-term work experiences, freelancing opportunities and volunteering, we will help you find valuable and relevant work experience to complement your degree. The experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high-quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
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Portsmouth PO1 2UP

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