Communication, Media and Culture

BA (Hons)

UCAS code: P900

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Education, Humanities and Languages

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Overview

Looking for an exciting career? Care about culture, power and representation? This course is your first step to a passion-led role in the media and cultural industries.

You’ll gain key insight into the media and communications sector. Developing theoretical tools for analysing the power dynamics of major organisations, and how they influence their audiences. These skills set our graduates apart for their careers. 

Thanks to your tutors’ connections, we offer one-off industry encounters. We’ll introduce you to:

  • TV producers
  • talent managers
  • news reporters
  • brand marketing professionals. 

These experts will ensure you have your finger on the pulse of what their sectors look like today. They’ll show you how to apply theory to industry practice.

Our alumni led Industry Expert Advisory Board are leaders in their fields. They help keep the course at the cutting-edge of what employers look for in graduates. You’ll get to meet them in your third year at our annual speed networking session. A launchpad into your career at the moment you are getting ready to send out applications. 

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Build your portfolio

    Get involved with media platforms like Brookes TV, Observe (our alumni magazine), CMC Scoop (our department magazine), the Creative Industries Research and Innovation Network, and Oxford University Media.

  • Practical experience

    External internships can be accredited in an Independent Study Module.

  • Influential industry board

    Experts from top companies like Spotify and the BBC help us update the course and tell us what skills graduates need.

  • Unbeatable connections

    You’ll be taught by expert tutors who remain active in sectors like journalism and politics.

  • Perfect balance

    You’ll develop practical skills, powerful communication skills and strategic awareness to set you up for your first role – and the rest of your career. 

  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

  • Study abroad

    You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Oxford Brookes. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

Course details

Course structure

From understanding the role of social media in everyday life to exposing bias, how campaigners like Extinction Rebellion influence their audiences, we’ve designed this course to apply your critical thinking to the issues that matter to you. You’ll reflect on your own lives, media usage, and relationship to culture and society. We’ll discuss the tools news organisations and politicians use to shape public opinion.

You’ll spend time in our broadcast studio where you’ll learn how to use technical kit - like reading news from the autocue. This course is all about showing you the broad opportunities on offer and helping you discover what sparks your imagination. 

Strategic awareness will be important throughout your career. That’s why we’ll use different case studies to put your critical thinking to the test and encourage you to look at problems through different lenses. You’ll look at some of the most significant issues we face today like misogyny, racism and fake news.

Students sitting around table listening to the tutor

Learning and teaching

You'll learn through a mixture of:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • group seminars
  • expert tutorials
  • online methods.

You’ll develop a close working relationship with your tutors. And you’ll get regular feedback on your learning, as well as support with the areas you’d like to focus on. Your tutors carry out internationally recognised research, which directly informs your learning.

Assessment

You will be assessed 100% by coursework. This is to prepare you for the kind of work expected of a creative media and communication professional.

Alongside more traditional essays, your coursework will also include:

  • portfolios of creative and investigative work
  • news broadcasts
  • media and audience research reports
  • reflective journals, presentations
  • case studies
  • blogs
  • contributions to online forums
  • group work and more.

Our aim is to ensure that you develop your particular strengths and interests, as well as helping you to develop communication and research skills for the world beyond the University.

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Producing and Editing Text for Publication

    Do you aim to be an excellent writer? Do you want to capture your readers’ attention, switch easily between genres, and write well for different audiences?

    In this module, you’ll sharpen the tools you need for really good writing. You’ll learn the practical skills of authoring and editing needed to produce effective texts. Most importantly, you’ll put your skills into practice, creating a portfolio of written work in various genres, as well as editing other people’s writing.

  • Understanding Communication

    In this module, you’ll learn three approaches to the study of communication - process, semiotic and cultural. You’ll study elements of human communication and how theoretical models of communication can be applied to the real world. You’ll consider such issues as: 

    • cultural differences in communication
    • how meaning is created
    • the role of the ‘self’ in communication
    • how we learn to communicate. 

    You’ll work as part of a small group to answer quizzes, produce a handout, understand concepts relevant to the study of communication and make a presentation.
     

  • Understanding Culture

    What do we mean when we talk about ‘culture’? How do human ideas, customs and behaviours become a way of life? In this module, we’ll investigate the key theories and concepts of culture. You’ll gain invaluable critical skills as you reflect on different aspects of culture. And you’ll explore the impact of modern culture on individuals and society today. 

    You’ll explore cultural artefacts. And we’ll discuss three key themes: identity, power and representation.

     

     

  • Understanding Digital Cultures

    Are you interested in exploring how digital technologies are shaping our everyday lives within commercial, educational, social and entertainment contexts? In this module, you’ll explore the impact changing digital cultures have on our institutions, communication practices and consumption habits. You’ll examine aspects of digital cultures through some of the objects and practices that you yourself  engage with. You’ll be given opportunities to reflect on issues of identity, relationships, privacy, truth, and power through researching aspects of your own digital life and experiences. 

     

     

  • Understanding Media

    The mass media are of profound importance to all of us living in today's instantaneous, globally connected, advertising-saturated societies. But what are the media? And how do they affect us? In this module you’ll examine key concepts and concerns in the study of the media. Analysing a wide range of contemporary examples, you’ll explore the ways in which the media are used for communication, consumption and control. From Derren Brown to Fleabag, from The Times to The Matrix, you’ll employ a range of theories and probes to learn more about the impact and significance of the media.

Optional modules

Theory of Knowledge

What does it mean to know something? Is knowledge different from mere belief? And is knowledge actually possible?

In this module, you’ll get to know the great thinkers of the past, and explore what they say about knowledge. You’ll explore the minds of:

  • Plato
  • Descartes
  • Hume
  • Locke
  • Berkeley

You also focus on key debates about knowledge today. You’ll gain fantastic analytical skills as you consider:

  • the meaning of perception
  • if we can know something through hearsay
  • if we can know the world beyond our minds
  • if there can be a scientific account of knowledge.

Creative Writing (Introduction)

In this module, you’ll enhance your power and ability as a creative writer. You’ll attend workshops where you’ll learn through reading, writing, discussion and feedback. You’ll practise your own writing, explore the interplay of creativity and craft, and analyse how you work as a writer. You’ll join other students in exploring key approaches in poetry and prose, through:

  • practical writing exercises 
  • discussing each other’s work
  • critically analysing the work of published writers
  • exploring key writing practices. 

You’ll produce a portfolio of original creative writing, as well as a study of the aims and processes of your creative work. You’ll develop excellent writing habits, and the ability to reflect on your own writing practices. You’ll also understand the literary and cultural context of your own writing.
 

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Organisations and the Creative Industries

    How do individuals relate and interact with each other in organisations? Do we lose a sense of our identity within corporations, or find ourselves through a sense of belonging to an organisation with a strong culture? In this module, you’ll analyse the importance of communication and cultural practices within organisations from both an individual and company perspective. You will examine organisations from a multi-disciplinary perspective with a view to appreciating the challenges of the modern workplace. You will acquire interpretive tools through which you can understand the complex dynamics within the media, creative, and cultural industries in which you are likely to work in the future.

     

     

  • Digital Media and Youth Identities

    You'll investigate the role of digital media in young people's identity practices across a range of practices and platforms. You'll look at changing ways in which commercial, political and social identities are researched and understood online. This includes how selfhood is expressed and communicated,  perceptions of private and public identity, and issues of engagement and exclusion by gender, age, class and geopolitics. You’ll also consider adult perceptions and representations of digital worlds and their youthful inhabitants, and how far these match youth experiences.

     

  • Persuasive Communication

    How can the skills in persuasive speaking (rhetorics) help us understand and solve cultural problems? In this module, you’ll gain invaluable speaking and writing skills for your future career. You’ll also understand key rhetorical practices and how they affect society. You’ll explore the rhetorical tools likely to produce social change. You’ll put these to use, crafting persuasive messages that are:

    • clear
    • attractive
    • well-crafted
    • ethical.

    You’ll become a skilled writer and speaker, able to take into account your audience, message and genre as you craft persuasive language.  

  • Audiences, Users and Producers

    On this module you’ll look at the role of the audience in mass communication, and how understanding of this shapes approaches to research. You’ll examine conceptualisations of media audiences from early media panics to contemporary ideas about users and 'prod-users 'online. In workshops you’ll consider a range of approaches to audience research, from 'creative  play' methods to ways of understanding the audience in the digital age. As you develop your understanding of theory and method in audience research, you’ll be able to apply this to your own research.

     

  • Research Methods

    In this module, you’ll develop your skills in research methods so that you are ready to carry out small-scale research projects at university and in the world of work. You’ll design and use various data collection methods, such as questionnaires and interviews, and gain practical experience of data analysis techniques (both quantitative and qualitative). You’ll look at important methodological issues such as sampling, reliability, validity and ethics. You’ll also learn how to carry out a literature review, a key skill for undertaking a dissertation in your final year.

Optional modules

Web Design

Designing a successful website requires specialist skills, knowledge and creativity. In this module, you’ll examine issues of design, layout, usability and accessibility, and find out how to create a site that’s both attractive and easy to navigate. You’ll be introduced to the fundamental practical elements of web design, including HTML and CSS, and create a site of your own design using established software. No previous experience of web design is needed.

Making News: Studio Broadcasting

What makes a story newsworthy? How can we spot fake news? In this module, you’ll explore key issues including questions of balance and bias, the style and format of TV news and the global news environment, including CNN and Al-Jazeera. You’ll link theoretical issues to practice through the analysis of TV news items, before working in a team to write, film and edit your own news bulletin.

Language, Culture and Globalisation

In this module, you’ll explore the relationship between language, culture and globalisation. You’ll gain key analytical skills as you observe how language operates in local and global contexts. You’ll look at language through a sociolinguistic approach - considering the relationship between language and society and how they affect each other. You’ll explore how English rose to become an international language, spoken in countries all over the world. You’ll explore a range of topics, including: 

  • language and gender
  • language and politics
  • language and standardisation 
  • globalisation discourses
  • linguistic imperialism (when we impose our language on speakers of another language).

Communication for Justice

In this module, you’ll get to grips with intercultural identity (connections between cultures) and intracultural identity (connections between people of the same culture). You’ll gain core ethnographic knowledge for your degree, meaning you’ll gain a strong awareness of how to study people and their cultures. You’ll dig into the philosophical foundations of critical theory. You’ll also gain strong self-awareness, as you analyse your own cultural traditions and norms. You’ll explore the dimensions of your own identity, and develop sensitivity to seeing the world as others see it.

Culture, Gender and Sexuality

What does it mean to say ‘woman’? Are binary conceptions of gender unhelpful? This module challenges you to question your ‘common sense’ understanding of terms such as gender and sexuality, and to think about how such terms are used in contemporary culture. You’ll draw on insights from many disciplines, including:

  • gender studies
  • critical theory
  • queer theory
  • feminist criticism.

Independent Study in Communication, Media and Culture

In this module, you undertake individual or group work on an appropriate topic. You’ll work on a clearly defined topic or undertake a work placement or project under supervision and with approval from the module leader. The independent study gives you the chance to reflect critically work-related learning project or explore connections between themes and questions you’ve encountered in other modules.

Ethnicity and the Media

This module aims to encourage students to think critically about the notion of ethnicity and its manifold manifestations in the media. Marked by a long-standing association with othering practices across various social, national, cultural, and geographical contexts, mediated images of ethnicity are characterised by a tendency to marginalise and criminalise, on the one hand, or exoticize and romanticise, on the other, ethnically-coded subjects. Drawing from the insights of different disciplinary fields, including ethnic and race studies, media studies, cultural studies, and critical theory, this module examines the intersection of ethnicity, media representations, and relevant dynamics of production, reception, and consumption. The module provides students with the tools to analyse the different meanings and functions of ethnic identities in a variety of media contexts by focussing on approaches and theories which explore both historical and contemporary understandings of ethnicity. 

International Year Abroad

Optional modules

International Year Abroad

This is your opportunity to work or study in another country, so you can experience a different culture from the UK. You’ll be able to apply and test your knowledge and skills in new contexts that will significantly develop your employability profile.

Choosing this module will allow you to exhibit the development of self-management and working or studying in unfamiliar contexts, alongside practising cross-cultural communication and interpersonal skills.

You will receive support and guidance to help you find a place in an available partner university, or to find a work placement for your international year abroad. This international year abroad module lasts for one academic year and is taken after the conclusion of your second year of study, once you’ve completed all your level 5 studies. Your international year abroad is not credit-bearing.

The opportunity can be approached in 2 different ways. Please see your options below: 

Study in a non UK University Option

You can attend a non-UK higher education institution for a full academic year. You’ll be able to choose modules in your own subject or in a subject you consider would benefit your overall course of study. You may choose to deepen your knowledge of your degree subject or enhance it by developing complementary skills.

By studying in an international university you’ll progress your interpersonal skills through cross-cultural communication with fellow students and tutors, building lasting relationships. Also you’ll further develop your study skills as you focus on your selected areas of interest to you - while developing and progressing an international study experience that will add significance to your CV.
 

Work-based Learning Option

Undertake a work placement or work-related project based on your interests and existing skills. You will create an initial learning contract that shows clearly how your proposed placement or project will link with your academic and/or professional aims.

This pathway helps you to have full control over what your work-related learning looks like. You will advance your skills in a practical setting, gain first-hand experience in a work environment, and begin to create your professional network. Also, taking initiative of your learning in such a way will mean that you will stand out when you apply for jobs after graduation.

Final Year

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation

    In this module, you undertake independent research on a topic in Communication, Media and Culture that particularly fascinates you. You’ll have the support of an expert supervisor who will help you define a key issue and develop it into a dissertation.

Optional modules

Branded Communication: Collectivity and Identity

What does ‘identity’ mean in a market-driven society? To what extent do we live our lives through brands? And what happens to the values of not-for-profit organisations when they adopt branding techniques developed for businesses? 

These are the types of questions you’ll encounter in this module, which looks at how organisations manage their public images. You’ll examine the practices that support brand image, including advertising, PR and sponsorship, discussing their practical effectiveness and their social implications. You’ll also look at how globalisation has affected branded communication, and at the impacts of developments such as e-commerce and social media. Through this module you’ll develop knowledge that’s relevant in the workplace, but also leads towards a critical understanding of one of the forces that shapes our lives.

Citizen Journalism and Civic Engagement

In this module, you’ll learn about citizen journalism and civic engagement in online contexts. You’ll study the growth of participatory journalism and its changing relationship with the mainstream press. You’ll consider the role of citizen journalism in democratic processes and look at how it can encourage people to become more socially active and informed. As well as engaging with these questions, you’ll develop your skills in information-gathering, interviewing and writing as you work on your own, original piece of op-ed or investigative journalism in the form of a blog or podcast. 

The Politics of Visual Culture

You'll analyse visual media like: 

  • film
  • television 
  • digital media
  • adverts 
  • pop videos

This will include cultural sites such as counter-culture, celebrity culture and consumer culture. You’ll investigate the creation of visual media text and how this contributes to their meaning. Taking in the wider cultures and contexts of production. Each week you'll approach a different theoretical area and/or genre such as hegemony, gender, or Reality TV. You'll combine theoretical and industrial perspectives, considering: media markets, audiences, genres and technologies. 

You'll engage with a range of theories that attempt to explain how media texts can reproduce cultural assumptions. And ways in which visual, textual conventions make meaning. You'll gain an understanding of how media texts construct meaning from individual, cultural and institutional perspectives. You'll develop textual analysis approaches. You'll also understand aspects of the technologies of meaning production.

 

Culture Wars: Power and Exclusion

This module allows you to engage in depth with compelling current issues in Communication, Media and Culture studies. You’ll take part in student-led discussions and seminar sessions, and develop your portfolio for the research part of this course. You’ll prepare a seminar presentation, giving you the chance to hone your skills in reviewing and evaluating a set of readings and in communicating your findings.

Subject to Culture 1: Individuality and Identity

We all like to think that we’re unique, with our own personality and identity, beliefs and ideas. But are we really all so different, or are we subject to a variety of cultural and social pressures that determine who we are? 

Examining a range of objects and artefacts that you have chosen, you’ll consider new and challenging ways of thinking about your place in culture, and about how culture places itself in you. In this honours level module we’ll investigate how we’re all subject to culture.

 

Subject to Culture 2: Selfhood and Subjectivity

What is the influence of social and cultural practices on our actions? In this module you will examine your relationship with several elements of culture, both as an individual and as a member of society. You will analyse how cultural factors influence values, identities, and the sense of self, including how these manifest in our daily lives and in our interactions with others. You will have the opportunity to explore many themes and theories. You will discuss topics like:

  • gender 
  • race 
  • subculture
  • disability
  • religion
  •  surveillance
  • ancient Greek practices of self-mastery

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Careers

Media is constantly shaping today’s world. By the time you finish this course, you’ll be ready to experience the thrill and be part of working in the sector that shapes society like no other.

You’ll have a variety of opportunities to set you up for success. You’ll understand what makes you tick, whether that’s creating podcasts, or websites, or being in the TV studio. We also bring in industry experts who will share their career advice with you and help you get the best start. 

Not only will you stand out to employers, but you’ll also be ready to be a leader in whatever career you choose.

You’ll graduate prepared for a variety of rewarding careers in:

  • branding
  • marketing and advertising
  • public relations
  • audience research
  • journalism
  • media broadcasting
  • education
  • publishing
  • fundraising
  • community development.

You’ll find previous graduates working at a range of leading organisations including:

  • BBC
  • MailOnline
  • Save the Children UK
  • Channel 5
  • LEGO UK
  • Washington Post
  • tech startups
  • media consultancy and top level freelancers
  • museums, heritage and cultural organisations.

Student profiles

Joint honours options

You can also study this course as part of a joint honours degree. This course can be joined with:

Related courses

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29

BTEC: DMM

Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27

BTEC: MMM

Further offer details

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£15,200

Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£15,950

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£15,200

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£15,950

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.