Foundation Year Zero
Students on all of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year courses will undertake 80 credits of generic core modules introducing them to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills, namely:
- Academic Writing and Study Skills
- Personal and Career Development
- Understanding Arts and Humanities
- Being Human: an Introduction to the Humanities
In addition you will be offered two 20 credit optional modules, one to be studied in each semester. The full list of optional modules is as follows and you will be placed onto the modules which most effectively complement your degree pathway choice and, where applicable, your study interests:
- Dangerous Ideas
- Foundation English Language and Communication
- Foundation English Literature
- Foundation Media and Communications
- Analysing British Cinema
- Historical Foundations
- America and the World (subject to validation)
- Music and Performing Arts in Context
- The Languages and Theory of Music
The aims of this module are to equip you with basic knowledge and skills about social science, media and journalism research, to enable you to carry out independent research in the wider subject area and to provide opportunities to gain practical research experience. This module will lead you into a disciplined and deeper study of the mass media and culture and their place within contemporary society. You will be introduced to the main research methodologies and you will gain a critical appreciation of the relation between the theory of research and its practice.
Contemporary Media Debates
The aim of this module is to introduce you to contemporary debates about the media in society and to equip you with relevant skills and knowledge to be able to explore various sides of arguments in these debates. We will explore key contemporary issues such as who owns the media, the pros and cons of media regulation, privacy versus the media, and changing news and news values.
This module provides practical opportunities for you to explore aesthetics and design in relation to digital media products and use a range of software applications suitable for the design and production of simple design, web authoring and digital imaging. You will gain knowledge of the basic principles of layout and typography and of hierarchies of information using both image and text in web formats.
Researching Media and Society
This module explores the relationship between media and society through specific case studies. It will help you to develop a critical understanding of the ways in which media, communication and cultural activities and processes are central to the organisation of everyday social life. It will also equip you with research and analytical skills to examine the historical development and context of the relationship between media and society. It will provide opportunities to hone your research skills, both primary and secondary, and to develop your communication skills. You will be carrying out primary and secondary research on a case study topic as part of your assessment.
Media and Creative Industries
The aim of this module is to enable you to understand how media, and creative industries work, their characteristics and the policies which impact upon them and the cultural and creative artefacts they produce.
The aims of this module are to enable you, under guidance of a tutor, to undertake an extended piece of focused research, building on work done in previous years by developing an in-depth study of one aspect of the media, provided that the project is deemed viable and ethical. It also aims to provide an opportunity for you to develop their research and analytical skills in conjunction with their awareness of ethical issues in research by combining disciplined academic study with personal interest. The module also helps you to develop your employability and professional skills and aims to prepare you for the world after your graduation.
Professional Work Based Learning
This module aims to develop your potential for employability and your work-related skills for a wide variety of professions related to the media, culture and communication industries. It will do so by supporting and developing your skills in obtaining (preferably) relevant work experience or by bringing you into contact with industry professionals who will help to set project/problem based work experience or through a relevant industry based research case study. (This could be work shadowing, reflective diary, portfolio, and research report.) The module aims to develop student employability by creating an appreciation of relevant organisational cultures, policies and processes and by developing your ability to evaluate the outcomes of professional practice.
Likely optional modules
We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.
Introduction to Professional Communication
This module will help you to become independent, reflective and self-managed. It introduces you to key communications skills required in the media and communications industries and in Higher Education. It focuses on developing you for employability within the Media and Communications industries. You are introduced to basic communications theory and models. This knowledge empowers you to develop, written and presentation skills to deliver messages confidently in an appropriate, professional way in different media. From communications such as emails, to proposals, assignment planning and writing, pitches and presentation skills, you will learn to achieve successful and persuasive communication, arguing a case and defining audiences.
Making Media Meanings and Messages
The aim of this module is to introduce you to a range of analytical tools that will help you to decode the meaning of media texts – their appearance, sound, structure and context. You will look at the way in which texts are constructed in order to generate meaning and in order to persuade an audience of a particular interpretation.
The aims of the module is to familiarise you with media consumption patterns of diverse audiences and to provide you with the appropriate knowledge and basic understanding in order to be able to investigate and debate the theories that are evolving concerning the consumption of diverse media forms and content.
Advertising in Context
The aims of this module are, firstly, to enable you to understand how advertising and attitudes to it from the media industry, governments, interested laypeople and advertisers themselves have affected advertising practice since the birth of formalised advertising agencies and, secondly, to provide a number of examples on which you can draw on in your own advertising communications.
Creative Media Practice
This module integrates practical and theoretical issues as you consider the ways in which Digital Media, computers, the web, mobile phones, digital cameras etc. play an important role in our social and economic practices. You will explore the methods, codes and conventions and uses of digital media technologies in order to develop your own practical digital project. You will develop a better technical knowledge of the application of a variety of appropriate formats and skills such as digital photography, media streaming, digital imaging, desktop publishing etc. You will gain knowledge and practice in relation to planning, implementation and evaluation of your own digital media project.
Popular Genres and Popular Culture
The module aims to provide you with the critical tools to develop your appreciation and analysis of different genres of popular culture. A number of examples of popular genres will be studied in depth, with opportunities to discuss further examples of your choice.
Celebrity, News and the Media
The module aims to develop your professional skills by enabling you to analyse the role of celebrity as an idealised figure and as a vehicle for consumption associated with mass distribution, the rise of promotions industries and with technological advances in the media and cultural industries. Through a portfolio of research work you will explore celebrity as a set of cultural and commercial practices in a variety of media such as press, magazines, reality and talk show TV, photojournalism and various forms of online media. The aim of the module is to develop your critical thinking about the links between public relations, the media, sustainability and ethics.
Public Relations the Media and Sustainability
The module explores Public Relations and its ethical relationship to power and persuasion. Through case studies and working to a live campaign brief the module will help you to develop your own PR communication and campaign strategies to raise awareness of issues of sustainability and organisational responsibility. The module encourages you to critically reflect on the role of public relations communications within organisations as well as the relevance of public relations beyond its organisational functions. By equipping you with an understanding of ethical professional practice it develops key skills that employers require in the PR and communications sectors.
Writing for Media Communications
The module aims to develop your professional communication and creative practices and deepen your understanding of forms of multi-media communication through a specific focus on writing skills. The module also aims to extend your grasp of ethical issues, media theories and their impact on the communication process. You apply these through practical exercises to communicate effectively through a variety of media. Key areas of practice may include print and online journalism, feature and review writing, copywriting for public relations, Advertising and media relations for print and online media, offering you insights into how the creative industries interact with technology.
This module is above all a practical one, geared towards the production of an advertising campaign that assists a local small enterprise or charity. After clear guidance as to what is involved in such a campaign, you will be allocated into teams and either be assigned a real small enterprise or charity for which you need to generate an effective campaign or they may find their own small enterprise/charity for the same purpose.
Journalism Issues and Practices
The module will explore characteristics and developments of journalism as a profession. The focus will be on current features and changes in a transforming media landscape, however these will be placed within a historical context. Case studies from a variety of sources such as newspapers, magazines and online content will be used to help students understand the key issues and debates. In a practical application of the issues discussed students will create a piece of journalistic content and will be required to reflect on the sources used and strategies applied. The module will focus on journalism in the UK but will also provide an insight into journalism cultures and practices in different countries and different market settings.
The module aims to develop opportunities for you to critically integrate theoretical perspectives with practical creative digital production. It aims to enable you to undertake an independent practical communication project from conception to completion in a specific area or areas of digital practice. You will also become proficient in the use of appropriate software and in editing, especially graphics, effects, formats and dissemination.
The aims of the module are to develop in you a critical understanding of media as businesses, to enable you to critically analyse media organisations as social entities, and to improve your employability skills by providing you with opportunities to explore real-life management and entrepreneurship case studies.
The module will examine the networked nature of the world of media, communications and public relations both at the level of theory but also its manifestation in specific case studies. The present state and features of the networked world of communications and public relations will be examined historically and key texts/theories will be assessed. The module will explore the historical development and current features of globalisation as well as the role of the media and communication technologies in the process. Key characteristics of international communication will be discussed and different views about the impacts of globalisation will be explored. The module will also examine different media systems and explore the reasons for the differences and similarities between different countries' media.
Public Relations: Campaign, Planning and Evaluation
Students will develop an advanced understanding of a variety of theoretical approaches to PR such as systems theory, excellence theory and change and complexity theory. They will put into practice their understanding of specific areas of PR and its audiences and will use a wide range of information sources for their research. Different areas will be explored where PR is used by employing local and global case-studies of real-life PR campaigns analysing their aims, strategies and success. This will help students to develop their own small scale PR campaign which they will create in groups. They will apply specific strategies such as PR stunts, various forms of social media, viral campaigns, guerrilla marketing and sponsorship. They will gain knowledge and understanding of campaign planning, management, research, monitoring and evaluation to measure PR effectiveness. Through team working and the use of the Virtual Learning Environment students will develop the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively, manage their time and will develop their ability to work well with others.
Youth Cultures explores contemporary social and cultural debates within the sociology of young people, the module puts an emphasis on creativity and critical thought. You will study different aspects of the social and cultural structures which shape the lives of young adults, including youth cultures, subculture, risk, youth ‘underclass,’ resistance, hypersexuality, drug normalisation, binge drinking, hybrid-identities, the précarité, deviance, style and popular music.
The module offers an interdisciplinary platform for you to pursue a career related to journalism, media research, the culture industry, teaching, youth work, careers service, fashion or music industries at a time of rapid social change.