Media and Popular Culture BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

Want to join us in September? You can now apply via Clearing

Journalism course Finder

Find Out More About Journalism and Media

Journalism Course Finder

See Our Facilities‌

Jess Softley

Jess talks about her time at University


About the course

This course is designed for students fascinated by the rich array of media forms and practices that make up so much of our culture. It offers the opportunity to explore a range of media texts, from the mass media of film and TV to social media, and to understand their significance in the context of cultural and media history.

We help you map a range of political and sociological concepts and debates. This allows us to examine issues such as fandom and subcultures, identity politics, gender, sexuality and ethnicity, and questions posed by our consumption of diverse media texts.

You can look at everything from Hollywood genre films and online roleplaying, to journalism and TV comedy.

Film studies is a key thread of the course, running in all three years. We'll guide you through some of history's most essential movies, before moving to international cinema and an analysis of the central themes and theories of contemporary film.

There's also the opportunity to combine your theoretical studies with practical work. Options include modules in documentary film‑making, radio production and journalistic writing.

Your final year includes a work placement with an external client, and you'll also research and write a dissertation on an aspect of your studies you find most fascinating.

See what current Journalism student Jess has to say about her course.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Course type:

Full Time inc. placement year


Clearing helpline:
03301 232 277

Course content

Year 1

Core modules:

Introduction to Film

The module will enable you to develop an understanding of the key issues and concepts which inform the study of film. You will explore a broad range of filmic texts, from silent cinema to contemporary cinema. The module maps the historical and cultural significance of generic categorisation, the development of 'film language' and the various ways in which film, as an artistic and cultural form, has been categorised and critiqued. The module also introduces you to some key skills regarding the production of digital film and encourages you to integrate and implement a creative understanding of the film-making process as part of a broader exploration of film style and language. Assessment is through an essay and an analytical portfolio focusing on a particular genre.

Critical Approaches to Media and Popular Culture

This module introduces you to a number of key terms which provide crucial linchpins to the way we understand and experience popular culture. By exploring a range of relevant case studies, and the relationship between them, you will build a conceptual framework for analysing and understanding popular texts and activities. As part of this exploration, you will focus on a variety of media, such as television, radio and digital platforms, as well as considering the cultural practices which characterise popular media both in some of its historical and contemporary forms. Assessment is through an essay and a presentation.

Media and Society

This module offers you training in the academic skills required to be able to work in an undergraduate environment, and to reflect on your learning. In the process it presents you with an overview of various contemporary social issues and possible theoretical approaches to the social role of the mass media. There are two assessed essays.

Plus, choose one of the following-

Music Genres

The module will enable you to develop an understanding and appreciation of music genres by examining a selection of important examples of music from different periods and traditions, through the use of video, documentaries and recordings. You will consider their historical significance in terms of their origin, content and structure; and in relation to their broader cultural and social influences. Assessment is through an essay and a presentation.

Broadcast Genres

Studying important programmes from radio and TV, from a wide variety of genres, is what this module is about. Specific areas under analysis include TV and radio comedy, drama, sport, music and art, soap operas, news and current affairs, documentaries and children’s programmes. Their historical significance will be considered in terms of their origin, content and structure, both in relation to the ways in which they have influenced later examples, and their broader cultural influences. Assessment is through two essays.

Plus, choose one of the following-

Music Radio

This module seeks to develop your skills within, and understanding of, music radio so that you will be able to identify and appreciate major elements of both music-based and speech-based radio. You will develop your radio production skills and will be able to compile examples of your own journalistic work in this field. The varied assessments include an interview, a radio station programme schedule, an in-depth radio report, and a 30-minute programme which you'll produce and present as part of a group.

Documentary Film-Making (1)

This module offers you the opportunity to develop your basic practical skills in film-making. You will learn the initial techniques involved in the planning, pitching, filming and editing processes of making a short documentary film to semi-professional standards. Assessment is through a storyboard, a pitch and then a five-minute documentary film with a reflective report.

Plus, choose one of the following-

Journalism Technologies

You almost certainly use a wide range of social media tools in your own life already, and this module will give you the knowledge to turn that into a more professional understanding of digital media technologies. You'll learn the practical skills to use social and online tools in journalism. You'll explore a range of social media platforms and examine their impact on journalism and the wider media. Assessment is through an online learning log, an analysis of how news outlets use online and social tools, and an original piece of multimedia journalism of your own.

Writing for the Media

This module introduces you to a range of media and professional writing practices. You will be guided to develop transferable skills for a broad range of media writing. You will analyse material in newspapers, magazines, broadcast outlets and online publications and through progressive writing activities develop and hone your journalistic skills. The module will introduce you to the relationship between the media and the law, and the range of legal provisions and ethical issues which affect media writing practices. You'll be assessed on a series of articles you'll write during the year.

Introduction to Public Relations

The module provides you with an introduction to public relations, exploring how it shapes and influences the media through a detailed analysis of print and broadcast news. You'll be introduced to the history of PR and key theoretical models. You will also explore the difference between PR, advertising and marketing. In workshops you will develop practical skills giving you an understanding of the basic operations of the industry. Assessment is through an analytical log, a series of press releases which you'll write, and a group presentation.

Year 2

Core modules:

Media Sociology and Media Culture

This module offers a broad consideration of the economic, cultural and social role of the media and their content in contemporary consumer society. It will examine key theoretical approaches to the study of mediated culture. Attention will be given to the concept of ideology and its application, the growth of cultural studies as a sub-discipline, the manner in which power circulates, and the ‘cultural shift’ from modernism to post-modernism and post-digitalism. By the end of the module you will be able to identify and apply core critical theories to a range of media and cultural texts. Assessment is through an essay and a portfolio of analytical work.

Digital Cultures

This module will make a detailed examination of the ways digital technologies impact on society, culture and identities. You will consider a number of contemporary issues including: crises in identity (national identity against individual identity); sociological debates surrounding globalisation and locality (localising the global); theories about electronic culture, hyper-reality, surveillance and the control of cyberspace; ‘participatory culture’ and the impact of ‘democratic’ media on identity, culture and politics. The module will review current practices, technologies and trends in consumption, drawing examples from games, social media, and the spread of mobile devices. Assessment is through an annotated bibliography, a presentation and an essay.

Film Directors and National Cinema

The module will examine the status and work of key directors and their relationship to concepts of national cinema. A diverse range of filmic examples will be explored, drawing on texts from the silent period to the present, experimental to commercial film production, and from a range of world cinemas and film movements. The module will also map and critique a number of theoretical, aesthetic and socio-political debates such as auteurism and the politics of authorship, cinema’s varying roles in constructing ideologies of nation, the development of political filmmaking and film style, and the emergence of the ‘new auteur’ cinema. Assessment is through an essay and a presentation.

Working in the Media

This module aims to improve your employability by introducing you to a range of journalism-related employment opportunities, the professional requirements of the industry, and the skills to effectively apply for jobs. It enables you to experience contact with professionals from the communications and media industries (you are encouraged to network in order to obtain work placements), to acquire a professional outlook, and to understand and develop the skills and qualities needed to succeed professionally. For some lectures, this module will use speakers from industry to explain their roles and professional practice, while seminars will help you to identify and develop the interpersonal skills and professional skills required in the world of work, including verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills. You will learn how to reflect on your own skills and qualities, and how to highlight these in an appropriate way in job applications and CVs and in developing an effective social media profile. You'll be assessed through an individual personal development portfolio.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include-

Documentary Film-Making (2)

Building on Documentary Film-making (1), this module offers you the opportunity to advance your developed practical skills in film-making. You will learn the advanced techniques involved in the planning, pitching, filming and editing processes of making a short documentary film to professional standards. Assessment is through a storyboard, a pitch, and then a 10-minute documentary film along with a reflective report.

Music Radio Production

As part of this module you will be running an online radio station for a week - the programmes, the news bulletins and the social media. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to understand critically the technical, legal and professional standards involved in digital radio production for online streaming. It allows you to produce material which can be incorporated into an individual professional portfolio. You'll be assessed on how you perform while the station is on air, as well as on other related pieces of coursework.

Plus, choose one more from a list which may include-

History and Politics of the Press

Anyone who aspires to be a good journalist should know about the history of journalism and the part it has played in the politics of the country. From the perspective of journalists and historians you will have the opportunity to learn about the history of newspapers from the beginnings in the English Civil War to phone hacking and the future of journalism online. The module analyses the relationships between the press, politicians and governments, and the part played by key players such as spin doctors and the increasing role of digital media. Assessment is through an essay, a presentation and an in-class exam.

Magazine Design and Production

This is your chance to develop your magazine skills by spotting a gap in the market for a new publication and producing the first edition as part of a group, before pitching it to a group of industry experts. Along the way you'll investigate the diversity and complexity of the magazine market and consider the nature of design and production. The economics, costs, techniques, and organisation involved in making a magazine are all examined. You'll also work with software packages used in the industry. Assessment is through the magazine you produce as well as the final presentation.

Issues in Music

The module examines key controversial issues in music and music culture. It seeks to offer you a critical awareness of the ways in which music intersects with broader social, cultural and political themes. Topics can include issues of ethnicity, gender and sexuality, as well as pirate radio, rave culture, bootleg music and file sharing. Assessment is through an essay and an in-class test.

Music: Business and Promotions

You will focus in this module on how the music industry and related public relations and promotional campaigns operate. You will develop your creative music and PR writing through a variety of practical exercises for media outlets. You will be involved in the planning and management of a PR and promotions campaign. Online, social media and offline sources will be explored with a focus on the application of PR techniques for events and promotions. You'll be assessed through an essay and a portfolio of material relating to your PR campaign.

Journalism: Writing Techniques and Skills

This module builds on the foundation provided by Writing for the Media in the first year. It gives you deeper understanding of journalism and the nature of journalistic practices in a digital age. It establishes a critical awareness of essential journalistic skills, especially for social media-assisted reporting, and provides exercises in the production of news and feature articles. You'll submit a series of assessed pieces during the year.

Year 3 - optional placement or study abroad year

Placement Year

The placement will relate to your course of study and/or desired career It will provide opportunities for the development of a range of personal, interpersonal and professional skills, dependent upon the nature of the working environment and whether the student is working as an individual or within a team. You will be expected to identify a suitable placement for yourselves but will be assisted by the Module Tutor and the Employer Engagement Administrator. It is expected that you will undertake formal recruitment and selection procedures and will be required to prepare a Curriculum Vitae, write cover letters, attend assessment centres and interviews as necessary.


Final Year

Core modules:

Work Based Learning for Journalism & Media Industries

This is your opportunity to put what you have learned into action in the real world. You'll learn how to plan for, secure and undertake work-based learning (the equivalent of 150 hours) with an appropriate employer or client. The possibilities range from working at newspapers, magazines, radio stations and TV companies, to public relations roles for professional sports clubs and charities, as well as working with social media agencies or putting on events. Any students with disabilities will be consulted at the earliest opportunity to assess how their particular needs might be best met by the placement. You'll submit your best work from the placement to be assessed, and feedback from your employer will also be taken into account.

Note: Students studying on BA (Hons) Broadcast Journalism are expected to undertake a compulsory work placement experience of 15 days across the third year with five days being concurrent.

Dissertation / Research Project

You will produce an extended piece of individual work based on research into a particular topic of your choice associated with journalism, media or popular culture. The dissertation will be supervised by a member of academic staff, who will act as the dissertation tutor. There will be a regular schedule of supervision and you will be expected to submit evidence of your progress at regular intervals. You'll be assessed on your final 8,000 word dissertation.

Media Audiences and Audience Research

This module examines the history of qualitative audience research by concentrating on the key theoretical developments from the post-war period to the present day. By studying the module, you will be able to differentiate and critically assess the major debates about audience positioning in relation to the text. Examples of this include Behaviourism, direct effects, the encoding and decoding model, active audience research and reception analysis. You will also have the opportunity to work as part of a small group and devise, plan and execute a piece of original audience research using qualitative research methods. Assessment is through an individual essay and a report on the group project.

Post Classical Cinema

This module explores the industrial, aesthetic and cultural role of cinema from 1970 to the present. The focus is both textual and contextual and key films, drawn from a variety of different American and international film movements, are analysed and situated within the historical, critical, political and institutional contexts in which they were produced. The module explores post-classical Hollywood cinema and its alternatives and the variable relationships that exist between the mainstream and independent film production. Central to the module is an examination of the politics of contemporary film-making and the post-classical film text. Assessment is through two analytical pieces of written work.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


A compulsory component of the course is the final year work-based learning module, which involves spending time working on placement with an external client. This could be a few weeks with a newspaper, broadcaster or production company, or one day a week over several months in the busy media office of a company, professional sports club, or public sector organisation.

Previous placement providers have included the BBC and independent TV companies, a variety of radio stations and newspapers and magazines, along with leading public relations companies and social media agencies.

Career opportunities

95% of graduates from this course go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.

A selection of companies that have employed Huddersfield media and film graduates in recent years include Sky News and a range of marketing and public relations agencies across the north of England. A key career path for graduates from this course is to continue with further study and move into teaching media at schools and colleges, after completing a PGCE*. *Source: Linked In

Teaching and assessment

22% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, workshops etc.

You'll be taught by experienced teachers and researchers. Your progress will be assessed using essays, examinations, individual projects, group projects, presentations, practical production, and dissertation or extended project in the final year of study.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (either written and/or verbal) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.


Our teaching and library services are modern and regularly updated with the resources that you'll need. Film screenings and seminars are due to take place in the School's brand new Oastler Building, opening in January 2017. You'll have access to a wide range of film and literature texts as well as critical material, journals and online sources, while our award-winning Computing and Library Services offer a well-resourced, comfortable space to study.

Studying Media and Popular Culture, you can benefit from the contemporary facilities housed in the Journalism and Media Building, including the latest professional video cameras and 60 video editing suites equipped with AVID for the film-making modules, while radio teaching makes use of our five digital radio studios.

How much will it cost me?

The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

If you decide to apply for a course that includes a work placement, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required to enable you to undertake that placement in settings with children (e.g. within a School). Should the organisation you are going to be working in require one to be undertaken, the School will support you to apply for a check. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Further study

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies, there may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.

You may be interested in studying: Communication Cultural and Media Studies (MA by Research)


If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.

If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.

Research community

Media are changing at a rapid rate as we are moving from the era of mass communication shaped by newspapers, radio, television and cinema to the digital age of media convergence and networked societies. Our research in Journalism and Media at the University of Huddersfield is dedicated to the questions of central importance to any student of Journalism, Media and Film: How are media and popular culture including sport and music changing in the face of the rise of digital media? How does this change impact on how media are produced, distributed and consumed? What are the skills that are required as journalist, media worker and those in other industry sectors who work with and through digital media? How will changing user experiences and the rise of ‘prosumers' transform production practices and business models in the media? And what does this change tell us about why media mean so much to so many?

Journalism and Media at the University of Huddersfield is home to one of Europe's leading centres for the study of participatory culture, fans and popular media. The Centre for Participatory Culture brings together preeminent researchers in the field who have explored as diverse topics as animation film and branding, the reception of Disney's Star Wars sequels, football in the digital age, music festivals and music tourism, science fiction fandom, Regional Reality TV Drama, popular culture, identity and globalisation, digital media and political participation, and textual value in convergence media. Alongside studies of media use, our research also explores how the production of media and culture is changing through studies of journalistic practice, media industries and media representations.

For more information, please refer to our website.

You may also like ...