Media, Culture and Society BSc (Hons) – 2017 entry

One of the reasons I chose to come to Surrey was because the degree programme was very highly ranked within the university league tables for my discipline. What I found most valuable was the ability to learn directly from lecturers who are leaders in their field.

What you'll study

In a digital and globalising age, how are media changing? How do such developments relate to popular culture (such as music, television, film), news and information, and their roles in contemporary individual and social life? In what ways do media and culture connect to broader social trends?

Programme overview

This innovative and challenging programme investigates the role of media and culture in the social world. During the twentieth century, traditional media such as television, radio, cinema and newspapers became central to everyday life.

The new generation of digital and mobile forms of communication – from Facebook and Twitter to multi-channel interactive television and the iPod – is further transforming the cultural fabric of daily life in twenty-first-century societies.

Your studies will explore digital, online and mobile media technologies, as well as the evolution of established forms of communication, including broadcast and print media. You will also consider a range of high and popular forms of culture, from pop music and youth cultural styles to more elite forms of art.

You will combine this specialist examination of media and culture with a broader sociological appreciation of the way that contemporary societies work. To facilitate this, the programme includes core social theory and research methods modules and a rich and varied set of options covering different aspects of social life.

On completing this degree, you will have a rigorous grounding in social science and an up-to-date understanding of contemporary media and culture, applicable to a wide range of careers in media, research, public relations, marketing, business and beyond.

Read about the experience of Media, Culture and Society student Dasha Nadina.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 1 combines an introduction to the study of media and popular culture with modules in sociological theory and research methods.

Compulsory modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

In Year 2, you will study media and culture through the core modules Media, Power and Control, and Analysing Media. You also extend your understanding of social theory and methods.

You are then able to specialise by choosing four options from a wide range of modules covering different areas of media and culture, as well as the broader study of contemporary societies.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

You have the chance to develop your skills and experience in a work environment through our Professional Training placement, which is optional for all of our students during their third year.

This provides an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills you have acquired during your first two years of study in a work environment.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In Year 3, the dissertation enables you to conduct an in-depth research project on a topic of your choice. You will also choose five specialist options from an extensive and varied list.

Core modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placements

We encourage you to develop your skills and experience in a work environment through our Professional Training placement, which is an option for all of our students during the third year.

This provides an opportunity to apply all the knowledge and skills you have acquired during your first two years of study in a work environment, and to bring your experience back to enhance your vital final-year studies.

Students who have completed a placement tend to be more focused, perform better and achieve better results. After graduation, many take up permanent posts with their Professional Training placement employer.

The Department of Sociology’s Professional Training partners include:

  • Radio stations
  • Record companies
  • Marketing companies
  • Public relations agencies
  • Computer companies
  • Social research organisations
  • Business organisations
  • Educational establishments

The process of preparing and applying for placement jobs also significantly enhances your job-seeking skills, which come into play in your final year and beyond when you apply for graduate employment.

After graduation, many of our students take up permanent posts with their Professional Training placement employer. Our students tend to return to their final year significantly more confident and with enhanced career aspirations and prospects, so you are likely to be more focused, perform better and achieve better results.

Placements are selected according to your interests, career plans and location preferences. Some placements are paid, usually in the region of £12,000–£15,000 per annum, and some placements are unpaid.

If you choose to take an unpaid placement, you can claim additional financial support and may also work a reduced amount of time.


Teaching is oriented towards the development of your practical and analytical skills, as well as theoretical awareness and understanding. You develop sophisticated skills in the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods as a means to analyse media, culture and society.

You benefit from a range of teaching methods including small group tutorials and workshops, as well as lectures, classes and occasional screenings. The programme also utilises online module guides, a virtual notice board and student discussion facilities.


Most modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations, but some are entirely coursework-based. Examples of coursework include essays, projects and exercises related to media analysis or other kinds of social research.

Each module in the first year must be passed satisfactorily in order to enter the second year. Your final degree result is based on assessment during the second and final years.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 5 per cent medium group teaching
  • 11 per cent large group teaching
  • 84 per cent studying and revising in your own time

Global opportunities

You have the option of studying abroad with one of our partner universities, including the option to apply to spend a year at the University of Maryland in the USA in your second year. Visits to other partners are possible for one semester in your Professional Training year. These include:

  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Seoul National University
  • Brock University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of North Texas
  • Texas Tech
  • Monash University
  • Swinburne University
  • La Trobe University
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Victoria, Wellington

If you chose to spend time working in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.

Some students prefer a professional experience through a work placement with an overseas organisation.

International experiences expose you to a new cultural environment that develops your adaptation and communication skills but also your abilities to deal with unfamiliar situations, thus strengthening your academic and professional profiles.

Discover where our global opportunities can take you.

Career opportunities

Our degree programme builds your ability to analyse complex issues and reach sound conclusions, which is highly desirable for a variety of careers in business, government or third-sector organisations.

You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of media and related industries, which provides you with valuable grounding if you wish to move towards media, research, PR or marketing-related careers. About a quarter of undergraduate students in the Department of Sociology go on to postgraduate study.

On successful completion of the BSc in Media, Culture and Society students may apply to progress to the Master’s degree in Social Research Methods or Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Research. A first or upper second class degree classification is required to progress to Master’s level.

If you take the opportunity to complete a Professional Training placement, you will also build experience and a network of contacts that other graduates will not have.

You will graduate with excellent analytical and research skills, mastery of quantitative methods and the ability to communicate well. You will also have gained a particular understanding of the media industries, which will provide a valuable initial grounding if you wish to move towards media-related careers.

Find out more about the Department of Sociology.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit - QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent-74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35-34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB-Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA-Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above and GCSE Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 Years LP34 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 Years LP3I View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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