Media and Communication BSc (Hons) – 2019 entry
Why choose this course
Our BSc in Media and Communication offers an intensive and challenging account of twenty-first century communication studies. This course is informed by our research, and you’ll study topics from theories of media power, regulation and audiences, to ‘big data’, digital platforms and international communication.
This course draws on the latest media and communication research. Studying BSc Media and Communication at Surrey means you will be at one of the UK's leading universities for sociology, with our courses ranked in the top 10 in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
What you will study
Our BSc Media and Communication offers a comprehensive social science degree in the study of contemporary media and communications in global, digital societies. You will cover theories of media power, politics, media and digital regulation, popular culture, policy-relevant research, global communication, digital societies, public relations and media audiences.
This course covers a wide-range of media forms and cultures, and includes sociological critiques of some of the latest technological changes, including platform societies and ‘big data’. You will develop a solid grounding in social science which you can apply to a wide range of careers in media, research, public relations, marketing, business and beyond.
Please note: this course was previously called Media, Culture and Society BSc (Hons).
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||LP34||View KIS data set|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||LP3I||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
A Professional Training placement provides you with the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and many of our students are offered employment on graduation by their placement provider.
The Professional Training placement year gives our students an insight into their subject and career potential, and early access to professional experience. It can be invaluable in developing work-based skills and helping them secure a graduate career.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Media and Communication placements
You have the chance to develop your skills and experience in a work environment through our Professional Training placement, which available for all of our students during their 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.
After graduation, many of our students take up permanent posts with their Professional Training placement employer.
The Department of Sociology’s Professional Training partners include:
- Showcentral Ltd
- The Walt Disney Company Ltd
- TVB1 (Hong Kong)
- Wigwam PR
- Moving Picture Company (MPC)
- Gloucestershire County Council.
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 a year, 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.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via our online placement opportunities platform called Surrey Pathfinder, within which students can select and apply for placement vacancies. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to the vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Our graduates enter a wide range of careers at home and abroad, including public relations, journalism, broadcast media, advertising, digital industries, market research, media and communication management and research.
Our BSc Media and Communication will build 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 communication in the twenty-first century, giving you a valuable grounding if you’d like to work in media, research, PR or marketing for a wide and varied range of sectors. About a quarter of undergraduate students in the Department of Sociology go on to postgraduate study.
On successful completion of our BSc Media and Communication you might want to apply to progress to our MSc Social Research Methods or MSc Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Research. We require you to achieve a first or 2:1 degree classification to progress to masters 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 a wide range of media and digital communication, which will provide a valuable initial grounding if you wish to move towards media-related careers.
Graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:
- Channel Planning Assistant, UKTV
- PR Coordinator, NBC Universal
- Media Analyst, Kantar Media
- Production Secretary, Comic Relief
- Social Media Executive, Hotelplan
- Corporate Communications Account Manager, Surrey Police
- Sales Executive, Global Data.
Find out more about the Department of Sociology.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
You have the option of studying abroad with one of our partner universities in your second year. Study abroad at other partners is possible for one or two semesters in your Professional Training year. These include:
- Universitat Tubingen, Germany
- CEU San Pablo, Spain
- George Mason University
- University of North Carolina, Wilmington
- University of Virginia
- California State University, Los Angeles
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- 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 University
- Monash University
- Swinburne University of Technology
- La Trobe University
- University of Sydney
- University of Victoria, Wellington
- University of Wollongong
- Brock University, Canada
- Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
If you chose to spend time working or studying 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.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course, you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
Students take three compulsories and one option in each semester.
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Students take the dissertation (45 credits) across the whole year plus 1 compulsory and 2 options from semester 1 and 1 compulsory and 1 option from semester 2.
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Our teaching is led by our research.
We draw on the latest research in media and communication, including our own research and publications, to build courses which are constantly being updated to reflect current research. Academics who conduct excellent research in media and communication teach on our courses, drawing on their current research projects. We are proud of our research producing important texts in media and communication, work on online research methods, young people and digital media, the future of audiences in the face of emerging technologies, the role of social media in mental wellbeing, audiences and controversial media content, and youth sub-cultures, among many others.
Our teaching will equip you with a thorough and comprehensive grasp of mediated communications focusing on theories and concepts, power, politics, regulation, digital societies, media texts, public relations and audiences. You will study modules on core theories and concepts, module on international and global communications, modules on the very latest of digital technologies and their power – including ‘big data’ and the ‘internet of things’. You will be able to choose from modules covering youth, cultures, music, film, health, the internet, visual communication, and regulation. This is a theoretical, social science degree that offers range of compulsory and optional modules that will give you a genuinely interdisciplinary experience.
We’ve added three research-led compulsory modules to our BSc Media and Communication, starting in autumn 2019:
- The first year is gaining a compulsory Theories and Concepts in Media and Communication module. It covers central theoretical and conceptual debates in the field of media and communications as a social science. It looks as sociological, cultural, political-economic theories which shape the way we have approached media and communications. It pays attention to changing communication environments and the transforming role of media and mediation in contemporary media and data-saturated societies.
- The second year is benefitting from the addition of a new Global Media and Communication module which is truly international in scope. It draws upon international research in media and communication studies, bringing together cases from across the world to paint a picture of what a truly global media and communication studies might look like.
- The third year is benefitting from the addition of a compulsory module - Data and the Digital in Platform Societies. It offers a critical engagement with the structures and significance of digital platforms, big data and some of the newest emerging forms of communication in digital societies. Topics covered include critical perspectives on ‘big data’, algorithms, platform societies, digital health, quantification, the ‘internet of things’, data literacies and internet regulation in datafied societies.
Our teaching is designed to help you develop your practical and analytical skills, as well as your theoretical awareness and understanding. You’ll develop sophisticated skills in the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods as a means to analyse contemporary, global, digital media and communication. You’ll benefit from a range of teaching methods including small group tutorials and workshops, as well as lectures, classes and occasional screenings. The course also makes use of online module guides, a virtual notice board and student discussion facilities.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Department of Sociology.
DAS R Dr (Sociology)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
- Academic progress
- Pastoral/welfare issues
- Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Academic Skills and Development and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Academic Skills and Development
Academic Skills and Development is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
Additional Learning Support (ALS) is the University of Surrey’s disability and neurodiversity service. The ALS team supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.
We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
English language support
Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
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.
If you can demonstrate exceptional academic performance in your schooling to date, you could be awarded an unconditional offer as part of the University’s Unconditional Offer Scheme.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||£9,250||£16,300||Not applicable|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||£9,250||£16,300||£1,850|
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.
There are no associated costs with this programme.
Occasional optional trips to London or within Surrey will be organised by the School which may incur travel costs - £70 approximately.
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.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.