Media and Communication BSc (Hons) – 2021 entry
Start date: October 2021
Why choose this course
Our BSc (Hons) Media and Communication course will give you an intensive and challenging look into twenty-first century communication.
Media and communications are central to nearly all societal debates. Understanding the impact contemporary communication has on society, government and business is an essential requirement in the modern workplace.
This course draws on the latest media and communication research. You’ll study topics from theories of media power, regulation and audiences, to ‘big data’, digital platforms and international communication.
You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of media and communication in the twenty-first century. This will give you a valuable grounding if you’d like to work in media, research, PR or marketing for a wide and varied range of sectors.
What you will study
Our BSc (Hons) Media and Communication course will give you a comprehensive education in contemporary media and communications in global, digital societies. You will discover:
- Theories of media power, politics, media and digital regulation
- Popular culture
- Policy-relevant research
- Global communication
- Digital societies
- Public relations
- Media audiences.
This course covers a wide range of media forms and cultures. It includes sociological critiques of some of the latest technological changes, including platform societies.
Our course is one of the few undergraduate Media and Communication courses in the UK offering modules on ‘big data’ and the sociology of datafication. You’ll develop a solid grounding in social science which you can apply to a range of careers in media, research, public relations, marketing, business and beyond.
Our course is thoroughly research-led, with excellent work on digital media happening within our Digital Societies research group. All of this feeds into what you’ll learn on the course.
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 in the UK and abroad. Sectors include public relations, journalism, broadcast media, advertising, digital industries, market research, media and communication management and research.
Our BSc (Hons) Media and Communication course will build your ability to analyse complex issues and reach sound conclusions. This is highly desirable for a variety of careers in business, government or third-sector organisations.
About a quarter of undergraduate students in the Department of Sociology go on to postgraduate study.
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, valuable knowledge 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.
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.
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.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/21 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach. View detailed information on the changes.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
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.
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:
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 as well as the latest developments in the media and communications industries. This enables us to build courses which reflect the fast paces of change within media and communications industries.
We are proud of our work on online research methods, and young people and digital media. This also includes the future of audiences in the face of emerging technologies, the role of social media in mental wellbeing, audiences and controversial media content, as well as youth sub-cultures, among many others.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
We assess modules individually and award credits 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.
As a student at Surrey, you can also sign up to our free courses in the following areas:
Living in student accommodation is a great way to meet new people and spark friendships.
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
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, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.
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.
We normally make offers in terms of grades.
If you are a suitable candidate you will be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.
A foundation year can develop your skills and make it easier to get started at university. It is an extra year of study at the start of your course that leads in to a full degree programme.
During a foundation year you’ll learn about your chosen subject, develop your study skills and get acquainted with university life. On successful completion of your foundation year, you’ll be ready to progress to the first year of your degree course.
The programme aims to provide you with knowledge of social science concepts, theories, ideas and tools. Furthermore, we want to help you develop your ability to apply this knowledge and the skills you have acquired, to the solution of theoretical and applied problems in the social sciences.
The foundation year will equip you with appropriate tools of analysis to tackle issues and problems associated with social science policy-making in a global context.
By the end of the programme you will be familiar with ethical frameworks and their repercussions for decision-making, as well as a range of generic skills that will be of value in your future career. These skills include:
- Team working
- Independent research skills
- Building an empathetic mindset, social awareness and capacity of intelligence-based decision making
Enhancing employability through a developing awareness of the workplace and associated skills.
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 contact Admissions on +44 (0)1483 682222 with any queries.
The annual tuition fees for courses starting in October 2021
BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)
Professional training £1,850
BSc (Hons) (with foundation year)
BSc (Hons) (with foundation and professional training year)
Professional training £1,850
- Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms.
- Fees for EU students: The UK is now no longer part of the EU, we are awaiting further instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. Find out more information about Studying in the UK and the Scholarships for EU students.
- Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
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.
- Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
Professional Training placement fees
If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.
See the information about 2020/21 academic year Professional Training placement fee.
There are no associated costs with this course.
Occasional optional trips to London or within Surrey will be organised by the School which may incur travel costs – £70 approximately.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.
A significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Media and Communication placements
The Department of Sociology’s Professional Training partners include:
- Showcentral Ltd
- The Walt Disney Company Ltd
- TVB1 (Hong Kong)
- Wigwam PR
- Moving Picture Company
- Gloucestershire County Council.
The process of preparing and applying for placement jobs 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 opportunities are selected according to your interests, career plans and location preferences. Many placements are paid, usually in the region of £12,000-£15,000 a year.
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
You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.
Find out about more about the application process.
Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their studies by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad.
Want to study at an overseas institution as part of your degree or work abroad during your Professional Training year? Perhaps you would like to volunteer in India or learn about Brazilian business and culture in São Paulo during your summer holidays? With more than 200 partnerships, from 50 different countries worldwide, there is something for everyone.
Not only is the opportunity to go abroad a hugely enjoyable experience, you will develop key skills and knowledge that will strengthen your CV and increase your employability.
View 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, US
- University of North Carolina, Wilmington, US
- University of Virginia, US
- California State University, Los Angeles, US
- Virginia Commonwealth University, US
- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
- Seoul National University, South Korea
- Brock University, Canada
- University of Cincinnati, US
- North Carolina State University, US
- University of Central Florida, US
- University of North Texas, US
- Texas Tech University, US
- Monash University, Australia
- Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
- La Trobe University, Australia
- University of Sydney, Australia
- University of Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand
- University of Wollongong, Australia
- Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
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 procedures, the student 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 an example of our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) from the 2020/2021 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally 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 and changes for the specific academic year.
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 and before you accept an offer. Read more.
In particular we wish to draw your intention to the following matters affecting the academic year 2021/2022:
- Covid-19 - In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/2021 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach, details of which can be found here [link]. It is anticipated that these programme changes and the hybrid learning approach will be adopted throughout the academic year 2021/2022, however, given the changing nature of the pandemic, this is being kept under continuous review. Detailed information on all changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the coronavirus course changes page. The linked pages set out information relating to general University changes and will also direct you to consider additional information relating to specific programmes.
- Brexit - The UK is now no longer part of the EU. We are awaiting further information and instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. EU students applying for programmes in the academic year 2021/2022 and students applying for courses with placements abroad should visit our dedicated webpages for the latest information on how the UK’s departure from the EU will affect their courses.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.