Media, Culture and Society BSc (Hons) – 2018 entry
Why choose this course
Surrey is one of the UK's leading universities for Sociology, with our programmes ranked top ten in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.
A new generation of digital and mobile forms of communication is transforming the cultural fabric of daily life in twenty-first-century societies. Our innovative and challenging programme investigates the role of media and culture in the social world and how, in a digital and globalising age, media is impacting broader social trends.
What you will study
Through our Media, Culture and Society programme you will explore digital, online and mobile media technologies, the evolution of established forms of communication and consider a range of high and popular forms of culture.
You will combine this specialist examination of media and culture with a broader sociological appreciation of the way that contemporary societies work, exploring core social theory, learning key research methods modules and covering different aspects of social life.
This degree will provide you with 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.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you 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 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, Culture and Society 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.
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.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. 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 a 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 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.
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 global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
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.
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. Modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
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).
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.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
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 Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH 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
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each 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.
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||£15,800||Not applicable|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||£9,250||£15,800||£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 with programme.
Occasional optional trips to London or within Surrey will be organised by the School which may incur travel costs - £60 approx.
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.