Student sat at a desk with a computer in front of him with a lecturer sat beside him


Media Culture and Communication (with Foundation Year)

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Arts and Cultural Industries
Four years
Programme leader:
Dr Gillian Swanson
Key fact:
This course teaches you about media culture, links you in to Bristols varied digital culture and media sector, and equips you to become an effective communicator between media makers, organisations, their clients and end users.

Page last updated 29 September 2017


Why BA(Hons) Media Culture and Communication?

Our BA(Hons) Media Culture and Communication course is for students looking to develop their creative media production, content development and researching skills, with the aim of building a successful career in the media and cultural industries. You will gain the latest insights into the development of the contemporary, globally-connected media landscape. You'll learn how to develop media content, working within a wide and varied cultural sector, and communicate effectively to diverse audiences.

Why study this course?

You will take a mix of production and research-based modules, and carry out coursework that's designed to develop your confidence with writing and research, production, project design and coordination, and independent learning and problem-solving. As you progress, you will begin to design your own projects, and in many cases, get to work with our external partners in Bristol's cultural and media industries, to create a portfolio of work oriented to your chosen future career.

Real-world experience

Studying in Bristol gives you a unique chance to get involved in one of the UK's leading creative media hubs. The Media Culture and Communication team is involved in diverse industry collaborations that link our students to the city's key creative media makers and cultural organisations, including including Watershed, the Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol Festival of Ideas, the Arnolfini and M-Shed museums, and the Bristol Games Hub.

Where it can take you

You will develop enterprise skills and strong self-reliance, and gain the confidence and flexibility to adopt the next key digital media innovations just over the horizon. The pattern of work placements and graduate destinations our students pursue represent a wide range of career paths both within and outside the media sector. Graduates go on to work as media campaign producers and coordinators for charities, or in social media marketing for enterprises. Others take up project management in areas such as broadcast and online media production, museums and education.



Foundation year (Year zero)

In the Foundation year (Year zero), the content is designed to develop your academic skills. It also raises awareness of the relevance the disciplines which span the arts, creative and cultural industries will play in your future, professional lives.

The four modules will have three hours of teaching each week (12 hours of scheduled class time in total). A unique feature of the offer is the focus on Bristol as a centre of arts and culture you will be testing concepts, theories and ideas within the city as a living brief.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Academic Skills for Arts and Humanities
  • Thought, Ideas and Myths: past, present and future
  • Bristol, Arts and Culture
  • Extended Project.

You will study the Foundation year alongside students from other Arts, Creative Industries and Education courses, and so you may transfer to another course in one of these areas at the end of a successful Foundation year.

The normal expectation is that you must pass all Year zero modules before progressing to Year one.

This course shares some modules with BA(Hons) Media and Cultural Production, therefore you can easily switch to that course at the end of year one if your interests change.

Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Contemporary Digital Practice
  • Mediated Lives
  • Network Culture.

Year two

You will choose a specialism pathway among these and develop campaigning approaches and project coordination skills. Communication is a crucial skill and you will develop flexible writing and presenting skills in a variety of contexts, from project analysis and design treatments, to pitching and funding applications, social media campaign communications, reviewing and formal academic essay writing.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Media Culture 1: Researching Media Cultures
  • Co-creativity: Audiences and Participation.

In addition, you will study two of the following optional modules*:

  • Media Culture 2: Creative Cultural Research
  • Online Media Production
  • Image-based Media Production
  • Screen Media.

Final year

Production modules introduce you to digital photo and video, sound design, interactive and online media production and software.

You will study the following compulsory module:

  • Creative Campaigns.

In addition, you will study three of the following optional modules*:

  • Media Production Project
  • Video Games and Digital Culture
  • Music Cultures
  • Future Cities
  • Photography and Visual Culture
  • Automatic Society
  • Dissertation
  • Work Placement and Experience.

*Not all optional modules will be offered in any year.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

We use a diverse range of learning and teaching methods on the course, including lectures, seminars, workshops, field trips, projects with practitioners, placements, student-led research, live briefs, blended learning (mixing classroom learning with online resources, communication and discussion), guests lectures and individual tutorials.

You will learn from experienced media practitioners, researchers and technical instructors many of whom work closely with Bristol's media organisations, and are actively involved in research through UWE Bristol's Digital Cultures Research Centre. The centre engages Bristol's vibrant community of media innovators though various collaborations, and you will have opportunities to take part in research related events and conferences and to work on live briefs, drawing on the centre's latest research.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check

Study time

On average you will attend class activities for 10-12 hours a week over 24 weeks, with additional time allocated for production workshops and working on group projects. In non-class time, you will be expected to prepare course readings, and complete writing and research exercises, essays, production exercises and projects. You will also complete a library workbook in the first semester of year one.


There is a balanced mix of group and individual work, and you will be assessed through examinations and a variety of assignments including written work, presentations, research essays, extended projects, and digital media projects and portfolios. Projects might include, photo books, interactive documentaries, film, video and digital design work.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check



Bristol has a unique approach to media culture and communication, with a rich vein of media arts, innovation and activism. You will be encouraged to engage with the local creative and cultural industries throughout the course. In the summer break of year two, you can also choose to arrange a work placement for up to two weeks or equivalent (this is a prerequisite for applying for a place on the Work Placement and Experience module in year three).


You will conduct research exercises drawing on the resources of Bristol's cultural and media scene, largely within the city centre, at no extra cost to you. You can also attend optional research trips to cultural events, exhibitions or festivals to supplement your coursework-based field research.

Study facilities

You will be based at Frenchay Campus and also spend time across our City Campus sites at Watershed and Arnolfini, learning from creative industry producers and carrying out research for project-based assignments. Your sessions will be in excellent facilities with bespoke computing suites, industry-standard creative media software, and areas for moving and still image production and editing. All students will use HD video cameras, digital SLRs and industry-standard software for photographic, video and web-based production on both Apple Mac and PC platforms. Support and instruction are provided by our experienced technical staff.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.


Careers / Further study

By the time you graduate from this course, you will have gained skills and experience in research and content development to be able to seek work in a range of media-related organisations. Your skills will be relevant across a broad variety of professional media production contexts, including marketing and promotions, community media, the small to medium enterprise sector, the heritage and museum sector, charities, and so on.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Supplementary fee information

Further information about fees and funding.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 64
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BA(Hons) Media Culture and Communication course.

How to apply

Please apply through UCAS.

UCAS Extra: We welcome applications through UCAS Extra for this programme from 25 February until 4 July 2017. Responses to UCAS Extra applications will be given within 14 working days.

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

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