Digital Media and Communication BA Honours

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UCAS code: PP39 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Full-time
Start: 16 September 2017
Duration: 3 years
Location: North-West London
Campus: Harrow

Important tuition fee information – please read.

Home/EU: £9,000.00
Overseas: £12,500.00

The Digital Media and Communication BA (Hons) (DMC) takes Media Studies into the 21st century. It doesn’t limit you to a particular media industry, but instead recognises the ongoing practical and conceptual convergence between technologies, industries and ways of communicating.

Our graduates are sought after in the creative industries and the public sector, as well as being ideally prepared for postgraduate study. The Digital Media and Communication BA (Hons) equips them with three major skills areas:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Creativity

Critical thinking: You will understand the production, distribution and uses of networked digital media, and develop informed and critical perspectives on the social and cultural significance of mediated communication in a globalised world. Academics who are international leaders in their fields from Westminster's prestigious and top-rated Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) as well as practitioners with a range of professional backgrounds will share their expertise with you – while inviting you to challenge established ideas and develop confidence in your own, critical point of view.

Communication: Having an understanding of the needs of different audiences and communicating with them effectively is one of the most important (yet underrated) skills you need to succeed in professional life. At Westminster we build and sharpen these skills through a rigorous programme of academic study where you learn to build an argument and present your ideas in a variety of formats – whether it be an academic essay, a YouTube video or an in-class presentation. We will train you to become confident in sharing your ideas, dealing with adverse viewpoints and successfully managing discussions.

Creativity: Today’s creative industries want people who can think outside the box and approach problems in novel ways. They want people who can think on their feet. Besides understanding what it takes to produce content for online audiences, our intensive programme of web production and design skills training means you will develop the practical skills to design and build the sites for presenting this content yourself. From year one you will learn to hand-code websites as well as using the most up-to-date programming languages to produce professional standard websites and apps, as well as gaining an understanding of the design principles that guide user-centred design.

The Digital Media and Communication BA (Hons) is a communication degree for the 21st century. Our focus on critical thinking, communication and creativity will help you gain the transferable and cognitive skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development. Many of our graduates build successful careers in the creative industries, but the degree will also enable you to work across a broader range of sectors and professions. It is ideal for those planning to pursue postgraduate study, and will give you the competitive edge in a careers market that values high-level skills in research, critical thinking and communication.

Course content

The Digital Media and Communication BA (Hons) combines theoretical analysis with practical understanding and reflective media production. You will gain a critical perspective on social and cultural aspects of digital and social media, and develop a practical understanding of how media businesses and institutions operate. You will spend around a third of your time in reflective practice-based work, including web production and design. Please see below for an indicative list of modules you will be studying.

A distinctive emphasis of the course is its use of social media platforms as spaces for learning and teaching.

The Digital Media and Communication BA (Hons) is based at the recently refurbished Harrow Campus – home to the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design. This means that you will be working alongside students from film, photography, music, fashion and journalism in a buzzing arts campus atmosphere with plenty of opportunities for creative collaboration.

Our teaching encompasses a range of delivery modes, from lectures and seminars to practical workshop sessions, online collaborations, demonstrations and hands-on exercises.

Assessment is through coursework, including essays, websites, research reports, seminar presentations, social media contributions such as blog posts, and group and individual creative projects. In-class tests are held for practical web-production modules only.

Subjects of study

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.

Year 1 (Credit Level 4)

Your core modules introduce you to the way the media industries operate and to major academic and political debates around media, culture and society. You will develop a thorough understanding of contemporary communication industries and cultures, and extend your research, critical thinking and communication skills. Subjects of study include:

  • Internet Cultures
  • Introduction to Web Production and Design
  • Media and Society
  • Media and Globalisation
  • Intermediate Web Production and Design
  • Option modules from across the University (including language courses)

Year 2 (Credit Level 5)

The modules will deepen your knowledge and understanding of principles, issues and debates raised by the rise of networked digital and social media. You will learn advanced website production and design skills, and extend your historical understanding of the development of media industries and cultures. Subjects of study include:

  • Theories of Media and Communication
  • Advanced Web Production and Design
  • Researching Media and Communication
  • Design for Mobile Platforms
  • Options including Creativity, Cultural Industries and Media Markets, and Information Society
 

Year 3 (Credit Level 6)

You develop your research, critical thinking and clear communication skills to advanced levels, and apply these to an academic dissertation on a topic related to digital and social media as well as a major final production project. Subjects of study include:

  • Digital Media Production Project
  • Dissertation
  • Professional Experience
  • Contemporary Issues in Media Policy
  • Transforming Audiences

 

This list is indicative of what you will study on this course. For more specific and detailed module information please refer to full course document.

Westminster electives Westminster Elective modules icon

As part of your course you can take elective modules. Electives are an exciting opportunity to widen your experience at university and to gain skills and knowledge that will help make you more employable. Find out about Westminster electives.

Course Leader

Heidrun Herzogenrath-Amelung

Work placement

From Year 2 to the end of Year 3 you are encouraged to do as many work placements as possible. Work experience is a degree requirement, and you will need to find your own placements, though staff will help.

Study abroad

You can take advantage of our Study Abroad agreements with overseas universities, spending half an academic year at another university in countries such as Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong and the USA. Your work there will count towards your degree at Westminster.

Additional costs information

To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.

Employability

Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.

We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.

During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.

In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.

For more details, visit the employability section on our site.

Career Development Centre

Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.

We can help you to:

  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
  • plan your career development
  • identify your career options
  • market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
  • develop your enterprise skills

We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Work Placements

Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.

More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.

Career options in your subject area

Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.

You can also browse the career options available to you after you graduate on the Career Development Centre's Finding work in your subject area pages and on the Prospects website.

Study in the city

If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.

Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.

Accommodation

After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.

Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships

In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.

Personal tutoring

All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.

Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.

Language support

Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.

Personal advice and counselling

While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.

International Westminster

With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.

Study Abroad and Summer School programmes

Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.

If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.

Sport and recreation

The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.

Students' Union

University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.

Interview with Ana-Teodora Miscov, current student on the Digital Media and Communications BA course.

Why did you choose to study Digital Media and Communications at the University of Westminster?

Growing up in an era in which the Internet seemed to be an ever-growing power, I naturally began to think that, as so many people say, the Internet is the future. Further entertaining the idea that something that I worked with every day without even thinking about it could actually become what I did for a living, I started thinking about finding a degree that would suit my newfound aspirations. And, fortunately, I did – the University of Westminster offered a course that combined studying the Internet with more traditional types of media, which I knew I would undoubtedly enjoy.

Describe a typical day on your course.

My day always starts with a lecture, which generally consists of a well-informed academic delivering a speech on one issue or another related to the module in cause. After the lecture, the students head over to the seminar, preparing to start an hour of discussion about the matter at hand (previously described in the lecture and the week’s reading). As opposed to the lecture, which everyone doing the module attends and is more formal, the seminar is laid back and held with a smaller number of people – thus, any clarifications needed are much more easily made. After these two are over, depending on the amount of work I have to do, I might go to the library.

What is the most interesting project you have worked on so far?

For a module in my first semester, Introduction to Web Production, I had to create a website on my own using WordPress. I found it very surprising how I had already acquired the skills needed to create a page that people would actually want to access. It was even more surprising to see that the blog I had created got visitors, followers and even a few comments. Seeing that what I had studied in class had a practical use with actual results was very gratifying and rewarding for me as a student.

What advice would you give to students planning to study Digital Media and Communications at the University of Westminster?

If you are interested in grasping the many different nuances implied by online activity, in understanding the social mechanisms behind what goes on online, what the Internet really represents and how it affects the world nowadays, then do not hesitate to choose this course. Not only does it combine more traditional types of media (TV, radio, newspapers) with the Internet – which I think is reassuring for those who are not yet quite sure just what area they want to specialize in – but it also offers a broader view of the world around us, by analysing current issues and events that are relevant to anyone who wants to get into media. The coursework itself is not hard, but challenging in the sense that you need to rethink everything you thought you knew about the media; as is the case with things that are so widespread, we tend to look it over and not analyse it properly. This course allows students to get a larger, clearer view of the present media landscape.

What do you enjoy most about the Digital Media and Communications course?

The one thing which I thoroughly enjoy is the fact that everything we study and read actively adds to our knowledge of the subjects at hand – each lecture, article, book or discussion gives us food for thought and makes us think about course-related issues even in our free time. For those who are genuinely interested in media, this course brings forward new and exciting ideas to play with which can lead to palpable results. The skills we develop help us be more active online, more productive and overall grasp a better understanding of the modern world as related to media.

Social media

Events

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