Teaching and learning in 2021/22

If government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are required during the 2021/22 academic year, we are planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and onsite learning, in order to prioritise the safety of students and staff. For more details on changes to this course, see our planned undergraduate course changes page or postgraduate course changes page.

Course Overview

UK Fees £9,250 *
International Fees £14,400 *
Duration 3 years

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Our Contemporary Media Practice BA is built on our long tradition of teaching interdisciplinary media practice, working across moving image, photography and interactive media.

Our unique approach combines the creative exploration of art school traditions with academic and professional excellence. We have extensive industry-level facilities and equipment, and to develop your skills and knowledge we use a variety of assessment methods, including practical projects, presentations, written work, research tasks and portfolios.

Our course sets high standards for professional achievement in specific media industry roles, and prepares you for the challenge of a multi-skilled portfolio career. You'll also gain the transferable and cognitive skills necessary for lifelong personal and professional development.

Our graduates have a high employment rate across the media industries, including broadcast television; commercial photography and photojournalism; curating and film programming; film direction, production, editing and visual effects; fine art practice; and new media. 

Studying this course will enable you to develop your creative media production skills across a range of disciplines, and give you the ability to adapt to the creative opportunities of new media forms and hybrids. It will enhance your ability to participate in contemporary cultural debates, and develop your awareness of the political, ethical and aesthetic implications of your work.

The course is part of the University of Westminster's School of Arts, based at our state-of-the-art Harrow Campus – a cutting-edge creative hub, and one of the leading media, arts and design educational facilities in Europe.

Top reasons to study with us

  • Successful alumni – Our graduates include Anand Tucker (director/producer), Aaqil Ahmed (commissioning editor, BBC), Ori Gersht (artist, filmmaker and photographer), Rafi Pitts (director), Martha Fiennes (director and artist) and Zed Nelson (photographer)
  • High employment rate – 95% of Contemporary Media Practice BA students are in work and/or further study 15 months after graduation (Source: Discover Uni - site accessed in November 2020)
  • State-of-the-art facilities – Learn on our industry-level equipment to prepare you for the workplace
  • A history of cutting-edge practice – Our well-established course was one of the first interdisciplinary media production courses in the UK

Course structure

You'll be taught through a mix of lectures, group and individual tutorials, and workshops, supporting the development of your skills across media to a level equivalent to single-discipline courses.

Assessment methods include submitted work and research material, crits, seminar presentations, visual essays and online study tasks.

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Your first year is concerned with establishing core media production skills, and supporting your transition into higher education with skills in research and analysis of media culture. Alongside technical workshops in all course media (moving image, interactive media and photography) you will develop practical projects around given themes. These projects introduce key skills in conceptual development and encourage your creative abilities.

Subjects of study include:

  • Creativity and Collaboration
  • Developing Contemporary Media Practice
  • Introduction to Contemporary Media Practice
  • Media Explorations
  • Screen 1: Production Design for the Screen
  • Screen 1: Visual Effects and Animation
  • Screen 1: Working with Actors

Credit Level 4

The second year opens out the range of possibilities available to you in both practice and theory. We ask you to develop skills and knowledge of specific media in depth, but also to engage with the frontiers of interdisciplinary media practice. This allows you to begin to develop your distinctive interests through a selection of media, themes and production methods. We also require all students to undertake work experience in the second year.

Subjects of study include:

  • Media Frontiers
  • Convergent Media
  • Research and Synthesis
  • Work-Based Placement Learning
  • Critical Perspectives on Media
  • Transmedia Practices
  • Scriptwriting for Media
  • Screen 2: Camera and Lighting Skills
  • Screen 2: Identities: Race, Class and Gender in Film and Television
  • Screen 2: Short Form Film and Video

Credit Level 5

Between Years 2 and 3, you may undertake an optional year-long placement. If you take advantage of this option, you’ll undertake an additional year-long Industry placement year module running parallel to your work placement, and your final degree award will be BA Honours Contemporary Media Practice with Professional Experience.

By your third year you are sufficiently experienced and skilled to determine your own themes, and sustain substantial and high-level work over a longer period. Your Final Project and Dissertation are the culmination of your studies; typically our students create short narrative films, documentaries, interactive projects, photographs, installations, and many other hybrid forms. This work is then given a public exhibition/screening.

Subjects of study include:

  • Major Project Research
  • Major Project
  • Research Project
  • Professional Launchpad

Credit Level 6

Programme Recognition

This course is industry-recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark, which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

For general enquiries about the course, please email [email protected]

To request an accessible version of the programme specification, please email [email protected]

Careers

95%
Graduates in work or further study

95% of Contemporary Media Practice BA students are in work and/or further study 15 months after graduation.

(Source: Discover Uni - site accessed in November 2020)

Clapperboard
Study multiple media practices

Our focus on multi-skilled media production prepares you for adapting to dynamic changes in the creative industries and making the most of every opportunity.

3,000
Employers around the world

The University’s Careers and Employability Service has built up a network of over 3,000 employers around the world, helping all our students explore and connect with exciting opportunities and careers and support you to achieve your full potential.

Industry links and work experience

Based just a 20-minute tube ride from the heart of the city, you'll have easy access to the wealth of media and creative industries located in London.

You can experience cultural life in London, while also gaining work experience and building your professional networks, which is crucial for success in the media industries.

We sustain a range of formal and informal partnerships with industry through visiting professionals, work experience, staff exchange and consultation.

Job roles

Graduates of the Contemporary Media Practice BA have gone on to success in a range of careers, including:

  • Digital content creation
  • Digital and web design
  • Events curation
  • Moving image production (film, video and animation)
  • Social media management

Graduate employment

Graduates from our course have gained employment or worked with many high-profile companies and organisations, including:

  • AirBnB
  • BBC
  • British Film Institute
  • Channel 4
  • Disney
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • ITV
  • Little Dot Studios
  • Marvel
  • Mail on Sunday
  • Netflix
  • Red Bee Media
  • The Times
  • Unruly Media
  • Vertigo Films
  • Vision3.tv

Our graduates have also gone on to postgraduate study at prestigious institutions such as:

  • Columbia University (USA)
  • National Film and Television School
  • Royal College of Art

What our students say

Photo of China Tebb

China Tebb

Contemporary Media Practice BA Honours Level 6 - 2018

Contemporary Media Practice has given me the perfect opportunity to not only develop my existing skills, but to also learn brand new ones that I never thought I would get the chance to try. The practical modules provide time to have a go using a wide range of mediums to produce work, while the theoretical modules give you the opportunity to enhance your understanding of media theory and essay writing in a broader sense.

Photo of Bobbie Notcutt

Bobbie Notcutt

Contemporary Media Practice BA Honours Level 4 - 2020

Contemporary Media Practice is so well suited to a student like myself because I don't find it restrictive. If anything, it's taught me how to be more open-minded and expressive with concepts and ideas. With freedom of expression being especially important in today's society, this course really makes this a priority and spurs us on to showcase our views on society, politics and art. Therefore, the level of work is not only thought-provoking and original, but a true representation of the students who have made it, which to me is key in trying to formulate myself as a creative.

Photo of Ed Hands

Ed Hands

Contemporary Media Practice BA Honours Level 6 - 2018

On the Contemporary Media Practice BA, I realised my interests were much broader than just photography, and the course has helped nurture that. I have learnt about the processes of photography, filmmaking, documentaries, coding and all the theory to go with it. As a consequence, I now feel ready to go into a professional creative practice and do whatever task might be asked of me. I have really enjoyed my time on CMP. The staff are amazing, and the facilities are awesome too!

International Opportunities

Many of our courses offer international study and work experiences, and the University provides other global opportunities that all students can apply for - so whatever you're studying, you'll have the chance to go abroad.

Opportunities could include:

  • Taking part in semester or year-long exchanges at institutions around the world
  • Attending an international summer school or field trip
  • Developing your CV through volunteering or work placements abroad

International experience broadens horizons, boosts self-confidence, and improves global understanding, alongside being fantastic for your career.

Find out more about our international opportunities, including funding options and where you can go.

Students working and studying internationally

Why study this course?

Figure walking up stairs
Get career-ready

You'll develop creative media production skills across a range of disciplines, such as film, video, photography and interactive media.

Big Ben in London
Easy access to central London

Based just a 20-minute tube ride from the heart of the city, you'll be perfectly placed to access work experience and networking opportunities in London's media industries. 

Building
State-of-the-art facilities

Our Harrow Campus holds project and gallery spaces, film studios, creative labs, collaborative learning spaces, and our Creative Enterprise Centre.

Online open days

Join us at an online open day or information session and get a feel for student life at the University of Westminster.

You'll get a chance to: 

  • Speak to our academic staff
  • Take a virtual reality tour of our student halls
  • Ask us any questions you may have about student finance and accommodation

Find an online open day

Student taking notes while attending an online event

Student work

Entry Requirements

  • A Levels – CCC to BBB
  • International Baccalaureate – 96 to 120 UCAS Tariff points from the IB
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – MMM to DDM
  • BTEC Diploma – DD to D*D* in a creative subject
  • Access – 96 to 120 UCAS Tariff points from the Access course

In addition to one of the above, you should have:

  • GCSE English Language grade 4/C – IB grade 4 Higher level, GCSE Maths Pass – IB Pass

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with 5.5 in each component.

This course focuses on transferable skills across media, so applicants should have a good portfolio of practical work that could include still images, short films and/or interactive work. We ask applicants to focus on examples of work about which they feel passionate and which demonstrates their personal interests. We also ask that applicants present a short essay to demonstrate their written and reflective skills, although this is optional.

We also welcome applications from students who are taking a combination of qualifications listed above. For further information, please contact Course Enquiries.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

 

  • International Baccalaureate – 96 to 120 UCAS Tariff points from the IB

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with 5.5 in each component.

This course focuses on transferable skills across media, so applicants should have a good portfolio of practical work that could include still images, short films and/or interactive work. We ask applicants to focus on examples of work about which they feel passionate and which demonstrates their personal interests. We also ask that applicants present a short essay to demonstrate their written and reflective skills, although this is optional.

More information

Degree shows

Learn new skills

Languages icon
Learn a new language

From Arabic to Spanish, you can learn a new language alongside your degree with our Polylang programme

Toolbox icon
Develop your entrepreneurial skills

Our award-winning Creative Enterprise Centre offers industry networking events, workshops, one-to-one business advice and support for your startup projects. 

Awards icon in turquoise
Gain extra qualifications

We provide access to free online courses in Adobe and Microsoft Office applications, as well as thousands of specialist courses on LinkedIn Learning.

Fees and Funding

UK tuition fee: £9,250 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme

If you are an international student accepted on an undergraduate programme starting in September 2021 on the basis of an eligible EU qualification only, you will be awarded a tuition fee reduction which will align your fee more closely to the one for UK students. For more information, see the EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about undergraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £14,400 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme

If you are accepted on an undergraduate programme starting in September 2021 on the basis of an eligible EU qualification only, you will be awarded a tuition fee reduction of £4,500 per year, which will align your fee more closely to the one for UK students. For more information, see the EU Qualifications Welcome Award Scheme.

International student funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for and what your tuition fees cover.

Teaching and assessment

Below you will find how learning time and assessment types were distributed in the past on this course, through approximate percentages taken from previous cohorts. The graphs below give an indication of what you can expect. Changes to the division of learning time and assessment may be made in response to feedback and in accordance with our terms and conditions.

How you'll be taught

Teaching methods across all our undergraduate courses focus on active student learning through lectures, seminars, workshops, problem-based and blended learning, and where appropriate practical application. Learning typically falls into three broad categories:

  • Scheduled hours: examples include lectures, seminars, practical classes, workshops, supervised time in a studio
  • Placement: placement hours normally include placement opportunities, but may also include live projects or virtual activity involving employers
  • Independent study: non-scheduled time in which students are expected to study independently. This may include preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading or practice, completion of assessment tasks, or revision
Year
1
41%59%
2
32%68%
3
26%74%
Scheduled hours Independent study

How you'll be assessed

Our undergraduate courses include a wide variety of assessments.

Assessments typically fall into three broad categories:

  • Practical: examples include presentations, videos, podcasts, lab work, creating artefacts  
  • Written exams: end of semester exams 
  • Coursework: examples include essays, reports, in-class tests, portfolios, dissertation
     
Year
1
1%99%
2
100%
3
100%
Practical Coursework

Data from the academic year 2019/20

Supporting you

Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

  • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
  • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
  • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
  • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

Visit our student hub

Illustration for the Student Hub

Course location

Harrow is our creative and cultural hub, home to most of our arts, media and digital courses. It houses state-of-the-art facilities for every discipline, including project and gallery spaces, film studios, creative labs, collaborative learning spaces, and the creative enterprise hub.

Harrow Campus is based in north-west London, just 20 minutes from the city centre by train.

For more details, visit our Harrow Campus page.
 

More information

Your Westminster

Book an open day. Order a prospectus. Sign up for newsletters.

Contact us

ALREADY HAVE YOUR RESULTS?

You can now apply via our Clearing application form

ANY QUESTIONS?

Email us at [email protected] or speak to us on live chat.

Start live chat

Opening hours: 9am–4pm (BST) Monday to Friday