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 six months after graduation (Source: Discover Uni - site accessed in March 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:

  • Skills in the core media for Contemporary Media Practice: moving image; photography; digital and interactive media; studios and equipment; editing and post-production; professional working with actors, locations and media content.
  • Practical projects; creative working and developing ideas; pitching; group and solo working.
  • Media Explorations: experimental practices, exploring the traditions and futures of the core media.
  • Introduction to Contemporary Media Theory: the core theory essential to an understanding of contemporary media, culture and arts.
  • Media Representations: theories and practices of representation in the arts and media.

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: practical work that explores and tests the boundaries of current media, choosing from moving image, photographic and interactive media.
  • Convergent Media: responding to the varieties of convergence in producing and consuming media through a practical project.
  • Live Projects: work experience, commissions, curating and live events.
  • Critical Perspectives on Media: advanced approaches to the analysis of media, leading to a focus on a chosen media tradition.
  • Research and Synthesis: developing your own interests in theory and analysis, leading to defining a subject for your final year dissertation or extended research essay.

With options available that include:

  • Transmedia Practices – exploring related practices and traditions, such as animation, sound design, software art, and motion graphics.
  • Scriptwriting for Media: writing for film, television and emerging formats.
  • Art/Science Collaboration: projects developed with students from disciplines such as Psychology, Biosciences and Computing.
  • Creative Encounters: working with students from other Media, Arts and Design disciplines.

Credit Level 5

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:

  • Exploration and Pre-Production: you conceive a large scale final year project, and take that through pre-production planning.
  • Major Project: your culminating practical work on the course.
  • Dissertation or Extended Research Essay: where you apply theory and critical approaches to a subject of your choice, with rigour and in depth.
  • Professional Launchpad: professional networking, mentoring, planning a career and preparing to promote yourself.

Credit Level 6

Programme Recognition

This course offers industry-relevant teaching and is endorsed by ScreenSkills, the skills body of UK’s screen-based creative industries.

Programme Specification

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

Careers

95%
Graduates in work or further study

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

(Source: Discover Uni - site accessed in March 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

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

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

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 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

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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.

Applicants should have a portfolio of practical work to bring to interview.

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.

Applicants should have a portfolio of practical work to bring to interview.

More information

Degree shows

Learn new skills

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Learn a new language

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

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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. 

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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.

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.

International student funding

Find out about funding for international students.

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.

Teaching and assessment

Below you'll find examples of how marks have been calculated and study time distributed in the past. Changes to assessment weights and division of study time 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 seminars, workshops, problem-based and blended learning, as well as group work. Teaching will be informed by our research, giving you the benefit of the knowledge of current theories and, where appropriate, their practical application.

Year
1
41%59%
2
32%68%
3
26%74%
Scheduled hours Independent study

How you'll be assessed

Assessment methods across our undergraduate courses may include essays, reports, presentations, case studies, videos, podcasts and posters, as well as time-constrained in-class tests and exams.

 

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

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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.
 

Contact us

We have an FAQs page if you are applying this year.

Or you can contact the Course Enquiries Team:

[email protected]

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

More information

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