Course Overview

UK/EU Fees £9,250 *
International Fees £14,400 *
Duration 4 years

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Our degree courses with Foundation year offer the opportunity to prepare you for advanced study before you progress onto a full honours degree at the University of Westminster.

Whether you do not feel ready for degree-level study, don’t have the right qualifications, want to change your subject specialism or return to study after an absence from education, we aim to encourage a broad range of students to undertake our Foundation year in order to progress onto their full honours degree with us.

Our Foundation year in Art and Design is designed to provide you with an introduction to our range of subject areas, and to prepare you for the discipline of your choice. It will give you the opportunity to explore new ideas, opening up new perspectives on the key debates within the field. It begins in the first semester with the development of fundamental Art and Design skills, as well as practical exploration across all of the disciplines in our Art and Design Foundation programme. In the second semester, you are encouraged to specialise in your own discipline and are supported at this stage by tutors from your host course. You will also benefit from workshops in our high-end facilities, and from working with leading academics who will encourage you to become a confident and creative thinker. Your practical development is accompanied by modules in both semesters on foundational academic skills – skills that will be essential as you progress to your chosen full degree.

On successful completion of the Foundation year, you'll be able to move on to study for the Contemporary Media Practice BA Honours degree over a further three years study.

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.

Subjects of study include (across 5 core modules): 

  • Introduction to Academic Practice
  •  Critical Thinking for Academic and Professional Development
  •  Art and Design Explorations
  •  Making and Modelling
  •  Seeing and Doing


There are no optional or elective modules offered at Level 3, as the focus is on the development of key academic skills through a broad understanding of Media and Design

Credit Level 3

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!

Course Leaders

Dr Elizabeth Allen

Assistant Head of School

Elizabeth Allen is a course leader for the Art and Design Foundation year.

Peter Dukes

Principal Lecturer

Peter Dukes is a Principal Lecturer in Westminster School of Arts, University of Westminster, and a course leader for the Art and Design Foundation year. He studied Fine Art at Central St Martins and the Royal College of Art, and was Course Leader for BA Contemporary Media Practice from 2006 to 2016. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is currently School Senior Tutor for Westminster School of Arts.

Dr Chris Christodoulou

Senior Lecturer

Chris has been the Course Leader of Contemporary Media Practice BA since 2016. Contemporary Media Practice has a specialist interdisciplinary focus and is one of the longest-running undergraduate media courses in the UK.

His research is concerned with the impact of accelerated culture on global youth scenes and subcultures, especially in the context of electronic music.

He carried out his PhD thesis, Renegade Hardware: Speed, Technology and Cultural Practice in Drum ‘n’ Bass Music, between 2005 and 2009.

Why study this course?

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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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Entry Requirements

  • A Levels – DDE to CDD
  • International Baccalaureate – 64 to 80 UCAS Tariff points from the IB
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – MPP to MMP
  • BTEC Diploma – MM to DM
  • Access – 64 to 80 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 grade 4/C - IB grade 4

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 – 64 to 80 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

Student work

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.

Degree shows

Fees and Funding

UK and EU 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
F
25%75%
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
F
30%70%
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.
 

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

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