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Study Communication & Media Studies, why & how to study

Communication & Media Studies offers a great insight into how the modern world works through a range of different media.

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CONTENTS

  1. What’s Communication & Media Studies?

  2. What Communication & Media Studies degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto a Communication & Media Studies degree?

  4. What topics does a Communication & Media Studies degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study Communication & Media Studies?

  7. What do Communication & Media Studies graduates earn?

  8. What jobs can you get as a Communication & Media Studies graduate?

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to Communication & Media Studies

  11. Have any questions?

What’s Communication & Media Studies?

If you're fascinated by trends, social media or why something might go viral, this could be the subject area for you.

A degree in Communication & Media Studies prepares you for work in the media industry, where you'll analyse the way media reflects, represents and influences. You’ll have to keep pace with the latest news, tech and debates across press, broadcasting, advertising and other digital media.

What Communication & Media Studies degrees can you study?

Undergraduate degrees in Communication & Media Studies can be combined with social sciences or creative subjects. Examples include:

  • Sociology and Media BSc
  • Digital Media and Society BA
  • Mass Communication BA
  • Public Relations and Marketing Communications BA
  • Media, Journalism and Publishing BA

Degrees may include an integrated foundation year or offer a year in professional practice.

What do you need to get onto a Communication & Media Studies degree?

Entry requirements for a Communication & Media Studies degree at a university range from 80–160 UCAS points. This could include the qualifications below.

  • A Levels: AAA–CCE
  • BTECs: DDD–MMP
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAAA–BBBB (Advanced Highers: AAB)
  • International Baccalaureate: 38–26

Good subjects to have studied include:

  • English language or literature, psychology and sociology

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Work experience or shadowing a PR or journalist role or in an advertising agency, if applicable
  • Volunteering to develop your interpersonal skills with diverse people
  • Volunteering to help a charity with communications or social media updating
  • Extending your written skills through essay competitions or writing a blog
  • Further research on topics of interest such as TED talks, podcasts or online courses

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • Pass in the practical element of science, if taken at A Level
  • An interview may be required for some courses

What topics does a Communication & Media Studies degree cover?

Typical modules for courses in this subject include:

  • Contemporary visual narratives
  • Digital cultures and society – researching the media
  • Digitisation
  • Ethics and journalism
  • Information governance, security and legislation
  • Introduction to digital storytelling
  • Journalism in society
  • Media entrepreneurship
  • Print and digital production and design
  • Publishing information on the web
  • Records, society and accountability
  • Understanding the media landscape

How will you be assessed?

Assessments are usually carried out by a mixture of the following, and will vary from module to module:

  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Presentations
  • Projects
  • A final year dissertation

Why study Communication & Media Studies?

The subject area provides the opportunity for plenty of independent exploration into what interests you most. You'll be encouraged to unearth your own stories and research into your favoured media area. You’ll also gain a range of useful employability skills relevant to your area of study:

Career-specific skills:

  • PR skills in effective communication with target audiences across a range of media
  • Journalism skills in researching, interviewing and writing stories and the use of broadcast, radio or podcast media
  • Digital skills across a range of platforms covering digital content production and planning, analytics and advertising
  • Insights into audience behaviours and media consumption

Transferable skills:

  • Creative and critical thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Organisation
  • Presentation
  • Research
  • Synthesis and evaluation of information
  • Team working

Professional accreditation:

  • Journalism degrees may be accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC)
  • Combinations with PR may offer accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

By the time I finished my undergrad, I knew being a journalist was what I wanted to do and whilst I had learned tonnes on the job, I didn't have any formal training in things like media law, ethics and shorthand, hence the decision to undertake a journalism course.

Laura, University of Sheffield

What do Communication & Media Studies graduates earn?

Communication & Media Studies graduates can expect an entry-level salary of around £17,000–£21,000.

Entry-level salaries may not be high, but there’s potential for growth depending on where your career leads. For example, average salaries for a journalist or periodical editor are around £35,500, while an experienced social media manager could earn £30,000–£40,000. Managerial and director roles can see incomes of up to £60,000 across a number of fields.

What jobs can you get as a Communication & Media Studies graduate?

Communication & Media Studies degrees teach transferable skills valuable in a whole range of careers. Graduate schemes may be available from employers such as the BBC. Roles could include:

  • Campaign officer
  • Content creator
  • Copywriter
  • Digital marketer
  • Digital media editor
  • Editorial assistant
  • Journalist
  • Location manager
  • Media or programme researcher
  • Multimedia planner
  • PR officer
  • Producer
  • Social media manager

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Postgraduate opportunities can open up options across a range of media, even if you didn’t study the topic as a first degree. Examples of taught master’s and research degrees at postgraduate level include:

  • Digital Media: Critical Studies MA
  • Film and Screen Studies PhD
  • Intercultural Communication and Education MA
  • Media and Communications MPhil/PhD
  • Social Media and Political Communication MA

Similar subjects to Communication & Media Studies

Other subject areas that might appeal to you include:

Have any questions?

Ask our experts! You can email ask@thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk with your question about studying Communication & Media Studies – we’ll be happy to hear from you.

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