Media Studies at Kent is based in the School of Arts, a creative and academic hub for students in drama, film, media studies and art history. Together we occupy the award-winning Jarman building, which houses outstanding teaching facilities and media
Our teaching staff are leading researchers in the field. They help you to answer questions such as: How can social media empower – but also endanger – users? What are the ethical dilemmas that new digital technologies create? How do media help construct – but also distort – our ideas about identity? The degree also gives students the opportunity to create blogs, podcasts, videos and other creative media.
Our degree programme
Communication happens through still and moving images, spoken and written words, music, drawing and animation. In the 21st century the boundaries between these forms have blurred. On this programme, you examine how old and new media are creating meaning today and using our first-class resources to create work of your own.
In your first year, you cover media and meaning, media identity and diversity, media power and/or making media (i.e. a practical introduction to media content creation). This gives you a solid grounding in the subject and introduces you to some of the most pressing issues in contemporary media culture and the creative industries.
The second and final years of your degree build on these foundations. You take a module on media ethics and choose from a huge range of modules, covering everything from podcasting, gender and digital culture, social media, digital storytelling, to photography and arts criticism, screenwriting and curating. You can also study modules from other subjects, such as film, drama and theatre, art history, literature, history, philosophy, politics and sociology.
You have the opportunity to spend a year abroad, between the second and final years of your degree. For more information, see Media Studies with an Approved Year Abroad.
Media Studies at Kent is based in the award-winning Jarman building. Our teaching facilities include:
Media HubPodcasting boothA green-screen studioSound recording and dubbing studioDigital editing classroomDigital editing suites
Our own cinema, which screens 10 to 15 films a week
All modules involve live lectures, small group seminars, screenings and occasionally group trips to galleries, museums, libraries and festivals. Methods of assessment vary between modules. The majority of modules are assessed solely by coursework, while others have a mix of coursework and exams.
Typically, students attend two lectures a week of one-and-a-half to two hours in duration, as well as two seminars a week of similar length. In addition, many modules will have screenings, readings, trips and related learning activities.
Knowledge and understanding
You will develop knowledge and understanding of:
- particular media forms and genres, and the way in which they organise understandings, meanings and affects
- the interconnectedness of texts and contexts, and of the shifting configurations of communicative, cultural and aesthetic practices and systems
- the historical evolution of particular genres, aesthetic traditions and forms, and of their current characteristics and possible future developments
- the material conditions of media and cultural consumption, and of the cultural contexts in which people appropriate, use and make sense of media and cultural products
- the aesthetic and formal qualities at play, and their relation to meanings, in particular cultural forms
- the student's own creative processes and practice through engagement in one or more production practices
- narrative processes, generic forms and modes of representation at work in media and cultural texts
- an understanding of the ways in which specific media and their attendant technologies make possible different kinds of aesthetic effects and forms
- the ways in which people engage with cultural texts and practices and make meaning from them.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- engage critically with major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within the field and put them to productive use
- understand forms of communication, media and culture as they have emerged historically and appreciate the processes through which they have come into being, with reference to social, cultural and technological change
- examine forms of communication, media and culture critically with appropriate reference to the social and cultural contexts and diversity of contemporary society
- analyse closely, interpret and show the exercise of critical judgment in the understanding and, as appropriate, evaluation of these forms of communication, media and culture
- develop substantive and detailed knowledge and understanding in one or more designated areas of media arts
- consider and evaluate their own work in a reflective manner, with reference to academic and/or professional issues, debates and conventions.
You gain specific skills in the following:
- critically appraising some of the widespread common sense understandings and misunderstandings of communications, media and culture, and the debates and disagreements to which these give rise
- critically evaluating the contested nature of some objects of study within the fields of communication, media, film and cultural studies, and the social and political implications of the judgements which are made
- showing insight into the range of attitudes and values arising from the complexity and diversity of contemporary communications, media, culture and society, and the capability to consider and respond to these
- drawing upon and bringing together ideas from different sources of knowledge and from different academic disciplines
- carrying out various forms of research for essays, projects, creative productions or dissertations involving sustained independent enquiry
- formulating appropriate research questions and employing appropriate methods and resources for exploring those questions
- evaluating and drawing upon the range of sources and the conceptual frameworks appropriate to research in the chosen area
- exploring matters that may be new and emerging, drawing upon a variety of personal skills and upon a variety of academic and non-academic sources.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- working in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, self-direction and reflection
- gathering, organising and deploying ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral or other forms
- retrieving and generating information, and evaluating sources, in carrying out independent research
- organising and managing supervised, self-directed projects
- communicating effectively in interpersonal settings, in writing and other media where appropriate
- working productively in a group or team, showing abilities at different times to listen, contribute and lead effectively
- delivering work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem-solving approach
- putting to use a range of information communication technology (ICT) skills from basic competences such as data analysis and word-processing to more complex skills using web-based technology or multimedia, and developing, as appropriate, specific proficiencies in utilising a range of media technologies.
The programme aims to:
- develop existing and new areas of teaching in response to current research and scholarship within contemporary media arts
- provide students with a rich understanding of contemporary thought about the media of the visual and performed arts, visual culture and aesthetics
- encourage and consolidate a distinctive approach to media arts, focusing upon our strengths in film, aesthetics, contemporary art, and practice-based learning
- enhance students’ awareness of sensitivity to the context in which the arts are produced, disseminated and received in the contemporary world