At Kent, Cultural Studies and Media is taught in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research where you benefit from a large choice of specialist modules on race, social change, criminal justice or disability and the arts. You are taught by leading academics in fields like gender, race and the body and have the opportunity to choose modules from a wide range of subject areas.
You critically explore the links between culture, media and society drawing on critical theories and methods from the Social Sciences and the Humanities. We examine a range of areas, from digital media, to the creative and cultural industries, to social identities and movements.
Our degree programme
The programme begins with an overview of different cultural and sociological theories that address ‘culture’, ‘media’ and ‘society’ as part of a broader global and historical context. You then go on to learn how to conduct and apply qualitative sociological research that engages with mass media and advertising; digital media technologies; news and journalism; television and film; to name a few.
During all stages of your studies you have the opportunity to choose specialist modules that suit your interest. Our modules and creative forms of assessment are designed to stimulate your thinking and prepare you for a job market looking for versatile and innovative individuals.
In your final year of study, there is an option to take a dissertation module on a subject of your choice, which allows you to focus in detail on an area you are particularly passionate about.
We offer a Year Abroad option which takes place between Stages 2 and 3 of your degree. You can apply to add a year abroad to your degree programme from your arrival at Kent until the autumn term of your second year.
You have access to a wide range of topical journals and books in hard copy and digital format through Kent’s Templeman Library. Your designated academic advisor provides guidance for your studies and academic development.
Our Student Learning Advisory Centre also offers useful workshops on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.
At the Kent Student Media Centre we provide excellent studio facilities and an editing suite. You may use these together with your peers to create your own digital, television or print media content and gain some useful professional skills along the way. There are also a number of student-led societies relating to your interests such as:
UKC Digital Media Socrates SocietyFeminist Society.
There are events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include: research seminars and webcasts career development workshops informal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion.
We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case study analysis, group projects and presentations, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.
Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and examinations; to view details for individual modules click the 'read more' link within each module listed in the course structure.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain a knowledge and understanding of:
- the complexity of culture and media as contested objects of inquiry
- the role that media and cultural institutions play in society
- the role and function of cultural and media forms as sources of popular knowledge and ideas
- the ways in which people engage with cultural and media texts and practices, and make meaning from them
- the relation between cultural texts (eg, artistic, literary, media, social, political, scientific) and the historical contexts of their production and reception
- different modes of modern global, international, national and local cultural experience
- how culture is both product and process and gives rise to social and political ‘forms of life’
- how the modes of production/consumption of cultural and media texts and products shape contemporary life
- the nature of the cultural impact of new technologies
- a wide range of disciplinary approaches to culture and media, and the distinctive character of cross-disciplinarity in the production of new knowledge in cultural studies.
You gain the following intellectual skills:
- ability to analyse a wide range of cultural and media forms
- critical evaluation of scholarship and ideas, both classical and contemporary
- representation in language of the views and ideas of others
- application of cultural and media theory to both familiar and unfamiliar cultural material, phenomena and contexts
- expression of own ideas in oral and written communication
- ability to identify, evaluate and to construct arguments.
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- conception and application of cross-disciplinary strategies of investigation of cultural and media issues, themes, topics
- the ability to identify and analyse ethical and political subject matters represented in media culture of all kinds
- the ability to account for and criticise, the interrelation of aesthetic cultural practices and forms, and the social and political contexts of their emergence and affect
- the ability to evaluate theoretical models and paradigms of cultural and media production, consumption and reception
- the ability to integrate diverse sources of cultural information and produce new knowledge.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- gathering and collating, retrieving and synthesising information drawn from a variety of sources (library, IT, CD-ROM, press, etc.) – textual, visual, popular and academic, in traditional formats as well as electronic
- working independently on the design and execution of research projects
- the ability to reflect on and understand the accumulation of knowledge about cultural practices diversely understood
- to be adaptable, creative and self-reflective in producing output for a variety of audiences
- skilled at self-directed project planning, development and execution of work to deadlines
- skills of expression in written and oral forms; be adept at representing both the ideas of others as well as your own and able to argue for and justify your views.
The programme aims to:
- develop your capacity to learn and undertake critical analysis in cultural studies and media
- provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship in this field
- provide a flexible and progressive curriculum which includes options from a wide range of disciplinary areas with an intellectual investment in the study of culture and media
- promote an understanding of cultural identities, differences and transitions, and the historical, political and economic contexts of their emergence and change
- provide a broad knowledge of relevant concepts, debates and theoretical approaches in the study of culture and media
- meet the needs of the local and national community for a critical understanding of culture and media and their role in society
- facilitate the personal development of students as independent, life-long learners capable of collating and analysing information and producing new knowledge
- provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate to graduate employment in a range of cultural, media and education related spheres and for further research in the field of cultural studies and media.