This joint honours degree offers an academically rigorous approach to the study of mediated cultural forms, practices and technologies and their vital social, political and economic implications alongside journalism skills. We examine a range of areas, from digital media and journalism, to the creative and cultural industries, to social identities and subcultures. In addition, you are introduced to some basic journalism skills like reporting and feature writing that position you well for a range of careers in the media sector and beyond.
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 and have the opportunity to choose modules from a wide range of subject areas.
Our journalism modules are taught by working professionals in print, digital, radio and television journalism and specialist academics.
Our degree programme
You begin with modules that offer an introduction to journalism skills and provide an overview of different cultural and sociological theories that address ‘culture’, ‘media’ and ‘society’ as part of a broader global and historical context. Your journalism skills are developed further in your second year.
You also learn how to conduct and apply qualitative sociological research that explores mass media and advertising; digital media technologies; news and journalism; television and film. You may choose from a variety of optional modules in your third year to further pursue subjects you are passionate about like digital culture, the history and practice of drawing or the cultural politics of literary prizes.
You can gain valuable professional experience through our targeted newsrooms exercises and workshops.
As a student of both the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research based on the Canterbury campus and the Centre for Journalism at Medway, you have access to the excellent facilities provided at both sites. We even offer a free shuttle service between the campuses during term time to ease your commute.
You have access to a wide range of topical journals and books through our libraries at both Canterbury and Medway. The Centre for Journalism offers a full range of editorial resources including audio and video editing, cameras and autocues, wire feeds from the Press Association, and video feeds from Reuters World News.
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. You may even want to join Kent’s newspaper InQuire or our student television station KTV. There are also a number of student-led societies relating to your interests such as:
UKC Digital Media Socrates SocietyPublishing 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.
The Centre of Journalism also offers a variety of events that include socials, seminars and masterclasses and they have previously hosted:
Jon Snow – presenter of Channel 4 News Alex Crawford – five times RTS TV journalist of the year Faisal Islam – Political Editor, Sky News.
We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures; case study analysis; group projects and presentations; newsroom workshops; individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.
Assessment is through a combination of unseen written examinations, assessed coursework, timed newsroom exercises, assessed presentation and individual portfolios.
As a joint honours student, you will study in depth two disciplines and will experience different teaching and assessment styles appropriate to each discipline.
Contact time is not arranged by campus and will depend on which modules you choose. For this reason you may be required to visit both campus sites in one day.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain a knowledge and understanding of:
- The complexity of culture and media as contested objects of inquiry.
- The significance of journalism to political democracy, its powers, duties and responsibilities.
- Professional issues, debates and conventions in journalism.
- 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.
- Ways in which people engage with cultural and media texts and practices and make meaning from them.
- The relation between cultural texts (e.g. 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, media and journalism and the distinctive character of cross-disciplinarity.
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.
- Ability to reflect on and understand the accumulation of knowledge about cultural practices diversely understood.
- Be adaptable, creative and self-reflexive 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 their own and will be able to argue for and justify their views.
- Use a range of appropriate technology to perform tasks and reach defined audiences.
The programme aims to:
- Develop students’ capacities to learn and undertake critical analysis from a variety of primary and secondary sources.
- Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship in the fields of Cultural and Media Studies and Journalism.
- 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.
- Develop substantive and detailed knowledge and appreciation of print, broadcast and digital journalism.
- Carry our independent research and inquiry.
- 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.