Foundation Year Zero
Students on all of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year courses will undertake 80 credits of generic core modules introducing them to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills, namely:
- Academic Writing and Study Skills
- Personal and Career Development
- Understanding Arts and Humanities
- Being Human: an Introduction to the Humanities
In addition you will be offered two 20 credit optional modules, one to be studied in each semester. The full list of optional modules is as follows and you will be placed onto the modules which most effectively complement your degree pathway choice and, where applicable, your study interests:
- Dangerous Ideas
- Foundation English Language and Communication
- Foundation English Literature
- Foundation Media and Communications
- Analysing British Cinema
- Historical Foundations
- America and the World (subject to validation)
- Music and Performing Arts in Context
- The Languages and Theory of Music
Design Practice (20 credits; SH and CH)
This module provides practical opportunities for you to explore aesthetics and design in relation to digital media products and use a range of software applications suitable for the design and production of simple design, web authoring and digital imaging. You will gain knowledge of the basic principles of layout and typography, and of hierarchies of information using both image and text in web formats.
Contemporary Media Debates (20 credits; SH and CH)
The aim of this module is to introduce you to contemporary debates about the media and to equip you with relevant skills and knowledge to be able to explore various sides of arguments in these debates. We will explore key contemporary issues such as who owns the media, the pros and cons of media regulation, privacy versus the media, and changing news and news values.
Research Skills (20 credits; SH and CH)
The aims of this module are to equip you with basic knowledge about social science, media and journalism research, to enable you to carry out independent research in the wider subject area, and to provide opportunities to gain practical research experience. This module will lead you into a disciplined and deeper study of the media and culture and their place within contemporary society. You will be introduced to the main research methodologies and gain a critical appreciation of the relation between the theory of research and its practice.
Introduction to Professional Communication (20 credits, SH)
This module will help you to become independent, reflective and self managed. It introduces you to key communications skills required in the media and communications industries and in Higher Education. It focuses on developing you for employability within the Media and Communications industries. You are introduced to basic communications theory and models. This knowledge empowers you to develop written and presentation skills to deliver messages confidently in an appropriate, professional way in different media. From communications such as emails, to proposals, assignment planning and writing, pitches and presentation skills, you will learn to achieve successful and persuasive communication, arguing a case and defining audiences.
Making Media Meanings and Messages (20 credits, SH)
The aim of this module is to introduce you to a range of analytical tools that will help you to decode the meaning of media texts – their appearance, sound, structure and context. You will look at the way in which texts are constructed in order to generate meaning and in order to persuade an audience of a particular interpretation.
Media Consumption (20 credits, SH)
The aim of the module is to familiarise you with media consumption patterns of diverse audiences and to provide you with appropriate knowledge to investigate and debate the theories concerning the consumption of diverse media forms and content.
Researching Media and Society (20 credits, SH and CH)
This module explores the relationship between media and society through specific case studies. It will help you to develop a critical understanding of the ways in which media, communication and cultural activities and processes are central to the organisation of everyday social life. It will also equip you with research and analytical skills to examine the historical development and context of the relationship between media and society. It will provide opportunities to hone your research skills, both primary and secondary, and to develop your communication skills. You will be carrying out primary and secondary research on a case study topic as part of your assessment.
Media and Creative Industries (20 credits, SH and CH)
The aim of this module is to enable you to understand how the media and creative industries work, their characteristics and the policies which impact upon them, and the cultural and creative artefacts they produce.
Writing for Media Communications (20 credits, core for SH, option for CH)
The module aims to develop your professional communication and creative practices, and deepen your understanding of forms of multimedia communication through a specific focus on writing skills. The module also aims to extend your grasp of ethical issues, media theories and their impact on the communication process. You will apply these through practical exercises to communicate effectively through a variety of media. Key areas of practice, which may include print and online journalism, feature and review writing, copywriting for public relations, advertising and media relations for print and online media, offer you insights into how the creative industries interact with technology.
Professional Work-Based Learning (20 credits, SH and CH)
This module aims to develop your potential for employability and your workrelated skills for a wide variety of professions in the media, cultural and communication industries. It will do so by supporting and developing your skills in obtaining (preferably) relevant work experience, or by bringing you into contact with industry professionals who will help to set project/problem-based work experience or through a relevant industry-based research case study (this could be work shadowing, reflective diary, portfolio, and research report). The module aims to develop student employability by creating an appreciation of relevant organisational cultures, policies and processes, and by developing your ability to evaluate the outcomes of professional practice.
Individual Research Project (40 credits, core for SH core; 20 or 40 credits option for CH)
The aims of this module are to enable you, under guidance of a tutor, to undertake an extended piece of focused research, building on work done in previous years by developing an indepth study of one aspect of the media, provided that the project is deemed viable and ethical. It also aims to provide an opportunity for you to develop your research and analytical skills in conjunction with your awareness of ethical issues in research, by combining disciplined academic study with personal interest. The module also helps you to develop your employability and professional skills and aims to prepare you for the world after your graduation.
Likely Optional Modules
Advertising in Context (20 credits)
The aims of this module are, firstly, to enable you to understand how attitudes to advertising, from the media industry, governments, interested laypeople and advertisers themselves, have affected advertising practices since the birth of formalised advertising agencies and, secondly, to provide a number of examples on which you can draw in your own advertising communications.
Creative Media Practice (20 credits)
This module integrates practical and theoretical issues as you consider the ways in which digital media, computers, the web, mobile phones and digital cameras play an important role in our social and economic practices. You will explore the methods, codes and conventions and uses of digital media technologies in order to develop your own practical digital project. You will develop a better technical knowledge of the application of a variety of appropriate formats and skills such as digital photography, media streaming, digital imaging and desktop publishing. You will gain knowledge and practice in relation to planning, implementation and evaluation of your own digital media project.
Global Experience (20 credits)
In this module, you will become self-aware of your own cultural assumption and how these inform professional practice and develop an informed understanding of other people’s ways of thinking and acting on the world. You will develop knowledge, attitude and skills that will help you communicate and operate effectively and appropriately within multicultural contexts and teams. In addition, you will acquire specific, critical understanding of how similar and different the practice of your future profession may be in different national and/or cultural environments, and develop an intercultural set of skills enabling you to navigate across cultural similarities and differences in your future career.
Popular Genres and Popular Cultures (20 credits)
The module aims to provide you with the critical tools to develop your appreciation and analysis of different genres of popular culture. A number of examples of popular genres will be studied in depth, with opportunities to discuss further examples of your choice.
Celebrity, News and the Media (20 credits)
The module aims to develop your professional skills by enabling you to analyse the role of celebrity as an idealised figure and as a vehicle for consumption associated with mass distribution, the rise of promotions industries and with technological advances in the media and cultural industries. Through a portfolio of research work you will explore celebrity as a set of cultural and commercial practices in a variety of media such as press, magazines, reality and talk show TV, photojournalism and various forms of online media. The aim of the module is to develop your critical thinking about the links between public relations, the media, sustainability and ethics.
Public Relations, the Media and Sustainability (20 credits)
The module explores Public Relations and its ethical relationship to power and persuasion. Through case studies and working to a live campaign brief the module will help you to develop your own PR communication and campaign strategies to raise awareness of issues of sustainability and organisational responsibility. The module encourages you to critically reflect on the role of public relations communications within organisations as well as the relevance of public relations beyond its organisational functions. By equipping you with an understanding of ethical professional practice it develops key skills that employers require in the PR and communications sectors.
Advertising Practices (20 credits)
This module is above all a practical one, geared towards the production of an advertising campaign that assists a local small enterprise or charity. After clear guidance as to what is involved in such a campaign, you will be allocated into teams and either be assigned a real small enterprise or charity for which you need to generate an effective campaign or they may find their own small enterprise/charity for the same purpose.
Multimedia Practice (20 credits)
The module aims to develop opportunities for you to critically integrate theoretical perspectives with practical creative digital production. It aims to enable you to undertake an independent practical communication project from conception to completion in a specific area or areas of digital practice. You will also become proficient in the use of appropriate software and in editing, especially graphics, effects, formats and dissemination.
Media Futures (20 credits)
The aims of the module are to develop in you a critical understanding of media as businesses, to enable you to critically analyse media organisations as social entities, and to improve your employability skills by providing you with opportunities to explore reallife management and entrepreneurship case studies.
Youth Cultures (20 credits)
Youth Cultures explores contemporary social and cultural debates within the sociology of young people, the module puts an emphasis on creativity and critical thought. You will study different aspects of the social and cultural structures which shape the lives of young adults, including youth cultures, subculture, risk, youth ‘underclass,’ resistance, hypersexuality, drug normalisation, binge drinking, hybrid identities, the précarité, deviance, style and popular music. The module offers an interdisciplinary platform for you to pursue a career related to journalism, media research, the culture industry, teaching, youth work, careers service, fashion or music industries at a time of rapid social change.