BA single honours Media and Communications with Foundation Year 2020/21

Year of entry

A number of our degrees are also offered with an additional foundation year (Year 0). Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year course may be just what you’re looking for.

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:

  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

93% of our Media and Communications students were satisfied with the teaching on their course.

National Student Survey 2018

Following the Foundation Year in Media and Communications you will go on to explore areas including:

  • advertising and public relations campaigns, blogs and digital design pieces
  • research, applying methods such as questionnaire surveys, content analysis, focus groups and interviews
  • the meanings of adverts, texts, or films, and how media organisations work, by applying relevant theories and frameworks
  • management skills, project planning and team working

This course benefits from Partner University status with the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). A limited number of universities are endorsed by the PRCA for offering excellent courses that are intellectually rigorous and esteemed by employers.

As Social Media companies sell personal data and foreign policy is conducted by tweet, it is more important than ever to understand Media and Communications. If you use Instagram or Snapchat, if you play computer games or the latest music, if you binge on Netflix, or if you want to be a vlogger, then Media and Communications is the degree for you. We will help you design webpages, write perfect copy and explore and apply techniques of advertising and public relations. We will show you how the media is regulated and how it works, as well as aiding you to reach as wide an audience as possible. The media and communication industries will continue to grow and there are endless opportunities for you to find a rewarding career within them.

By choosing Media and Communications you will:

Our graduates have a great history of employability. The latest statistics show that 92% of our students were in employment and/or further study within six months of completing their degree (Unistats, 2017/18).

Create media content, such as advertising and public-relations campaigns, blogs and digital design pieces, including short films and apps.

Carry out research using  methods such as questionnaire surveys, content analysis, focus groups and interviews.

Analyse the meanings of advertisements, texts or films, and how media organisations work, by applying relevant theories and frameworks.

Develop management, project planning and team-working skills.

Gain valuable practical experience in an international context, including the opportunity to undertake a field trip in Europe.

Work experience

You will undertake a Work Placement as part of the Year 3 Professional Work-Based Learning module. Recent placements have been completed with the BBC, Kent Messenger Group, Northern & Shell Media and a range of smaller media and communications companies. Work placements offer excellent opportunities to learn from active professionals and can be a great way to develop contacts within the industry.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

Foundation Year Zero

As a student on a Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year course you will undertake 4 core modules introducing you to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills. 

Core Modules

Semester One

  • Life and Study 

A module introducing you to Life and Study at university, equipping you with the personal management skills you need to make the most of your time here. 

  • Understanding Arts and Humanities 

A module introducing research methods and key skills, such as academic writing, referencing, presentations and critical reading. 

Semester Two

  • Being Human

A module introducing modernity and how it is identified and researched. You will choose your own individual example of modernism, whether it be an object, a work of art, an idea or a piece of literature. 

  • School Core Module

A module designed to equip you with the skills relating to your chosen subject area, providing you with a seamless transition to level 4/year one.   

Complementary Modules 

In addition you will be offered two complementary modules, one to be studied in each semester. For this subject you will study:

Semester One

  • Foundation Media and Visual Communications 

You will explore key creative processes, aesthetics and principles that underpin work in the creative sector, such as pre-production, experimentation and the use of these skills to produce work in a suitable format. 

Semester Two

  • Ways of Seeing Aesthetics 

You will be introduced to some of the key ideas and principles that explain the ways we see and understand the world around us.


  • Analysing British Cinema 

You will study the key principles of textual film analysis using examples from British cinema. Each lecture will study a different aspect of a given topic, such as History, Genre, Landscape and Politics and be studied via a close analysis of a specific film.

Core Modules

Year 1

Design Practice (20 credits; compulsory for SH and optional for 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; compulsory for 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; compulsory for 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.

Professional Practices (20 credits, compulsory for SH and optional for CH)

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.

Media Meanings and Messages (20 credits, compulsory for 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 Audiences (20 credits, compulsory for 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.

Year 2

Researching Media and Society (20 credits, compulsory for 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 Industries (20 credits, compulsory for 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.

Publishing Practices (20 credits, compulsory for SH and optional 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.

Year 3

Professional Work-Based Learning (20 credits, compulsory for 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 (20 or 40 credits, compulsory for SH and optional 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

Year 2

Advertising and Branding (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.

Web and App Design (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.

PR: Campaign and Planning (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.

Social Media in Context (20 credits)

This module equips you with relevant knowledge and understanding about social media forms and industries, enabling you to analyse social media practices and their impact on society. The module examines the roles of social media within contemporary society in allowing individuals, communities, organisations and businesses to communicate and interact with each other. 

Year 3

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.

PR Practices (20 credits)

This module will develop your knowledge of the link between PR planning and organisational goals, including the academic, professional and ethical perspectives required to plan, research and critically analyse a public relations campaign as part of a team. In doing so, the module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of how contemporary PR theories, communication models and strategies, such as crisis management, relate to PR ethics and the delivery of successful PR campaigns.

Social Media Practices (20 credits)

This module will examine organisational and business practices of social media, and how these differ from individual uses. It will provide you with perspectives from various subject areas, including Media and Communications, Public Relations, Sociology and Business Studies. You will explore how social media industries operate and the factors that influence their practices.

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.

Our graduates have gone on to work in local and national media, journalism, PR agencies, events promotion, advertising, media planning, media relations, media sales, the music press, online publishing, press and publicity offices, corporate communications, external relations, graduate management, and market research. Some of our graduates have continued projects that were developed as part of the degree. You will be well placed for further study to undertake Masters or Doctoral degrees or teacher training.


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements as part of the Professional Work Based Learning module. This module is a core module

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops and through independent study.

You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week in Years 1 and 2 and fewer in Year 3 when there is more independent and self-directed study. Your actual contact hours will depend on the option modules you select.

Seminars in smaller groups and IT sessions will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in larger-group lectures. In addition, you will be able to arrange tutorials with teaching staff and your personal academic tutor. 

In Year 2, you will have the opportunity to develop a media project abroad, and to work on live briefs.

In Year 3, you will undertake a 100-hour Work Placement with an external organisation. You will also complete an Individual Research Project.

All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions, you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for assignments, workshops and seminars.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class. They will have office hours so you can arrange tutorials to discuss any aspects of the module.

For the Individual Research Project in Year 3, you will undertake independent research. You will work under the supervision of a member of the course team. You will meet with your supervisor regularly.

Overall workload

You will have about 12 contact hours per week in Years 1 and 2, depending on the modules that you select. You will also undertake up to 24 hours of independent learning and assessment activity per week. 

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics with a range of expertise and experience.

Most of our team members hold doctoral qualifications, and all of them hold teaching qualifications. They are experienced, research-active lecturers who deliver research-informed teaching and have links with industry professionals. You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars, and they are available for tutorials and to offer further support.

Each module has one or two formal, or ‘summative,’ assessments. Assessment methods include coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, individual and group projects, creative work, reflective pieces on practical projects, work-based case study and your final year research project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark. Assessment procedures take account of not only your newly acquired knowledge and skills, but also the process of developing skills and the ability to apply knowledge and skills in situations relevant to the workplace.

The course also provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Modules normally contain a piece of practice or 'formative' assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. They are designed to help you improve your work before you submit it.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

Coursework accounts for 100% of assessment in all three years. There are no exams

The type of coursework depends on the optional modules you choose, but it will normally include essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, individual and group projects, campaigns, creative work and reflective pieces.


You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We have a TV studio with green screen, two newsrooms (one PC with audio editing software, one Apple Mac with industry­specialist software), and four radio studios. All the facilities associated with being part of the large School of Media, Art and Design, which has been delivering media programmes since 1980.

The Daphne Oram building, our new creative arts facility on our main campus in Canterbury, opened in January 2019 and is equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our media, art and design students. 

Our main campus in Canterbury has city-centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new arts building has to offer.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • P308 Media and Communications with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

  • Candidates should have studied at level 3 and have attained 48 UCAS Tariff points, although those without formal qualifications will be considered.

    You do not need to have significant prior knowledge of Arts and Humanities related subjects but should be motivated to study the subject.



Last edited 28/08/2019 12:05:00

Save, Print or Share this page

Connect with us

Last edited: 28/08/2019 12:05:00