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.
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.
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.
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.
In addition you will be offered two complementary modules, one to be studied in each semester. For this subject you will study:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Media Production 1 (20 credits; compulsory for SH and for some CH - depending on degree combination)
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 for some CH - depending on degree combination)
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.
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 and Communication 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.
Professional Work-Based Learning (20 credits, compulsory for SH and CH)
This module aims to develop your potential for employability and your work-related 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 in-depth 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 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.
Media Production 2 (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.
Media Production 3 (20 credits)
The module aims to develop opportunities to critically integrate theoretical perspectives with practical creative digital production. You will undertake an independent practical multimedia communication project from conception to completion in a specific area or areas of digital practice, including video and audio, and blending and editing skills.
PR and Advertising 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 and advertising 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.