BA (Hons) Mass Communications

We welcome applications from international and EU students

About the course

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A Mass Communications degree produces media professionals for the 21st century. This degree will help you to become part of a growing employment sector in creative media industries.  You will initially study Media Cultures and three other related subjects from a range of six complementary disciplines. In your second year and final year have opportunities to specialise in two or more subjects as you progress. Further information on the modules offered and what our students say about the degree.

Employers really value graduates who can assimilate information, communicate with clarity and empathy, and work as part of a team. You will develop and refine these skills and also gain the specialist knowledge you need to compete in today’s job market. 

This course will prepare you for a variety of careers such as the new media, branding, marketing and advertising companies, public relations consultancies, journalism, media broadcasting, information and communication agencies, film production, education, publishing, fundraising, the civil and diplomatic service, and international organisations.

In the first year you choose to study four out of the six subjects: 

Media Cultures (core)

Media Cultures gives you an understanding of how communication works, introduces you to the history and nature of media systems and discusses how media and society are interlinked. Topics will include theories about how communication takes place and lectures will cover some of the key debates that have occupied the analysis of media communication in recent decades. You will further examine the current form of media institutions and consider their likely future in the light of new media developments. You will debate the quality of the media, the nature and influence of new media technologies, and consider national and international developments.

In the final year, the course places a strong emphasis on exploring practical aspects of media productions, helping students to acquire the skills to work in specialist areas of media, such as Public Relations, Advertising, Corporate Communications and Media Relations. It is this combination of theory, practice and life experience that makes Media Cultures a stimulating, challenging and enjoyable area of study.

New Media Publishing

New Media Publishing combines theoretical and practical skills to enhance your creativity and the technical skills needed to go into the media industry. This is a practical media course that would benefit those students wishing to go onto careers in publishing, media, journalism and PR. There is a growth area in new media and a shortage of literate and technically able graduates who are able to move between magazine layout for print based journalism and web-based and other forms of publishing.

Journalism

Whether you're writing for a local newspaper, online journal or glossy magazine, you need a common core of basic journalistic skills and knowledge.

The academic study of journalism involves the development of key journalistic skills including the ability to write a news story, conduct an interview and put together a feature. Students also conduct analysis of differences between types of newspaper and the news values they display. Students will examine major ethical and legal issues pertaining to the practice of journalism in the UK and examine the relationship between government and the press.

Students should be keen to develop their communication skills, both written and verbal, read newspapers and magazines in-depth and work both individually and as a team to write stories and create magazines. You need the ability to use your own initiative, work under pressure and conduct research.

Studying film helps you develop skills in film analysis, and an understanding of films, their history and their contexts, which are of value in a wide range of careers (including teaching and journalism).

Creative Writing

Studying Creative Writing gives you the opportunity to develop your voice as a writer while building up a repertoire of practical skills in devising, editing, revising and submitting your work. You will learn how to analyse a text to understand the effects of the author’s choices, and then implement that understanding into improving your own writing. Across your degree, you will study and create short stories, drama, poetry and creative nonfiction.

English Language & Communication

Where language comes from and how people use it is one of the big debates of our time. This subject looks at how the English language works, how we use it to communicate, how we acquire it in the first place, and how it varies according to social factors.

Film

Studying Film as a subject offers you an exciting opportunity to revisit films you love and discover those you've yet to see, getting under their skin to consider their content, context and construction. You will develop skills in film analysis, and an understanding of films, their history and their contexts, which are of value in a wide range of careers (including teaching and journalism).

Did you know?

  1. That the UK’s Creative Industries are now worth £84.1 billion per year to the UK economy." (www.gov.uk, January 2016)
  2. 96.1% of University of Hertfordshire students are in work or further study six months after graduating, according to the latest national Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey; well above the national average for the UK (94.3%).
  3. We host a series of media talks working with professionals from the media industries to help our students with their career aspirations. Our graduates go onto to work in:  Journalism, Public relations, Corporate communications, Media careers and entrepreneurial careers in publishing

Why choose this course?

Real-world skills — Learn how to create and publish content on a broad range of formats including print multimedia and within online platforms?

Bridging theory and practice — Students studying this course will gain a theoretical and critically reflective understanding of media whilst gaining practical skills as an author and designer of published material. The majority of our courses are assessed by 100% coursework.

Value added — Every student is allocated a personal tutor to monitor and advise on their overall academic and personal development supplemented with drop-in skills sessions and specialist tutors to refine and polish your writing. Our Media Matters series of Media Industry talks and Creative Writing talks are career focussed, delivered by industry specialist professionals. , 

Or specialise in the following degrees:

What our
graduates say

What our<br>graduates say
"

I enjoyed learning and being in the company of my lecturers and could not have asked for anyone to be any more supportive. I could not describe the teaching as any less than five stars and my lecturers always found the time outside of class to help me with anything I was struggling to understand.

-Jenny Chu, BA (Hons) Mass Communications graduate,

Careers

Our graduates have an excellent record of gaining employment in media, publishing, teaching and information management where their skills in analysis, communication and evaluation are highly valued. Many of our graduates go on to higher levels of study engaging in research in their chosen fields. Whatever your future career plans, what is important to your potential employers is the range of intellectual, transferable, personal skills and experience you have gained and can demonstrate. We ensure our programmes are relevant to the world of work through active links with regional employers across a range of industries and professions.

Teaching methods

The precise method of teaching varies according to each module. Most are taught via weekly lectures and weekly seminars. You may be asked to work with fellow students and produce some group work together. Sometimes you will have to present the findings of your research to your fellow students in the seminars. You will be expected to contribute to online discussions and to download and read lecture notes from StudyNet, our virtual learning environment.

Lecture series

Each year the School of Humanities hosts the Mass Communication Lecture Series featuring a range of industry professionals, giving talks on their experience in the industry. Some of our previous speakers have included:

  • Lewis Wiltshire, Head of Sport, Twitter UK
  • Jessica Fellowes, Author and freelance journalist
  • Ren Behan, Food blogger and journalist
  • Terry Mitchinson, Welwyn Hatfield Times Editor
  • Natasha Henry, Freelance sports journalist
  • Richard Keith, Journalist for Edge Magazine and Publisher for PCGamer
  • Bryan Rutherford, Reporter/newsreader
  • Mark Solomons, co-founder of SNS news agency

Work Placement

Study Abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad in the Sandwich Year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.
Find out more about Study abroad opportunities

In some cases, you may be able to graduate with a degree from your partner university as well as from Hertfordshire. You may be eligible for a grant if you meet certain conditions.

Structure

Level 4

Core Modules

  • Introduction to Media Practices - 15 Credits
  • Introduction to Media Communications - 15 Credits
  • Global Media and Society - 15 Credits

Optional

  • The Writer's Art: an Introduction to Creative Writing - 15 Credits
  • Language Analysis - 15 Credits
  • Becoming a Writer - 15 Credits
  • Introduction to Journalism - 15 Credits
  • Journalism, Law and Ethics - 15 Credits
  • Introduction to Film Criticism - 15 Credits
  • Introduction to Film Theory - 15 Credits
  • Visual Communication - 15 Credits
  • Interactive Media - 15 Credits
  • Communication, Interaction, Context - 15 Credits
  • Genre Fiction: Building Worlds - 15 Credits

Level 5

Core Modules

  • Graduate Skills - 0 Credits
  • Research Methods in Media Communications - 15 Credits
  • The Publishing Industry - 15 Credits

Optional

  • Language in Society - 15 Credits
  • Forensic Linguistics - 15 Credits
  • Writing for the Stage - 15 Credits
  • Magazine Design - 15 Credits
  • Video Feature - 15 Credits
  • Journalism Skills: Features - 15 Credits
  • Journalism Skills: News - 15 Credits
  • European Film and Television Style - 15 Credits
  • Film Production - 15 Credits
  • Writing for the Screen - 15 Credits

Level 6

Core Modules

  • Graduate Skills - 0 Credits

Optional

  • Communication and Cultures - 15 Credits
  • Meaning and Context - 15 Credits
  • Year Abroad - 0 Credits
  • Writing for Radio: From Pitch to Production - 15 Credits
  • Mass Communications Placement Year - 0 Credits
  • Debates in Pragmatics - 15 Credits
  • Advertising - 15 Credits
  • Campaigns and Careers - 15 Credits
  • Corporate Communications - 15 Credits
  • Digital Media - 15 Credits
  • Web Design for Publishing - 30 Credits
  • Journalism, Government and the People - 15 Credits
  • Online Journalism - 15 Credits
  • Journalism Skills Portfolio - 30 Credits
  • Film in the Global Age - 15 Credits
  • Television Drama - 15 Credits
  • US Cinema: Studio System to Digital Era - 15 Credits
  • Video Essay - 15 Credits
  • Media Project - 30 Credits
  • From Flashes to Novels - 15 Credits
  • Creative Writing Project - 30 Credits
  • Global Englishes - 15 Credits

Fees & funding

Fees 2018

UK/EU Students

Full time
  • £9250 for the 2018/2019 academic year
Part time
  • £1155 per 15 credits for the 2018/2019 academic year

International Students

Full time
  • £11950 for the 2018/2019 academic year
Part time
  • £1500 per 15 credits for the 2018/2019 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

Entry requirements...

112 UCAS points 

IB - 112 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above.

GCSE Maths and English Language at Grade 4 or above (Grade C or above under the old grading structure).

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

For country specific qualifications, please visit our Your Country page.

How to apply

2018

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Part Time)
29/09/201822/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
29/09/201822/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

2019

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201920/05/2020Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201920/05/2020Apply online (Part Time)
29/09/201922/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
29/09/201922/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)