Media and Communication - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years)
September 2017

Get practical, professional preparation for a career in media with our BA (Hons) Media and Communication course, accredited by Creative Skillset and one of the UK's longest -running media degree courses.

Marsha Ramroop

Expert help and advice

Our graduates are shaping the world, achieving things they never imagined.

Marsha Ramroop gives you her top tips on how to get ahead in Media and Communication and succeed in your chosen career.

Marsha's Top Tips

What's covered in the course?

Based in Birmingham City University's £62 million Parkside facility - the biggest media centre in the UK - you can choose to specialise in events management, journalism, music industries, new media, public relations, television, radio or take this broad Media and Communication degree.

One of the first UK media degrees, our BA (Hons) Media and Communication course mirrors the workflow of the industry, offering practical, professional preparation for a rewarding career.

Helped by strong links with many influential media organisations, the course offers an industry-relevant blend of production, theory and professional studies, regardless of the pathway you choose.

The Professional and Academic Studies module prepares you for at least two placements in a media or cultural industries organisation, such as the BBC, Maverick Television, The NEC, newspapers, magazines, PR companies and local radio stations.

Teaching takes place in environments where you gain most, such as radio, TV and photography studios, editing suites, computer suites, as well as lecture theatres, seminar rooms, social learning spaces and online.

You use blogs, create wikis, and employ social media channels and other interactive media to support your work and self-development into becoming a thinking media worker.

Why Choose Us?

  • Flexibility to opt for a general study of Media and Communication, or a specialist route in radio, television, web and new media, journalism, event and exhibition industries, music industries or public relations
  • Specialised, sophisticated equipment for every area in our new £62 million home in the city centre, including six radio studios, four TV studios, the largest free-standing green screen in Europe, edit suites, music production studios and photography studios (including a half and a full infinity cove)
  • Research-informed teaching, enabling you to critically engage with contemporary debates and innovations in theory/practice
  • Huge range of guest speaker masterclasses. Past talks have included BBC newsreader Huw Edwards,  Jo Geary, UB40’s Brian Travers, Vogue fashion photographer Eliot Siegel and BSkyB’s Head of Production Services, Dave Rooke
  • The course encourages you to take creative risks and be a ‘thinking’ media worker, and you will also have the opportunity to undertake two (or more) industry placements

This course is subject to approval

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 19 November 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

This course is open to International students

Birmingham School of Media

Discover the Birmingham School of Media

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • JC Social Media Ltd
  • Nyabingi
  • SKY

And in jobs such as:

  • Television Researcher
  • Web Content Manager
  • Marketing Assistant

Sir Lenny Henry, Chancellor

Actor, writer, comedian and charitable campaigner Sir Lenny Henry is our new Chancellor.

Find out more

This course is accredited by the following organisation:

Creative Skillset Tick

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

Applicants will also need a good portfolio to bring to interview at an Applicant Visit Day. See Portfolio Guidance on the 'How to apply' tab.

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

112 UCAS tariff points from A Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2017/18
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (112 UCAS points) - does not accept points from A/S Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including merit or higher in 18 credits at Level 3
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or can be combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM (112 UCAS points)
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 56 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma 14 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 112 points, including 4 higher level passes
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 112 points, including 3 higher level passes
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Pass plus grades BB at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2017/18
IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 14 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Portfolio Guidance

We would like you to bring along some of your work which demonstrates your abilities and interest in the media. This will provide valuable support for your application and enable tutors to make a prompt decision. However, do not worry if the work you bring is not media-related as we are also looking for potential, creativity and enthusiasm.

We require you to bring the following:

  • An example of written work, such as an academic essay or report. This does not have to be media related)
  • An example of your interest in the media, such as evidence of relevant work experience or a media-related hobby
  • An example of any practical work, such as a video, website, article, some design work, radio work, photography or scripts you have produced.

Please ensure that any work you bring along is clearly labelled with your name and UCAS number.

Please note: You may bring your portfolio on a memory stick, providing the memory stick itself is well marked with your name AND the work on the memory stick is organised into a folder labelled ‘Applicant Day’. 

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

Modules include:

Researching the Media and Communication
40 credits

This module is compulsory for all Media students and will provide you with a theoretical understanding of media texts and audiences.

Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

This module is also compulsory for all Media students. It includes study skills and developing your employability, as well as a two-week placement in your first year.

Media Festival
20 credits

In this collaborative module you will produce media work around a particular theme.

The following modules have a more practical focus and will allow you to choose to study two different specialist areas. 

Introduction to Media Contexts and Practice 1
20 credits

You will choose one of the following:

  • Multiplatform Journalism
  • Music Industry Landscapes
  • Television Production
  • Introduction to Web Development
  • Events and Exhibition Planning
  • Understanding Public Relations
  • Radio Production
Introduction to Media Contexts and Practice 2
20 credits

You will choose one of the following:

  • Multiplatform Journalism
  • Music Industry Landscapes
  • Television Production
  • Introduction to Web Development
  • Events and Exhibition Planning
  • Understanding Public Relations
  • Radio Production
  • Visual Communication 
  • Photography Skills

Year two

Modules include:

Research 1
20 credits

In this module you will choose one research option from the following list:    

  • Television Studies
  • Journalism Studies
  • Popular Music Narratives
  • The New Media Industry
  • Events and Exhibition in Context
  • PR in Context
  • Radio and Audio Studies
Advanced Media Contexts and Practice
20 credits

You will choose one workshop from the following:

  •          Specialist Reporting
  •          Television Narratives
  •          Music Industries  Ecologies
  •          Advanced Web Development
  •          Event and Exhibition Production
  •          Media Content and Engagement
  •          Live Radio, Programming and Production
  •          Commercial Photography
Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

You will undertake a three-week media placement. 

Option 1
20 credits

In this module you will choose one research option from the following specialist topics:

Gender, Sexuality and the Body; Alternative Lifestyles (Pleasure, Leisure and Taboo); Comedy in the Media and Popular Culture; Race, Ethnicity and the Media; Media and Materiality; Fandoms and Subcultures; Communities if Practice: Culture, Heritage and Space; Film Cultures; Media Censorship and Regulation and Celebrity Culture.

Option 2
20 credits

In this module you will choose one practical option from the following options:

Bi-Media drama; Television Studio; Lifestyle and Branded Media Content; Campaigning and Investigative Journalism; Music, Media and Digitalisation; Digital Content Distribution; Advanced Visual Communication; Music Industry Promotional Practices; Commercial Production for Radio; Radio Documentary; Fashion Photography; Photojournalism and PR Planning and Delivery.

Live Project/ Collaborative Practice
20 credits

In this module you will undertake a Collaborative or Live Project, working with students from elsewhere in the University, or work on a real world project. 

Year three

Modules include:

Major Project
60 credits

In this module you will undertake a major project on a subject and approach of your choice. This could take the form of either a dissertation or a practice-based project. 

Option 3
20 credits

In this module you will choose one option from the following topics:

Queer Studies and Popular Culture; Sex, Texts and Activism; Science-Fiction and Fantasy; Understanding Social Media; DIY Music Cultures; Media and Music Heritage and Archives; Affect, Emotion and the Media; Promotional Culture; Transnational Radio Cultures; Cinema and the Psychoanalysis; Creativity in the Media; Technology and Transmedia Storytelling; Media Activism; Media, Crime and Deviance; Global Quality Television and Digital Public Sphere.

Professional Media Contexts and Practice
20 credits

You will choose one workshop from the following:

  • Enterprise Start-Up
  • Professional Journalism
  • Television Industry
  • Music Industries Innovation
  • New Media Incubator
  • Client based Event and Exhibition
  • Visual Communications Practice
  • Communication Management
  • Radio Station
  • Creative Camera
Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

To aid your employability, you will also take Professional and Academic Development, which includes career preparation.

Across each of the undergraduate degree routes there is an equal emphasis on production, theory and professional studies.

The Professional and Academic Development  strand of the course prepares students for at least two placements in a media or cultural industries organisation, such as the BBC, Maverick Television, Warwickshire County Cricket Club, newspapers, magazines, PR companies and local radio stations.

Teaching is conducted across a range of environments, including radio and TV studios, editing suites, computer classrooms, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, and online.

You will use blogs, create wikis and other interactive media to support their work and self-development.

All production teaching staff at the School are established media professionals who bring with them a range of expertise. They are able to recognise and respond to the rapidly changing demands of the media, ensuring that the course remains relevant to the industry.

The School maintains close contacts with a variety of media organisations including Sky, BBC, Maverick Television and Future Publishing, and visiting tutors and guest speakers regularly hold master class sessions to enhance and enrich students’ learning.

There is a thriving and inclusive research culture at the School. This includes academic staff who are research active, and UG and PG students too. The Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) in the School of Media, welcomes visiting researchers from across the world and holds regular research seminars which mix presentations from staff, PG students and speakers from a range of our collaborative partnerships. BCMCR welcomes all students to research seminars, which are free to attend.

Hours in the classroom

You will have up to 12 hours of contact time per week, plus additional studio time and directed study tasks.

Examples of recent student work

Watch this showreel for a glimpse of what some of our incredible students have created in their time at Birmingham School of Media, featuring the best in film and TV, journalism, new media, photography, radio and much more.

Teaching breakdown

37 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
58 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
5 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

Classroom activities and projects

Interactive teaching and learning is important to us, especially as this fosters an active and engaged community of thinking media workers. Twitter has been used in modules to enable more students to engage in informal, fun and diverse ways of learning. This gives students a sense of ownership of the module content and greater freedom to discuss topics through applying their own examples/practice. 

Student stories

Graduate Ella Robson tells you about what it was like to be a student at Birmingham School of Media.

Naomi Fowler

Naomi Fowler

After graduating from the university Naomi Fowler used her Media and Communication degree to secure a number of positions around the world before setting up in London as a freelance radio producer. She now produces programmes for a range of international broadcasters and enjoys the freedom she has to investigate the stories and issues that interest her in various countries.

This course is accredited by the following organisation:

Creative Skillset Tick
Creative Skillset Tick

The Creative Skillset Tick is the quality mark for excellence in training courses and education in the Creative Industries. It identifies the UK’s most industry-focused courses and apprenticeships enabling universities, colleges and employers to recruit the brightest talent.

Our Creative Skillset accreditation shows that we will provide you with industry-relevant skills and good links with companies and potential employers.

The accreditation also assures employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and skills they need.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

As a School, we invest significantly in our postgraduate provision as we recognise that more specialist and professional courses are required across the media industry. Our postgraduate courses include MA Event and Exhibition Management, MA Media Production, MA Public Relations, MA Multi-Platform and Mobile Journalism, MA Media and Cultural Research.

See full list of our postgraduate media courses

Student stories Fiona Denning

Communications Specialist at NHS QEHB

Fiona Denning is a multiple graduate of Birmingham City University. After graduating with her first degree, BA (Hons) Media and Communication, Fiona’s career got off to a flying start, taking responsibility for city centre communications for the West Midlands Police. Keen to make more of her skills Fiona soon returned to the university to improve her career prospects with a part-time CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relation) postgraduate diploma. It was a commitment that certainly paid off.

Throughout her career Fiona has found that skills that she acquired during her studies have proved invaluable

Trips and Visits

There is are a wealth of opportunities for students. Some modules include trips and visits, whilst others bring in guest speakers and arrange masterclasses.

Enhancing your employability skills

Our track record for graduate employment is excellent, with the majority of graduates going into a media-related role. Each course opens up specific employability avenues related to the production route chosen. A high number of graduates have gone into producer/director roles, journalism, public relations, web development, freelance, and setting up their own businesses. 

Exhibit This

Our third year students showcase their final year work at our Exhibit This event at the end of each academic year. It offers a springboard for our graduates and a chance for industry to spot emerging talent.


The School strongly believes in the practical application of learning and is fortunate to have very strong links with employers and the media industry. Students on placements have worked with a wide range of organisations including the BBC, Maverick Television and Endemol.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our media and communication course is most popular with international students from:  

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.

State-of-the-art facilities

You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.

Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.

Our four broadcast-standard edit suites are based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. Our six digital radio studios are all linked an equipped with the best news and production software.

You will have access to our full broadcast-standard dubbing suites, which are based on a multi-layered ProTools desk and can dub both film and TV with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. We also have an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound).

The Parkside Building

The Parkside Building has been designed to maximise light and encourage collaboration between artists and students. It is the perfect setting for the workshops and teaching spaces of our design courses, as well as the state-of-the-art media centre for the advanced teaching facilities of Birmingham School of Media.

All this ensures that The Parkside Building offers a first class learning environment and a true central location for students in Birmingham City Centre.

Our Staff

Our teaching staff comprises specialists in their respective fields, including academics and industry professionals, all of whom are perfectly placed to offer a wealth of experience and knowledge. Birmingham School of Media students also benefit from access to high-profile guest speakers from across the industry.

A dynamic community that is responsive to the changing face of the media industry, Birmingham School of Media is the perfect starting point to your media career.

Sue Heseltine

Programme Director for BA (Hons) Media and Communication and Award Leader for MA Freelancing and Journalism Enterprise

During her professional career she spent more than 20 years as a working journalist in the print and broadcasting industries.

She started out on her local weekly newspaper, the Craven Herald and Pioneer at Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales. She then went on to work for regional newspapers in South Wales and the North of England, including The Star in Sheffield and the Yorkshire Post in Leeds. She has also worked for BBC Radio Sheffield and spent eight years as a TV journalist working mainly for Yorkshire’s regional news programme, Calendar, as well as for Sky News and Granada TV.

Dr Gemma Commane

Lecturer in Media and Communications

Dr Gemma Commane is a Lecturer in Media and Communications, and an active researcher in the fields of media and cultural studies, and gender and sexuality. Gemma’s academic background is in Media and Cultural Studies, with a BA in Communication, Culture and Media (Coventry University, 2005) and an MA in Continental Philosophy (University of Warwick, 2006). Gemma’s PhD (awarded by University of Kent in 2012) was a sociological and ethnographic enquiry into female sexual identity in burlesque, fetish and BDSM clubbing cultures. She is committed to social and cultural change and was part of the research team for CITISPYCE (funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme) at Aston University in 2015. Her research interests focus on contemporary cultural studies, gender and sexuality, queer studies, dirt and stigma, burlesque striptease and queer performance art, the pornography debate, alternative femininities and ethnography. She is currently working on several areas of research, specifically: bad girls and dirty bodies, queering sexualities and protest, ethnography and affective research, and ‘Kinktrepreneurship, Sexwork and Social Media.’

Faye Davies

Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Theory, and Deputy Programme Director BA (Hons) Media and Communication

Faye Davies is Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Theory at the Birmingham School of Media. She joined the University in 2001.

Her expertise lies in Media and Cultural theory, particularly in the areas of television, developing pedagogical approaches for media education and digital cultures.

Faye has also presented various papers in the United States on representations of sexuality and the development of media education at conferences across the United Kingdom. She is also a Senior Examiner for the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance.

Social Media and Websites

Twitter: @fayedavies

Vanessa Jackson

Degree Leader in Television

Course director Vanessa worked as a BBC series producer, working on factual and documentary programmes, lifestyle and makeover shows, and live studio and outside broadcasts. She also worked as a project manager for the BBC series ‘Coast’, and was part of the team to win the first BAFTA to be awarded for interactivity.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295