Media and Communication (New Media) - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years)
September 2017

We are a pioneering institution, delivering some of the first UK media degrees. The BA (Hons) Media and Communication (New Media) is a specialist pathway of Birmingham City University’s Media and Communication degree programme—this means that alongside specialist new media modules, you’ll also get to study production and theory related to areas like journalism, PR, television, radio, music industries, events and photography.

With strong industry links and an emphasis on live projects which mirror the workflow of the industry, our course offers practical, professional preparation for a rewarding career or for further study.

What's covered in the course?

Helped by strong links with influential organisations, the course offers an industry-relevant blend of production, theory and professional studies.

Specialist teaching takes place in our new media production studios and you will also benefit from access to world class radio, TV and photography facilities, as well as lecture theatres, seminar rooms, and social learning spaces.

From the technical and visual design skills needed to create effective websites to engagement with emerging technologies, this pathway explores new approaches to media publishing and online promotion. Innovation-led, it places you at the forefront of new media production and prepares you to play an influential role in any media team. You are closely supported by exceptional facilities and by staff with their fingers on the pulse of new media innovation.

“The facilities are excellent, along with the industry professional lecturers. I think it is great that we have to do a placement each year, as it encourages students to think beyond university.” National Student Survey comment

Why Choose Us?

  • Two (or more) industry placements give you invaluable insight, contacts and lessons from life.
  • Enjoy the supportive guidance and contemporary perspective of staff who are established media professionals.
  • We run a huge range of guest speaker masterclasses, which have included newsreader Huw Edwards, UB40’s Brian Travers, Vogue fashion photographer Eliot Siegel and Jo Geary, EMEA Lead for Twitter Moments.
  • Mixing media production skills with an academic study of the industry, the course encourages you to take creative risks and be a ‘thinking’ media worker, able to adapt to a fast-moving industry and lead change, not just be a cog in a machine.

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:

  • Goodpixel

And in jobs such as:

  • Web Developer
  • UX Designer
  • Social Media Consultant

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. 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 112 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) combined with other level 3 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

From A Level, not including A/S Levels

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.

Introduction to Media Contexts and Practice 1: Introduction to Web Development
20 credits

From a base level of no knowledge, you are introduced to core concepts in web code. Successful students in this module will be able to produce websites in the real world, giving them a valuable opportunity for work experience.

Introduction to Media Contexts and Practice 2
20 credits

You will have a choice of the following workshops:

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

Year two

Modules include:

The New Media Industry
20 credits

In this module you will discuss core debates and issues related to the new media industry. We believe that theory and research will allow you to develop critical insights into what is “new”, into who can access the new and who can make the new. We believe that these insights can enable you to be a champion not just for innovation but for innovation which is responsible, and fair.

Advanced Media Contexts and Practice: Advanced Web Development
20 credits

With a focus on employability this module explores current industry practice, tools and languages. You will be taught core advanced coding skills, replicating a real world professional environment. You will then deliver a project demonstrating the culmination of this learning.

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.

The one most relevant to your specialism is, Digital Content Distribution. On this module you will explore the topics of innovation, online community and interactivity through consideration of new and emerging media distribution techniques. You will experiment with new forms of storytelling and will look at a range of distribution tools and networks. 

Live Project/ Collaborative Practice: Creative Technology Workshop
20 credits

You will be encouraged to review and engage with a wide range of leading edge technologies in order to recognise opportunities for innovation within the media industries. The module is delivered through a series of ‘hackday’-style workshops, culminating in a group demonstration of a prototype that communicates a new innovative product or service that utilises new technologies.

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: New Media Incubator
20 credits

Level Six students are on the verge of completing their degree, but this is not the end of learning. Industry changes and the skills and techniques needed to develop and thrive as a (new) media worker change, too. This module focuses on professional and personal development, on becoming a lifelong learner, and on being an innovative practitioner.

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 and academic development.

The Professional and Academic Development strand of the course prepares students for at least two placements in a media or cultural industries organisation. These could be in the digital teams at organisations such as the BBC or Maverick Television or within a specialist digital agency.

Teaching is conducted across a range of environments, with specialist teaching focused on the new media production suites and other media work using facilities such as radio and TV studios, editing suites, a newsroom, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, and online.

You will use blogs, create wikis and other interactive media to support your 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, as well as smaller organisations with international reputations within industry. Visiting tutors and guest speakers regularly hold masterclass sessions to enhance and enrich students’ learning.

Hours in the classroom

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

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 

Web design

Through tutor-led workshops, you will learn the basics of web design. No previous coding skills are necessary but by the end of your first module you’ll be able to produce a crisp, contemporary website from scratch.

Web development

Through a mix of live or collaborative projects, as well as taught modules, you will build on your web design skills and knowledge to develop and integrate web apps and to engage with other digital technologies, producing exciting and innovative user experiences.

Telling stories

Through theory and practice classes you will explore how different forms of media allow stories to be told in different ways. You will then explore this through practical work, telling your own stories through innovative new media production. Think story-driven games like Depression Quest, media-rich journalism like Snowfall and innovative multimedia video like The Wilderness Downtown—these are the things that will inspire you, but what you make, well, that will be something altogether new.

Skills for industry, skills for life

Following your own interests, in your third year you’ll map trends relevant to your future career and then develop a project which will allow you to learn the skills you need to fulfil your personal goals. In the past students have developed apps for Android and iPhone, produced custom fonts to use in their web projects, or pushed their knowledge of WordPress (a platform which powers over a quarter of the web). This module is about getting you ready for the work that you really want to do on graduation and about making sure you are an independent, lifelong learner.  

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 and MA Media and Creative Enterprise.

See full list of our postgraduate media courses

Student work

Chris’s final year project required him to learn game development from scratch. He delivered a project in the “real world”, a playable game available through various app stores, and this secured him a chance to study game design and work at Oulu Game Camp, in Oulu, Finland.

Enhancing your employability skills

This course is designed for students who want to develop a career in web design and development, or any of the fast-growing areas of new media production, such as gaming and app development.

Students will begin by learning how to create websites, as well as building general visual design skills. As students progress they will engage with emerging technologies, and consider how to prepare themselves to be life long learners, always at the forefront of new media production.

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+

Graduate jobs

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/own business.

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

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.

Jon Hickman

Degree Leader, Web and New Media

Jon researches and publishes work on digital culture and creative industries, specifically exploring social media. This work is applied to his role as the Degree Leader for Web and New Media within our undergraduate programmes, and his teaching on the MA Social Media.

His industry experience in new media also makes him a key member of our Knowledge Transfer team.

Prior to joining the Birmingham School of Media and the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural research as an academic, Jon worked in the creative industries in Birmingham for eight years on new media and film production projects. Prior to this he was a student of the School of Media.

One of Jon's first tasks when he joined the Birmingham School of Media was to provide technical assistance to the AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship (KTF) team, helping them to build prototypes as part of their projects. Jon has since led or developed a number of knowledge transfer projects, including several Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) projects and the Digital Champions project for Birmingham City Council.

Jon teaches across a number of programmes in the Birmingham School of Media; specialist areas taught include web and social media production techniques, innovation and enterprise, social media, visual culture, and digital culture.

Jon also leads the BA (Hons) Media and Communication (New Media) degree specialism within the School, including evaluating and developing our courses, as well as networking with industry and recruiting and managing visiting lecturers and guest speakers.

Jon is an external examiner to the PgCert Digital Media Communication at the University of Ulster and to the BA (Hons) Advertising at University College Falmouth.

Previous Experience
  • Knowledge based supervisor, various KTP projects
  • Project management and KT delivery, Digital Champion
  • Local Researcher, Creative Metropoles
  • Reviewer for Higher Education Academy Doctoral Programme
  • Programme Committee, Making Sense of Microposts, 2010-2011
  • Various peer reviews of books and articles
  • External expert for revalidation, Coventry University
  • Chair, Sutton Coldfield Festival of Arts
  • Convenor and Speaker, Digital Britain Unconference - West Midlands
  • AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship, Technical Developer
  • Account Manager and Creative - web and graphic design industry.
Social Media and Websites

Twitter: @jonhickman

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