Subject Guide

Communications Degree

Uni Compare  · Dec 7th 2023

Students who are interested in the news, or why certain videos go viral, or the work that happens behind the camera will be interested in studying Media or Communications.

Stanley Kubrick

When you graduate with a degree in communications, you’ll be excited about all the different career opportunities communications degree in your future, even with a communications online degree. Communications graduates typically have excellent people skills, brand awareness and technical skills in writing and speaking, making them well-matched for a range of communications-based careers. So, exactly what is a communications degree going to get you into?

Read on to find out.

Communications Degree

What can I do with a communications degree?

You could consider a career in journalism with a media communications degree or a technical communications degree. Magazine journalism is excellent for graduates with a particular passion or interest, while newspaper journalism is fast-paced and varied in its day-to-day experiences. Both require absolute adherence to deadlines, so are best-suited to organised adrenaline seekers.

You could also go into web content creation and online journalism, which you can still do with an online media communications degree. For many of these writing roles, your media and communications degree will be sufficient, but you might also look into NCTJ qualifications to further polish your application.

Perhaps PR (public relations) is more your cup of tea? Working with a particular brand or organisation, you would be responsible for creating and maintaining their good reputation. In similar fields of public persuasion, you could go into advertising, marketing, become a publicist, or social media manager, running the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram presences of a business or company.

Another great way to use a communications degree is to become an events organiser. Your solid planning skills, strong communication and networking abilities will set you in good stead for this freelance opportunity. And this is just the beginning. See where else a degree in communications can lead to…

Marg Helgenberger, who played CSI Catherine Willows in CSI studied media and communications

What can you do with a communications degree

As someone who has developed their interpersonal skills to a professional extent, a career in HR can be an interesting option for communications graduates, and is an opportunity that exists in a vast range of sectors and industries. Similarly, sales would make good use of a communications degree and can also happen in a range of settings, even including travel as part of the role.

If you’re aiming for glamour, the skills required by an on-air radio broadcaster overlap significantly with the strengths you’ve built up over your media and communications degree. And have you thought about going into politics? You could assist with speechwriting, press statements, think-tank organisation, policy research or writing published materials.

Management roles (in retail, leisure, food services, etc.), project management and producer roles all hinge on organisational abilities, motivational skills, interpersonal qualities and business knowledge, so these would be a good fit for anyone with a communications degree UK who likes the idea of leading a team.

If the idea of further study seems attractive to you, scroll down the page to read about some of your options in the section, ‘What can I study after Communications?’ Finally, you might look into becoming a paralegal, or taking a completely different direction via a graduate training scheme or even a communications master degree.

Communication and Media Studies degrees prepare students for working in the media industry, and analysing the way media represents, reflects and influences audiences. Unfortunately, some may view media and communication degrees as ‘easy’ subjects without decent job prospects (the same with a communications degree online), when in truth, the media industry is one that is continually growing and will always be in need for smart, creative and hardworking graduates and will also have possible careers with a communications degree.

Media and communication courses vary from theoretical and practical modules enabling students to create pieces and to study the history and theory behind why the media is the way it is.

Communications Degree

What A Levels do I need?

Universities will typically like their students to have related subjects, such as Media Studies qualifications at GCSE and A-Level, and any humanities or social science subjects will be an advantage. The entry requirements will vary depending on the institution, ranging from BBB to ABB, and anything above 128 UCAS tariff points.

Students are advised to conduct research into their desired courses and chosen universities to establish what entry requirements are needed for admission.

You can also see our Communications Studies personal statement examples; these will help you to gain an insight into what you need for your personal statement.

What are my study options?

There are many different types of degrees available within media and communications – as it features a diverse range of topics. Students can study from the following the options (no doubt there will always be new courses available): communications, Film and Media, Film, Photography and Media, Web Design and Media, Communication and Journalism, Media and Journalism, Japanese (any language) and media, new media.

The majority of degrees in this field are the standard three years in length, and sandwich courses are not that common either. Many universities encourage students to apply for work experience placements to gain valuable skills and experience to aid them upon graduation and help them find jobs with degree in communications.

Universities will typically have relationships with businesses already, visiting university open days, allows students to speak with pupils and lectures and will be able to find out what partnerships they have already. Students should try to gain as much experience as they can alongside their degree to help them when they graduate as they will be entering a competitive job market.

Communications offer joint study which can widen employment opportunities upon graduation.

What should I expect from communications Studies?

We are entering a digital age (so a digital communications degree would be very useful), and there has never been a more interesting time to study Media and Communications. There are new platforms, new ways of communication, and room for ethical debates and research that students will study throughout their courses.

Depending on the modules students study, this area offers both practical and theoretical study options. Practical modules can offer students skills in creating blogs, websites, journalistic features, design pieces as well as filming and editing their own short film.

Theoretical modules will focus on the theory and ‘science’ behind all of this work, looking at techniques, historical perspectives and looking at society in a different light.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will depend on the module, whether coursework or practical work is needed to be assessed. Through practical work, students are usually asked to submit a written piece alongside their project which is also assessed.

There will be coursework, written examinations, group discussions, presentations and project work, each institution will vary with how the course is assessed, so choosing the right university and course is vital for students to tailor degrees to their own preferences.

Communications Degree

What skills will I learn from communications Studies?

Media and communications aim to equip students to become informed citizens of society within a media-saturated society. Candidates will study content, reception and production of media, and understand the social production of meanings and ideas and how these are circulated. Students will develop skills and insight into the analysis of different media texts, including audio, moving images, print and visual. If practical modules are studied, students will learn skills related to that area of study – from web design to editing software and other elements covered in a college degree in communications.

Students who attend university will gain skills and disciplines that can be used later in life and within the world of work. University offers individuals the chance to learn transferable skills within the organisation, time management and working towards a deadline, as well as social skills through presentation assessment and group work.

There are many different types of degrees available within media and communications – as it features a diverse range of topics.

Why study communications Studies?

Communications offer joint study which can widen employment opportunities upon graduation. This area offers insight into how our modern world works, how we react to media events and how embedded media is to our everyday and popular culture.

What happens after I graduate?

The media industry is notoriously competitive and challenging to get into, and one way to securing employment is to complete unpaid work experience or student internships to prove they have the experience and the know-how to do the job.

Students are advised to complete work experience throughout their degree to enhance job prospects when they graduate – as everyone will be graduating at the same time and have the same qualification on offer.

Postgraduate qualifications are options for those who wish to obtain extra training or to become specialised in their studies and skills.

Communications Degree

Will it help me get a job?

Particular job areas that students can consider are; Media Planner, Programme Researchers, Public Relations Officer, Television Runner, Producer and Multimedia Planner, although they may require a Marketing and Communications degree and you’ll also see a brief visual communications degree overview too.

What career can you get with a communications degree?

Examples of entry-level jobs with a communications degree or jobs for graphic communications degree include; Content Author, Digital Media Executive, Research Intern, Social Media Policy Advisor, Editorial Intern, PR Executive/Assistant, Reporter, Policy Intern, Teaching Assistant, Campaign Executive and Project Manager, there are slo other jobs that require a degree in communications too.

Theoretical modules will focus on the theory and ‘science’ behind all of this work, looking at techniques, historical perspectives and looking at society in a different light

What can I study after communications Studies?

An exciting range of masters degree in communications and research degrees are on offer, from MA in Print, Magazine and or Broadcast Journalism, International Communications, Gender, Media and Culture, and an MA in Media and Communications.

Famous communications Studies Alumni

Marg Helgenberger, who played CSI Catherine Willows in CSI studied media and Charlton Heston; actor also studied Communications at the School of Communications of Northwestern University. David Letterman, host of The Late Show, studied communications at Ball State University.

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