Media can influence politics, social change, finances and even global initiatives, and most Media Studies degrees will focus on these aspects.
What is Media Studies?
Media Studies at university is a bit different from a media studies GCSE or a media studies A Level.
So what do you do in Media Studies? Well, a Media Studies degree will focus on everything from TV and film, to magazine journalism, newspaper journalism and also on various aspects of media culture, whether that be yellow journalism, clickbait or propaganda. While these subjects are touched on during a GCSE media studies course or an A Level media studies course, you will now have a more fundamental understanding of the core topics.
Media Studies aren’t just used for film, journalism or TV. There are plenty of people who go onto take jobs in public relations or social media roles. In many ways, a Media Studies degree, is similar to a Communications degree as they cover a varying and wide range of topics and tend to focus on a lot of seperate, external facets that can affect the industries.
More universities have started offering subjects such as feminist media studies, which foucses on the way women are portrayed in general media, the inequalities of the genders and on specifics such as the Bechdel Test.
What can I do with a Media Studies degree?
There are a number of jobs available with a Media Studies degree. Magazine journalism and newspaper journalism are great places to start and they leave a lot open for opportunities elsewhere. This doesn’t mean that you would need to necessarily start work as a writer, you could also look into work in editing, picture licensing, legal or even research. This would also lead nicely into work for online journalism roles as well, maybe digital copywriting as well.
Working with a brand or organisation might be more your wheel house. Working in PR is a great way to start a long and successful career and will encompass all of the areas that you will learn about when doing a Media Studies degree or a WJEC media studies A Level. PR has a great way of being able to open up other media studies jobs.
It can be difficult to find work immediately in the world of media, given how competitive the job market is for it and how popular the jobs are.
What can you do with a Media Studies degree
Just because your degree has a focus on the media and it’s impact on society, that doesn't mean that you can't look at other jobs. There are plenty of careers available for students having just studied media studies university or a communication and media studies degree, such as HR, journalism, recruitment or even teacher.
Many people also go into radio broadcasting as well. Radio broadcasting is a great way of not only getting air time, but also of utilising your degree in a smart way. Most media studies past papers will focus on radio work and you will have likely done a lot of research into the world of radio broadcasting, so why not give it a shot!?
Though media studies key words are “media” and “studies”, there are still plenty of chances to look into management roles as well. A social media studies degree is great for these kinds of roles and will help your interpersonal skills as well as your understanding of the cultures of other people and also the politics that can often dominate the office environment.
What A Levels do I need?
The A Levels required will depend very much on the course that you end up studying. Now, whether you end up studying a film and media studies degree or you end up studying a media and cultural studies degree or any other kind of Media Studies degree, having a Media Studies A Level or any qualification that shows that you have studied media studies theories willbe of help. Just make sure that you still meet the university’s university entry requirements and the UCAS Tariff Points.
What are my Media Studies study options?
Media Studies will cover a diverse range of topics and will likely cover many more as university applications expand.
The most common kind are:
- General Media Studies
- Feminist Media Studies
- Film and TV
- Publishing and Journalism
- Representation in media studies
- Arts, Craft and Design
- Broadcast Media
- Performing Arts
- Creative Writing
These degrees tend to cover a wide range of topics and they all usually become encompassed at some point, however, these particular courses are a great way to learn more about the world of media.
The best universities for media studies UK will have their own facilities to help students who are studying this course. Many colleges may have their own TV studios to record in, but universities tend to have way more of offer, such as post-production facilities, well-stocked libraries, visual media presentation departments and will also have access to the latest in production equipment across film, TV and music, so it will be a bit different from the media studies A Level revision you will have done before.
There will also likely be a good in for students. Sometimes, lecturers and teachers are people who have worked in the industry and have established a wide web of contacts, aside from that, there are also job fairs or industry events that will be promoted as well.
Though media studies key words are “media” and “studies”, there are still plenty of chances to look into management roles as well.
What should I expect from studying a Media Studies degree?
A Media Studies degree is a good way to learn more about new types of technology as well. Social media has expanded our palete for news and content and has also expanded a number of company’s main ways of getting their messages out there into the world.
Depending on the modules you're doing, you will learn about a number of interesting ways to focus on getting a brand’s message into the world or of the ways that various people use their various platforms. Examples of this would Donald Trump, who uses his Twitter account to spread his message to the world, but also to debunk what he considers to be “fake news”.
Theoretical modules will look at the psychology of this kind of behaviour, but will also look at how these ideas come to fruition in the first place.
How will I be assessed?
Usually, a Media Studies degree will have a practical and theoretical module, but the practical element may depend on your course and university. Your media studies revision will inform how your coursework and this is the most likely way you will be assessed.
Some university media studies degree courses require students to present multimedia presentations, displaying the work they’ve done and also to present the points that a lecturer may ask them to bring up in a single unit.
There will be examinations for some courses as well. While AQA media studies A Level past papers might not be of help to a university student, they should give you an insight into the sort of topics you're likely to cover.
What skills will I learn from a Media Studies degree?
Media Studies will set you up for a good career, but you will also learn a lot about how media plays a big part in all of our lives as well. You may even find yourself noticing the tactics of certain politicians and certain companies to grab people’s attention and be even better and weeding out misinformation or yellow journalism.
Media Studies aren’t just used for film, journalism or TV. There are plenty of people who go onto take jobs in public relations or social media roles.
What happens after I graduate?
It can be difficult to find work immediately in the world of media, given how competitive the job market is for it and how popular the jobs are. So students may need to get used to the idea of unpaid work for a while, maybe some student internships. Some students may have already done some work during their courses as part of a sandwich course.
Postgraduate qualifications are also an option, such as studying a Masters Degree. Many students also decide to go into the world of teaching by studying a PGCE degree, so studying this at a postgraduate level is a good option too.