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University of Surrey, Media, Culture and Society Personal Statement

Media, Culture and Society , University of Surrey

Media is the backbone of our society. In the twenty-first century, it is inevitable that we are all influenced in some way. For several years now I have had a fascination with the role media plays in our society, from the way we are socialised to believe what is right and wrong, to how the industry giants filter information to our TV, mobile and computer devices. I have been greatly influenced by innovative technology and its unremitting relationship with social media, allowing me to be up to date at a click of a button. This is why I have such an admiration for both the industry and an excitement of future possibilities within this course. 

I am currently studying Film Studies, Communication & Culture and Sociology at A level. In addition, during my first year at college, I completed AS Media Studies. I have come to realise that there is a strong connection between each of the subject areas and feel that progressing to further study of Media and Sociology, is of most interest to me. In Film Studies, I have been particularly intrigued by the way film acts as a mirror to society. This idea was evident in a recent piece of work in which I explored social realism in 1960s kitchen sink drama films such as ‘Billy Liar’ and ‘Alfie’. I have enjoyed developing my ability to analyse and critique society, supported by a sound grasp of research methodology. Sociology and Communication & Culture have particularly helped in this regard. I have also appreciated the opportunity to keep using my mathematic skills in Sociology to interpret and critically use data and statistical research. Communication & Culture has provided a bridge between my other subjects – especially around the study of culture, teaching me to use classical sociological theories in the modern media, such as Stanley Cohen’s theory of ‘Folk Devils and Moral Panics’. At school I was elected to be a member of the school council committee, allowing me to voice the thoughts and feelings of my peers. I was also chosen to be a School Prefect. These roles allowed me to develop my leadership and communication skills, vital in group discussions. I have played football in a team since the age of eight, and in recent years had the honour of becoming club captain. My aptitude for leadership was exercised allowing me to encourage and lead my teammates to success through direction, discussion and recognising their strengths. I have furthered these skills through a part time job in Sainsbury’s Restaurant, which has taught me the rewards of hard work and good time keeping, attributes that I will benefit from in higher education. During my work experience placement at Snell Advanced Media I focused on the way in which TV is distributed to the public. I learnt the infinite values speed and competition have in today’s society. I have attended several international field trips to culturally diverse destinations including Berlin and New York. I found New York was the highlight as it was an invaluable experience that showed the sheer range of diverse cultures in such a small area; a topic I believe would be an interesting area of study. Our visits included Radio City Music Hall and the World Trade Centre Memorial, both of which have such historical media connections. This first hand experience has increased my hunger to study other diverse cultures from around the world; this course enabling me to attain this. 

The course I have chosen is ideal for me to continue my study of the media and our society, and how they have such a significant affect on one another. I believe that not only the course, but also university life as a whole will develop who I am as a person, increasing my confidence through meeting new people and developing specific skills whilst taking the opportunity to learn within the industry. Although I am unsure, as yet, of which career path to take after Higher Education, I am adamant that this course will guide me to a decision.