facebook BA (Hons) Media Communications and Publishing – Bath Spa University

Media Communications and Publishing

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Media Communications and Publishing
School/s
School of Creative Industries
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: PP34 or S149
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC or above.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Challenge the global media landscape with this practical and research-led Media degree.

  • Build up a diverse portfolio that demonstrates your knowledge of the changing media landscape.
  • Learn the current theoretical debates and contemporary media practices across TV, music, social media and more.
  • Develop practical and strategic skills, to better understand audiences and how to communicate new ideas with them.

Ever wondered why the media tells stories and represents people the way that it does? Or how the film, TV, music and game industries transform wider society and culture? Or how social media shapes how we perceive, consume and participate in everyday life?

BA Media Communications develops the research skills you need to make sense of these questions, and looks across contemporary media industries – their audiences, interactive platforms and representations – at a local, national and global level.

We want you to develop the collaborative and digital skills you’ll need to participate in and across media platforms. You’ll benefit from a creative blend of practical and research-led approaches, to better equip you with the skills you’ll need to understand audiences and how to communicate new ideas with them.

“An engaging and dynamic course that has equipped me with both the analytical and practice-based skills necessary to work within the ever-changing media environment.”

Media Communications Graduate, 2014

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll examine and research media in a global context, exploring how new digital technologies shape how we perceive, consume, and participate in everyday media.

You’ll map how cultures of production shape media audiences, and explore questions of global citizenship.

We expose you to a range of creative and professional practices, including skills in media research, social enterprise and media making.

Across the three years, you’ll build up a diverse portfolio of research insights and reflective media artefacts that demonstrate your knowledge of the changing media landscape, before working towards a final-year creative dissertation project that communicates original media research to an industry audience. This is your chance to directly test out and share your research ideas with the South West’s media and creative industries.

Course structure

Year one
Modules equip you with the essential critical toolkit for understanding and analysing the contemporary media and conducting media research. You’ll examine media technologies, popular cultures, media ownership, media representations and media branding, and use social tools to gain practical media-making skills. You’ll be introduced to some of the key methods in media research through a series of case studies including gender in the media, television audiences, journalism, media preservation and music cultures.

Year two
You’ll question global media cultures, examining – for example – how the media transcends the borders of platforms, audiences, cultures, industries and countries. Alongside this, you’ll study the impacts of a global media culture on everything from production to consumption. You’ll have the opportunity to develop your skills in media-making, while further examining these themes in relation to more specific areas, such as stardom and celebrity, journalism and citizenship, music and digital cultures.

Year three
We'll encourage you to specialise in an area that interests you, and to develop independent research and/or practice. This manifests in the form of a dissertation, with specialist modules available in gender and film, media technology, fandom, music journalism, computer and video games. We’ll explore the central role that these play in our leisure time, community media, and how disasters and terrorism are reported.

How will I be assessed?

Media Communications is a theoretical course with a practical component. Assessments therefore range from essays, professional writing, presentations, reviews and feature writing, to cross-media presentations, object history work and industry reports and investigations. You’ll also learn through the creation of journals, research logs and portfolios, blog posts and collaborative projects.

How will I be taught?

Our teaching is driven by the research specialisms and expertise of staff, who are all world-leading scholars in their respective fields within Media Communications. Teaching may also come from the University’s specialist technical demonstrators.

Lectures set out broad themes and issues, while seminars stimulate discussion and encourage student debate. Individual tutorials provide an opportunity to discuss your work with tutors on a one-to-one basis.

You’ll also learn via workshops devoted to particular skills such as media research, and in project labs, you’ll work with staff and fellow students to develop a media project.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Media Today I
  • Media Today II
  • Introduction to Television
  • Popular Media Culture
  • Digital Practice
  • Create Lab

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Global Media
  • Promotional Media
  • Digital Culture
  • Music, Media and Markets
  • Television, Representation and Gender
  • Stardom and Celebrity
  • Participatory Media
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Dissertation I
  • Dissertation II
  • Digital Innovation and Enterprise
  • Videogames
  • Feminist Film Criticism
  • Popular Music Journalism

Opportunities

Work placements, industry links and internships

At various points throughout the course, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in media production projects and to undertake work-volunteering and work placement opportunities.

Careers

Media Communications at Bath Spa is ideal for aspiring:

  • Media researchers and creative strategists
  • Advertisers and digital media marketers
  • Social media and branding creatives
  • Academics and media policy-makers of the future.

The Media Communications team is made up of world-leading researchers and creatives who are all engaged in international media industry collaborations.

You’ll benefit from these industry collaborations, feeding into live media industry projects, as well as having unique access to the Centre for Media Research’s in-house International Journal of Creative Media Research and its range of public research workshops and activities across Bath and Bristol.

Our graduates have gone into marketing, social media and advertising, project management, PR, education, and more, have been employed by companies including Komedia, Conversation Creation, Apollo Strategic Communications and John Lewis.

Competitions and awards

Each year we award The Media Communications Prize for Excellence in Research to one of our students.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Resources

Media Communications students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment, from industry standard television studios, to state-of-the-art editing software and Mac Labs, equal to anything found at cutting-edge commercial organisations and broadcast companies.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for enthusiastic and motivated students who want to become the researchers, content creators and policy-makers of the future. We value creative thinking, originality and a good knowledge of contemporary media, so the abilities to think critically and identify new opportunities are important traits we look for in candidates.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A-level – grades CCC preferred.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted
  • International Baccalaureate – A minimum score of 26 points required
  • Access to HE courses – Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course contact: Suman Ghosh
Email: s.ghosh@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course
With placement year

Study Publishing as a joint subject and learn to shape stories, information and ideas for print and digital.

  • 100% of our Publishing graduates were in work/further study six months after graduating (DLHE).
  • This is the UK's first creative and digital studio-based BA Publishing course.
  • Our graduates have been employed by BBC, Taylor and Francis and Penguin Random House.

Publishing at Bath Spa is characterised by innovative approaches, creative studio-based collaborative working, and high-quality making across all published forms from handmade and print to digital and live.

Publishing is one of the UK’s largest creative industries, which shapes and presents content across a wide range of subjects. Publishers find an audience for a variety of publications, from books and magazines to innovative apps and websites.

We’ll equip you with a wide range of the latest digital making skills, such as Adobe InDesign, web and multimedia social content, alongside core publishing skills such as copywriting and editing, design, layout and marketing.

Through collaborative project development, you'll acquire essential creative skills in working with others, carving out your own role and achieving high-quality results. You’ll graduate with industry experience and a stunning digital portfolio of your work.

“Adding Publishing to my degree has given me a huge range of opportunities and an advantage over others when applying for jobs. I have really enjoyed every moment of the course.”

Frances Bircher, BA (Hons) History and Publishing graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll graduate with essential publishing skills, from writing persuasive, concise copy and text editing, to communicating brand identity and audience research. We’ll teach you how to layout content and manipulate images using industry-standard software, with opportunities to develop your skills in image use, video; photography; app creation; and HTML.

Additional modules offer the chance to specialise and deepen your knowledge and skill base, and to work on larger personal projects linked to your career aims.

Course structure

Year one
We’ll introduce you to core publishing principles, with a focus on copywriting and editing. You’ll become familiar with layout, production and publishing software. There will be weekly deadlines, so you’ll get used to turning around work quickly and in a well-presented form. Alongside this you’ll start to build an in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry.

Year two
You’ll gain greater insight into particular areas of publishing, such as marketing, editorial and design. Optional modules allow you to delve deeper into areas such as illustrated books, fiction editing, and the use of publishing skills for social enterprise and charity work.

Year three
Tutors will guide you to focus your skills and knowledge around your personal creative and career interests. You’ll be encouraged to develop your individual approach as a creator, curator or project manager; your final portfolio will reflect this, showcasing your work for prospective employers. Optional modules cover magazines, book commissioning, digital literary studies, cookery publishing, and children’s books.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed by coursework, including portfolios, essays, feature articles, reflective commentaries and reports. In some modules you’ll share your work through short, informal presentations.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through creative workshops, skills labs, seminars and lectures. You will learn to be adept at project management and product development following a research and development process. We work on-screen and beyond: creating sketchbooks; making physical prototypes; getting out and meeting people; finding opportunities.

Throughout the course, you’ll work to briefs set by your tutors or industry collaborators, as well as working on your own projects. We expect you to work with flair and enthusiasm, taking your ideas and developing them into industry standard work.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Introduction to Publishing
  • Introduction to Editing and Production
  • Create Lab
  • Introduction to Journalism 

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • The Book Publishing Industry
  • Experiments in Book-Making
  • The Independent Magazine
  • The Editor
  • Social Enterprise
  • Science Journalism and Publishing
  • Professional Placement Year 

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Digital Publishing
  • Publishing Industry Project
  • The Commissioning Editor
  • Children’s Publishing
  • Digital Content Strategy

Opportunities

Study abroad

Students can choose to study abroad; this is a great opportunity to develop knowledge of other book markets as publishing is an international industry.

Field trips

From visiting bookbinders and letterpress companies to climbing Britain’s tallest spire and visiting bookshops for talks and research, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in field trips across the Publishing modules.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Students have the opportunity to work on live projects and collaborations. We have worked with international and local clients such as TEDxBristol, X Media Lab, the National Trust, Forest of Imagination arts events, and Bath Film Festival.

With our support, many students carry out work experience and freelance work. The Publishing lecturers have had a great amount of experience in the industry, putting us in an excellent position to help students and graduates with networking opportunities.

We support applications for the Parragon Books paid internships and work with industry contacts to develop internship and work experience opportunities for students. 

The 'Future Publishers' initiative aims to encourage new publishing talent and increase diversity in the industry. Since 2011, Publishing staff and students have delivered inspiring magazine and book-making workshops for children and young people in schools and at live events e.g. Forest of Imagination

Students have also worked on Social Media Experiment, a tutor-directed project creating live social media coverage of cultural and tech events, and Milk Magazine, a student managed digital and print student magazine.

Careers

Publishing graduates have gained a range of professions including Production Assistant; Digital Editor; Digital Marketing Coordinator; Events Organiser; and Project Manager. Graduates have been employed by publishing companies including:

  • Future
  • Parragon Books
  • Taylor & Francis
  • BBC
  • Penguin Random House

Publishing prizes

Each year we award six prizes to students in their final year. These are the:

  • Digital Publishing Prize
  • Public Ambassador Prize
  • Food Writing Prize
  • Illustrated Publishing Prize
  • Book Innovation Prize

"Over three fantastic years I was taught key industry skills and the business side of the industry. I left with a fantastic portfolio that is wowing employers!"

Tom Williams, BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Publishing graduate

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Publishing is taught on our Newton Park campus. You'll have access to a wide range of excellent facilities, including:

Resources

As a Publishing student, you'll benefit from:

  • Experienced Publishing technical demonstrators to support you
  • The latest specialist software as well as various print and handmade publishing equipment including digital cameras, iPads, booklet makers
  • Free equipment hire with SISO, Bath Spa’s loan system.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for students with creative flair – enthusiastic team players who are full of ideas and want to learn how to make them happen. Great attention to detail is important as we place emphasis on creating industry standard professional work.

Typical offers

The standard offers based on A-levels for Publishing combinations are:

  • Business and Management - CCC
  • Creative Computing - CDD
  • Creative Writing - CCC (C in English Literature or Language)
  • English Literature - CCC (C in English Literature or Language)
  • Film and Screen Studies - CCC
  • History - CCC
  • History of Art and Design - CCC (C in Art and Design related subject and ideally C in History)
  • Media Communications - CCC

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level
  • BTEC
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher). Any selection procedure/further requirements will also apply.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants:

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Find the Publishing combination you're interested in. Click the "apply now" button in the centre of the page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Get ahead

Explore industry magazine, The Bookseller, online.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Neil Baber
Email: n.baber@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course
With placement year

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk