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.

Rethink the media as a force for change with our Media Communications degree.

Places still available through Clearing

Call our Admissions team now on +44 (0)1225 875 550

Find your place

  • Examine how global media industries shape everyday culture.
  • Challenge how the media represents local communities.
  • Transform the ways that social media influences daily life.

Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please see the 2020 Undergraduate Programme Changes page for information about specific changes to this course.

Please note the changes are for the 2020-21 academic year only.

The 'Programme Document' beneath the main image on this course page shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.


Explore how the platforms, audiences and representations of the global media industries transform society for the better, and learn to communicate new ideas to audiences.

You’ll explore the relationships between media audiences and representations, between media industries and creative practices. Engaging with media businesses, charities and digital agencies, you’ll graduate with the media and communications skills needed to rethink the media as a force for change.

Shaped by our leading research in gender and representation, multi-platform media and digital technologies, film and TV industries and game and music cultures, you’ll build up a portfolio of research and research-led media artefacts and work towards a final-year creative industry project that communicates your ideas to audiences. Our media and communication graduates have gone on to work in areas such as digital marketing, social media, education, PR and media policy.

"The Media Communications course at Bath Spa was, without a doubt, one of the best places for me to develop my passions and ensure I make the most of my skills. Including both practical and theory, the course structure covered every aspect of the subject I loved and was the perfect way for me to challenge my creative capabilities."

Bethany Wakefield, Media Communications Graduate, 2019

What you'll learn

Overview

Learn to communicate new ideas to audiences – locally and globally. Through academic and practice-based research, you’ll rethink multi-platform media, gender representation and game and music cultures as a force for change in society.

Explore how global media industries shape everyday culture. Examine why the media represents local communities the way that it does, and challenge the ways that social media influences how we perceive, consume and participate in daily life.

Partnering with prominent community and industry groups in Bath and beyond, you’ll build up a portfolio of research and research-led media artefacts, working towards a final-year creative project that communicates original ideas to an industry audience.

Course structure

Year one: Media audiences and representations
Our Media Communications degree modules equip you with the essential critical toolkit for understanding and analysing today’s media. You’ll examine media fandom, popular cultures and media representations, and use politically motivated tools to gain practical media-making skills. You’ll be introduced to 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: Media industries and creative practices
You’ll examine global media industries, questioning – for example – how the media transcends the borders of platforms, cultures and countries. Alongside this, you’ll study the impacts of a promotional media culture on everything from production to consumption. You’ll have the opportunity to develop your skills in digital and cross-platform media-making, while further examining these themes in relation to more specific areas, such as stardom and celebrity, music, digital cultures and participatory media.

Year three: Making media making change
We'll encourage you to specialise in your passion, and to develop independent research and practice. This takes the form of a dissertation, but with you also transforming your research into an online media project that benefits a wider audience or industry of your choice. This project is complemented by specialist modules in feminism in film, digital innovation and enterprise, music journalism and video games.

How will I be assessed?

Our Media Communications degree is about developing the academic and creative skills to examine, challenge and transform today’s most important issues through the power of media communications. Assessments therefore range from research portfolios, transmedia presentations, essays and reflective journals, interactive digital marketing campaigns, political media-making artefacts and video essays, and blogs, presentations and websites. You’ll also learn through the creation of collaborative projects, working on live briefs with local media partners.

How will I be taught?

Our teaching is driven by the research specialisms and expertise of our academics, who are all world-leading scholars in their respective fields within Media Communications. We have particular expertise in multi-platform media, gender and representation, film and television industries, game and music cultures, and emerging digital technologies.

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 digital media branding, and in project labs you’ll work with staff and students to develop larger media campaigns.

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
  • Media Fandom
  • Introduction to Television
  • Popular Media Culture
  • Digital Practice
  • Media Enterprise
  • Your World Your Media: Making Film and Media Meaningful

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Global Media
  • Promotional Media
  • Digital Cultures
  • 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
  • European Cinema
  • Rock n’ Reel: Popular Music on Screen

Opportunities

Work placements, industry links and internships

Our Media Communications degree has bespoke work placement opportunities with Future Publishing and Great State. At various points throughout the course, you’ll complete your assignments by working with local media organisations. Recent partnerships for students have included The F-Word online magazine, Bathscape, the Stroud Film Festival and the Bath Royal Scientific and Literary Institution.

Our Media Communications academics support Bristol+Bath Creative R+D, a £6.8 million initiative across the south west that supports the future development of the creative industries. In your second year you’ll have the chance to apply to be part of its dynamic work placement programme.

You’ll also have the opportunity to engage with The Studio at Palace Yard Mews, Bath Spa University’s city centre home for innovation, research and enterprise. The Studio is Bath’s first enterprise and innovation hub to focus on creative media technology.

Careers

Our Media Communications degree 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.

Our Media Communications graduates have gone into digital marketing, social media, publishing, education, PR, media policy and more, and have been employed by companies including Komedia, Conversation Creation, Apollo Strategic Communications and Cognisess.

Competitions and awards

Each year we award The Centre for Media Research Student Award to a final-year student whose dissertation shows exemplary quality, scope and ambition, and which has been creatively reimagined to engage and benefit a wider industry audience

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

The Media Communications course is based at our Newton Park campus. You'll have access to excellent facilities including:

Resources

  • Library collections directly relevant to the Media Communications course include more than 450 journal subscriptions, 18,000 books and 3,000 e-books. The Library’s extensive digital collections include Film and Television Literature Index, Rock's Backpages, and Box of Broadcasts, an archive of over two million off-air television broadcasts. Library resources for the course are underpinned by our Subject Librarian, who provides subject-specific support and a defined point of contact for research enquiries.
  • The Careers team have very close links with the media and creative industries in Bath and Bristol, and organise bespoke opportunities for you to engage with media employers, including networking sessions and bus tours visiting organisations.
  • The Writing and Learning Centre provides continuous support for your academic work, providing feedback on written drafts and running sessions on academic writing.

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

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

Places still available through Clearing

Call our Admissions team now on +44 (0)1225 875 550

Find your place

  • 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.

Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please see the 2020 Undergraduate Programme Changes page for information about specific changes to this course.

Please note the changes are for the 2020-21 academic year only.

The 'Programme Document' beneath the main image on this course page shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.


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

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: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Neil Baber
Email: n.baber@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk