media studies female student
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019


Are you interested in how the media influences individuals and societies, from newspapers and television, to social networks?

This BA (Hons) Media Studies degree course gives you the knowledge and skills to expertly dissect the media and put what you learn into creative or critical practice. You'll explore entertainment and identity in the media to help you better understand our society and your place in it.

At the end of the course you'll be well set to start a media career in areas such as journalism, marketing and publishing. You'll also learn creative and transferable skills that you can put to work in any industry.

93% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

What you'll experience

On this course you can:

  • Learn about the present, past and possible futures of media around the world
  • Work with local and national media companies to further your learning in a practical way and test your skills
  • Learn from widely published media experts
  • Create your own film script, write a TV drama and learn video production skills
  • Help to create and present programmes for the University’s TV and radio stations
  • Study abroad at one of our partner institutions, including the renowned University of Zaragoza in Spain

Careers and opportunities

The communication, research, writing and critical thinking skills you learn on this course will be valuable to employers in any industry.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in areas such as:

  • media research
  • public relations and marketing
  • journalism
  • publishing
  • new media development

Some of our alumni have gone on to work for big names such as the BBC, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures International. Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • production manager
  • sound and vision engineer
  • film/video producer
  • advertising journalist
  • assistant publicist
  • PR and communications officer

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level or set up a business with help and support from the University.

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Media Studies degree course

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Advanced Media Research
  • Understanding Film Production
  • Contemporary Media Events
  • Introduction to Media Studies
  • Media Study Skills
  • Media Writing: Critical Reviews and Features

Core units in this year include:

  • Print Media
  • Screen Media

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Approaches to Popular Culture
  • Marketing Movies
  • Media Networks: Exploring Digital Culture
  • Media Writing for Public Relations
  • Media Writing for the Press
  • Media Writing for the Screen and Radio
  • Media, Culture and National Identity
  • Production Introduction - Script and Shooting
  • Professional Experience
  • Researching Genre in Film and Television
  • Social Issues in the Media
  • Student Enterprise
  • Transmedia Narratives and Strategies

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Your choice of dissertation or production/writing project

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • British TV Drama and Society
  • Comedy Culture and Form
  • Cultures of Consumption
  • Media Fan Cultures
  • News, War and Peace
  • Practical Video Project
  • Representing Science in the Media
  • Researching Animation
  • TV Talk Shows
  • The Entertainment Industries
  • Documentary Screens

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Previous students have been on placements to:

  • NBC Universal
  • Disney
  • St James Place Wealth Management

In your placement year, you can also set up a business on your own or with other students.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

You'll also have the option of working with our Creative Skills tutors, who can help you with practical assignments or help you acquire further production skills.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • seminars
  • lectures
  • practical performance sessions
  • simulation

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • Mid-May to early June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • presentations
  • scripts
  • video productions
  • programme proposal/pitch
  • reviews and features
  • reports/magazine features
  • examinations
  • dissertation/project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 20% by practical exams and 80% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 12% by practical exams and 88% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 13% by practical exams and 87% by coursework

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You may need to buy items such as DVDs and MiniDV tapes to use on practical units, which cost approximately £20– £30.

You’ll need to cover the material costs for individual project work, which usually costs £50–£100.


How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – P300
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.