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BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies — Overview
Launching Sept 2021

Applying to study with us in 2021?
We are excited to launch this new course for 2021 as we enhance our well-established undergraduate curriculum. Degrees listed as subject to validation are in the final stage of our rigorous approval process, designed to ensure they accurately reflect course content and employment opportunities for students. Through close consultation with industry professionals, academics, students and alumni we can ensure that your learning prepares you for a dynamic and ever-changing future job market.

*Subject to validation

We are excited to launch this new course for 2021 as we enhance our well-established undergraduate curriculum. Degrees listed as subject to validation are in the final stage of our rigorous approval process, designed to ensure they accurately reflect course content and employment opportunities for students. Through close consultation with industry professionals, academics, students and alumni we can ensure that your learning prepares you for a dynamic and ever-changing future job market.

Explore the production, consumption and meaning of media and culture in both online and offline outputs. This course will build your theoretical insight, analytical skills, and appreciation of social contexts, future-proofing you for a career in the ever-evolving media landscape.

Inspiring curiosity, critical insight, ambition and knowledge, we will provide you with the tools and skills to investigate the social, economic, political, and practical dimensions of media in a global cultural setting, and to recognise the key roles of media in shaping who we are, what we think, and what we value.

As a student within our School of Critical + Cultural Studies, you will undertake an in-depth critical exploration of culture and the mass media and analyse the influence of mass media on society. You’ll be encouraged to develop an independent critical voice and gain the confidence to communicate your ideas with conviction. As part of our independent art school, you will be uniquely well-placed to collaborate with students from award-winning undergraduate courses in art, design and media, grounding your study in a uniquely interdisciplinary creative environment.

Speaking Truth To Power: a panel talk at our Tate Exchange event about the power of words and the potential of rap and culture to transform pain into cultural production - to create personal and social change.

Using the skills and methods developed through the course, you will become a flexible and engaged reader of a wide range of cultural materials and practices and develop your cultural understanding of gender, race, class, sexuality and the postcolonial world. You will have the opportunity to develop practical skills in media production with equipment resourced from our professional Multimedia Lab, and gain unrivalled access to specialised facilities in art, design and digital media.

Skills such as critical analysis and comprehension, research, presentation and writing can lead to many avenues of employment – from journalism and marketing to arts administration. The course is designed to equip you to work in media-related careers, television production, teaching and journalism as well as for further study at Master’s level and for research in Media, Cultural Studies and related disciplines.

You will critically explore the links between culture, media and society with a focus on: popular culture; mass media and advertising; digital media technologies; news and journalism; television and film; literature and the arts; cultural differences and practices; gender, sexuality, class, race, religion and identity; the body and embodiment; transnational media and culture; capitalism and media ownership; cultural history and memory; multiculturalism and cultural policy amongst other areas.

Your learning will be supported by regular guest lecturers and industry mentors. Recent contributors to our media school include; Production Designer Ed Turner, best known for Merlin, Grandchester, and Rock The Kasbah, Videographer Luke Sims, Fashion Filmmakers Lindsay Knight, Actor Kevin Johnson, Filmmaker Dean Puckett and Film Music Composer and Music Producer Ben Hudson.

Graduates can become:

Our graduates can become:

  • Advertising Account Executives
  • Content Creators
  • Broadcast Journalists
  • Editorial Assistants
  • Event Managers
  • Film Directors
  • Magazine Journalists
  • Market Researchers
  • Marketing Executives
  • Media Researchers
  • Photographers
  • Digital Marketers
  • Media Buyers
  • Media Planners
  • Researchers
  • PR Officers
  • Press Coordinators
  • Showrunners (broadcasting and film)
  • Social Media Managers
  • Producers
  • Online Editors

Interested in finding out more? Fill out our enquiry form below:

BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies — Modules

Launching Sept 2021

Our unit structure applies to all of our undergraduate courses and creates a culture that promotes curiosity and creative thinking that extends beyond subject boundaries. Thematic approaches encourage an environment of free-flowing creative learning and opportunities for collaboration. Each unit will be contextualised by the subject specialism, and delivery will manifest uniquely through the specialist lens of each course. 

Applying to a four-year Extended BA degree?

If you choose to study an Extended BA, this will provide you with a preparatory year that will support your creative development through a broad range of art, design and media skills, as the basis for continued undergraduate study in your chosen specialist degree. In Year 0 you will learn through experimentation, exploration and discovery. Successful completion of this year allows automatic progression to Year 1 of your chosen three year BA at Plymouth College of Art. 

Year 1

Unit 1: Methods & Materials

Develop and extend your existing knowledge of processes and technologies associated with your field of study, through the exploration of associated methods and materials. You will be introduced to a range of practical methods, processes and techniques, and encouraged to think critically about your subject. 

Unit 2: Encountering place

Focusing on the geographical offerings and potential of Plymouth and its surroundings, you will orientate your practice through considering immediate geographies and the relationship of the local to the global. You will develop ways for generating creative ideas in response to a brief, with a primary focus on creative problem solving, methods and materials.

Unit 3: Exploring subject

Engage with subject-specific ideas and applications, encouraging critical reflection on your individual creative practice and subject within the larger creative arts domain. You will be supported to undertake an imaginative approach to your subject that challenges historical and cultural assumptions.

Unit 4: Platforms of exchange

Focus on collaboration as a practice, way of working and experience. Share your skills in pursuit of creative problem solving through mutual interest and cooperative approaches, while being introduced to methodologies from other disciplines.

Year 2

Unit 1: Speculative Strategies

Enhance your awareness of research-informed practice, the role of risk and failure, and the adoption of new or unfamiliar methodologies in developing creative practice. You will focus on the critical and practical processes used for ideas generation, propositional and hypothetical creative outputs, rather than finished outcomes.

Unit 2: Global Challenges

Think deeper about how creative solutions might help solve real-world challenges. Draw on expertise and ideas from the arts and sciences to provide alternative propositions for solution-focussed practical enquiry. 

Unit 3: Ideas & Audience

Through the use of real-world scenarios (live or simulated), you will be encouraged to use the methods, knowledge and understanding gained in previous study to place your work in relevant professional and creative contexts in order to facilitate knowledge transfer into the public domain.                         

Unit 4: Emergent practice

Develop individual authorship in your creative practice, and ownership of your learning through a self-initiated project. You will be introduced to methods for managing and producing an independent creative project, developing skills in project articulation and management to include consideration for project scope, time and resources management.  

Year 3

Unit 1: Research & Development 

You will be encouraged to further refine your aims and ambitions for your final year of study, by formulating and testing out ideas for your Final Project. You will present a creative pitch that outlines the key concepts and methods behind your project and demonstrates knowledge and understanding of appropriate contextual and professional frameworks.

Unit 2: Publication 

You will produce a research-informed critical text that contextualises your research interests and demonstrates sustained critical engagement with your subject. This could be an extended critical essay or industry report; or an original publication (text & image) and accompanying critical essay.

Unit 3: Positioning practice

This unit will extend your understanding and consideration of appropriate audiences, end-users and markets for your work, and raise your awareness of industry-relevant technologies, techniques and innovations. Your learning will support the articulation of your personal career ambitions, informed by an awareness of professional contexts and graduate opportunities for creative practice. 

Unit 4: Final project

The culmination of your undergraduate study providing a focussed period of consolidation and creativity, you will have the opportunity to realise a final major project to demonstrate your specialist knowledge and skills. At the end of the unit, you will have the opportunity to present this project to the public within the context of the annual PCA Summer Shows.

Please note unit details listed above are correct at time of publication and indicative content only. If you have any questions about course content and structure please email 

BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies — Staff

Launching Sept 2021

Alanna Morgan

Alanna Morgan

An experienced stylist and visual merchandiser, Alanna has created window installations and overseen creative styling for some of the highstreet's best-known brands. Working at Oxford Street’s flagship Miss Selfridge and Topshop Knightsbridge in London, her creative installations have been seen by an average of 4.3 million people a week. Alanna has significant experience of retail environments and their working and has led a creative team responsible for opening stores around the UK, including high-profile store refurbishments and new store openings. Also responsible for styling for press events,

Alanna studied Cultural Studies and Media Communications at Bath Spa university, where she specialized in identity in music and fashion cultures, and is passionate about the discussion of these areas within Fashion Media and Marketing.

Jason Hirons

Jason Hirons

Jason is an artist, writer and educator with a particular interest in the detritus, flotsam and jetsam of the everyday. Other areas of interest include landscape, walking, critical writing, comics, Actor Network Theory, poetry and performative practices. Since 2001 he has been walking, collecting and archiving the city of Plymouth; this work has been realised in a number of ways, including published texts, performances (locally, nationally and internationally), installations, and public talks.

Having studied Performance Writing at Dartington College of Arts followed by a Masters by Research in Landscape from Plymouth University, Jason is a key member of the BA (Hons) Illustration and BA (Hons) Costume programmes at Plymouth College of Art, fully committed to his role teaching contextual theory and practice across the two programmes.

As one-half of Driftingspace – his collaborative research practice with the artist Sally Hall – Jason explores possibilities and concepts around space and place in urban contexts. Driftingspace attempts to read the city through ideas of architecture and the built environment, displacement, entropy and the ephemera of the landscape. The experience of walking and driving through the city, its transitional spaces, and its undefined places are all elements within their ongoing inquiry. 

Dr Neal Kirk

Neal Kirk received his PhD in English Literature from Lancaster University under the supervision of Professor Catherine Spooner. He received his MS.c in Literature and Society 1688-1900 from the University of Edinburgh. He double majored in English Literature and Mass Communications for his BA at the University of Denver.

His work is included in the collections, Digital Horror: Haunted Technologies, Network Panic and the Found Footage Phenomenon (Aldana-Reyes and Blake, 2016) and Gothic and Death (Carol Margaret Davison, 2016) and the forthcoming Gothic and the Arts (Punter). Neal has thought in Sociology, Media and Cultural studies, and English literature and continues to explore digital media, digital culture and digital art forms. In addition to this academic background, Neal has over 20 years of experience working professionally in the radio, television, film and new media industries.

Neal works as a Lecturer on our BA (Hons) Digital Media Production and BA (Hons) Film courses, and he teaches the Digital Media Production module: Media Production – Music Video. He also teaches two film modules, the first-year module, Interdisciplinary Film and the second year module, Negotiated Project.

Lucy Leake

Lucy Leake

Lucy Leake is a Senior Lecturer for BA (Hons) Film and Assistant Head of School for our Arts + Media school. She is an active member of the Plymouth College of Art Student Engagement and Experience Committee, championing the Student Voice in college policy-building and decision-making, and is a member of RAISE UK (Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement).

Lucy also holds the position of Secretary on the Executive Board of NAHEMI (National Association of Higher Education in Moving Image), the organisation that represents the centres of excellence for the teaching of film, television, video, animation and digital media practice in the UK and in Ireland.

Lucy’s film practice and research is focused around the notion of memory and the familial lens, and how family stories are fabricated, gendered and collectively re-remembered in a digital age. She celebrates the narratives of everyday life and is also fascinated by the creation of monsters, and how we use these in our film, media and cultural storytelling. She is a member of the Family Ties Network and has had her research included in Making Futures, RAISE 2017, CICAP 2016 and The Aesthetic of Renewal.

Lucy’s pedagogic research focuses on student engagement and innovative approaches to teaching. She has had articles published in the Creative Industries Global Conference 2017, and the Higher Education Academy Attainment in Art and Design Report 2017. She regularly attends conferences that champion the student experience, and which allow educators to share innovative approaches to teaching film, including CILECT Teaching Cinematography held at Hochschule, Munich 2017, and CILECT Teaching Documentary to be held in Bolzano, Italy 2018.

Lucy is also Associate Editor for Screenworks (Journal of Screen Media Practice) which publishes practice research that produces new knowledge in Communication, Media and Cultural Studies, Art and Design, Performing Arts and related fields.

Lucy is passionate about the Film programme at Plymouth College of Art, and the potential it offers emerging filmmakers to be the best they can be.

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies — Student Work

Launching Sept 2021

Visual artist Michelle Angela Ortiz speaks at our Propositions For Change event

BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies — Students Say

Launching Sept 2021

BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies — Careers & Alumni

Launching Sept 2021

A degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Plymouth College of Art means that you will be ready to enter a wide range of careers across the media and cultural industries, like journalism, media management, film, television and video production, film criticism, social media branding, public relations and advertising.

Our graduates can become:

  • Advertising Account Executives
  • Broadcast Journalists
  • Editorial Assistants
  • Event Managers
  • Film Directors
  • Magazine Journalists
  • Market Researchers
  • Marketing Executives
  • Media Researchers
  • Photographer
  • UX Designer
  • Writer
  • Digital Marketers
  • Media Buyers
  • Media Planners
  • Media Researchers
  • Music Producers
  • Public Relations Officers
  • Runners for broadcasting, film or video
  • Social Media Managers
  • Producers
  • Web Content Managers

BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies — Entry Requirements

Launching Sept 2021

BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies — Resources

Launching Sept 2021

You will be taught by our team of highly experienced academic staff, all of whom are active makers and researchers in critical and cultural practice.

You will benefit from their knowledge and experience of professional practice and they will encourage you to explore and test materials, concepts, media and audiences.

The college also has a wide range of outstanding art, design and media facilities including: drawing studio; workshops for fine art printmaking, ceramics, glass, wood and plastics; the Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre; open-access computer suites; and a well-stocked library.

You’ll also have access to Fab Lab Plymouth, a digital ‘fabrication laboratory’ based in the heart of our Plymouth city-centre campus.

Our Careers & Enterprise office provides support from a dedicated team who are focused on employability and developing creative opportunities for students.

Facilities at the college include:

Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Ceramics and Glass Workshops

With a glass furnace that works at 1,100 degrees, 10 potters wheels, resources for hot, warm and cold glass processes, a plaster room for mould making, 16 kilns, a well-stocked glaze mixing area and individual studio space, our Ceramics and Glass Workshops have a real ‘wow’ factor, rivalling any art school around the country.

Our Life Drawing Studio.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

Fashion Studios

This large professional studio offers a real-life fashion experience in a fabulous space with sea views. Specialist industrial and domestic sewing machines, a range of knitting machines and a wide stock of fabrics and knitting yarns sit alongside a media and marketing Mac suite, a fully operational CAD cutting facility, and a library of designer garments to inspire.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, an historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Our Textile Studios.

Jewellery Design Studio

Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.

Textile Studios

With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast a fantastic Mimaki fabric printer, digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best printed textile workshops in the UK.

Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre

Our Digital Print Bureau offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. Our highly experienced Equipment Resource Centre staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Our Photographic cove.

Our Fine Art Printmaking Studio.

BA (Hons) Media & Cultural Studies — Interview

Launching Sept 2021