Communications and media studies degrees are becoming increasingly popular as the industries they look at continue to grow. Read our guide to see if it is the right subject area for you.
Did you have your own blog, Twitter account and Pinterest board before most people even knew what those words meant?
Are you fascinated by the evolution of the advertising industry, the way in which a news story gains momentum, or the whole process that goes into getting a film from script to screen?
If any of these applies to you, then you may be heading for a degree in media and communication studies.
This relatively young academic discipline has had a lot to prove, and is still often not regarded with the same level of prestige as, say, medicine or politics.
However, the relevance and value of media and communication studies is surely beyond question in today’s society, where media platforms are so varied, pervasive, influential and fast-changing.
Media and communication degrees face the challenge of keeping pace with the latest trends and debates, preparing students for work in media-related industries, and also training them as critical commentators on the ways in which media reflects, represents and influences the world.
Media studies courses may vary significantly in their content and approach to the subject, but most offer a combination of practical preparation for a career in media, alongside opportunities to analyze media representations from different perspectives – including moral, political and historical.
For example, at Bangor University, UK, more ‘practical’ media studies topics currently include Writing for Film and Television, E-Publishing and Digital Communication.
On the more reflective side of the subject, units include Race and Gender, The Body, and Seeing the World. These allow students to analyze visual media representations of race and gender difference, the human body, and different cultures around the world.
Tasks and assessments are likely to come in a variety of forms, including exams and essays as well as more practical project work, such as film or online content production.