Media and communication student presenting research
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start Date
September 2022

Overview

The media industry is in constant change. In a sector where success depends on keeping ahead of the trend, our MA Media and Communications degree course will help you stand out from the competition.

This wide-ranging Master’s degree in Media and Communication will provide depth and breadth to your existing knowledge base. You'll analyse the current and historic effects of media on society, and learn about how traditional and new media can be used to communicate different messages. You'll combine cultural, historical and industry-specific analysis with theoretical study, and develop a deeper critical understanding of the media too.

You'll also have the chance to test your creativity, by producing screenplays and TV scripts. Or you may choose to do a self-sourced media mini-placement, which will provide you with practical experience and insight to give your skillset that extra competitive edge.

Once you graduate, you'll be well placed to pursue roles across the media industry, including writing for television, publishing, journalism, media criticism, scriptwriting, film and media management.

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Study a range of political, industry-based, and text-based approaches to media and its communication strategies, in film, television, magazines, newspapers, fiction, graphic novels and comics
  • Undertake a self-sourced media micro-placement as part of an optional Industry Study module
  • Research, analyse and critique film, television, screen media and print media outputs
  • Understand the important themes in the media industry, including digital media, screenwriting, fandom and adaptation
  • Produce screenplays for film and television while working with a specialist tutor
  • Be supported by a team of experienced lecturers who have researched and published in their specialist areas, and who bring those specialisms to their teaching sessions
  • Get involved in our dynamic research culture through your film and TV dissertation
  • Engage with our researchers and published industry experts, many of whom are well known internationally in the field

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

What you'll study on this MA Media and Communication degree course

Full-time

Modules studied

Core modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Analyse and discuss the significance of a range of media contexts
  • Analyse and discuss the production of meaning in a range of media texts
  • Understand the relevant critical and theoretical approaches to media contexts
  • Analyse media texts using a variety of critical approaches

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of a wide range of theoretical issues concerning media cultures and industries
  • Evaluate various methodological and theoretical approaches in the study of media cultures and industries
  • Examine and critique the social, cultural and economic premises and consequences of different media cultures across a variety of media texts
  • Interrogate the roles, activities and outcomes of media professions, writers and audience groups
  • Develop and defend a theoretical position regarding media industries and cultures 

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Identify how political media operates at national/international/global levels
  • Analyse how political events and crises are communicated through various media forms
  • Examine how the media construct and influence political identities
  • Interrogate how political media strategies and brands are constructed and used
  • Evaluate different media approaches to political conflict and conflict intervention

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Critically engage with a range of critical, conceptual, and historical insights produced by different perspectives in media and communication research
  • Recognise and apply the methodological requirements and procedures demanded by different research perspectives
  • Be able to identify and evaluate critically the evidence sources required by different research perspectives
  • Evaluate and analyse the relative strengths and limitations of different research perspectives and methods

Explore this module

Optional modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Select and define a topic within the field of media and communication studies using research management skills and methods
  • Review key literature, demonstrate knowledge of a variety of research resources in a chosen topic, and plan research hypotheses
  • Engage in sustained and independent study of this topic, demonstrating initiative and originality
  • Conduct a sustained piece of research-based critical analysis by incorporating a wide range of relevant and up-to-date sources within a chosen area of study
  • Analyse key literature sources, display a thorough understanding of research resources in the chosen topic area, and plan research hypotheses

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Analyse a media industry
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the workings of a media industry
  • Examine the processes of media production
  • Evaluate the roles and functions of different industry professionals
  • Understand a range of critical and theoretical perspectives regarding industry analysis

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Create a drama script for film or television, written in an appropriate format and according to industry and audience standards
  • Understand the role of dramatic structure within a screenplay, and how it can be improved and tested during the development process
  • Display a range of professional screenwriting skills, including character and characterisation, dialogue and scene writing, and screen visuals to tell a story and enhance a deeper understanding of theme/premise
  • Review the process undertaken during the unit in detail, paying particular attention to how critical research has enhanced their creative writing abilities

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Select and define a topic within the field of media and communication studies using research management skills and methods
  • Review key literature, demonstrate knowledge of a variety of research resources in a chosen topic, and plan research hypotheses
  • Engage in sustained and independent study of this topic, demonstrating initiative and originality
  • Conduct a sustained piece of research-based critical analysis by incorporating a wide range of relevant and up-to-date sources within a chosen area of study
  • Analyse key literature sources, display a thorough understanding of research resources in the chosen topic area, and plan research hypotheses

Explore this module

Part-time

Year 1
Year 2

All modules in this year are core.

Core modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Analyse and discuss the significance of a range of media contexts
  • Analyse and discuss the production of meaning in a range of media texts
  • Understand the relevant critical and theoretical approaches to media contexts
  • Analyse media texts using a variety of critical approaches

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Identify how political media operates at national/international/global levels
  • Analyse how political events and crises are communicated through various media forms
  • Examine how the media construct and influence political identities
  • Interrogate how political media strategies and brands are constructed and used
  • Evaluate different media approaches to political conflict and conflict intervention

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Critically engage with a range of critical, conceptual, and historical insights produced by different perspectives in media and communication research
  • Recognise and apply the methodological requirements and procedures demanded by different research perspectives
  • Be able to identify and evaluate critically the evidence sources required by different research perspectives
  • Evaluate and analyse the relative strengths and limitations of different research perspectives and methods

Explore this module

This year has a mix of core and optional modules.

Core modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of a wide range of theoretical issues concerning media cultures and industries
  • Evaluate various methodological and theoretical approaches in the study of media cultures and industries
  • Examine and critique the social, cultural and economic premises and consequences of different media cultures across a variety of media texts
  • Interrogate the roles, activities and outcomes of media professions, writers and audience groups
  • Develop and defend a theoretical position regarding media industries and cultures 

Explore this module

Optional modules

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Select and define a topic within the field of media and communication studies using research management skills and methods
  • Review key literature, demonstrate knowledge of a variety of research resources in a chosen topic, and plan research hypotheses
  • Engage in sustained and independent study of this topic, demonstrating initiative and originality
  • Conduct a sustained piece of research-based critical analysis by incorporating a wide range of relevant and up-to-date sources within a chosen area of study
  • Analyse key literature sources, display a thorough understanding of research resources in the chosen topic area, and plan research hypotheses

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Analyse a media industry
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the workings of a media industry
  • Examine the processes of media production
  • Evaluate the roles and functions of different industry professionals
  • Understand a range of critical and theoretical perspectives regarding industry analysis

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Create a drama script for film or television, written in an appropriate format and according to industry and audience standards
  • Understand the role of dramatic structure within a screenplay, and how it can be improved and tested during the development process
  • Display a range of professional screenwriting skills, including character and characterisation, dialogue and scene writing, and screen visuals to tell a story and enhance a deeper understanding of theme/premise
  • Review the process undertaken during the unit in detail, paying particular attention to how critical research has enhanced their creative writing abilities

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Select and define a topic within the field of media and communication studies using research management skills and methods
  • Review key literature, demonstrate knowledge of a variety of research resources in a chosen topic, and plan research hypotheses
  • Engage in sustained and independent study of this topic, demonstrating initiative and originality
  • Conduct a sustained piece of research-based critical analysis by incorporating a wide range of relevant and up-to-date sources within a chosen area of study
  • Analyse key literature sources, display a thorough understanding of research resources in the chosen topic area, and plan research hypotheses

Explore this module

Changes to course content

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master's in Media and Communication prepares you for

As a successful graduate of this course, you'll have experienced a wide range of media forms and been encouraged by your specialist lecturers to take your skillset to graduate level.

With the study breadth and depth on this Master's course, you'll be able to engage further with the creative industries, pushing boundaries and challenging conventional thinking.

If you chose to do a mini-placement as part of the optional Industry Study module, you'll have practical experience of the media industry, which will be advantageous when securing a role after your studies.

When you graduate, you'll have developed the necessary knowledge base and skills for a successful career in the media sector. You might choose to use your transferrable critical, analytical and research skills in another profession, or go on to further study.

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles in:

  • film and media management
  • writing
  • scriptwriting
  • journalism
  • review work
  • advertising
  • magazines and print media
  • television
  • online media
  • public relations
  • teaching

Recent graduates of this course have found jobs such as:

  • communications coordinator
  • entertainment journalist
  • freelance writer
  • marketing assistant
  • in-house television writer

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

9 reasons to do a Master's

With a taught Master's degree you can apply your knowledge in a field you're passionate about. If you already have an undergraduate degree, or are working, you can earn one.

Discover the benefits of a Master's

Career planning

During your course, you'll have expert career support from your tutors and from our Careers and Employability Centre, which you can access for 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Connections to industry through teaching staff, industry scrip-writers and optional Industry Study module
  • 1-to-1 appointments
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

Placements and industry connections

If you choose the optional Industry Study module, you'll conduct an extended and individual study of a media industry, which can include a work placement. Many students have found this work placement boosted their job prospects after their studies.

Whichever units you choose, we'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

It is our expectation that all international students will join us here on campus in Portsmouth.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

  • 12 months (full-time study)
  • 2 years (part-time study)

You can expect:

  • to be on campus 2-4 days per week  (pro rata for part-time students)
  • around 10–15 hours of independent study and use of facilities each week (pro rata for part-time students)

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, and your teaching time will be a mixture of in-person and online.

You'll have plenty of individual tutoring time with your teachers - allowing you to really benefit from their support and expertise.

Teaching on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • individual tutorials
  • screenplay development

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • written coursework (e.g. essays, business reports)
  • practical coursework (e.g. presentations, conducting/leading discussions)

You'll get plenty of feedback throughout the course to ensure your study is on the right track.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Laurel Forster

Dr Laurel Forster

As Reader in Cultural History at the University of Portsmouth, I have interests in women's cultures, print media and feminism. I have published on the representation of women in a range of media including film, television and radio, and on women's writing. including the work of May Sinclair, a modernist writer. I am particularly interested in the way periodicals serve women's political and personal aspirations. 

Read my full profile

Deborah Anne Shaw

Professor Deborah Shaw

I'm Professor of Film and Screen Studies at the University of Portsmouth, and Research Lead for the  School of Film, Media and Communication. My principal areas of research have fallen into three areas: Latin American cinema, cinema and migration, transnational film theory and representations of Latinos and Latin Americans in Hollywood film.

Read my full profile

Lincoln Gerard George Geraghty

Professor Lincoln Geraghty

I'm Professor of Media Cultures and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Royal Society of Arts. 

My PhD focussed on Star Trek fans and American culture and my research interests have rested mainly in the areas of science fiction, popular culture, American film and television and fandom.

Read my full profile

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project/dissertation.

See key dates

Facilities

A pile of script pages with Courier font

Writing and scripting software 

Pen film, TV and stage masterpieces using industry-wide scriptwriting software such as Celtx and Final Draft.

A group of students on computers in a room

Open Access Suite

Our open-plan space includes PCs and Macs equipped with Adobe Creative Suite and other professional software.

Explore Suite

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you'll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5.00pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty 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

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1-2-1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University's library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2022 start)

  • Full-time: £7,600 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time: £3,800 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

  • Full-time: £7,600 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time: £3,800 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

These figures both include the Transition Scholarship for EU students.

  • Full-time: £16,200 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time: £8,100 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

If you're a UK student who achieved a first in your undergraduate degree you may be eligible for a £3,000 University of Portsmouth scholarship.

Additional 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 could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: such photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements​

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

September 2022 start

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, view the equivalent entry requirements we accept for your country.

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start date in September, as long as there are places available. If you wait until September to apply, you may find that the course is full.

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also 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.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Standard applications

Start this course in September 2022

Apply now (Full-time)

Apply now (Part-time)

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.