Our MA Media and Cultural Studies course is designed to help you to develop careers as an academic or as a professional cultural or media worker. The course has emerged out of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research and focuses on the expertise of scholars actively involved in a range of live research projects. You’ll be encouraged to develop as an internationally-minded research professional.
You will have the opportunity of becoming involved in live research projects and scholarly activities within Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research. Areas of expertise include Jazz and Aesthetics working with the London Jazz Festival; Evaluating Cultural Leadership and Diversity; audience engagement projects funded by Nesta.
“Doing the MA at BCU provided me with much more than just a learning experience. My knowledge of the subject developed but being part of the research community and attending BCMCR research seminars provided me with opportunities beyond course content.” Emily Bettison
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Do you hold a first class Bachelor of Arts degree? Are you committed to a research career? If so, under the new MA Student scheme you could have your course fees paid for in full. This includes full-time and part-time routes on selected MA courses.
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.
|Applicants should have a first degree or equivalent at 2:1, or above, or have considerable experience in a related field and be able to demonstrate outstanding ability and potential.|
Applicants should have sound academic skills (research, writing, presentation), an interest in ideas and their application and some basic competence in IT skills (word-processing, internet activities and so on).
|Above all, candidates for this exciting and innovative course need to have an inquiring mind, an aptitude for researching, sharing and communicating ideas and a desire to develop as an independent and self-motivated thinker.|
|MA - New course for 2017/18||Sep 2017||FT||1 year||£5,900|
|MA - New course for 2017/18||Sep 2017||PT||2 years||£2,950 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|MA - New course for 2017/18||Sep 2017||FT||1 year||£12,000|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
You’ll be provided with a free account for Lynda.com worth £227.40, which is an online education company that offers video courses in creative, software and business skills.
Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage space is provided free to all students.
This module will explore the various ways in which academics, popular critics, producers and audiences have made sense of this complicated term and identify just how important the modern mass media have been in shaping debate around culture and cultural values.
Creative Industries and Cultural Policy
This module explores the range and character of contemporary cultural policy and the creative industries in terms of their economic and social value through research, analysis and communication. In this module you will explore the meanings of cultural policy examining how it plays a role in galvanizing economies, businesses, locations as well as contributing to ideas of the social good and identity.
The module will assist you in the initial stages of your Master’s degree, supporting your development as an independent practitioner. Your personal development and employability lie at the core of this module, requiring you to take a proactive lead and responsibility for your learning.
Researching Media Cultures
This module explores the current state of academic knowledge and debates within five areas of cultural practice: Screen, Gender and Sexuality; Social Media; Popular Music; Media and Cultural History; and Media and Conflict. It will provide you with a systematic understanding of the traditional approaches to researching media cultures and the opportunity to develop your insights through one area of specialism.
Research in Practice
This module will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to carry out advanced research at post-graduate level whilst also making contacts with researchers in other schools and faculties. It will provide:
This module builds upon the first professional development module to provide you with opportunities to advance your personal research interests, skills and practice within a professional context encouraging you to become independent, self-directed in your studies and capable of original research. It comprises of three taught sessions, which introduce you to elements of the assessment criteria, and how you should approach them.
Major Project (MA by Practice or MA by Dissertation)
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise.
The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practical outcome with accompanying reflective, critical and contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be relevant to your programme and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
The programme provides a supportive environment that fosters critical debate amongst you and your peers and partners and promotes intellectual curiosity and rigour. The course facilitates transcultural and interdisciplinary dialogues, peer-to-peer interaction, collaborative practices, experimentation, risk taking and active engagement with professionals, all within an international context.
The course adopts a blended learning approach by introducing key topics and issues through a variety of learning. Learning activities include lectures, seminars, practice-led, self-directed and experiential learning; in person and online through Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), live projects, and interactive workshops.
You will receive training through workshops, seminars, group and individual tutorials, to assist in identifying specialist areas for research, research methods, and project and time management. You are expected to work independently, applying knowledge gained in response to assignments using your initiative to identify pertinent issues within the field (in relation to your own practice/specialism) and to propose innovative solutions.
As you progress you will be assisted in formulating your research questions and individual research projects. The programme includes opportunities to work individually and as part of a team. You will present and communicate your research and practice to peers and other partners, disseminating your research, ideas and works through examining alternative modes, media and contexts (live and/or speculative) to different audiences.
The core modules will provide you with a foundation in the relevant media and cultural research in the field, alongside a focus on cultural theory and policy, research methods and professional practice. In addition, you will have the opportunity to become involved in live research projects and scholarly activity within the centre.
Our MA Media and Cultural Studies aims to prepare you for further doctoral study in media and cultural studies.
The course has a strong emphasis on employability and provides you with the option of gaining professional experience and transferable skills, hereby, enabling you to gain a unique insight into and invaluable first-hand experience of academic and professional cultures. The course is designed to provide a clear route in to doctoral study.
This course also offers the unique opportunity to obtain professional experience within this specialised field by working on live research projects.
The MA is delivered in affiliation with the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) at Birmingham City University which offers a platform and supportive network for you, as well as for alumni and professionals, and provides opportunities to engage in live research projects within this field.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
The career path that you may progress to after your study may include:
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.
Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.
You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.
Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.
Our four broadcast-standard edit suites are based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. Our six digital radio studios are all linked an equipped with the best news and production software.
You will have access to our full broadcast-standard dubbing suites, which are based on a multi-layered ProTools desk and can dub both film and TV with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. We also have an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound).
The Parkside Building has been designed to maximise light and encourage collaboration between artists and students. It is the perfect setting for the workshops and teaching spaces of our design courses, as well as the state-of-the-art media centre for the advanced teaching facilities of Birmingham School of Media.
All this ensures that The Parkside Building offers a first class learning environment and a true central location for students in Birmingham City Centre.
Annette Naudin is senior lecturer in media and cultural entrepreneurship. In her research, Annette explores entrepreneurial cultural labour as it relates to academic studies, higher education curriculum and public life. Annette's current research projects are concerned with gender and BAME cultural workers as a focus for interrogating the nature of entrepreneurial practice in everyday social contexts. Annette has had a leading role exploring enterprise education for the media and creative industries for various EU funded projects at Birmingham City University. She has run creative enterprise conferences, published and presented on the subject. Annette is a member of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research.
Nick Gebhardt is Professor of Jazz and Popular Music Studies and Director of Research in the Birmingham School of Media.
His work focuses on jazz and popular music in American culture and his publications include Going For Jazz: Musical Practices and American Ideology (Chicago), Vaudeville Melodies: Popular Musicians and Mass Entertainment in American Culture, 1870-1929 (Chicago) and the co-edited collection The Cultural Politics of Jazz Collectives: This Is Our Music (Routledge). In 2014, he founded the new Routledge book series Transnational Studies in Jazz with University colleague Tony Whyton, which provides a platform for rethinking the methodologies and concepts used to analyse jazz.
From 2010-2013, Nick was a senior researcher for the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA)-funded Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities project, a European consortium of 13 researchers working across seven universities in five countries. He is currently the part of for the transnational JPI Heritage Plus-funded research project Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals (CHIME) and is the Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded research network Jazz and Everyday Aesthetics. He is on the editorial board of the Jazz Research Journal (Equinox) and edits the journal’s Extended Play, which offers a space for experimental writing about jazz.