Media and Cultural Studies - MA - New course for 2017/18

Full Time, Part Time
September 2017
£5,900 for UK/EU Full Time 2017 entry (view all fees)

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.

What's covered in the course?

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

Why Choose Us?

  • You will study alongside leading academic researchers and be a part of a thriving research community.
  • You will encounter innovative approaches to research including practice based approaches.
  • We work in partnership with leading organisations such as Nesta, Birmingham Hippodrome, London Jazz Festival.
  • The programme will prepare you for further doctoral study in media and cultural studies.
  • You will have opportunities to be involved in live research projects.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 3 and 8pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Book your place now

This course is open to International students

Birmingham School of Media

Discover the Birmingham School of Media

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

MA Studentship Image

Study without the fee

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.

More about MA Studentships  

New £10,280 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students
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.
International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA - New course for 2017/18 Sep 2017 FT 1 year £5,900
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.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
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.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

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.

View additional costs for this course

This course is available part-time

What's included in your fees?

You’ll be provided with a free account for 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. 

MA Studentship Image

Study without the fee

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.

More about MA Studentships  


Cultural Theory
20 credits

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
20 credits

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.

Professional Development
20 credits

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
20 credits

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
20 credits

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:

  • An introduction to the research skills, practices and procedures that are essential with postgraduate research study.
  • An opportunity to systematically explore, evaluate, apply and refine a range of theoretical and practical research issues and their application to particular phenomena. 
Professional Practice
20 credits

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)
60 credits

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.

Course structure

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.

Classroom activities

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.

Further study

Our MA Media and Cultural Studies aims to prepare you for further doctoral study in media and cultural studies.

Enhancing employability skills

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.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Links to industry

The programme enjoys links to academic institutions such as MeCCSA, ECREA and IAMCR. Other industry links include organisations with whom we have undertaken research such as Nesta, the British Council and Birmingham Hippodrome.

Graduate jobs

The career path that you may progress to after your study may include:

  • PhD studies
  • Lecturer 
  • Research Assistant

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:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

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.

State-of-the-art facilities

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

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.

Our staff

Dr Annette Naudin

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.

Dr Annette Naudin

Course Director in MA Media & Creative Enterprise

Course director Annette began her career running her own textile business. She built it up into a company that supplied high-end stores such as Liberty and Harrods, and exported to Japan and the USA. Moving into media and creative work, she’s consulted with Arts Council England and is now a trustee of arts organisations, including Moseley Development Trust, and a mentor with UnLtd supporting social enterprises. Read her wordpress blog as well as her blog on the University’s website.

Professor Paul Long

Joint Acting Head of the Birmingham School of Media

Paul Long is Professor of Media and Cultural History at Birmingham School of Media. He leads the MA in Creative Industries and Cultural Policy, as well as several innovative PhD projects.

He is also Director of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, and a board member of both Vivid Projects and Media Archive for Central England (MACE).

Professor Nicholas Gebhardt

Professor of Jazz and Popular Music Studies

Dr. Nicholas Gebhardt is Professor of Jazz and Popular Music Studies at Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom. His work focuses on jazz and popular music in American culture, and his publications include Going For Jazz: Musical Practices and American Ideology (Chicago) and Vaudeville Melodies: Popular Musicians and Mass Entertainment in American Culture, 1870-1929 (Chicago).

In 2014, he founded the new Routledge book series ‘Transnational Studies in Jazz’ alongside BCU colleague Professor Tony Whyton. Dr. Gebhardt and Whyton also edited (Routledge) in 2015, a collection that explores the ways in which musician-led collectives offer a powerful model for rethinking jazz practices in the post-war period. From 2010-2013, Dr. Gebhardt was a senior researcher for the ground-breaking HERA-funded Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities project, a consortium of 13 researchers working across 7 Universities in 5 countries.

He is currently the part of for the transnational research project Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals and he is the Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded research network Jazz and Everyday Aesthetics.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295