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Immersive Media - BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: 1042
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Study mode: Full Time (3 years)
  • Location: City Centre

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

The face of media is changing. Immersive formats are no longer the exclusive domain of specialist tech companies – more and more industries are looking to expand their portfolios and utilise different creative digital formats in a variety of ways. On our BA Immersive Media course, we want to ensure that, as a future media worker, you are prepared for the proliferation of new technologies you will encounter, some of which may not have been invented yet.

What's covered in the course?

Our focus is on allowing you the room for exploration, experimentation and expression.

We will introduce you to new technologies and invite you to play with old ones, from augmented reality and virtual reality to spatial sound and interactive storytelling. You will learn how they function, what they can be used for, and understand the societal and cultural implications of their practices. This will allow you to bridge the gap between the development of technology and its use within creative industries.

Through your own projects, both practical and research based, you will be encouraged to experiment with immersive media formats, and to create ethical solutions to media issues. You will meet with industry professionals with the potential for receiving live briefs, and will also have the option to undertake an international fieldtrip to gain networking experience and exposure to emerging technologies in practice.

By the end of your four years you will be confident in expressing your own stories, considering your work within a global context. You will understand the constraints and limitations of different technologies and the ways in which they mediate reality.

You will be prepared for the change in future technologies by considering more specifically how we interact with different mediums, how they affect us, why they appeal to us, and the alternative subject positions that they allow. This course isn’t about learning one new format, only for that to be supplanted further down the road. Instead, through the creative challenges set within the course, we will foster the correct attitude needed in order to constantly adapt to changing parameters, and be autonomous in your work.

Why Choose Us?

    • Through our connections with local companies including Holosphere VR you will have the opportunity to learn from, and work with, industry, receiving live briefs and feedback on your independent projects and creations. In your second year you will have the chance to undertake an international field trip to an immersive digital media festival or exhibition. This will give you the opportunity to expand your professional networks and encounter cutting edge immersive technologies and stories.
    • You will have access to: a suite of VR ready computers; appropriate software; virtual reality headsets; 360 cameras; binaural microphones; etc. These BCU facilities mean that no students will be disadvantaged due to cost of equipment. However, we suggest that if you are thinking of buying a laptop when commencing your studies you consider, for example, a VR ready laptop with adequate capacity, although this is not a requirement.
    • In order to foster a creative community and encourage key networking and collaboration and focus within the cohort, you will undertake set modules with your course mates. These will include a large amount of creative freedom within the module content, and you will have the ability to individually choose the medium you work with in order to complete your assignments, ensuring your own passions and interests are catered to.
    • You will be taught by core staff with a wealth of industry, education and research experience. You will also benefit from guest lectures by industry experts, as well as staff from a variety of different media backgrounds who will share the ways in which their industries / specialisms have been affected by the proliferation of immersive technology.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our Virtual Open Day for this course will take place on 22 November 2020. Book now and we will email you with a link to the Virtual Open Day for your subject area of choice.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

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

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School of Media blog

Take a look at our blog to see the latest news and events from the School and get an insight into life as a student at Birmingham School of Media.

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Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS points

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish National 5
  • English Language at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
IELTS

Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.

LEVEL 3 (and above) QUALIFICATIONS
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS points
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking subject excluded
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
AS and AS VCE
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking subject excluded
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3 with 18 credits at merit or distinction
  • Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
DMM
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Distinction
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 112 pts
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma DMM
Scottish Advanced Higher
  • Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers).
T-Levels Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts Merit overall
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS

Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

  • UK students
  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £13,200 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

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.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

What's included

You will have access to: a suite of VR ready computers; appropriate software; virtual reality headsets; 360 cameras; binaural microphones; etc. If you are planning on buying a laptop prior to commencing your studies, we recommend that you choose a laptop that has the capacity to cope with the creation of immersive media projects, however this is not a requirement. If you would like advice on what computer specification you should be considering, please contact one of the course team.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Live Production 1
40 credits

Transmedia as a form of storytelling provides near unparalleled opportunities for creative outputs and audience engagement. This live project will develop a foundational understanding of narrative structures and gain exposure to applications that may be used for delivering stories to an audience. Students will be taught how to create media content using video, audio and online means and how to plan and develop a story which will captivate their audience.

Introduction to UX (User Experience)
40 credits

User Experience (UX) could be argued as the bedrock of digital and immersive media experiences, and this module will therefore focus on the theory and practical application of user experience (UX) and its role in digital journeys and user interaction. The underpinning of the module will explore visual communication concepts by students identifying the user’s motivation for using the product, its function and aesthetics which will inform the design direction and creation of user interfaces, navigational structure, and its impact on the usability of digital products.

Digital Communities
20 credits

What defines “community”? Do you need to be an active participant to be a member of a community? How does community shape identity, and make us targetable for commercial purposes? This module will consider how communities have been formed across digital platforms and whether immersive experiences are altering these experiences.

Global and Community Impact
20 credits

This module will give students an international overview of how different mediums pervade in different areas and consider how different laws and legislations have affected the uptake of these. We will consider the ways in which businesses have responded to the changing global landscape, and how the world of work has been irrevocably changed with the rise of digital formats and commerce.

Year two

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

Live Production 2
40 credits

In this second live brief the focus and theme for year 2 will be “mixed reality”. Mixed reality is a growing field and encompasses a range of differential digitally augmented experiences, and through this module we will be considered both broad and narrow applications of the term. Throughout semester 1 weekly sessions will run with lecturers and technicians. After this front-loaded semester, in semester 2 students will then move to independent study.

Immersive Experiences
40 credits

The focus of this module is the creation and understanding of immersive experiences. You will start by taking a critical approach to the concept of immersion, viewing this phenomenon from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Experimentation with immersive technology will inform you on the creative potential of this fast-developing media field to create a project that transfers the audience from being passive consumers to being actively involved.

Digital Storytelling
20 credits

Digital Storytelling techniques have evolved to include everything from film techniques, still images, immersive-audio, and more. In this new module we will consider the different ways in which these techniques can be effectively utilised to allow creative citizens to share their stories. Students will be introduced to a variety of techniques to ensure foundation knowledge in basic components of digital storytelling through practical experimentation with different mediums, and theoretical exploration of what these mediums enable and allow.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete one the following OPTIONAL modules (totalling of 20 credits):

Work Placement
20 credits

The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. You will normally be expected to arrange your own placement, with support from academic staff and ADM Careers+.

Live Project
20 credits

This module provides an opportunity for you to apply your knowledge and skills to an external, professional brief. The brief will be set by an external client/ agency, in consultation with your supervisor, and it could be a ‘real life’ problem to be solved, or a simulation.

Collaborative Practice
20 credits

The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff.

 
Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Year three

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Major Project
60 credits

The Major Project is a self-initiated and self-directed programme of study, research, writing and production. You will be marked on your ability to work independently on a research-led practice project. In this module you will build on the knowledge, theoretical perspectives and practical skills established earlier in the course in order to establish your own specialist field.

Digital Futures
20 credits

This module will enable you to look towards the future innovations occurring within the fields of digital media. Starting with a history of digital emergence, considering concepts such as remediation, convergence culture, and the post-digital, we will then begin to unearth some of the more experimental and emerging practices, and consider their viability for a digital future.

Media Activism
20 credits

Media Activism is a practice-based research module for you to engage in media activist work in practice within social justice, community media and voluntary sectors. This module will examine the role of media in political campaigns and social movements, with a focus on the role of digital communications. It will draw on a range of interdisciplinary literature from media studies, social movement studies and political theory, and examine case studies of political campaigns and social movements in the UK and globally.

Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

This module will help you consolidate your skills and experience and prepare you to find employment through the development of self-promotion skills specific to your area of professional interest. You will continue to audit your skills and reflectively analyse your placement experience and evaluate its impact on your personal and professional development strategically applying new skills learned to present yourself as a media professional.

Across each of the undergraduate degree courses there is an equal emphasis on production, theory and professional studies.

The first year will establish the underpinning knowledge of audience engagement and theoretical study, focusing on traditional media content production which will include video, sound and web design. This will be further enhanced with the development of user experiences to create interactive products that imaginatively use these concepts to captivate users.

The second year will progress with an immersive experience theme, exploring the creative possibilities of experimenting with immersive media storytelling with the examples of interactive 360 video and sound. To complement this approach, you will develop an understanding of the theoretical role of emotion and its relationship with immersive experiences.

The third year will be focused on you conducting independent research and creating innovative products and engaging experiences and memorable and effective interactive and immersive products. To compliment this technical work-readiness, you will also engage in modules to explore global and community impact of digital media, and forward-thinking modules based around digital futures, to consider aspects such as digital ethics and AI advancements.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

As a School, we invest significantly in our postgraduate provision as we recognise that more specialist and professional courses are required across the media industry. Our postgraduate courses include:

See all postgraduate media courses

Enhancing your employability skills

Considering the digital media industry is so fast paced, we believe that attitude, adaptability and autonomy are key components to the skills we need to embed, in order to ensure our graduates are futureproofed within a continually evolving industry.

As the storytelling and creative media landscape evolves, our graduates will be well versed in adapting to new requirements and positions, they will be confident in both low and hi-tech scenarios and usage.

Linking this to the BCU Core Value of Excellence, our course focusses specifically on the three key areas of exploration, experimentation, and expression – embodying the School ethos of #domediadifferently.

Furthermore, our students will be co-designers in their own course (linking to Core Value of Partnership Working) therefore building on their responsibilities and professionalism within their own career development.

We have links with key industry partners within Birmingham, including Holosphere VR, and STEAMhouse. As a BA Immersive Media student you will have the opportunity to visit their studios several times a year, as well as benefit from guest lectures and live briefs.

Placements

In the second year of study, you can choose to take the optional 20 credit work placement module. If you are unable to secure a placement by the specified deadline, an “as live” industry standard project will be set by the Module Tutor. The work placement will be considered and approved by the Module tutor in order to ensure that the learning opportunity is of benefit to you.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

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.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Trips and Visits

The course will offer a variety of local trips to visit appropriate companies including Holosphere VR, where you will be able to see a Birmingham-based immersive technology company, specialising in VR, AR and spatial 3D projection in action. In your second year of study, you will have the opportunity to undertake an international fieldtrip to visit an immersive media festival or conference in order to build your networking experience and engage with cutting edge immersive media experiments.

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:

Internationalisation is embedded throughout the course at every level.

In your first year the Global and Community Impact module will give an international overview of how different mediums pervade in different areas and consider how different laws and legislations have affected the uptake of these. We will consider the ways in which businesses have responded to the changing global landscape, and how the world of work has been irrevocably changed with the rise of digital formats and commerce.

In your second year this will be built upon through the integration of an international field trip to visit a key digital media festival in Europe.

In your final year, in order to prepare you to enter the world of work and understand international digital cultures, you will explore a variety of global examples of how digital and immersive media has been creatively used to instigate change in political, social, and economic fields through the module Media Activism. We will view how different methods can be utilised to raise awareness around issues and inequalities, and consider the ways in which different communities and areas are being “left behind”, and what the moral and ethical interventions may or may not be in order to consider how globalisation operates through digital virality.

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

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

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our media and communication course is most popular with international students from:  

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 £340 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

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 Staff

Dr. Poppy Wilde specialises in digital cultural theory, focussing on the new media industry, digital communities, social media, and digital games. Her research focusses on posthuman subjectivity and explores our affective and embodied experiences.

Robin Kay specialises in design theory, UX and interactive media technologies. He is committed to researching new industry developments and embedding these practices into course delivery for industry and learner needs.

Poppy Wilde

Dr Poppy Wilde

Lecturer in Media and Communication

Dr. Poppy Wilde is a Lecturer in Media and Communication in the School of Media at Birmingham City University. Her work focusses on what it means and how feels to be posthuman, by exploring how posthuman subjectivities are enabled and embodied. She has conducted autoethnographic projects exploring the lived experience of MMORPG gaming with particular focus on the avatar-gamer as an embodiment of posthuman subjectivity. In her current work she is extending this to explore posthuman conceptions of death, considering whether game environments allow a space to think differently about dying. She teaches media, communication, and cultural theory, often focusing on new / digital / social media contexts and practices. Her research interests are posthumanism, digital cultures, embodiment, affect, performance in online contexts and the lived experience in research methods.

Read Poppy's full profile

Robin Kay

Robin Kay

Lecturer

Robin is a Lecturer in Media and Communication with a New Media specialism. He has a background within the music industry having worked for several notable record labels and industry organisations including: Ministry of Sound Recordings, Defected Records, Sanctuary Records and PRS. He has extensive experience within education and teaches creative and digital media subjects focused around web authoring, visual communication and immersive media. With an interest in interactive and immersive media, he is currently working on several projects involving emerging and innovative technology within an educational context. Robin is currently working with BCU’s STEAMhouse as an Academic Coordinator to support their immersive media provision and is engaged with the Reality Enhanced Augmented Learning Faculty Learning Community (REAL FLC) situated in the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences.