Media and Communication with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

How media is made, who makes it, how it is consumed and whose interests it serves are the key questions you will explore in this degree in Media and Communication. These questions have big implications for which stories and voices are prioritised and which are neglected in the world we live in....

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Birmingham School of Media
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

How media is made, who makes it, how it is consumed and whose interests it serves are the key questions you will explore in this degree in Media and Communication. These questions have big implications for which stories and voices are prioritised and which are neglected in the world we live in. Within a media landscape that is constantly changing, and where we can access media everywhere, these questions become particularly important for those who want to understand the media and those who would like to work in the media. The transferable, critical and technical skills learnt on the course prepare students for post-graduate study, work in the media industry and in many other sectors.

About foundation courses

This four-year programme has been specifically designed to allow students who do not initially meet the entry requirements for a three-year degree, to undertake additional level 3 study designed to ensure they are successful on their chosen degree programme. 

After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto several related undergraduate Media degree programmes. 

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

You will be given the space and freedom to explore and develop your own research and professional interests which will allow you to develop confidence and a clear focus for your next steps. You will learn about how the media industries construct and depict stories and the impact this has on our understanding of media production practices, representation, identity and culture. You will understand how audiences come to those stories, how they understand them and why.   

Alongside these critical skills, you will also develop technical skills across a broad range of media forms, such as television, radio, photography and digital. We don’t want you to learn these skills in isolation from each other. Rather, we invite you to combine research and production skills to use your own media content creation to explore those issues creatively. Through your work you will address current societal issues, emergent media forms and platforms, and think about the history, present and future of the media industry.   

This course equips students to explore and challenge intersections, to ask and answer questions about why the media is the way it is and to have the confidence and ambition to experiment with media forms to create innovative and responsible media texts which speak to diverse audiences. 

Why Choose Us?

    • Top 20 in the UK for Media and Film Studies (Guardian League Tables 2024)
    • Flexibility to opt for a general study of Media and Communication, or a specialist route in radio, television, web and new media, journalism, event and exhibition industries, music industries or public relations
    • Specialised, sophisticated equipment for every area in our new £62 million home in the city centre, including six radio studios, four TV studios, the largest free-standing green screen in Europe, edit suites, music production studios and photography studios (including a half and a full infinity cove)
    • Research-informed teaching, enabling you to critically engage with contemporary debates and innovations in theory/practice
    • Huge range of guest speaker masterclasses. Past talks have included BBC newsreader Huw Edwards,  Jo Geary, UB40’s Brian Travers, Vogue fashion photographer Eliot Siegel and BSkyB’s Head of Production Services, Dave Rooke
    • The course encourages you to take creative risks and be a ‘thinking’ media worker, and you will also have the opportunity to undertake two (or more) industry placements

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £340m facilities.

Next Open Day: 23 March 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

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

UK students
Essential

80 UCAS tariff points.

Level 2 qualifications
GCSE GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.
Scottish National 5 English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • CDD / 80 UCAS points
  • 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 Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 80 pts
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3.
  • 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)
MMP
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Pass
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 80 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 11 points or above from two Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 80 pts
  • 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 24 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 80 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 MMP
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher
  • Achieve a minimum of 80 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 DDD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
T-Levels
  • Pass overall (C or above in the core) in Digital Production, Design and Development or Media, Broadcast and Production
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design Pass overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology Pass overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts Pass 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

6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

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.

Mature Applicants

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

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £16,085 in 2024/25

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Personal stationery and study materials (optional)

For this course it would be useful to have an SD card, a USB stick (minimum 16GB) and external hard drive (minimum 40gb), as well as over the ear headphones. Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £30 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials.

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.

Guidance for UK students

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

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

You are not required to submit a portfolio for this course.

Course in Depth

Foundation Year

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

First Year

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

Second Year

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):

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

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.  

Final Year

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 40 credits):

n order to complete this course a student must successfully complete one module from the following list of CORE-OPTION modules (worth 40 credits) 

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.  

Download course specification

Download now

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

The Professional and Academic Development  strand of the course prepares students for at least two placements in a media or cultural industries organisation, such as the BBC, Maverick Television, Warwickshire County Cricket Club, newspapers, magazines, PR companies and local radio stations.

Teaching is conducted across a range of environments, including radio and TV studios, editing suites, computer classrooms, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, and online.

You will use blogs, create wikis and other interactive media to support their work and self-development.

All production teaching staff at the School are established media professionals who bring with them a range of expertise. They are able to recognise and respond to the rapidly changing demands of the media, ensuring that the course remains relevant to the industry.

The School maintains close contacts with a variety of media organisations including Sky, BBC, Maverick Television and Future Publishing, and visiting tutors and guest speakers regularly hold master class sessions to enhance and enrich students’ learning.

There is a thriving and inclusive research culture at the School. This includes academic staff who are research active, and UG and PG students too. The Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research (BCMCR) in the School of Media, welcomes visiting researchers from across the world and holds regular research seminars which mix presentations from staff, PG students and speakers from a range of our collaborative partnerships. BCMCR welcomes all students to research seminars, which are free to attend.

Classroom activities and projects

Interactive teaching and learning is important to us, especially as this fosters an active and engaged community of thinking media workers. Twitter has been used in modules to enable more students to engage in informal, fun and diverse ways of learning. This gives students a sense of ownership of the module content and greater freedom to discuss topics through applying their own examples/practice. 

The showreel below gives you a glimpse into what some of our incredible students have created during their time at Birmingham School of Media, featuring the best in TV, journalism, radio and more.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

Our track record for graduate employment is excellent, with the majority of graduates going into a media-related role. Each course opens up specific employability avenues related to the production route chosen. A high number of graduates have gone into producer/director roles, journalism, public relations, web development, freelance, and setting up their own businesses. 

Placements

The School strongly believes in the practical application of learning and is fortunate to have very strong links with employers and the media industry. Students on placements have worked with a wide range of organisations including the BBC, Maverick Television and Endemol.

More about our placement opportunities

Graduate stories

Tom Hall- graduate stories

Tom Hall, graduated in 2018
Imaging Producer at Bauer Media

I create a range of imaging items for both national and local radio stations within the Bauer City Network. We work across 52 stations and productions can range from promos, sponsors, spotlights, partnerships and more. My degree really helped prepare me for this role, not only with learning practical skills such as radio production and audio editing but also the essential skills like communicating in a professional environment and working within a big team of creatives to achieve a mutual goal. It also provided the fundamentals for me to develop contacts which came in handy when I was trying to get into the industry."

Find out more about Tom's role

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

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 over £400 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

Ellie Tomsett

Senior Lecturer

Dr Ellie Tomsett is a Senior Lecturer in media and film. Before teaching in Higher Education, Ellie worked in the UK film education sector. During this time she delivered training to teachers, youth workers and professional filmmakers across the country and organised filmmaking and theory activities for large organisations such as The BFI, The...

More about Ellie

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...

More about Robin

Dave Harte

Deputy Head of English and Media and Associate Professor in Journalism and Media Studies

Dave Harte is Associate Professor in Journalism and Media Studies. He researches the emerging trend of local community ‘hyperlocal’ news websites and has published widely on the subject. Within the School of Media he leads on teaching and learning initiatives and teaches modules on Journalism Studies, Social Media, and Alternative and Community...

More about Dave

Dr Sarah Wood

Head of English and Media

Sarah Wood holds degrees from JMU, the University of Liverpool, and Birmingham City University, where she gained her PhD. Her research interests are in feminism and science fiction. She has an article on Octavia Butler forthcoming in FEMSPEC and is working on further studies of Butler as well as of Nalo Hopkinson and slave narrative.

More about Sarah

Ross Hawkes

Ross leads the journalism pathway. He was previously a sports writer, sub-editor, page designer, news reporter, web editor, features writer and editor, before leading Trinity Mirror's digital programme in the Midlands. He also founded and currently runs award-winning hyperlocal website, LichfieldLive, which has been used an example of...

More about Ross

Hilary Weston Jones

Lecturer in Professional and Academic Development

Hilary specialises in embedding employability within modules across all years and supporting students with securing work placements. Having spent 24 years working as a Television Production Manager (BBC and Independents), Hilary teaches and mentors students within this area.

More about Hilary