Media Production BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

University Centre Peterborough



Develop the knowledge, understanding and skills you need to pursue a career in the media, marketing or communications by studying a Media Production degree at ARU.

Full description


Our students go on to careers in many branches of the media, including broadcast, print, production, radio, video and film.

We’re always developing placement opportunities with the industry and our students have worked with organisations including the BBC, Vivacity Peterborough, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Ideal World Shopping Channel and i3MEDIA (among others). You can apply for a bursary to cover your work experience expenses with local employers.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Media, Culture and Society
    This module will give you an overview of approaches to the media, including theories of the media and the broader issues and questions that have traditionally concerned media theorists. You'll be introduced to all aspects of the media, including structures and organisations, production processes, contents, and audiences. You'll critically discuss and evaluate theories of the media, along with the different perspectives, including organisational theories of media production, sociological and psychological approaches to media contents and reception, and the challenges posed by the new media.
  • Analysing Language and Image
    This module will introduce you to some of the main terms, methodologies and concepts employed in analysing media texts interrogating communication through word and image. You'll explore language and visual imagery as systems of signs that signify meanings that may be said to be context-specific and/or culturally and ideologically motivated. In addressing language, you'll explore the work of Saussure and the extent to which his structural linguistics laid foundations for notions such as the death of the author/subject, the instability of meaning and the problems attaching to claims of truth and knowledge, extending Saussure's semiotic method to address visual imagery. By studying the ways meaning is constructed, transmitted and received through still and moving images, you'll learn how responses and judgements are shaped by the organisation of events on the screen and in the frame. Through analyses of selected texts, you'll engage with issues such as representation, realism and ideology. Modes of textual analysis you'll look at include semiotics, narrative analysis and discourse analysis, with examples drawn from a variety of media including newspapers, magazines, art, film and television. You'll develop a vocabulary when considering and discussing meaning and form that will give you a useful theoretical foundation for later stages of study in media.
  • Introduction to Radio and Audio Production
    This module will give you a basis for developing a radio portfolio, as well as a grounding for further study in radio up to major project level. You'll consider the relationship between theory and practice in radio production by studying a wide range of radio programmes and discussing the different requirements of commercial radio stations and public broadcasting. With a focus on the teaching and practice of the basic elements of radio production, writing, presentation, journalism and technical expertise in recording and editing your material, the module will introduce you to the various elements that make up any radio programme, and make you aware of the differences between writing for radio and writing for press, film or television. You'll also look at the art of interviewing, researching and scriptwriting, along with the concept of news and current affairs programming. You'll be expected to adapt print journalism for radio, prepare scripts, record and edit a short current affairs dispatch and short radio programme for a named target audience using music, vox pops, interview clips and sound effects as appropriate. You'll also produce a range of individual radio items that are then compiled into a 15 minute magazine programme, the latter involving group work in the selection and editing together of items.
  • Media and Technology
    On this module you'll address the issues of technology and communication, exploring how the introduction of new communication technologies transforms notions of space, place and time. You'll discuss critically a variety of theoretical positions concerned with how we evaluate the role of technology within communication practices. Technologies and associated practices will be situated within their specific historical periods (for example, the role of printing in Reformation Europe and the role of the internet in contemporary culture). You'll also consider the manner in which communication technology affects cognitive processes such as memory, together with how technologies (for example, mobile phones) affect assumptions about the meaning and nature of communicative practices in general.

Year two, core modules

  • Media, Identity and Difference
    You’ll focus on the question of identity in late modern culture and societies, interrogating how individual and collective identities come about, gain solidity and transform as a result of cultural, social, historical, (media) technological, and psychic processes. You'll consider how various media are involved in the construction of our identities, considering how identities are outcomes of the symbolic forms, systems of thought, power relations and techniques of the self, disseminated and enabled by the media. You'll be introduced to leading paradigms of thinking in media studies, critical theory, philosophy and the broader field of humanities that are crucially important when investigating identity. For your assessment, you'll submit a 3,000-word critical essay.
  • Media and Politics
    You'll consider the significance of the rise of the media in shaping politics, in terms of public opinion, policy formation, formal democratic procedures, public debate and political advocacy. Your studies will include the history of the press and the broadcast media, as well as the emergence of the internet. You'll examine the core concept of the 'public sphere' and explore its rising significance in Europe during the Enlightenment and expansion and management in the 20th century. You'll analyse the crucial role journalism has played in public debate throughout these developments, and look at changes in areas such as privacy, human rights, freedom of speech and civil society. You'll also address and evaluate the contemporary notion of the counter public sphere, and the increasing use of new media to formulate 'subaltern' publics, (which mobilise sections of civil society via issues from environmentalism and gender to 'anti-globalisation' movements), and alternative democratic theories. You'll be assessed through a 2,000-word critical essay and a 1,000-word news commentary.
  • Theorising Popular Culture
    On this module, you will consider a range of theories of popular culture to become familiar with key debates and issues in the study of popular culture. The module will show you how a range of theoretical approaches from the study of popular culture might illuminate and allow you to analyse specific media practices. To this end, you will apply key concepts and theories to a range of popular-cultural and media practices, including television, advertising and popular music. Throughout the module, you will engage with major theoretical debates in the study of popular culture, and think critically about these debates, before applying them to specific media practices. In lectures and seminars, you will explore a range of contested definitions of ‘popular culture’, and consider the role that popular cultural forms have played historically and in the contemporary context. You will also consider whether popular culture provides people with a form of escapism from everyday life, or whether it engages critically with the everyday. By addressing popular cultural practices, you will become familiar with key theoretical perspectives in media studies, including Marxism, semiotics, feminism, psychoanalysis, critical ‘race’ studies, and postmodernism. Your assessment will comprise a 2500 word critical essay on one of the key topics covered on the module.
  • Media and Economy
    You'll examine the role of economics, politics and culture in relation to the media and communication industries, considering this in the context of local, national and global developments in communications technologies and institutions in the early 21st century. You'll explore the tradition of the political economy of communication, from a perspective rooted in Marxist thought and critical theory, and contestations around the influence of 'base' on 'superstructure'. These relationships will give you a framework in which to investigate specific questions emerging from the areas of ownership and control, individual agency, professional practice, technological change, distribution and markets, competition and regulation. You’ll also look at specific case studies, for example the impact of the vertical integration of global media corporations on freedom of choice and expression or the role of the BBC in a multi-channel digital age. You'll be assessed through a critical essay of 3,000 words.

Year three, core modules

  • Theorising the Global Information Age
    In an age increasingly dominated by flows of information, understanding and theorising this phenomenon is becoming an imperative, not just in the context of the study of media and communications but for grasping social change, the formation of subjectivity, and the functions of the economy. You'll explore strategies, approaches and methodologies for capturing the multiple issues, conflicts and dynamics of the information society. This includes issues such as the impact of computer mediated communication (CMC) on work practices and the shift in the nature of production from a material to immaterial economy. You'll also consider the significance of the revolution in person-to-person communications (P2P). You'll be assessed on your understanding and critical response to the material studied through a presentation and a critical essay of 2,500 words.
  • Gender, Media and Culture
    You'll explore the question of gender, one of the major concerns of contemporary (media) cultures, art, and several scholarly fields including media studies, philosophy, cultural theory and feminist criticism. You'll discover the importance of gender as an analytical category and you’ll investigate gender from a variety of angles such as systems of power/knowledge, the organisation of social relations, lived experience, aesthetics (what is given to our perception), and capacities to affect and be affected. You'll examine this variety through the introduction of theories by key scholars and cutting-edge debates linked to instances, trends and elaborations of gender in the media. You'll approach gender as a multi-faceted problem, a highly useful concept, and a set of practices - expressions, experiences and experiments - that are central to our existence and to current media cultures. You'll be assessed through a 3,000-word critical essay.


We’ll assess your progress using your practical work and portfolio, as well as essays and your performance in seminars.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, we use our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond to nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking, and encourage critical thinking, in order to educate, entertain, inspire and understand, as well as to improve people’s lives.

Where can I study?

University Centre Peterborough
University Centre Peterborough

University Centre Peterborough (or UCP) is our modern campus in the heart of an historic city.

Explore UCP

Fees & funding

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK students

Most new UK undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This also applies to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who have citizens' rights following Brexit.

Government funding includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you’re at university.

Entry requirements

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72 UCAS tariff points. Required subject(s): 2 A levels in related subjects. BTEC/Access required: a BTEC National or a full Access Certificate in a related subject. GCSEs required: 3 GCSEs at grade C or above in English, Mathematics and Science.

Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2021, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2021-22.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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Get more information

UK and EU applicants

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UK students

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UCAScode: P300

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