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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course


The media industries that inform and entertain are also leading sectors of employment. This course explores both the cultural and economic aspects of media. Today, more than ever, media professionals need to understand the cultures, forms and practices of contemporary communication industries, and recognize and respond to changing conditions, challenges and policy issues.

You will explore media and marketing communications industries from the global to the local, and from political economic aspects to the creativity of media practitioners and users. You will examine contemporary convergence across media, marketing and promotional industries and will be supported in your independent investigation into chosen aspects of digital publishing, audiovisual and social media, advertising, public relations and other marketing communications industries.

This MA offers a stimulating and wide-ranging programme supporting routes into both postgraduate research and careers in the creative industries in content creation and operations, management, research, policy and other support services. The programme will help you develop both academic and applied skills through research and study, innovative work/study experience, and production.

UEL is part of one of the largest ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnerships in the UK, the UBEL DTP and this MA is ESRC-recognised.

What makes this course different

Industry links

Industry links

This course supports you in investigating contemporary media and marketing communication industries through research, industry work/study experience, and (optionally) by developing your media production skills.

Worldwide connections

Worldwide connections

Exploring changes across media businesses in the UK and worldwide, you will be assisted in investigating chosen topics, from working practices and governance, to co-creation and use, across creative industries, from digital publishing, audiovisual, mobile and social media, to advertising and other promotional industries.

Multiple resources

Multiple resources

Our course gives you access to a broad range of expertise in the School of Arts and Digital Industries and the School of Social Sciences, both at UEL. We have a wide network of industry professionals and researchers.


  • Advanced understanding of media and communication industries, their economic or business applications, their industrial and management structures and methods, their creative practices and techniques, their activities and influence on users, stakeholders and societies.
  • The ways in which cultural and media organisations and practices intersect with political and economic processes, cultural meaning-making, creativity and social communications 
  • The political, economic, social, cultural and technological forces that influence the media and communication industries
  • The ways in which creative artefacts are originated, produced, distributed, appropriated and used
  • The organisation of work and professional and occupational codes and practices in cultural production, distribution and reception 
  • The legal, ethical and other regulatory frameworks, including the intellectual property framework, that are relevant to media and cultural production, distribution, circulation, and reception 
  • How to engage critically with major thinkers, contemporary researchers and debates within the field, putting them to productive use
  • Develop critically informed analysis and evaluation of cultural texts and practices associated with media and marketing communication industries, and your own work.



  • Core Modules

    Investigating Media and Communication Industries

    This module examines the media and creative industries and explores their organisation and institutional arrangements, their media forms, products and services, work practices and cultures, as well as their convergence, hybridisation and transformation. This is a module about the political and economic organisation ('political economy') of the media with particular reference to western industrial democracies but including study of global media industries and comparative media systems.

    This module provides you with a broad understanding of the ways in which different media industries have developed, the way they have been structured, organised and controlled, and the ways they have developed relationships with audiences, users and co-creators. The module focuses on the transformation of media and communication industries and investigates themes of convergence, globalisation and digitalisation of public media.

    Methods of theorising the relationship between technology, the media and society are also explored by examining technical innovation in the production, distribution and consumption of various media forms and formats. The management and organisation of media industries is examined, drawing on theories of political economy, cultural economy, and theories and approaches in media studies, business studies, sociology and cultural studies.

    The module also examines work practices in the cultural and creative industries and the competencies and behaviours required to work successfully within these. The module provides support for you in work placement/study activities and in presenting and preparing yourselves for your careers. You will complete a Career Development Project, producing a portfolio which may include reporting on an external work placement, a work project based on their own professional practice, or an alternative research project.


    Professional Practice and Research Methods (Mental Wealth)

    This Mental Wealth module provides you with the academic and professional competencies necessary for successful study at postgraduate level, and particularly for producing a self-initiated final project at Masters level. The module introduces the research project process, the key underlying principles of research design and major methodological approaches that guide research in the fields of media and communication and filmmaking. All this will help you to develop a coherent research design and / or pre-production documentation for your own final project. The research and development process will equip you with a wide range of conceptual, creative and practical skills that will help you in any professional or academic career path you pursue in film, media and communication related fields as well as for those seeking to progress to research at a higher level, for example for a doctorate.

    You will be guided in the steps to plan, develop and realise an appropriate, independent research and / or practice-based project under relevant subject-specialist supervision and through a process of drafting and revision, grounded in thorough ongoing preparation in methods of study and conceptual formulation, as dictated by the scope and character of the research undertaken. This Mental Wealth module supports and develops core competencies as outlined in the learning outcomes below.


    Final Project

    This module is designed to support you in the production of an independent, Masters level written research project or film and media production project. The purpose is to support you in the completion of your final project based on the preparatory work undertaken in MS7*** Professional Practice and Research Methods. The module will consolidate knowledge acquired and skills developed in earlier modules through the execution of a piece of independent and original work The main form of support will be individual supervision, with some group sessions, and with additional technical support, as required.

    Optional Modules

    Media and Marketing Communications

    The relationships between media and advertising are changing profoundly as they converge across digital platforms. Once settled relationships are being disrupted as advertising becomes more integrated within media and yet also more decoupled as advertising systems track and address users directly. A multi-layered convergence is underway: a convergence of marketing communications and media across corporate arrangements, production practices and identities, cultural forms, and relationships with users. This module explores the changing relationships between advertising, public relations, media and other environments where promotional communications occur, such as retail, fashion, music, sports and digital outdoor screens.

    The module considers changing relationships between brands and communications across media industries and practices and draw on a range of practitioner, industry, academic, regulatory, civil society and critical perspectives. The module brings together knowledge and capabilities to serve those seeking to work in branded content and digital marketing as well as those interested in investigating promotional screen industries, practices and promotional cultures. The module draws on media industries analysis, social and cultural theory, political economy, business, law and a range of contemporary critical and theoretical approaches to marketing communications. It combines practical training with investigation and study of relationships between public relations, marketing communications and media.


    The Moving Image

    This module aims to provides you with a range of research methods and skills necessary for undertaking media production-based work as part of your MA degree and be able to function in the media industries environment of the 21st century, with transferable skills and adaptability.

    The module aims to assist and encourage conceptual and technical experimentation and research work which maps the subject matter and the formal strategies to be employed, in the production of innovative source materials.

    The central concept of this module is the relationship between realistic limitations and imaginative innovation: limitation is seen not negatively, but as the dynamic contour of the release of creative energy, enabling artistic and aesthetic invention.


    Documentary Cinema

    • To provide students at postgraduate level with the opportunity to creatively, innovatively and critically research, devise and complete a documentary project.
    • To explore and extend practical skills in the area of documentary production.
    • To consolidate the central role of theory/practice through the development of research and materials displaying an evolving and coherent theoretical link between documentary practice and academic enquiry.
    • To reflect in a critical and informed way upon the work of documentary practitioners and theorists and to locate their individual practice within prevailing theoretical debates.


    • To engage with a range of critical approaches to the analysis of sound in relation to moving image forms and technologies.
    • To investigate the specific problematics in the practice of sound design for moving image.
    • To examine emergent theoretical perspectives in the philosophy of audio-vision and the perception of sound.
    • To develop practical skills and techniques of sound design practice, including notation, planning, reverse scoring and digital sound design.
    • To contextualise the evolution of sound design practice and technologies in relation to history of the moving and interactive image.

    Sustainability and the Commons

    This module will give students the opportunity to gain knowledge on the problematic of environmental and socio-economic sustainability in the contemporary world and explore how collective action in general and the commons in particular are an effective response to these problematics. Students will be encouraged to navigate the theoretical and empirical literature on the commons and reflect on their own experience of community involvement. Students will also be guided in the planning for the final essay and trained in the art of blogging.


You'll be taught by a range of staff, some of whom are practitioners and/or published researchers in the area they teach. The assessments focus on a mix of research and practical skills some of which are presented as 'live or simulated briefs' as well as applied or academic research projects. This ensures that the practice-led and research informed teaching is relevant to industry and the world of work as well as the pursuit of advanced PG study (MPhil, PhD) and research careers.

Our staff are well placed to take advantage of a range of professional and research networks, and industry contacts. Each module is designed with practical components and a reflective component, with the intention that students develop an ability to comment critically on and justify their creative process

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled lectures or workshops, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This will typically involve skills development through online study, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects and preparing coursework assignments and presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, specialist facilities, such as edit suites, the library, the full Microsoft Office software, including MS Teams, and Moodle: our Virtual Learning Environment.

Academic support

Our academic support team provides help in a range of areas – including learning and disability support

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of the academic course team who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at UEL and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer.


For full-time time study, you will spend around 330 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities to complete the MA. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate workload hours for this course are:

  • Full-time scheduled teaching - 332 hours
  • Guided independent study - 1768 hours

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 7.30pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 20 new students per year. Lecture sizes are normally maximum 40 students.

In the classroom you will be taught in groups of 18–20 students. However, this can vary by academic year.

Our MA partners include:

The BCMA is the global industry body for branded content practitioners, run by practitioners, promoting best practice, sharing knowledge and growing the branded content industry. BCMA will also recommend placements to its member companies.

  • Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (and associated organisations involved in media policy, research and production)
  • CY Film Productions - an independent film and TV production company.
  • Drum Omnicom Media Group's award winning content & creative business dedicated to helping ambitious brands create and influence popular culture.
  • Instinct PR - a leading consumer public relations agency founded by Jonathan Kirkby, a PR expert for over 12 years and UEL alumni.
  • New Internationalist - the world's leading independent publisher of magazines and books on politics, global justice and equality.
  • OpenDemocracy - based in Dalston, openDemocracy is an independent global media platform publishing up to 60 articles a week and attracting over eight million visits per year.
  • TCO London - TCO is a Shoreditch based independent agency and media owner, that makes premium content for brands and published film review and youth culture magazines.

The MA team also brings a strong track record of working with BAME cultural producers and organisations across London and the South East.  


Depending on options, coursework will include a mixture of practical outcomes, e.g. individual or group-based films, artefacts, presentations, written assignments, videos and podcasts or research-based assignments.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • 100% coursework

You’ll always receive written or audio feedback, outlining your strengths and how you can improve. We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 15 working days.


Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD


The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Dr Tony David Sampson

Tony is a Reader in Digital Cultures and Communications. He is research active and is programme leader for MA Media and Communications Industries.

Read more

Dr Valentina Signorelli

Dr Signorelli specialises in transmedia storytelling and production. She has contributed to films, TV, advertising and VR projects.

Read more

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.


The course will prepare students for a variety of careers in the management and production of media content and services, both in the UK and worldwide. Students will be able to demonstrate both academic and applied skills in research, planning and communication, and those pursuing practice-based options will be able to demonstrate enhanced skills in content creation and production processes.

Students will also be equipped to work in communications in broader contexts such as in communications regulation and compliance and media policy, marketing communications and promotion, and various strategic and support services across the media and creative industries. Our students will also be well placed to pursue further research at PhD level, and even pursue an academic career.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.