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Fees and Funding

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

Overview

This course is designed to give you the opportunity to actively engage with key aspects of critical, creative and professional practice connected to social media. You will acquire knowledge of key elements of social media, histories, critical frameworks, marketing, branded content, social media influencers, celebrity, trends, social media activism and digital communications. During your degree you will incorporate work and project-based learning to give you the best, real life working experience.

What makes this course different

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Industry 4.0

The course provides a comprehensive approach to the study of social media and digital communications for industry 4.0

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Future-proof

Delivering and developing future-proof tools for creative practice informed by emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and digital skills for tomorrow's world.

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Graduate-level employment

Emphasis on personal development and industry connections for successful graduate-level employment.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

1. Practical and professional skills associated with social media communications technologies.

2. In-depth knowledge of social media and cultural forms in a local, regional, national, international and global context.

3. Social media forms and genres and the ways in which different social groups may make use of cultural texts.

4. Understandings, meanings and affects of the role of changing technology in media.

DOWNLOAD COURSE SPECIFICATIONS

This course is subject to validation. You can still apply for this course while it is being approved.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Academic Development

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to embarking on their university degree and successfully completing it and progressing on to a range of potential future career areas.

    Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate the reflective skills, openness and self-awareness to enable themselves to assess what they are doing, identify areas for improvement, and confidently receive and give constructive feedback.

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    Group Film Project

    Students will develop fundamental digital media production skills required to make a film. Over this course of this module, students will work in groups to research and produce a short fiction or non-fiction film for online distribution. Students will also have the opportunity to reflect (critically evaluate) on their own practice in relation to the main topics covered during the module; including professional practice.

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    Narrative and Creativity

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills and knowledge necessary to create oral, visual and written narratives for all kinds of media production. This module aims to give students the theoretical understanding of narrative and creativity. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to consider how these theories shape their chosen subject. Students will be assessed on their ability to present their understanding of narrative theories and give supporting examples of how these apply to various forms of media.

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    Analogue Game Design

    The module will introduce students to the ideas and production of analogue games.

    Students will learn the elements that make up games and how to critically design and iterate on a game idea in in teams, using observations from playtests.

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    Creative Writing Portfolio

    The module will introduce students to key ideas in creative writing. You will produce a portfolio of different types of creative writing and reflect on these accordingly. You will read a variety of creative texts and texts about writing craft. The emphasis will be on producing lots of drafts to get used to regularly writing and reading.

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    Ways of Looking

    This module will introduce students to how meaning is made and transmitted in visual texts. Students will be introduced to the various ‘ways of looking’ (frameworks) at media, and how this is applies to current media examples. Students will be expected to conduct their own research and encouraged to consider how the ‘ways of looking’ at media can be applied to their own subject specific pathway. Students will also learn how to apply key composition and aesthetic (typography, colour, and layout) skills to their own work in the form an academic poster using industry standard software.

  • Core Modules
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    Documentary 1: Documentary and Representation (Creative Writing)

    The module equips students with an understanding of how to engage with a wide range of themes through documentary forms. The module provides a context for documentary practice and problematises categories of representation, notions of 'truth' and 'realism' and facilitates civic engagement and involvement with the East London community.

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    Media Cultures

    This keystone module provides you with the contextual knowledge essential to your subject area. The module will introduce a range of perspectives on contemporary media cultures and landscapes to develop competencies appropriate to your field of study and to the world of work. The module will introduce you to core study skills and practices including how to identify, access, collate and evaluate evidence, understanding academic writing conventions and how to express a range of ideas through appropriate means of communication.

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    Aesthetics and Technologies 1: Practice as research

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to experiment with and explore a range of techniques and crafts in collaborative and multi-platform projects. They will be introduced to aesthetic practices, concepts and technologies used in the external world with a view to informing this experimentation. Industry professionals will be invited to collaborate in this process via a 'Masterclass' series of interactive workshops. Students will demonstrate their knowledge through an ability to critically reflect upon the results.

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    Narrative 1: Narrative fiction

    This module examines forms of narrative and storytelling in the context of traditional and interactive media.

    Case studies from various media such as television, cinema, gaming and social media are presented.

    Narrative theory, such as the conventions of plot and character development, the representation of narrative action and the use of digital media are taught, culminating in a media production piece that embodies the theories and concepts students have learned.

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    Social Media & Branded Content Design

    You will learn a range of established and emerging approaches from the field of digital media design and social media, and also engage with critical theory of digital and social cultures. The module will cover key subjects related to advertising and branded content including; brand identity; brand positioning; integrated marketing communications, emotional branding and user engagement and interactivity. You will formulate a digital media strategy in response to a brief that has engagement and interactivity at the heart of its production. You will work in groups to present a piece of media intended for social or digital dissemination and consider the role of audience engagement in its conception and production.

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    Professional life: Mental Wealth - Agency 1

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance is increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide students hoping to work in the creative industries with the opportunity to learn and apply the full range of skills, competencies and experience required for successful progression into in a range of potential future career areas.

    Students will learn about conventions and expectations in the creative industries, focussing on areas specific to their programme of study. They will also advance their own personal professional development through taught and workshop activities, and explore possible strategies to further develop their reflective skills and self-awareness.

    Students will have opportunity to select an in-house microbusiness to join in the role of 'Apprentice'. In this position they will focus on the importance of research in the creative industries. Students will practice key methods including digital and other research and qualitative methods used in industry today, including trends, news coverage and customer reviews. Students will also learn the conventions of research and analysis in order to develop a pitch or proposal in response to a client brief.

  • Core Modules
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    Employment and Enterprise

    This module prepares students for employment in the creative industries and enables self-reflection on career progression.

    Students will develop and enhance their employability and enterprise skillset in preparation for graduate employment opportunities.

    Students will complete a Career Development Project which includes a work placement.

    This will be a self-directed project which they will research and undertake individually, in discussion with the tutors.

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    Celebrity & Influencer Marketing

    The growth of new media has generated new ways of representing, consuming and producing celebrity. This module focuses on celebrity and influencer branding to explore the use of social media as a strategic tool in audience and consumer engagement. The module looks at the history and intellectual frameworks of celebrity studies and the impact of social media on celebrity culture. Theories of social influence and symbolic and emotional branding will be explored to interrogate the contemporary relationship between social media, celebrity and branding. We will examine the rise of branded content and social media influencers as cultural intermediaries of taste and status in the 21st century through a case study approach which looks at for example fan cultures, beauty influencers and self-branding strategies in Instagram cultures. You will research, analyse and develop your own branded content strategies informed by the module themes.

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    Mental Wealth: Professional life: Agency 2

    Best learning experiences follow a 'learning by doing' approach followed by reflection and assimilation.

    Building upon the competencies and skills identified at level 4, this module supports effective professional development through practical experience. You will work on live project briefs to produce media content which is informed by appropriate research in the field of study.

    Professional understandings and skills sets will be furthered through practical work enabling you to strengthen key graduate skills such as teamwork, organisation skills, digital skills, effective communication, and professionalism.

    Through reflective practice, you will evaluate your ongoing progress as a learner and as a practising professional.

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    Documentary 2: Experimental Documentary

    This module aims to encourage you to experiment and develop a creative and critical approach to a range of media technologies. You will build on the practical and conceptual skills relevant to media production gained in previous modules and consider your own production work in relation to both historical and contemporary media practice. You will work to produce an experimental piece that incorporates exploration of different and imaginative ways to play with documentary form and content.

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    Narrative 2: Advanced narrative

    This module provides the opportunity for students to develop their media narrative skills in a more advanced and professional context. Students will develop a project voicing themes of identity within contemporary culture. They will then be supported in key areas of project development and selection. Finally they will progress through all relevant stages of production. Narrative and conceptual structures will be delivered at a higher level than in Level 4 and technical support will be provided to enhance the students' craft skills relating to professional practice. The module will structure the development of key media skills as well as a deeper understanding of the creative process relating to the students' chosen narrative genre. The course will end with a peer group evaluation, enabling the students to critically reflect on their achievements a means of progression into Level 6.

  • Core Modules
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    Mental Wealth: Professional Life: Agency 3 - Freelancing at UEL Creatives

    This module is delivered as part of UEL’s creative agency, UEL Creatives, where students will work on live projects that will develop their employability skills and give them experience of working with industry.

    Students can apply for a range of projects suitable to their skill-set and will be matched to at least one project as part of the unit. Working either individually or as part of a team to meet the brief set by a real client, students learn how to work as a freelancer and manage their own workload.

    This will include practical information such as how to manage intellectual property as well as best practice on communicating with clients, working as a team and planning for the future.

    In addition, students will be required to reflect on the experience, helping them to develop key enterprise skills including reliance and problem-solving.

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    Final Project: Development

    The module will review the field / subject discipline as appropriate to a self-identified research project within the scope of the programme of study. This will entail devising, researching and planning a major programme of work in an appropriate medium as a relevant object of analysis. You will draw on learning across your programme to showcase your skills and talent in articulating your media project, as a process of development informed by theories, methods and practices relevant to the creative industries.

    You can choose to follow independent research through one of two routes: a) by producing a written dissertation that engages with contemporary debates in media or b) by using practice as a mode of research supported by a verbal demonstration of the critical discourses it speaks to.

    Under relevant subject-specialist supervision and through a process of drafting and revision, you will be grounded in methods of study and conceptual formulation, as dictated by the scope and character of the research undertaken.

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    Aesthetics & Technologies: Professional Practices

    The module provides an in-depth understanding of creative work cultures, and self-promotional strategies to help you establish personal branding for your own set of skills, experiences and practices. This module examines the Creative Industries and explores their organisation and institutional arrangements, their media forms, products and services, work practices and cultures. Here you will extend your skills, experience and self-awareness to prepare for a career in the Creative Industries through the application of learned skills to your career promotion and progression.

    You will enhance your professional practice and self-branding skills set though a career development project which includes critical reflection and self-promotional strategies. The module provides an in- depth understanding of creative work cultures, and self-promotional techniques to help you establish personal branding for your own set of skills, experiences and practices.

    Optional Modules
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    Transmedia and digital futures

    In this module, you will examine various theories both on transmedia storytelling as well as on complex narratives that underpin these types of intercompositional narratives, analysing the impact of convergence culture on the way in which we produce and consume media.

    The module encourages you to employ experimental and imaginative approaches to concept, process and final realisation of your projects – skills essential to the creation of digital artworks and to the creative industries in general. It also provides you with a greater awareness of the creative context in which to locate their work. You will produce a transmedia narrative working across multiple platforms and formats, including but not limited to video, sound, music, animation, and photography.

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    Mental Wealth: Copywriting & Writing for Social Media

    This module will provide an in-depth look at the theory and practice of copywriting to students. You will explore a broad range of copywriting briefs and examine the issues involved in the production of good copy. The module will provide a supportive and creative context in which you can experiment with, develop, and refine your writing and copywriting skills, and develop a good understanding of professional industry contexts in which you are employed.

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    Creative Content Design and Execution

    You will build on the knowledge gained in levels 4 and 5 to conduct a group project in which you autonomously construct the design, execution and planning of a promotional campaign. You will review existing good practice and develop your skills in more complex advertising methods, as well as advanced strategies around planning and integrated marketing communications, in order to construct an innovative, industry-standard solution to a client brief.

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    Self Branding in the Digital Age

    Developing a self-brand is a key skill in creating personal connections and enhancing employability in the creative industries. Through exploring the personal branding of companies, celebrities and entrepreneurs, you will develop personal strategies to showcase your own talents and strengths. Creating a personal brand is an effective approach for you to define your own ethical positions, style and future goals, and to develop confidence in self-promotion. Taking a case study approach you will learn the history and context of personal branding in the digital age to apply appropriate strategies to their own promotion in the world of work and entrepreneurship.

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    Understanding Digital Cultures

    Students will learn the social, economic and technological developments that have combined to produce the modern ‘prosumer’ and critically assess the dynamics in play when people use social media, increasingly in immersive environments. This critical approach to examining user contexts allows us to identify a series of ethical questions and the potential of data harvesting in the pursuit of new consumers.

    Students with gain an understanding of social media’s commercial purposes, and an awareness of how the pervasive appeal of these platforms raise a broader set of questions regarding the deployment of technological innovation in a world transnational in character.

  • Optional Modules
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    Employment & Enterprise

    This module prepares students for employment in the creative industries and enables self-reflection on career progression. Students will develop and enhance their employability and enterprise skillset in preparation for graduate employment opportunities. Students will complete a Career Development Project which includes a work placement. This will be a self-directed project which they will research and undertake individually, in discussion with the tutor.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

You'll be taught by a range of staff, many of whom run their own practices or work in practice, which ensures relevance to industry and practice. Knowledge is developed through lectures, practical workshops, knowledge-based activities with feedback, reflective activities. 

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled lectures you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This will typically involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and Moodle.

Dedicated personal tutor

Our academic support team provides help in a range of areas - including learning and disability support. When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of staff 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.

Workload

Each year you will spend around 300 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
  • Year 2: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
  • Year 3: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students 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 6.00pm. 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, the Media Cluster normally attracts 60 - 70 students a year. Lecture sizes vary in terms of shared and course specific modules. 

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

Coursework will include presentations, case studies, research-based assignments, content creation, portfolio.

  • Year 1: 100% coursework portfolio
  • Year 2: 100% coursework portfolio
  • Year 3: 100% coursework portfolio

You'll always receive detailed feedback outlining your strengths and how you can improve. We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

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.

Julia Dane

Julia Dane teaches in the field of advertising, media and cultural theory, with her research interests in gender and digital fandom.

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Dr Valentina Signorelli

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

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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.

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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.

Communication technology powers today. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as 'Industry 4.0' is characterised by the application of communication and information technologies to industry. In-depth knowledge, professional and practical skills in social media practices; the rise of social networks, user-generated content, participatory auidence and consumer cultures, marketing and communication strategies, self-branding and promotion are key to future careers and sustainable innovation for a changing world.

Dr Julia Dane

YOUR FUTURE CAREER

Media and Journalism are, of course, competitive worlds to enter. You'll have a head start at UEL, thanks to teachers with exceptional contacts who know exactly what newspapers, radio stations and other media outlets are looking for. Our students have gone on to jobs in television, film, journalism, publishing, advertising and public relations as well as careers in games design and production. The skills and knowledge we build have enabled some students to become successful freelancers or set up their own businesses. You could get into roles such as Social Media Manager, Market Research Analyst, Account Manager, Social Media Content Creator, Communications Officer and many more.