School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Media Arts

Are you passionate about video or photography? Do you wish to explore the worlds of sound and animation? Our BA (Hons) Media Arts course gives you the power to create your own unique pathway – focus on one area or work across media. We prepare you for the ever-changing media and arts industries by empowering you with the skills and confidence to find your own creative voice and push boundaries. Embrace the challenges and opportunities of the future by learning with us today.

You will advance your technical skills using our outstanding equipment and facilities including a fully equipped cinema, moving image studio with green screen, photographic and sound studios, computer labs, animation rostrums and much more. You’ll also benefit from our strong links with the industry such as the BBC, ITV and Royal Television Society along with regional arts and community groups, giving you the opportunity to develop and realise creative collaborations beyond the University.

It’s not too late to apply for September 2019

If you haven’t applied to the University of Plymouth for September 2019 entry, prior to the UCAS deadline, there may still be vacancies on your chosen course.

It’s not too late to apply

Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Danny Cooke:

"To be a freelance film-maker, you need to be dedicated and patient. When you start off, it is unlikely that you would be making a sufficient amount of income. When studying, use your spare time to build up a portfolio, this is one of the most important things to help you get clients."

Read more from Danny in his case study.

Key features

  • Freedom to experiment – you can choose to focus on one medium, develop several or integrate across the range to find your own creative voice. You’ll have the opportunity to develop projects to suit your own creative and career ambitions.
  • Open doors to your future career by showcasing your work to the public in exhibitions, and developing a portfolio of work. You can enhance your professional profile further by engaging with our live briefs.
  • Advance your technical skills using our outstanding equipment and facilities including a fully equipped cinema, moving image studio with green screen, photographic and sound studios, computer labs, animation rostrums and much more.
  • Learn from award-winning tutors from industry, arts practice and academic research. 
  • Tailor your degree to match your interests and career goals with an option to specialise in television in your final year.
  • Benefit from strong links with the industry such as the BBC, ITV and Royal Television Society along with regional arts and community groups, giving you the opportunity to develop and realise creative collaborations beyond the University.
  • This course is assessed by coursework only – there are no exams.
  • 100 per cent of students agreed staff were good at explaining things and 100 per cent of students agreed staff made the subject interesting (source: 2018 NSS and 2018 DLHE survey results available on Unistats*).
  • Exchange programmes in Europe and the USA.
  • Our alumni support current students with mentoring and career opportunities. Graduate Rachael Lyons, who has been Commercial Digital Producer for the X Factor is currently mentoring one of our stage 3 students on our professional mentoring scheme.
  • Connect with current students and alumni in our dedicated Media arts Facebook group.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, practical modules will focus on video, photography and sound. In your second term, you’ll select a medium to develop further in the form of a documentary, beginning to engage in work beyond the University setting. Your practical modules are accompanied by a critical module and a professional practice module.
    Core modules
    • MEDI401 Media Arts Practice

      This module will provide students with a set of challenges to promote understanding of contemporary Media Arts practices and the context in which these practices sit. It will explore how theory and practice interlink as well as giving the students a grounding in relevant methodology.

    • MEDI405 Documentary

      The module introduces forms through which we (as subjects) construct (and are constructed by) representations of truth and reality. Students produce a substantial piece of practical documentary work. The choice of subject matter is open but the realisation should exist as an original document through gathering and analysis of primary (and sometimes source) material.

    • MEDI406 Situating Practice

      In this module students will be required to critically evaluate the skills and experience gained in previous modules and develop strategies for the future. They will be introduced to key critical approaches to presenting work to the public and engage in practice which explores the dialogue between their work and wider contexts.

    • MEDI408 Photo Narratives

      This module will introduce to students the creative possibilities of working with ideas of narrative. This is a practice lead module which integrates appropriate references to narrative theory.

    • MEDI409 Interactive Media and Animation

      Students will experiment with interactive media and animation through a range of approaches ¿ for example through stop-motion, vector animation, artist programming (MaxMSP/Jitter etc.). Students will develop their practice through resolving theoretical and practical issues in the areas of interactivity, nonlinearity, moving image, use of sound and the construction of user-experiences.

    • MEDI410 Film Narratives

      This module is a concise introduction to the practices of moving image production and screen-based storytelling. Students will also be introduced to various approaches for the generation and development of ideas.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you will explore animation and digital media alongside advanced options for video, photography and sound. Creativity, experimentation and developing your own creative voice will be at the heart of this part of the course. You’ll undertake projects in collaboration with people outside of the course and a module exploring media theory will enhance your academic skills. You’ll also develop a professional profile and online portfolio.
    Core modules
    • MEDI501 Critical Dialogues

      Critical Dialogues 2 mixes contemporary debates and media histories in a lively lecture/seminar programme. The module provides exposure to seminal media arts theory / practice and facilitates students to engage critically with their own work, situated in the context of established practitioners.

    • MEDI508 Critical Dialogues 2

      Through a lively lecture/seminar programme, Critical Dialogues 2 builds on contemporary debates and media histories introduced the Critical Dialogues module. The module continues to explore a range of seminal media arts theory / practice and facilitates students to engage critically with their own work, situated in the context of established practitioners.

    • MEDI509 Experimental Production

      This module provides a framework in which to research and develop one or more large-scale projects built on thematic interests (i.e. a sense of personal `practice¿), by means of practical experiments, underpinned by contextual research and ongoing reflection.

    • MEDI510 Transmedia Storytelling and Branding

      This module challenges students to produce branding and advertising work in response to live briefs. Students will explore the techniques of this field, as well as critical responses to the `culture industry¿. Students will underpin creative and theoretical approaches with practical skills.

    • MEDI511 Social Context

      This module offers an opportunity for students to work collaboratively on projects that will develop and enhance their professional and creative skills in working towards a collective outcome. It places creativity at the core of collaboration alongside the facilitation of new ideas and practices.

    • MEDI512 Experiment

      In this module students will undertake a range of short projects where they are required to experiment with a number of forms and practices. The module provides the framework for a student lo take creative risks, broaden their practical skills, enhance their confidence and to develop their own creative voice.

    Optional modules
    • MEDI505 International Project

      This module provides a structured context for a period of study in another country than the home one. As part of the module students will be expected to undertake appropriate study at a recognised institute. Additional project work will be approved prior to the commencement of the module but it is expected to reflect the exchange experience.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll complete two major self-directed projects in independent practice and collaborative practice. You’ll write a dissertation and prepare for your future career in the professional practice module. You’ll showcase your achievements in a substantial public exhibition and produce work within a professional context. Alternatively, you can specialise in online television for your final year, in a route delivered in association with leading television company Twofour. All of our students undertake a written dissertation on a subject of their choice.
    Core modules
    • MEDI602 Media Dissertation

      Students will research a subject area within Media Arts in considerable depth, developing their own methodologies in researching, collating and synthesising data and concepts in order to present arguments clearly and persuasively. The outcome will be a piece of written work with illustrations, bibliography, notes and appendices as appropriate.

    • MEDI608 Media Arts Futures

      This module will support students in their aspirations beyond graduation. Students will identify career/ postgraduate aims and further develop their portfolios and professional profiles to effectively promote themselves and their practice in appropriate contexts.

    • MEDI609 Collaborative and Contextual Practice

      In this module you will undertake a collaborative project, emphasis will be placed on working processes and methodologies, group interaction, the planning and completion of the project within a defined context. This module provides an important critical context arising from issues relating to collaborative practice, working from a research and development stage through to realisation in order to contribute new objects or forms of cultural production.

    • MEDI611 Independent Practice

      Drawing on a growing sense of practice, underpinned by tutorial support, students will develop a large scale project through an application of practical and critical skills.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Media Arts programme specification 2019 20 0662

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112

A level 
A minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
28 points. 

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM. 

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably art and design or combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

GCSE
Mathematics and English Language grade C.

Other
Equivalent qualifications may be considered.


For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Media Arts news

Media Arts offers you the opportunity to study a range of media practices, including: video, photography, sound, animation and digital media.  

Studying with us will give you the freedom to experiment.  You can choose to focus on one medium, develop several or integrate across the range to find your own creative voice. 

You’ll have the opportunity to develop projects to suit your own creative and career ambitions. You can open doors to your future career by showcasing your work to the public and developing a portfolio of work. You can enhance your professional profile further by engaging with our live briefs. 

Advance your technical skills using our outstanding equipment and facilities including a fully equipped cinema, moving image studio with green screen, photographic and sound studios, computer labs, animation rostrums and much more. 

Learn from award-winning tutors from industry, arts practice and academic research. Benefit from strong links with the industry such as the BBC, ITV and Royal Television Society along with regional arts and community groups, giving you the opportunity to develop and realise creative collaborations beyond the University.

Experience real life projects beyond the classroom

Our strong industry links with organisations such as the BBC, ITV and Royal Television Society, as well as regional arts and community groups, give you the opportunity to work on real life creative collaborations
Find out more about our industry partners

Student exhibition gallery

We ensure Media Arts students understand the career opportunities that are open to them, support development of their professional profiles and make sure all have the best portfolio they are capable of.
Take a look at our latest exhibition


Media Arts international

We love Plymouth, but we also love to explore. On the course, there are always opportunities to broaden your experience of media arts in different environments and cultures.

International trip

Each year Media Arts takes its second year students on an international trip as part of their studies. These trips are often set to coincide with important festivals, such as Transmediale in Berlin, and act as a valuable primary research opportunity.  Students celebrate their research and experiences in a pop up exhibition when they return. 

International exchange

Media Arts is part of both Erasmus and ISEP international exchange programmes with five bespoke exchange agreements across Europe, and two in the USA.

Achieve your creative goals with our excellent facilities and resources

Specialist facilities include:

  • Green screen, broadcast and still image studios
  • Animation suites
  • A huge range of cameras and other equipment
  • Apple macs with full adobe creative suite
  • Colour & black and white darkrooms
  • Sound studios
  • Digital printing suite
  • Fully equipped cinema with 18/35mm reel projection and 1920HD digital projectors.
You are able to work flexibly as our resources are open from 8:00am to 10:00pm, seven days a week and staffed by full-time technicians.

Black and white darkroom in Scott Building

<p>Animation suite</p>
Animation suite
<p>Film &amp; Television Production studio - infinity curve<br></p>
Infinity curve green screen
Photography Studio on third floor in Scott building
Photography studio
Jill Craigie Cinema
Jill Craigie Cinema

BA (Hons) Media Arts graduate Chris McLaughlin, producer of the Undateables, at the 2014 BAFTA ceremony after the show was nominated for an award.

Our graduates

I really loved my time on Media Arts and it genuinely helped prepare me for a lot of things when it came to work.
Discover more about our graduates

What do media arts graduates do?

Media arts graduates work in television, radio, advertising and production houses; they are directors, producers, camera crew and sound designers. They set up their own successful businesses in a range of areas including photography, moving image and digital design. 

They become fashion photographers, wedding photographers, book illustrators, web designers and curators. A number choose to become educators or independent artists, others embrace post-graduate study and become academics. Our graduates have worked for the BBC, Disney and Radio One. Their work can be seen in the National Portrait Gallery and on the cover of Vogue magazine. 

As a media arts graduate you will have the skills required to take up a range of media and arts roles. By the time you graduate you will have experience of working in a number of professional contexts and high level technical skills in one or more of the areas we offer.  

Most importantly you will have the confidence to express yourself creatively and to respond to the ever changing opportunities offered by a career in the art and media sectors.  

Download our graduate brochure to get a flavour of what our students do next.

Graduate profile - Danny Cooke

The media arts course supports all factors of media, while allowing you to focus on your particular area of interest.

BA (Hons) Media Arts graduate Danny Cooke has shot and edited documentaries, including the award winning ‘Ray: A Life Underwater’.

Read more about Danny’s award-winning work

Tony Hill's new short film, Why Can’t We Get Along

BA (Hons) Media Arts Associate Lecturer and legendary rig master, Tony Hill’s Rigs are the focus of a new short film, Why Can’t We Get Along, made for fashion house Rag & Bone. The film, premiered in New York in February 2018. It was directed by Benjamin Millepied, Aaron Duffy and Bob Partington, working with celebrated cinematographer Darius Khondji. The sound track is a new song by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

To find out more about Tony Hill and his work, visit his website http://www.tonyhillfilms.com

A behind the scenes video of the production, 'Why Can’t We Get Along – Rig Film'.

Rag & Bone Films say:

Legendary camera rig master, Tony Hill, has been making innovative camera rigs since the 1970’s. A total of five camera rigs were used to create this rag and bone film–three of Tony’s originals and two custom designed in partnership with Tony by Aaron Duffy, Bob Partington and Gamma Fabrication. All rigs held multiple cameras and iconic cinematographer, Darius Khondji, brought the film to life through incredible composition and dramatic lighting. The rig film gives insight on how this rag and bone film, 'Why Can’t We Get Along', was made.


Portfolio advice

A portfolio is a great way to show us your creative skills, and can be made up of work completed on previous courses, or made within your own time. We are not looking for perfection, we are looking for creativity and enthusiasm. We want to know about how you think and the processes you go through when producing your work. It is your portfolio and we want to know about you. 

Find out more about submitting a portfolio as part of your application

People

*The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.