Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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BA Cultural and Media Studies (2018 entry)

This information is for 2018 entry only. To see the information for 2019 entry please go to the main Programme page

This interdisciplinary course allows you to explore cultural and media practices, institutions and histories across multiple subject areas, including literature, sociology, philosophy, film and media. You will learn about different ways of analysing images, texts, technologies and cultural practices in order to develop your understanding of a range of complex issues. You will be encouraged to develop a critical perspective on major challenges facing us in the globalising world today.

Through core modules you will be introduced to ways of analysing a range of different texts, including photographs, paintings, buildings, poems and advertisements. You will also choose from a wide range of optional modules which will give you the chance to examine complex and crucial issues such as: conflict and its cultural mediation, for example in commemorative sites and in popular culture; migration and multiculturalism; social activism and the possibility of utopian change; past and future technologies and their impact on our bodies and minds; ecology and our relation to other life forms; global communication networks and their impact on social relations.

Using the skills and methods developed through the course, you will become a flexible and engaged reader of a wide range of cultural materials and practices. You will develop your cultural understanding of gender, race, class, sexuality and the postcolonial world. You will work alongside staff and students who not only theorise cultural artefacts but who also make them.

Specialist resources

The University has a variety of resources to support your learning and research. There is a wide range of museum collections and galleries on campus such as the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery. Project Space, a new multi-purpose space designed for the development of curatorial practice and visiting exhibitions, sits at the core of the School’s new building.

The M&S Company Archive is based on campus including documents, advertising, photos, films, clothing and merchandise from throughout Marks & Spencer’s history. We work closely with many different museums, archives, and cultural organizations in the region.

In Year 1 core modules introduce you to the key theories and methods for analysing and interpreting cultural and media practices. You will also explore some of the major historical changes that have shaped the contemporary world: modernity and post-modernity, science, revolution, the city, war, colonization and study histories of cinema and media. You’ll also be able to take a discovery module.

You’ll build on this in Year 2, when a core module deepens your understanding of key theoretical concepts in the study of culture, media and society. A range of optional modules will give you the chance to focus on topics that particularly interest you, from visual culture in Asia to cinema and culture, the politics of utopia, to issues of the body, power, race and gender as well as the challenges of studying media and communication.

In your final year, you’ll apply your research skills to an independently researched dissertation on a topic of your choice. You will also choose one area of cultural theory to examine in depth and choose from a range of optional modules, from critical approaches to photography, to war and media, and cultural diversity in museum and material culture. You can choose to extend your dissertation to go into even greater depth; if you do this, you’ll take fewer optional modules.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Cultural Analysis 1 20 credits
  • Introduction to Cultural Analysis II 20 credits
  • Cultural History 20 credits
  • Cinema and Media History 20 credits
  • Studying Media 20 credits
  • Studying in a Digital Age (Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies) 5 credits

Optional modules

  • The History of Communication 20 credits
  • Introduction to Communication Theory 20 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Keywords 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Image, Music, Text: Reading Roland Barthes 20 credits
  • Seeing in Asia 20 credits
  • Showing Asia 20 credits
  • African Art I: Context Representation Signification 20 credits
  • Power and Practice 20 credits
  • Visual Communication 20 credits
  • Digital Cultures 20 credits
  • Working in Digital Media Teams 20 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Dissertation (40 credits or 60 credits) And one from the following list: Reading Politics (20 credits) From Trauma to Cultural Memory (20 credits) Frankfurt School (20 credits) Reading Sexual Difference (20 credits) Humanity, Animality and Globality (20 credits) Utopia: Demanding the Impossible! (20 credits) Movies, Migrants and Diasporas (20 credits)

Optional modules

  • Cultural Diversity in Museum and Material Culture - Case Study 20 credits
  • Critical approaches to photography 20 credits
  • Africa and the Atlantic World: History, Historiography and the Visual Arts 20 credits
  • The Documentary and Reality 20 credits
  • War and Media 20 credits

Discovery modules

For more information on typical modules, read Cultural and Media Studies BA in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from the expertise of your tutors. These will include lectures, seminars, screenings, tutorials, workshops and field visits. You’ll also be able to attend talks by visiting artists and speakers, as well as workshops, conferences, exhibitions and other events.

Independent study is also crucial to the degree, allowing you to develop important critical and research skills and to form your own ideas.


You’ll be assessed using a variety of methods, allowing you to build different skills. Usually these will include essays, exams and module presentations, as well as small-scale research projects and your dissertation.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB-ABB not including General Studies or Critical Thinking.

Alternate Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Pass with 60 credits overall including 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 must be at Merit level.


Extended Diploma: DDD-DDM.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M1 – D3, M1, M1 in three principle subjects.

International Baccalaureate

34-35 overall (with at least 4 in English Language).

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)


Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AABBB (AB at advanced level) OR AAABB (A at advanced level). For applicants just undertaking the higher level, grades of AAAABB will be required.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 77-80% overall and at least 60% in English.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies Undergraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If youre unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Undergraduate Admissions Policy 2018


UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £17,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, youll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

A degree in Cultural and Media Studies will equip you with important skills in communication, analysis, presentations and research as well as critical, visual and cultural awareness. All of these qualities are valuable in diverse careers across a wide range of industries and roles such as the media, journalism, cultural and creative industries, education, politics and the public sector.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Placement opportunities

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

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