Communication Arts BA (Hons)


Overview


Reasons to study Communication Arts at De Montfort University (DMU):

  • DMU has achieved Gold, the highest ranking possible under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
    Indicating the outstanding learning and teaching on offer at DMU. [Office for Students, 2017]
  • 97.3% of DMU graduates from summer 2017 are in work or further study after graduating
    According to the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2016-17 report
  • Support from the Leicester Media School Drawing Centre (LMSDC)
    providing DMU students with extracurricular pastoral support for the Visual  courses in the School.  A drawing school for developing artists and designers to have a creative forum and discourse.
  • Develop a highly employable and diverse skill-set in media and cultural subjects
    Such as social media, film, radio, journalism, public relations and music
  • Benefit from our strong links with local media partners
    Including BBC Radio Leicester, community media organisations and Leicester’s independent arts and cinema complex, Phoenix Cinema; providing opportunities for work placement experience and cultural connections.
  • Our Community media specialism creates a strong civic element by offering opportunities for work-based learning
    Including with local organisations such as DMU Square Mile
  • Enhance your skills by joining relevant groups and societies
    Including the Media and Communication Society, Film Society, Media Discourse  Group and reading groups. Take part in the award-winning Demon Media group, including; The Demon magazine, Demon FM radio station, Demon TV and The Demon website
  • Multi-million pound facilities
    Enhance your practical skills in our Creative Technology studios, featuring a host of audio recording suites, radio production studios and management systems; alongside film and television studios equipped with multi-cameras, blue and green screen facilities
  • Enjoy an international experience with #DMUglobal 
    We offer all students the opportunity to take part in a #DMUglobal experience, which can enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons. Previous #DMUglobal trips have included New York, Berlin, Hong Kong, China, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Russia and Italy to name a few.

The course prepares you for a variety of roles within the media and cultural sectors by providing you with the opportunity to study a wide range of options based on your own interests and strengths. You can select modules that develop practical skills in areas such as radio production, video techniques, writing scripts and news articles, and in the final year you will develop your own portfolio of creative work.



Comm-Arts-Mandala-2016-4


Structure and assessment


Course modules

First year

Communication Practice (core)
This module introduces students to the effects of creative risk-taking and critical practice on communication techniques, using live projects and coursework exercises.

Community Media (core)
This module introduces students to the principles and practices of community media, identifying and developing skills as practitioners of collaborative community media.

Digital Society (core)
This module introduces students to a broad range of key concepts, debates and skills necessary to identify and critique the technology-based issues shaping contemporary society.

Documenting Media (core)
This module introduces students to documentary video and stills photography, audio acquisition, interview techniques, post-production for blogging, vlogging, podcasting via integrated media feeds.

Second year

Communication Challenges (core)
This module develops student abilities in creative communication using live projects on new and emerging media platforms for a range of purposes, including UN sustainable development goals.

Community Media Production (core)
This module critically engages students with active community media organisations, to examine, practice and collaborate on community media ideas and concepts.

Professional Practice: Film Festivals (optional)
This module provides students with an understanding of the role and nature of film festivals in the UK and abroad, developing practical experience of planning and programming a themed film festival of their own.

From Script to Screen (optional)
This module develops student skills in filmmaking and narrative cinema. In the first term, students work with professional scriptwriters to produce an original script. In the second term, students plan and produce a film from the script.

Disney (optional)
This module focuses on the Disney Corporation and traces its development from a small-scale animation producer to the largest provider of family trans-media entertainment in the world. Students combine study of family-oriented animated film with Disney’s various corporate media activities.

Film and Material Culture (optional)
This module engages with contemporary and historical marketing materials for films. Students are encouraged to research primary materials, including press books, lobby cards, posters, product placement, cross-promotion, online and transnational campaigns, trailers, teasers, fan magazines, conventions and trade shows, reviews and radio adaptations.

Contemporary British Cinema (optional)
This module investigates aspects of British cinema from the last 50 years, contextualised by a longer history of UK genre trends, film culture, reception, critique and policy, to frame and explore critical and contextual debates around contemporary British film industries.

Journalism 1 (optional)
This module introduces students to the skills and competencies needed by the working journalist; equips them with a basic knowledge of the law as it impacts on that work and engages with some of the key theoretical issues of journalism.

Public Relations (optional)
This module introduces students to the theory and practice of public relations as well as learning and applying industry-relevant skills.

Television Studies (optional)
This module introduces students to the practices of the television industry with a special emphasis on the relationship between television schedules and the types of programmes that fill them.

Political Communication (optional)
This module investigates the interdependent relationship between politics and the media. It begins by introducing the key components of the political communication system (political actors, the media and citizens) and considering how different theoretical perspectives (such as the public sphere) can be used to analyse the media’s coverage of politics.

Ideas in Music and Sonic Art (optional)
This module explores aesthetic concerns in music made with technology and provides a critical examination of music composition using technology from the second half of the 20th century.

Performing with Technology (optional)
This module explores creative technologies’ ability to create new performance paradigms, as well as develop existing musical performance models. Students are asked to interpret a prescribed repertoire or approach, to be performed using material of your own choice.

Social Media Production (optional)
This module explores the role of social media technology, using keywords and concepts to critically evaluate and create social media.

Video and Imaging Techniques (optional)
This module explores the process of still and moving digital image production from the initial capture, through editing to display and distribution.

Radio Production (optional)
This module develops student audio recording for radio, learning about the principles, techniques and practices of radio production. Students will use broadcast-standard radio production studios and broadcast on Demon FM, the student-run community radio station.

Final year

Technology Project (core)
This module requires students to undertake a self-managed project identifying a research question that builds on experience and skills acquired during the course, with tutorial support.

Community Media Development (core)
This module examines the policy discourse of international community media development, looking at how the management and organisational structures within community media can be used to promote progressive social gain objectives.

Music Industry Management (optional)
This module aims to increase general understanding of the music industry and to develop personal confidence as a possible source of employment. The module tracks the emergence of the global music industry that we have today and examines both the commercial and subsidised sectors and the role of Government and other national bodies, exploring their different roles and how they work together.

Cult Film (optional)
This module focuses in detail on challenging, obscure and intense films which have developed cult followings over the years. Students will be exposed to stimulating underground films, to develop a clear understanding of cult film culture.

Information & Communication Technologies for Development (optional)
This module explores issues associated with development of ICT in developing nations and emerging economies covering countries from Africa, India among others. Students will complete a country report, assessing ICT position, capability and emerging issues including UN sustainable development goals.

Broadcast Journalism (optional)
This module draws on the practical skills and theories of Journalism 1, developing higher levels of competency and examining ways of building on those skills.

Writing for the Screen (optional)
This module offers students the opportunity to receive professional training and practical guidance from an industry practitioner on techniques of creative scriptwriting for television, online video and film.

Global Advertising Practices (optional)
This module interrogates basic marketing concepts and promotional strategies associated with advertising as a commercial and creative practice, informed by critical theory, and delivered through assignments that combine practice and theory.

International Public Relations (optional)
This module builds upon student understanding of public relations developed in Public Relations (yr2), and explores in greater depth key academic debates and issues surrounding the theory and practice of public relations.

Women, Politics and Media (optional)
This module examines the interdependent relationship between women, media and politics. The module variously focuses on political mediation, the history of feminist thought, identity formations based on gender, race and class, and the extent to which women are politicised, marginalised, empowered, in and through media.

Music, Media and Community Arts (optional)
This module offers both theoretical and practical study of the role and development of music technology in the community. The module traces the history of community arts and provides practical exercises on workshop skills to develop an understanding of the role of music technology in the local community. Practical experience is offered through a placement that has to be successfully negotiated, researched and critically evaluated.

Installation Art (optional)
This module focusses on skills development relevant to producing installation work using electroacoustic media in a variety of contexts from gallery to public space. Critical areas include issues surrounding the history and conceptual evolution of the installation, site specificity, public art, sounding space, acoustic properties of structures, interactivity, intervention, sculpture and multimedia.

Radio Location Production (optional)
In this module students study the theory and practice of radio location operation, the management of resources, use and deployment of radio location technologies, and the regulatory and legal framework related to the broadcast industry.

Post-Production for Video and Film (optional)
This module examines a range of techniques and issues associated with modern post-production, including digital compositing, incorporating computer-generated imagery (CGI), special effects, motion graphics and titles, and sound.

Social Media Practice (optional)
In this module students develop digital production skills in assignments designing and creating products for use in a range of social media contexts including UN sustainable development goals and community fundraising.

Creative Image Production (optional)
This module introduces students to applied imaging technologies such as time lapse, high speed photography, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. The relevance of historical photographic technique to contemporary digital imaging is constructed from case studies of famous photographers and their work.

Creative Entrepreneurship (optional)
This module offers students the opportunity to develop project management skills and a business plan to execute promote and distribute media content for broadcast and online media industries.


Facilities and features


Creative Technology Studios

Our Creative Technology Studios include high-definition video production laboratories, broadcast-standard radio production studios and various other production suites.

Teaching takes place in lecture and seminar rooms equipped with HD projection screens. Practical workshops are taught using the latest technology in our media laboratories, equipped with the latest software for Apple iMac and PC computers with cinema or dual screens.

Student opportunities

You will have the opportunity to work on live projects with local community organisations such as DMU’s Square Mile, DMU’s Cultural Exchanges Festival and Citizen’s Eye; a community journalism and documentary media company specialising in film, photography, audio and new media. It organises events such as the annual Leicester DocFilm Festival.

You also have the opportunity to work with Demon Media, the student-run media group at DMU. Winner of Best Student Media at the NUS Awards 2013, this exciting student body has its own newspaper, online and TV presence; as well as a full-time community radio station, Demon FM. Engaging with Demon Media outside of timetabled teaching can help enhance your specialist skills further.


Opportunities and careers


Graduate Careers

There are many career opportunities in the creative industries for graduates with good communication and technical skills. Within the wider communications industries, our students are finding employment in the digital sector where their ability to communicate effectively on a variety of platforms is valued. There is also potential to work in charity and the community media sector.

Graduates are likely to pursue careers in both the public and private sector and go on to work in advertising, TV production, journalism, independent media, film, sales, teaching and public relations.

#DMUglobal

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Our #DMUglobal High Flyers Award offers students a discount of up to £1,000 towards a #DMUglobal opportunity (terms and conditions apply).

Placements

Students have taken part in work experience placements at a number of local and national companies over the past three years, including; IBM (UK) Ltd, Microsoft, Jagex Games Studios, Intel, PayPoint Ltd, Netready Ltd, Proactive, Accenture, Tours Ltd and Exel Computer Systems plc.

You can improve your CV, become highly employable and put the skills you learn on your course into practice by taking a work placement as part of your studies.

Technology’s dedicated Placement Team provides support to all of our students looking to integrate a placement within their university career on both undergraduate degrees and postgraduate masters programmes. The placement unit will help you search for placement opportunities, create and refine your CV and interview approach, and offer any advice you need to find a great placement. Our placement students have worked for a range of organisations from small business through to multinational companies across the world including Microsoft, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and PepsiCo International.

Placements can enhance your career prospects and give you the chance to use theory from the classroom in a real-world scenario before you have graduated.

Graduates are also well positioned to continue their academic careers by embarking on postgraduate study, in either research or taught areas, which offers the opportunity for further specialisation and enhances their existing skills.


 

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