Media Texts and Contexts
In a nutshell
The digital revolution that has swept through the media industry over the past decade has made learning about television and radio production more exciting than ever before.
On this course, you will learn how to source stories, research ideas and write scripts to produce content for TV, radio and other media platforms. To help you to do this, you will take part in a series of workshops in camera skills and editing, radio recording and TV and radio studio production. During your degree, you can choose to specialise in either TV or radio production and will produce a series of factual, fiction and entertainment projects within your chosen media.
You will produce your own films and radio packages in factual, fiction and entertainment formats and use these to create content for other media platforms. You can choose to specialise in either TV or radio production and will produce a series of documentary, drama and entertainment projects within your chosen media. Alongside this, contemporary media theory modules help you explore the social and political impact of the changes in media production.
Our unique location at the heart of MediaCityUK means you will be perfectly placed to tap into a network of leading media companies ranging from the BBC and ITV, to experimental start-up companies.
In the most recent National Student Survey, 91% of students said staff are good at explaining things (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2019 data).
- Study in state-of-the-art facilities at MediaCityUK
- Work on industry-focused projects with our neighbouring media companies
- Obtain cutting-edge production and technical skills from industry practitioners
All about the course
You will study three modules in each taught semester. In each semester you will engage with radio and video production, study the academic perspective of media and the opportunity to explore a particular aspect of media craft.
Your first year will focus on the basics of both television and radio production, and how to create content for other digital formats. As well as undertaking workshops, you will produce two films and two radio packages plus online content. Additionally, you will analyse the social and cultural impact of digital media and explore the interdependent role of the audience and the text through lectures and interactive seminars.
In the second year, you will continue to produce more of your own films and radio packages in factual, fiction and entertainment formats. You can choose to specialise in either TV or radio production and will produce a series of projects within your chosen media. Additional to completing a module in Professional Practice, you will choose either three practice based modules and two theory modules, or four practice based modules and one theory module.
In the final year, you will have the opportunity to deepen your creativity in a specific area of media practice. You will be expected to apply your production skills on an industry project. You will be given the time and expert support to make a television or radio project, which can then act as your calling card to potential future employers.
Media Texts introduces the range of critical approaches used within Media Studies, such as media semiotics, genre analysis and approaches to media narrative and representation. The module provides students with a range of critically informed methodologies for the analysis of media texts, and critically examines the ways that diverse audiences consume media. The module also seeks to understand the consequences for producers and consumers of the shift to digital media.
Content Creation will provide and develop technical and editorial online skills, preparing you for the demands of the modern multi-skilled digital communications environment. As well as equipping you with a range of storytelling methods and encouraging you to reflect on the impact of new media within the fields of PR and Digital Communication, it will also give you the chance to develop a portfolio to showcase your work and enhance your employability.
This module develops your understanding of the key pre-production processes and practices required by television, radio and multi-platform projects. You will develop programme research skills in finding and assessing potential stories, contributors, and recording locations. The module will enable you to find, assess, plan and schedule appropriate production content with consideration for relevant copyright, compliance and budgeting issues; and, your ability to conceive, research, plan and apply these skills to the physical production of content for a range of platforms.
The aim of this module is to develop your practical skills in camera, sound, editing and multi-platform delivery. By producing your own short videos and rotating through a range of technical roles, you will gain a strong understanding of the key creative processes involved in video production.
This module will provide you with an overview of the range of broadcasters and key programme formats in radio and develop basic production processes and research and recording techniques used in the creation of a range of different radio programmes. You will put into practice the technical skills in recording and editing learnt in two different radio projects: a short documentary and long magazine programme
Professional Practice (core module)
This module will provide you with a greater understanding of how to produce documentaries and factual features based on a critical and practical appreciation of the form. The module considers a range of research methods, production processes, directing techniques and scripting skills appropriate for documentary formats and, enables you to both work as part of a team and run a team in which you manage each stage of production from initial idea to multi-platform project delivery.
Optional practice based modules:
Camera and Lighting
By studying a range of camera work from various genres and time periods, you will gain an understanding of how shooting styles can portray different themes and meaning. You will also further develop your own camera technique through hands-on workshops and demonstrations.
Radio and Podcasting Features
Podcast and Radio Feature Production develops and critically reflects upon the creative, technical, and production skills required to record features and short documentaries. The module builds on the studentís existing recording and editing skills in aiming to deliver broadcast standard audio and enhances the studentís knowledge of subject and contributor research, production planning, scripting and interviewing techniques in order to construct longer form speech based features.
A critical and practical exploration of studio production; you will be encouraged to undertake a variety of studio roles throughout the module including vision mixer, floor manager, and sound supervisor, and collaborate on the production of a studio programme item.
Technical audio experiences both in and out of the radio studio and an opportunity for you to learn about station sound: creating a station identity using jingles, beds and other audio. You will develop skills in the use of a range of microphones and microphone techniques as well as a knowledge of the theory of audio capture in a range of internal and external recording situations whilst enhancing your editing skills to create audio soundscapes and also experimental audio pieces. You will also learn and apply techniques for creating audio pictures through use of commentary and actuality.
This module explores the role of the production manager. You will develop your production planning, organizational, and negotiating skills necessary for the role whilst considering issues surrounding creative ownership and rights and key production employment regulations. You will also consider the range of production jobs for different programming genres and how resources can be allocated, scheduled and budgeted.
You will enhance your skills and understanding of the writing and production process specific to scripted radio drama and comedy in the development, from idea to finished production, of a multiple-character radio drama or comedy.
An introduction to, and experience of, a range of live on air radio situations and studio programmes, this module provides you with an opportunity to work across all programme-making roles, including producer, reporter, presenter and studio manager. You will develop knowledge of and an opportunity to apply the creative, production and technical skills required to make a variety of live radio including panel shows, music shows, quiz shows, specialist shows and magazine shows.
The module explores the idea of genre as a key critical concept within television studies and enables students to identify the codes and conventions of key television genres such as news, sitcom, reality TV, Soap Operas, heritage TV and talk shows whilst gaining an understanding of genre in relation to television production and audiences.
TV Docs and Features
To provide students with knowledge of and experience in the making of radio features and documentaries; the module will develop the creative, technical, and production skills required to record features and short documentaries and the capacity to reflect critically on their application; Studentís will build on existing recording and editing skills in aiming to deliver broadcast standard audio. The module will enhance the studentís knowledge of subject and contributor research, production planning, scripting and interviewing techniques in order to construct longer form speech based features and studentís understanding of the history of radio features and documentaries and the current context in which they are commissioned and broadcast.
TV Drama Production
The aim of this module is to provide you with deeper knowledge and understanding of how to create fiction productions for video based on a critical and practical appreciation of the form on TV. You will develop the skills to produce, direct and edit your own fiction video productions that demonstrate dramatic insight and creative flair. You will acquire the knowledge and hands-on experience to successfully manage each stage of the production process from script to final project delivery.
Scriptwriting TV and Radio
Scriptwriting module examines all fundamental aspects of fictional storytelling, including narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot, the use of subplots. The module fosters advanced practical skills in structure, plotting, character creation and dialogue for dramatic scripts.
This module is intended to further develop your editing skills and increase your understanding of the technical and creative processes involved in video editing. You will learn how the creative selection of footage and the organization of shots impact the final programme.
Creative Collaboration (TV and R)
How you can respond to Live Briefs and work with people you would not usually have the chance to collaborate with at a student level. Where Television and Radio fits into the other courses taught here.
This new module enables TV and Radio students to work on a project jointly with students from Animation, Digital Media and Games Design, sharing the skills learned in the first year of each. There will be a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops as you work to respond to a live brief.
Final Major Project
Your Final Year project is a significant opportunity to create a substantial media project that showcases your skills and potential to future industry employers. This year long module will allow you to develop an original idea from proposal to final piece, demonstrating your understanding of and proficiency in the role of a producer and director.
What – and how much – you learn on this module is entirely up to you! The dissertation allows you to choose your own topic and research it in depth, with guidance provided by a supervisor you will meet with on a regular basis. While your tutor will help you select your topic and suggest research methodologies and readings, ultimately you will decide the area in which you wish to specialise. This could take the form of a close analysis of a media text in terms of production and/or reception, or something industry-facing that involves, for example, interviewing practitioners. If there is anything you have studied over the previous two years that you would like to investigate in greater depth, this is your chance.
Optional practice based modules:
Advanced Camera and Lighting
Building upon your learning from Year Two, this module will increase your knowledge of advanced camera functions and enhance your technical operating skills. You will also practice a range of techniques and solutions for specific shooting conditions which will improve your overall practice and problem solving skills.
This module is intended to expand on post-production technologies and software applications that were introduced in Year Two. Opportunities to work on live industry briefs will also enable you to further refine your editing techniques.
Advanced Podcast and Radio Features
You will develop sound acquisition, mixing and manipulation skills to an advanced level in this module.
Docs Without Rules
Docs Without Rules provides students with opportunities to explore creative documentary production using real world media techniques, tools, processes and briefs. The module explores the language and grammar of documentary film and how and why the rules can be broken and engenders in students a risk taking and explorative attitude to the creative development of their work.
TV Studio Unleashed
TV Studio Unleashed extends the student’s knowledge of and ability to practise specific TV studio production roles such as producer, director and PA as well as more technical roles such as lighting, vision mixing, sound, graphics and camera by hands-on training as well as meeting a range of current industry experts in TV studio roles. The module challenges students to move on from TV studio basics and create an original TV studio show where the content and vision is coherent, within a fully-functioning team, using all the resources at their disposal.Studio Unleashed engages students in the planning, and production of TV studio shows that could incorporate elements such as live audiences, outside sources, live links, VT inserts, Green screen, live music or whatever is appropriate, and develops collaborative, teamwork and leadership skills through practical projects.
In this module you will focus evaluating and reflecting on narrative themes and the use of characterisation within fiction and/or non fiction based film script forms. You will analyse structural models for linear and non linear narrative, plot progression, conflict and paradigmatic opposition in film scripts. You will design and apply themes of narrative, genre and characterisation to practice through the production of a feature length script ready for a professional market.
Drama Unlimited provides students with opportunities to explore creative drama production using real world media techniques, tools, processes and briefs. The module explore contemporary industry practices in the capture, realisation and distribution of drama and engenders in students a risk taking and explorative attitude to the creative development of their work. Students have the opportunity to investigate and apply the creative potential of new technologies and techniques in the development of productions and develop reflective skills as a function of the creative process.
Radio Studio and Beyond
The module extends practical experience in Radio Production with reference to different programme forms within the broadcast radio field through a series of practical exercises. Radio Studio and Beyond enhances students’ general experience in sound acquisition for studio and location radio production by focussing on more sophisticated production techniques. The module encourages a sophisticated audio aesthetic with regard to the required quality and range of radio sound produced within specific audio environments, and develops students’ ability to critically assess the production strengths and processes in their own work and that of professional audio productions.
Radio Entrepreneurs equip students with a sophisticated understanding of how to plan, create and manage an online radio station. The module explores the world of online radio and the wide range of commercial and community radio stations that serve a defined audience, locally and globally, and encourages entrepreneurship to provide students with business skills required to set-up and fund an online community or commercial radio station. Radio Entrepreneurs equips students with advanced knowledge and foundational skills in website production and social media marketing, and develops students’ existing skills in audio/video editing, station sound, scheduling and multi-platform content creation.
You will learn how to create shortform scripted content for audio (radio or podcast) based on a multiple-character drama or comedy format.
You'll also learn how to develop, write and produce audio drama through from concept and pre-production to post and delivery. You'll apply creative skills in audio capture and soundscape production with a range of contemporary production techniques and platforms.
21st Century Factual TV
The module provides a framework for understanding contemporary factual television using a range of perspectives including historical, cultural, industrial, and technological. Areas of study will include television documentary (e.g. ob docs, docu-soaps), the emergence of reality TV and its ongoing impact on factual television forms and genres, transformational television (e.g. lifestyle & makeover programming), and youth TV (factual programming aimed at the 16-25 year audience demographic). The module draws on examples from British and US factual television.
This module will develop to an advanced level your knowledge of contemporary factual television, and will provide you with the opportunity to conduct specialised academic research into a factual television genre/programme of your choosing.
Optional theory based modules:
This module will explore the cultural impacts of sound recording and radio in terms of sonic cultures. The module will explore the variety of critical writing on sound; examine histories of sound recording and transmission; and, contextualise radio and sound recording within the broader context of sound studies. The module will introduce students to innovative and experimental uses of sound recording and transmission technologies.
British TV Fictions
Exploring the wide and varied history of drama on British television, the module will impart a sophisticated understanding of contemporary British TV fictions via their historical development; analyse the changing production contexts of British television drama; and, provide students with the advanced skills required to undertake close textual analysis of TV fictions. The module provides an opportunity for students to contextualise particular examples of TV drama in terms of production, format and audience.
The module explores the socio-cultural histories of transmedia franchises and their fictional storyworlds across TV, radio, films, comic books and videogames. Transmedia Storyworlds equips students with an advanced understanding of how industrial forces shape productions of storyworld content across a given transmedia franchise, and explores how adaptations of fictional storyworlds exploit the narrative affordances of a range of different media. The module equips students with an advanced understanding of transnational flows whereby cultures from around the world reimagine globally famous characters and storyworlds so as to establish locally specific meanings, and critically examine the ideological positions of transmedia franchises and their storyworlds.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
Teaching is delivered through:
- Practical seminars
- Demonstration workshops
- Discussion seminars
- Large group lectures
- Small group supervision
- Personal tutorials
- Online learning
The tutors on this course are largely industry experienced or industry active or leaders in their field of academic theory.
Assessment is through practical project work and formal written essays. There are no exams.
You will work to create your own individual television or radio productions, as well as collaborating with others on team projects.
School of Arts and Media
The School of Arts & Media has more than 4,000 creative students. Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from Fashion Image Making and Styling, Television and Radio, Creative Writing and Music to Journalism, Animation, Design and Performance.
This broad range of disciplines offers enhanced opportunities for specialist and interdisciplinary study, including collaborative work across subject areas.
This course benefits from the brand new state-of-the-art facilities at MediaCityUK. These include a 5-camera HD TV studio, a 3-camera HD TV studio and a digital performance studio with full green screen capability. There are two radio studios, and 5.1 surround sound audio post production theatre, Audition v3 audio editing and Final Cut Pro and Avid software-enabled suites throughout the building.
What about after uni?
Your skills in media production and opportunities for industry engagement will put you in a strong position to find work with a range of media employers.
Recent graduates have gone on to be producers, directors, presenters, reporters, camera crew and editors for a range of media companies including the BBC and ITV.
Graduates from this course should be well qualified to find work with television and radio production companies as well as other digital media organisations.
Your production and technical skills, across a range of media platforms, will be highly desirable to the growing digital economy as large corporations, public sector and charitable organisations, and new multimedia companies seek to enhance these areas of their business.
The range of transferable skills developed on this course also make you attractive to marketing, advertising, retailing and other service-led industries.
Our location at the heart of MediaCityUK means that we are ideally placed to foster links with TV, radio and other media companies. You will have the opportunity to work on creative projects with media production companies, and may be offered work placements with our industry partners.
What you need to know
We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment which is designed for this purpose.
We consider applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the area of study; verbal and written communication skills and expression of ideas in group discussion and individually; group working and interpersonal and communication skills and creativity alongside the application.
An effective personal statement includes:
- A strong indication of your motivations for the course of study, including for example, discussions of the kinds of programmes you enjoy and would like to make
- What you are looking for from a programme of study, including some thought as to why you feel further study will benefit you in terms of, but not exclusively to, employability, and personal development, which can also be related to you own appreciation of personal strengths and weaknesses
- Some evidence of an awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses, and personal attributes that make you a suitable candidate for the programme, and for further study
- Evidence of existing engagement in the area of study from current or prior learning and/ or work experience
- An indication of wider interests and experience including, for example, Duke of Edinburgh Awards; BFI summer schools; sports or musical activities, other personal interests, activities and pastimes and any part-time work.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
Applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.
Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.
English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent).
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
112-128 including Media
UCAS tariff points
112 - 128 points
BTEC National Diploma
Access to HE
Pass Level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma with 112-128 points, to include Media
112-128 including Media Studies
Irish Leaving Certificate
112-128 including Media Studies
31 points including Media
Pass in Diploma of at least 60%
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home/EU||2020/21||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2020/21||£15,240per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students 2020/21
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.
For more information go to International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID W434
Start this course in September. Call 0300 555 5030 to apply through Clearing.
Our phone lines are open 09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Thursday and 10:00 - 16:00 Friday.