Undergraduate Media and Cultural Studies

Our Media and Cultural Studies degree can be personalised to match your interests. Whether you want to explore diverse topics or can't decide which subject to major in, our flexible degree helps you explore what you are passionate about.

We live in a multicultural society and as part of a media-saturated world. As global citizens we are surrounded by a huge variety of messages, texts, images and representations communicating a host of competing ideas, opinions and values.

Most of what we know about the world comes to us through the media – but how much do we know about the media themselves? Whether sources of information, producers of entertainment or modes of creative self-expression, contemporary media are all too seldom subject to intense scrutiny and critical interrogation, except during feverish moments of scandal, crisis or panic.

Our Media and Cultural Studies programme will provide you with the theoretical insights, analytical skills and wide-ranging knowledge needed to explore the production, meaning and consumption of media and cultural products, to investigate their social, economic and political significance, and to recognise their key role in shaping who we are, what we think, and what we value.

Course structure

At Lancaster University the first year is called Part I and the second and third years are called Part II. Teaching in all years occurs over three 10-week terms, with any exams occurring in the third term.

Part I (first year)

Part I students take three courses in different subjects.

If you are taking a degree with one major (BA Media and Cultural Studies, BA Sociology), you will be enrolled in its Part I course and then be able to take two other courses. Since we have four Part I courses in the department (Contemporary Social Problems, Gender and Women's Studies, Media and Cultural Studies, Sociology), you could spend your whole first year exploring complementary issues with us. But you also have the opportunity to choose a wide range of courses offered by other departments in the University. Our students have taken courses in Film, Marketing, Criminology, Law, Politics, History, English Literature, Linguistics, Psychology, Religious Studies, and Geography.

Joint honours students (those studying for BAs in Criminology and Sociology; Film, Media and Cultural Studies; Film and Sociology; Organisation Studies and Sociology; Politics and Sociology; Religious Studies and Sociology) will be pre-enrolled onto the two Part I courses related to their degree and then choose one other.

In addition to having the flexibility to choose three courses that suit your interests, at the end of the first year it is often possible to change your major if you discover that you want to focus on one of the optional subjects you studied.

Part II (second and third year)

In Part II, you move on to take more specialised courses both within our department and related to subjects you studied in Part I. More information about our Part II modules can be found linked to our course listings. In addition to interactions during course time, both our lecturers and fellow students are available to support your independent learning outside the classroom. One of the highlights of our degree is the independent research project students complete at the end of their third year. You can choose any topic that you are interested in, and carry out original research under the supervision of one of our staff to learn more about it. To get an idea of what past students have researched, take a look at our student dissertation blog.

What students do on our courses

Teaching at both Part I and Part II involves lectures and smaller seminars, where up to 15 students are able to discuss readings, try out new ideas, and take part in practical activities. Some courses in our department also have hands-on workshops, film screenings, or field trips. We have been praised by external examiners for our excellent range of course assessment - including short writing tasks that help you to build up key skills early on, presentations, essays, exams, posters, scenarios and assessments where you make blogs, vlogs, or conduct your own interviews. To learn more, explore what our students do.