Triangle

Course overview

Communication defines us as human beings.

This degree gives you a chance to think critically about media and communication in your own society, globally and in a Portuguese-specific context.

International media and communications

Drawing on a range of approaches (such as sociology, communication theory, politics and cultural studies), you’ll explore areas such as:

  • technology
  • content
  • impact
  • economics
  • history
  • politics
  • ethics
  • sustainability

With the focus being on media theory and cultural history you'll develop critical skills in:

  • media analysis
  • cultural awareness
  • industry engagement

Portuguese

You will start the degree as a beginner. No previous study of Portuguese is expected. You'll build your language skills to near-native competence by the end. As well as building language skills you'll also get a full appreciation of the Portuguese-speaking world through modules on:

  • culture
  • history
  • politics

Your third year will be spent abroad in a Portuguese-speaking country. This exciting experience develops your communication skills and really helps you stand out to future employers.

Your departments

This joint honours degree is a collaboration between two departments. Find out more about what it’s like to study in the:

 

"All of the concepts and theories that we unpacked and interrogated at university are real things that I have encountered throughout my career. Having those different perspectives, theory and knowledge helps me to be a better communications professional."

Tobi Ruth Adebekun, Communications Manager, International at Snapchat

Why choose this course?

Beginners welcome!

No previous language skills necessary - all levels catered for

Learn Portuguese

Add Portuguese to your skillset

Quality teaching

Over 90% of students in both departments think staff are good at explaining things

Boost your career

Become fluent in one of the worlds most widely spoken languages

Tailor your coursework

Use your language and cultural knowledge to steer your coursework

International

A diverse student and teaching body combined with a transnational curriculum broadens your horizons and challenges your assumptions.

Media Zone

Build practical skills with the Students' Union award-winning media groups - television, radio, magazine


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level ABB

Please note: Applicants whose backgrounds or personal circumstances have impacted their academic performance may receive a reduced offer. Please see our contextual admissions policy for more information.

Required subjects

No foreign language qualification is required for this degree.

IB score 32

You will study Portuguese from beginners' level only. There is not a post-A Level Portuguese pathway.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you have already achieved your EPQ at Grade A you will automatically be offered one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject.

If you are still studying for your EPQ you will receive the standard course offer, with a condition of one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject if you achieve an A grade in your EPQ.

Foundation progression options

If you have faced educational barriers and are predicted BCC at A Level, you may be eligible for our Foundation Year. You may progress to a range of direct entry degrees in the arts and humanities.

Mature Students

At the University of Nottingham, we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on the mature students webpage.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

With such a diverse range of modules across both subjects you'll encounter a wide variety of teaching methods.

You'll be part of large lectures, small seminars and individual tutorials - some will be in person and some will be online.

You'll work in groups on projects and presentations but also be responsible for doing a large amount of individual study.

The majority of the language teaching you will experience will be led by native speakers.

Teaching quality and support

We work hard at our teaching to give you the best experience possible.

In the past five years ten staff in the two departments have been awarded Lord Dearing awards - nominated by students and peers to acknowledge outstanding teaching.

They also both achieved over 90% student recognition that staff are good at explaining things in the latest National Student Survey.

If you have worries abut your work we won't wait for them to become problems. You'll have a personal tutor from one department and a Joint Honours advisor from the other. They will support your academic progress and help find solutions to any issues.

"As a personal tutor, I work with you on your academic progress, but I also have a pastoral role with regards to your well-being. I see how you get on across all your modules, which enables discussions about you as an individual."

Dr Gabriele Neher, Senior Tutor, Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Oral classes
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Placements

How you will be assessed

A combination of essays and exams are the norm for most modules. Depending on the modules you choose you might also be asked to:

  • produce a podcast
  • create a video essay
  • pitch a business idea
  • develop a portfolio

Following your year abroad your improved language skills and cultural understanding will be assessed through a mix of presentations and written assignments.

Assessment methods

  • Dissertation
  • Commentary
  • Essay
  • In-class test
  • Oral exam
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Presentation
  • Reflective review
  • Written exam

Contact time and study hours

The minimum weekly scheduled contact time you will have is:

  • Year one - at least 12 hours
  • Year two - at least 10 hours
  • Year three - at least 8 hours

Weekly tutorial support and the accredited Nottingham Advantage Award provide further optional learning activities, on top of these class contact hours. Your lecturers will also be available outside your scheduled contact time to help you study and develop. This can be in-person or online.

As well as your timetabled sessions you’ll carry out extensive independent study. This will include course reading, seminar preparation, completing assignments and groupwork with fellow students. A typical 20 credit module involves three to four hours of lectures and seminars per week.

Your lecturers will be members of our academic staff in Modern Languages and Cultural, Media and Visual Studies many of whom are internationally recognised in their fields.

Class sizes vary depending on topic and type. Typically,

  • a lecture will have around 50 to 100 students
  • a weekly seminar will have 15 to 20 students

Study abroad

You will spend year three in Portugal or Brazil:

  • a programme of studies in a higher education institution
  • working as an assistant in a school
  • a work placement.

For more information, see your year abroad options.

Placements

On your course

Our work placement module provides opportunities to build workplace skills that apply to whatever career you develop.

Internships, placements and other work experience

Our competitive internships offer you the opportunity to get experience with leading US and UK media companies.

Creative Pathways with Lakeside Arts

Events and internships to help you gain insight and experience of the creative industries sector.

Across the university

Our reputation means we can work with top employers to offer high quality general internships and work experience placements. Check out our Careers and Employability Service for what’s on offer.

Nottingham Advantage Award

Boost your employability with a range of employer-led projects and career development opportunities through the Nottingham Advantage Award.

Why study two subjects?

The benefits of doing a joint honours degree.

Modules

We know everyone comes from a variety of backgrounds and experiences so our first year ensures you have the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive and help you build relationships with your fellow students.

There is a combination of:

  • core modules that develop essential knowledge and skills for later years
  • optional modules that allow you to study areas that particularly interest you

Portuguese modules

Watch Lucy's vlog on what studying a language as a beginner like.

Portuguese 1: Beginners

Aimed at total beginners (or those with a little knowledge) this lively module will lay the foundations for your Portuguese language skills. Right from the first class we'll help you feel confident in gaining the key skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

We appreciate the importance of using interesting, relevant materials to aid your learning and will make use of a range of texts covering subjects from everyday life to current affairs. This way you will not only learn the Portuguese language, but also cultures from the lusophone world.

By the end of the module you will have the ability to understand spoken Portuguese, produce written texts and participate in conversations.

Culture and Society in Brazil, Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa

This module will introduce you to the cultures and societies of the portuguese-speaking world.

Modern Latin American History

Through a combination of lectures, guided reading and research you'll explore the main patterns of Latin American political, economic and social history, between independence in the 1820s and the end of the twentieth century.

We'll focus on specific concepts, terminology, events and people, so as to develop an understanding of different perspectives and interpretations of the history in question. We'll also encourage you to appreciate the interaction between the ‘political history’ of major events and protagonists in official positions of power, and the ‘social history' of populations who both contributed to, and were affected by, political change.

You will learn to develop a critical approach to the study of history through a variety of materials; gain an ability to distinguish between the particular and the general and to develop the tools for comparative analysis.

International Media and Communications Studies modules

Core modules

Questioning Culture

This module will support you in your first year as you make the transition into degree level work. You will gain a variety of skills in independent and collaborative learning with the aid of guided and self-directed learning tasks and individual and group research projects. All of which will prepare the ground for subsequent research training and your final year dissertation. This module is worth 20 credits.

Optional modules

You'll take one module from each group.

Group A

Media and Society
In this module you will critically examine the social forces that have shaped different media, focussing on the press, broadcasting, the internet, and film & television. You will explore key debates surrounding the development, composition and function of these different media forms, and examine the social, political, economic and cultural conditions that shaped their evolution.
You will be introduced to a range of theoretical approaches to understanding the production, content and reception of media messages and representations, with a particular focus on the social and political role of the mass media.
This module is worth 20 credits.
Communication and Culture

We live in culture and we communicate with each other every day, online and offline. What is communication? How is it shaped by culture? In this module, you will learn theories on communication, media and culture. These theories include Marxism, structuralism, poststructuralism, feminism, queer theory, postcolonialism, critical race studies and digital media studies. They will enable you to look at society and culture with fresh eyes and use media and communication more self-consciously. You will be aware of how social structures and power relations shape media and communication practices, and what we can do as individuals and social groups to challenge these structures and relations. Eventually, you will use these theories to critically analyse a wide range of media and cultural texts and practices such as film, television, journalism, advertising, popular culture and social media. This module is worth 20 credits.

Group B

Cultures of Everyday Life

While we may take the idea of our daily lives for granted, they are filled with 'realities' and phenomena that exceed our abilities to account for them: associating it with routine, familiar and repeated experiences, our everyday lives are, simultaneously, punctuated by the exceptional, the random and the disruptive. This module explores the cultural theory of everyday life, and covers the work of key theorists Michel de Certeau and Henri Lefebvre. You will be introduced to methods for representing everyday life in arts and media. You will also look at a wide range of attempts to register daily existence, including the modernist novel, photography, film, time capsules, poetry, video diaries and comics. This module is worth 20 credits.

Communication and Technology

This module takes a detailed look at debates around the impact of new information and communications technologies such as the internet, digital TV, and mobile and wireless communications on processes of communication. The module emphasises the social, economic and political implications of information communication technology adoption, such as the ongoing 'digital divide' between the information-rich and -poor. It also investigates issues surrounding human-machine interaction, exploring the reshaping of communication forms and practices together with notions of posthumanism and cyberbodies.

Year structure

You'll take 120 credits worth of modules split as follows:

  • Portuguese modules - 60 credits
  • International Media and Communications modules - 60 credits

You must pass year one but it does not count towards your final degree classification.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Friday 12 August 2022.

The second year is split between core and optional modules, balanced across both subjects.

Your language skills will be developed to prepare for your Year Abroad and you will get training in research skills ready for your final year dissertation.

Portuguese modules

Core modules

Portuguese 2: Beginners

Building on the foundations laid in Portuguese 1 Beginners (MLAC1049), this module will improve not only your language skills but also your confidence.

We'll continue using relevant contemporary materials such as websites, newspapers, magazines and video content to improve your understanding, but we'll also dive deeper into grammar awareness and sentence structure.

You'll grow your vocabulary and focus on areas you may need whilst working or studying in a lusophone country. Listening comprehension skills will be further developed to ensure you feel comfortable taking part in authentic speed conversations.

Nation Building and National Identities in the Lusophone World

If you are studying Portuguese, this modules gives you an introduction to some of the major texts of the Portuguese-speaking world. The commonality of language derives from the colonial experiences of the Portuguese Empire, which resonate through the cultures from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century.

We will examine the ways in which ideas of nationhood and national identity have been expressed and constructed through the cultures of the Lusophone world. The texts studied explore the ways in which cultural production (through the arts) is embedded in the formation of nationhood and ideas about national identity. Culture is therefore examined through and in its political and historical context. The module will address questions of nationalism and identity as expressed through language, race and place, as well as issues relating to globalisation.

Optional modules

Choose one from this group.

New World(s): Contacts, Conquests and Conflict in Early Modern Hispanic History and Culture

Explore relations between early modern Spain, Portugal and their empires through art, cinema and historical documents to better understand the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries in Latin America today.

Together we’ll study paintings starting from the mid-15th century in Portugal where voyages of ‘discovery’ were well under way, to Mexico and Brazil in the late eighteenth century.

To explore the political and cultural relations between the old countries in Europe and the new lands in the Americas we’ll read travelogues, testimonies and political discussion about the New World and look at modern cinematic and theoretical responses to the conquest and colonisation of the Americas.

These complementary areas of history and culture are perfectly balanced to help you understand how the Portuguese and Spanish empires are so relevant to contemporary global geo-politics.

Hispanic Cinemas

Take your understanding of Spanish and Portuguese further by delving into the rich history of cinema in Spain, Portugal, Latin America and Portuguese-speaking Africa. This will assist your language skills and also deepen your knowledge of a diversity of global cultures.

In the first semester we'll examine cinema from Spanish America since the 1960s, then, in the second semester, cinema from Brazil, Portugal and Africa. In so doing, we'll address questions of cinematic style and technique, socio-historical contexts and the politics of film-making.

Don't worry if you're just starting out on your language journey, the films will be available with English subtitles.

International Media and Communications Studies modules

Core module

Researching Media and Culture

For this year-long core research module you'll spend two hours a week in lectures and workshops to become familiar with different approaches to investigating research topics which interest you. This will include learning about and trying out first-hand a range of research methods and techniques commonly applied in ethnographic, historical and textual study, and determining their suitability for different projects. You’ll learn about the kinds of research that a range of industry professionals from diverse sectors within the media, creative, entertainment and heritage industries pursue, and have opportunities to reflect on how you could incorporate that learning into your own research. You'll also investigate the interdisciplinary nature of culture, film, media, the arts and critical digital studies and demonstrate this knowledge by choosing your own research project and methods. This module is worth is 20 credits.

Optional modules

Choose two from this group.

Media Identities: Who We Are and How We Feel

This module develops critical modes of attention to the mediation of identity. On our screens and in our headphones, we shape and reshape our selves. Media do not reflect identities but play an active role in bringing them into being. This module takes up the question of 'identity politics', enhancing students' knowledge and understanding of key identity categories that have been advanced and problematized by media scholars, such as gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, national, regional and local belonging, age, ability and disability, and more. The module also interrogates the mediated forms these identities take, considering the politics of looking and visual culture, the politics of hearing and auditory culture, and the politics of affect, emotions and embodiment. The module encourages historical as well as contemporary perspectives.

Understanding Cultural Industries

In this module you'll learn how show business is broken down into 'show' and 'business' in film, television and promotional industries and examine how creative decision-making, technology and legislation influence those industries. You'll also learn about how advertising and market research influence the design and production of media in certain regions and how film and television industries have developed in different contexts and periods. This module is worth 20 credits.

Political Communication, Public Relations and Propaganda

We're bombarded with political messages every day and in every way. They aim to influence our thinking and affect our behaviour. Some are blatant ("Hands. Face. Space.") some are more subtle ("A report launched by a thinktank today highlights..."). Some don't seem like deliberate messages at all ("Have you seen this Boris GIF. 😂").

We'll explore this world of political communication, public relations and propaganda in its widest form. In particular we'll look at:

  • communicators - established institutions and power groups as well as those in opposition to them, both in formal politics and civil society
  • global contexts - the political, economic, social and cultural landscapes that structure and influence political journalism and public debate.
  • the public – as passive audiences, as a political imaginary, as part of a deliberative public sphere, and as actively campaigning partisans
  • form - the discourses and symbolic strategies used and the influence of technology
  • ethics – whether persuasive communication is good or bad for democracy, and whether free or regulated media better serve the public interest

Taking a global approach we'll explore specific practices from around the world.

And with a focus on current political communication, you'll be expected to maintain an interest in recent events and to be able to discuss up-to-date examples.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Film and Television in Social and Cultural Context

During this year-long module you'll:

  • think about industries, audiences and surrounding debates from a social and cultural viewpoint
  • learn about the way that social and cultural meaning is produced by film and television programmes​
  • explore the social practices that surround the consumption of media, such as movie going and television viewing

Some of the specific questions we might look at together include:

  • How do value judgements shape the way in which movies and television programmes get made
  • What is "good" television?
  • What challenges are public service broadcasters, like the BBC, facing and how should they address these?
  • How have writers and producers attempted to use television drama to enact social change?
  • What kind of TV programmes are preferred by streaming services and why?
  • How might binge watching impact on the viewer's experience and social communication?

This module is worth 20 credits.

Transnational Media

In this module you'll learn about the concepts of ‘transnational’ and ‘postnational’ media, taking into account the movement and interactions of people, finance, technology and ideas around the world. The module addresses in particular global media interactions emerging from tensions between forces of cultural homogenisation and heterogenisation. You'll also develop a foundation of theoretical knowledge to be applied to case studies in global film, television and other screen and print media. This module is worth 20 credits.

Digital Communication and Media

Digital communication and media are significantly transforming the ways our societies operate. In this module you will critically explore key issues behind this transformation, and investigate theoretical and practical foundations of digital communication and media and their relationship to contemporary culture. You will study the cultural, political, economic, technical and regulatory contexts from which digital communication and media have emerged and in which they continue to operate. To link conceptual frameworks to real-life experiences and situations, the module also provides opportunities for you to explore the interactive forms and practices that result from the use of digital communication and media through a range of both individual and group activities. This module is worth 20 credits.

Memory, Media and Visual Culture

Media, TV, film and visual culture play a central role in forming our knowledge of the past. There is no memory without its representation in language or images. Using a range of case studies, you will explore how different forms of remembrance add weight to what they represent. Who remembers what, when, where, why and to what purpose? Why do screen and other media retell certain stories over and over again, and how is such remembrance linked to the erasure of other pasts? What is the relationship between national and transnational memories, when set against memories of enslavement and its visualisations? These, and other questions, will guide our approach to an interdisciplinary field of media, film and visual studies. The module will also encourage you to reflect critically on regimes of visibility and narration, and on the distinct ways that memories of certain events are communicated via different genres, institutions, and artefacts. This module is worth 20 credits.

European Avant-Garde Film

Explore how film can be regarded as an art form through the study of avant-garde cinema in early 20th century Europe.

We’ll start by looking at what is meant by the term ‘avant-garde’, and consider the development of experimental filmmaking in the context of artistic movements such as:

  • Futurism
  • Cubism
  • Dada
  • Surrealism
  • Constructivism

The focus will be on developments in Germany, France and the Soviet Union and consider key trends from abstract animation to Cinema Pur.

We’ll also explore some key concerns of non-mainstream cinema such as:

  • Narrative
  • Abstraction
  • Reflexivity
  • Spectatorship
  • movement, time and space

You’ll examine how experimental film engaged with modernity, including the aesthetic and political strategies of the European avant-gardes.

By the end of the module you’ll be able to:

  • contextualise the avant-garde in relation to broader artistic and historical developments
  • understand the relationships between film and other media

This module is worth 20 credits.

Black Art in a White Context: Display, Critique and The Other

You will explore the works and practices of Black artists that have been displayed or produced in Europe and America from the nineteenth century to the present day. This includes how methods of display, tactics of critique and attitudes towards the 'Other' have defined and influenced how Black art is viewed and produced in the Western world.

Moving through time we'll:

  • examine nineteenth-century attitudes towards African objects
  • explore the influences of ethnography and African material culture on artists working in the early to mid-twentieth century, such as the Surrealists
  • consider artworks produced in the Harlem Renaissance by painters like Aaron Douglas and photographers like James Van Der Zee
  • discover how artists like Jeff Donaldson and Faith Ringgold sought to recover African history, culture, and forms of memory in the context of the civil rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and how their work responded to the political and social pressures of this period
  • look at the practices of more recent artists like Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon, and Kara Walker, and explore how artists have critically re-presented history’s narratives in ‘the present’ before focusing on the curatorial works of Fred Wilson

To finish we'll consider the rise of contemporary African art within European and American art markets, and the related economic and political shifts that have occurred since the colonial era. 

This module is worth 20 credits.

The Sixties: Culture and Counterculture

Described variously as an era of dissent, revolution and experiment, the 1960s offers a unique vantage point from which to explore a range of issues and topics pertinent to media and cultural studies. The art of the period brings into view a volatile world where distinctions between different media were becoming blurred (as in performance art, for instance) and where inherited ideas, hierarchies and values were contested, if not exploded. Notions such as the Establishment, the underground, celebrity, obscenity, mass culture, alongside those of personal identity (gender, race, class, sexuality) were all subject to radical questioning in an era where events, such as those of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, challenged the received order of things. This module critically evaluates the idea of the 1960s, starting with its status as a fabled decade that is said to cast its shadow today. Historiographical and geographical questions structure the module.  When and, crucially, where were ‘the Sixties’? Was it primarily an Anglo-American phenomenon? Was it the 1950s until 1963? Did it end in the early 1970s, as some believe, with the Oz Trials?  These and other questions will help us to demythologise the period and begin investigating it anew.

Los Angeles Art and Architecture 1945-1980
This module introduces a number of artistic and architectural practices that emerged in Southern California after 1945. Exploring their cultural and historical context, we will consider the role of Los Angeles in the development of post-1945 American art and architecture, including mid-century modernism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Light & Space Art. Central to this module is the question of whether all art made in Los Angeles can be classified as “Los Angeles Art” – that is, the extent to which the art and architecture of the region necessarily reflected the geographical location, climate, and expansive urban layout of Los Angeles. To this end, we will consider the critical reception of art of this period, investigating, amongst other critical constructs, the notions of centre and periphery, regionalism and the cultural construction of the American west that shaped much writing on California during the period.
Art and Architecture in Nottingham

A vital introduction to the first-hand study of art and architecture.

Through a series of weekly site visits you’ll explore:

  • space - residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, ceremonial
  • function - art galleries, streets, churches, factories, monuments, municipal buildings, museums, private estates, public parks
  • identity - civic, familial, institutional, political, religious

We’ll examine how these change as a city develops and ask important questions about heritage and conservation.

The on-site study will be supported by archival material from Manuscripts and Special Collections. This might include architectural drawings, guide books, maps, newspapers, pamphlets, and photographs.

Other optional modules

Work placement

Combine our in-depth sector knowledge with the Careers and Employability Service skills development experience to get noticed when applying for jobs and during interviews.

From constructing an outstanding CV to practicing graduate level interview skills we'll build on your existing abilities.

You'll also get something concrete to talk about through a multi-week work placement. This will be tailored as far as possible to your subject and career aspirations.

This sort of attention to detail is what makes Nottingham graduates some of the most sought after in the job market.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Year structure

You will take 120 credits worth of modules split as follows:

  • Portuguese modules - 60 credits
  • International Media and Communications modules - 60 credits

You must pass year two in order to progress to year three.

Your second-year marks count one third towards your final degree classification.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

You will spend year three in Portugal or Brazil doing one of the following:

  • a programme of studies in a higher education institution
  • working as an assistant in a school
  • a work placement

For full details of possible destinations, finance and impact of Brexit see our dedicated Year Abroad page.

Cassie explains what the Year Abroad is really like for a language student.

The final year consolidates your Portuguese language knowledge and skills obtained during your year abroad, and deepens your understanding of Portuguese-speaking literature, cinema and politics.

You'll complete a dissertation in International Media and Communications agreed with your supervisor. This can integrate your learning in French studies.

Core dissertation module

You can do a dissertation specialising in either subject or combine both into a single piece of research.

Dissertation in International Media and Communications Studies

This module gives students the opportunity to work independently on a chosen subject area of their choice, with an appropriate supervisor.

Dissertation in Hispanic Studies

This module aims to provide you with the training necessary to be able to engage independently, under the guidance of a supervisor, in self-directed research on a topic that the student selects on the basis of an aspect of your Year Abroad experience.

Through a series of one-on-one tutorials, and the submission of a proposal, a literary review, and chapter draft, the student is advised on how to sustain an argument over up to 7,000 words, and how to underpin this argument with appropriate and innovative research.

Portuguese modules

Core module

Portuguese 3

This advanced module will be your final step towards fluency. We'll build on your grammatical competence and assist you to develop a more sophisticated and formal register of vocabulary, idiom and advanced syntax.

During class you'll gain the ability to discuss a wide range of topics in written and spoken Portuguese, giving you the confidence to converse articulately upon complex and intellectual subjects.

Optional modules

Brazilian Slave Society

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the centrality of the history of slavery in the study of Brazil, and of the significance of Brazilian slavery in both the transatlantic slave systems, and slave societies across the Americas.

In the process, you will learn to recognise and use the different historical approaches, tools and skills employed in the historiography of slavery studies, and in social history in general, and to incorporate them into their own analyses of aspects of Brazilian slave society.

Literature and Films, Conflict and Post-Conflicts

Explore how literature and film can give us a deeper insight into the experiences of conflict in 20th and 21st-century Latin American and Iberian societies.

Together we’ll investigate the way in which film and literature have reflected, resisted, interrogated and remembered the socio-political violence and conflicts that have shaped the 20th and 21st centuries so far in Europe (with a particular emphasis on the Iberian Peninsula) and Latin America (including Brazil).

Your Spanish and Portuguese language skills (along with translations or subtitles where needed) will help you adopt a comparative approach focussing on the formal experiments and common preoccupations of filmmakers and writers across different national cultures and historical contexts.

You will discuss questions around a range of themes which may include; authoritarianism, confronting colonial and neo-colonial practices, racial and class inequality, social injustice, gender and sexuality, and living on with the legacies of past traumas.

You can expect to discuss works by writers such as Roberto Bolaño, Ruben Fonseca, Alejandro Zambra, Mariana Enríquez, Clarice Lispector and Liliana Heker. Feature films and documentaries by Alfonso Cuarón, Pedro Almodóvar, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Claudia Llosa, Patricio Guzmán and Susana de Sousa Dias will also be discussed.

Culture and Society across the Portuguese-speaking World

This module uses a focus on identities and identity formation, as represented or articulated in literary, cinematic and visual texts, as the basis of a chronological survey of the development of lusophone societies and cultures in the long 20th century (roughly, from 1880 to the present). Approaches to these set texts will introduce, and equip you to evaluate, a history of changing conceptions both of racial, ethnic, sexual, and class identity.

The module will explore how shifts in social taxonomies and conceptions of community and difference relate both to scientific and philosophical discoveries and innovations and to the changing political and socio-economic structures of Portugal and the African territories formerly subject to Portuguese colonial rule. It will also provide an introduction to the study of the concept of identity itself, and of the interrogation, by psychoanalysis and post-structuralist thinking, of preconceptions of either individual or collective identities as stable and unitary. 

International Media and Communications modules

Optional modules

Self, Sign and Society

This module equips students you with the theoretical tools needed to explore how social identity is both asserted and challenged through the deployment of signs broadly conceived. 'Sign' is understood here primarily with reference to Saussurean linguistics, and the impact of the structuralist and then poststructuralist movements on disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, semiotics, postcolonial theory, cultural studies and visual culture.

  • How does our accent function as a sign of our class origins or cultural sympathies?
  • Does skin colour always function as a social sign?
  • How do the clothes we wear align us with particular lifestyles and ideological positions and how is this transgressed?
  • How has the phenomenon of self-branding colonised our everyday lives?
  • What does our Facebook profile say about how we would like to be read by the wider world? Does the logic of the sign itself exceed what we intend to do with it?
  • How do the signs that construct a social 'self' circulate in the context of new media?
  • Are there psychological costs associated with living in this society of the sign?

This module will address these and other related questions by introducing students to the approaches of thinkers such as Freud and Lacan, Saussure and Greimas, Barthes and Baudrillard, Levi-Strauss and Geertz, Derrida and Bhabha, and Mirzoeff and Mitchell among others.

Mediating Disaster

This module critically evaluates the roles that media play in scenarios of disaster. From war and famine to train crashes and natural disasters, the media play a central role in our understanding of, and imaginative engagement with, disaster. From the disaster movie to documentary photography and news coverage, a variety of media forms regularly link us to the real and imaginary landscapes of disaster, war, conflict and emergency, particularly with the technological expansion of the means of image-making in the 21st century. The module investigates the aesthetics and ethics of representation where disaster is concerned, introducing students to research in fields concerned with the mediatisation of disaster, conflict and emergency.

Global Cinema

Almost every country has a cinema industry. Yet what’s shown, and why, varies wildly.

We’ll look at how films outside Hollywood are made, distributed and received globally, and how these reflect local, regional and international trends.

We’ll ask how these cinemas:

  • reflect past and current international film industries setups and audiences’ tastes
  • are driven by local cultural specifics and global changes
  • might benefit different institutions and structures in society

We will also try to untangle categories such as national cinema, transnational cinema and world cinema, as well as to make sense of different filmic traditions, genres and modes around the world. Who creates these categories and who do they serve?

With an entire global cinema to draw from, the focus will narrow in any year to particular regions, filmic genres or movements.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Working in the Cultural Industries

The cultural and creative industries are at the forefront of government strategies across the world for developing post-industrial economies, are seen as exciting places to work, and regularly feature at the top of graduate employment destinations.

  • But what are these industries, and what is it like to work in them?
  • How do you gain entry to these competitive, highly skilled jobs?
  • What is ‘creativity’ and why is it so important to modern economies?
  • And what does the future hold for cultural and creative sectors?

We’ll examine the structure, organisation and working patterns in the creative and media industries alongside more practical exercises designed to help you to identify and evaluate your own skills and interests. This combination of industry knowledge and personal reflection is aimed to help you to find a rewarding and exciting career when you leave university.

You’ll also examine key aspects of contemporary work including:

  • the concept of creativity, the knowledge economy and precarious labour
  • important issues such as internship culture, exploitation and inequality

There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss and build upon your own experiences and aspirations, and to conduct independent research on areas of creative and media work that interest you.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Film and Television Genres

Many films share common traits. Together they might be classed as “action”, “made for television” or “low budget”. But how does as film get assigned a genre? Who does the assigning? And what impact does this assigning have?

During the module we’ll delve deep into a particular genre. We’ll examine it’s:

  • key concepts and texts
  • development
  • influence and influences

Building on what you’ve learnt in years one and two you’ll also look at the genre in the context of production and consumption.

As well as knowledge of a specific genre you’ll also develop the skills to apply your learning to other genres.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Screen Encounters: Audiences and Engagement

Develop and expand your understanding of the relationship between screen media and their most important component – the audience.

We’ll explore widely across history including:

  • pre-cinema moving images
  • the changing nature of cinema space
  • the impact of domestic television and VCRs
  • the playing of games and use of smartphone apps
  • experimental forms of screen media

You’ll also consider the impact social and political factors, and changes in daily living, have on screen media’s relationship with its audience.

Alongside the theory you’ll also get practical experience by using questionnaires and focus groups to conduct your own audience research.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Auditory Cultures: Sound, Listening and Everyday Life in the Modern World

This module introduces students to the cultural and social role of sound and listening in everyday life. Scholars have argued that, since the Enlightenment, modern societies have privileged sight over the other senses in their desire to know and control the world. But what of hearing? Until recently, the role of sound in everyday life was a neglected field of study. Yet Jonathan Sterne argues that the emergence of new sound media technologies in the nineteenth century - from the stethoscope to the phonograph - amounted to an 'ensoniment' in modern culture in which listening took centre stage.

Beginning with an examination of the relationship between visual and auditory culture in everyday life, this module introduces a variety of cultural contexts in which sound played an important role, including:

  • how people interact with the sounds of their cities
  • how new sound technologies allowed people to intervene in everyday experience
  • why some sounds (such as music) have been valued over others (such as noise)
  • the role of sound in making and breaking communities
  • the role of sounds in conflict and warfare
  • the importance of sound in film and television from the silent era onwards.

We use a variety of sound sources, such as music and archival sound recordings, in order to understand the significance of sound in everyday life from the late eighteenth century to the present.

Gender, Sexuality and Media

Examine how issues of gender and sexuality relate to media and popular culture.

Using the intersectional fields of feminism, queer theory, and media and cultural studies we'll ask some crucial questions such as:

  • How are gender and sexuality represented in media and popular culture?
  • How do media and cultural industries structure gender and sexual inequalities?
  • How are identities and practices of media audiences and users gendered and sexualised?
  • How can gender and sexual norms be challenged in creative and radical ways?

This module is worth 20 credits.

Public Cultures: Protest, Participation and Power

Explore the relationship between public space, politics and technology using overlapping and interdisciplinary fields, including:

  • cultural studies
  • cultural geography
  • digital studies
  • urban sociology
  • cultural politics

You will engage in debates about the changing nature and uses of public space, with an emphasis on urban environments and digital space.

A range of protest movements will also provide case-study material and offer a central focus for your theoretical and practical explorations of the role of new technologies in:

  • controlling space
  • resisting control
  • enabling new forms of civic participation.

This module is worth 20 credits.

Teaching Film and Media Studies for Undergraduate Ambassadors

This module is part of the nationwide Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme, which works with universities to provide academic modules that enable students to go into local schools to act as inspiring role models. You will split your time between the university-based seminar and your allocated school, where you will be placed in an appropriate department as a teaching assistant. You will design and deliver a teaching project aimed at improving pupil understanding of selected aspects of media studies. You will be supported by the module convenor, the education specialist on campus, and the school's contact teacher. The module typically includes fortnightly seminars and seven half-days spent in school. Placements are in secondary schools and Sixth Form or FE colleges.

Photographing America

This module examines the development of photography in America from roughly 1945 onwards. The module breaks the period down into themes and considers:

1. the transformation of ‘documentary’ photograph;

2. the emergence and importance of colour photography;

3. experimental, conceptual and post-conceptual photography;

4. issues of serialism and seriality;

5. landscape photography;

6. the photobook

7. analogue/digital

The module will draw on the work of a diverse range of photographers, including Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Ed Ruscha, Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams, Robert Heinecken, Stephen Shore, Todd Hido, William Eggleston and Doug Rickard.

Year structure

You'll take 120 credits worth of modules split as follows:

  • Portuguese modules - 60 credits
  • International Media and Communications modules - 60 credits

You must pass year four which counts two thirds towards your final degree classification.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2022*
Keep checking back for more information

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

Essential course materials are supplied.

Books

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts.

A limited number of modules have compulsory texts which you are required to buy.

We recommend that you budget £100 per year for books, but this figure will vary according to which modules you take.

The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (for example Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith). You can often buy second-hand copies of textbooks through them as students from previous years sell their copies back to the bookshop.

Year Abroad [Reduced fees - subject to change]

As a year abroad student, you will pay reduced fees. For students spending their year abroad in 2022 this was set at:

  • Home/EU students: £1,385
  • International: 50% of the relevant international fee

Costs incurred during the year abroad

These vary from country to country, but always include:

  • travel
  • accommodation
  • subsistence
  • insurance

Depending on the country visited you may also have to pay for:

  • visa
  • vaccinations
  • self-funded language courses
  • additional administration fees and study supplies in the host country or organisation

There are a number of sources of funding:

  • Student Finance Loan
  • Means-tested travel grant
  • University of Nottingham bursaries and scholarships

Your access to funding depends on:

  • the course you are taking
  • your residency status
  • where you live in term time
  • your household income

You may be able to work or teach during your year abroad. This will be dependent on your course and country-specific regulations. Often students receive a small salary or stipend for these work placements. Working or teaching is not permitted in all countries. More information on your third year abroad.

Volunteering and placements

For volunteering and placements, for example work experience and teaching in schools, you will need to pay for transport and refreshments.

Optional field trips

Field trips allow you to engage with source materials on a personal level and to develop different perspectives. They are optional and costs to you vary according to the trip; some require you to arrange your own travel, refreshments and entry fees, while some are some are wholly subsidised.

Scholarships and bursaries

Faculty of Arts Alumni Scholarships

Our Alumni Scholarships provide support with essential living costs to eligible students. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

University of Nottingham bursaries and scholarships

The University offers a wide range of funds that can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. See our bursaries and scholarships page for what's available.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

You will have developed a critical understanding of the creative and cultural industries. This will allow you to explore a variety of careers in those sectors.

Combined with your advanced language skills you'll be well placed to work internationally.

Your skills will be those in demand by most professional organisations:

  • ability to conduct and report on in-depth research
  • think critically and communicate effectively
  • operate independently and as part of a team
  • construct reasoned arguments and be able to defend them
  • have strict attention to detail and be a confident communicator

These skills will make your career:

  • resilient - as the nature of work changes you can adapt
  • flexible - you can choose across different sectors as you develop and grow and opportunities arise

Find out more about skills gained and career destinations:

Graduate profiles

Key fact

Only 14% of employers state that specific degree subjects are a selection criterion. (Institute of Student Employers recruitment survey 2019)

Average starting salary and career progression

72.2% of undergraduates from the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £21,539.*

*Data from UoN graduates, 2017-2019. HESA Graduate Outcomes. Sample sizes vary.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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" The department has really helped me throughout my years at university by giving me useful and constructive feedback on various different projects as well as helping to guide me through my dissertation process, which can be quite daunting at times! "
Daisy Slater, International Media and Communications Studies and Spanish BA

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Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.