Media Studies with History - BA (Hons) - Video

How mass media (TV, film, social media, advertising) is changing/questioning who we are.

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How mass media (TV, film, social media, advertising) is changing/questioning who we are.


The mass media have an extraordinary influence on our daily lives and the way we view each other and the world around us. Examination and understanding of the ways in which the press, broadcasting, cinema and new media work is essential for the modern global citizen.

The Media Studies programme explores the multi-faceted role that the media play in social, cultural and political life. It thereby addresses the vital need for a broad humanities education that thoroughly examines the modern media of public communication from a range of perspectives. As such, the programme will produce media-literate citizens, as well as graduates with a range of intellectual and transferable skills appropriate to the demands of life and work in contemporary society.

Students on the Major programme will take four Media modules in each academic year and will be required to undertake a final year dissertation.

History as a minor supplements your major subject by enabling you to progress from a broad awareness into a more critically-informed appreciation of the past. History as a minor allows you to study a range of periods and geographies and enables you to critically assess relevant sources.

International Students

If you don't meet our entry requirements for this course you may want to consider our International Foundation Programme (IFP)

The International Foundation Programme (IFP) will prepare you for studying an undergraduate degree at Ulster.

Find out more

In each of the three years of study students take modules to the value of 120 credit points. By taking History as a minor you will develop a critically-informed knowledge of the history of a variety of time periods, themes and geographies. You will develop a critical awareness of historians’ arguments and an ability to construct you own arguments based on the informed use of sources, both primary and secondary.

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Our coastal and riverside campus with a primary academic focus on science and health

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About this course

In this section


Structure & content

Year 1
Media, Culture, Identity 1
Introduction to Hollywood Cinema
Media, Culture Identity 2
Photography and Visual Culture

Year 2
News and Journalism
History of Irish Photography
Television and Popular Culture
Mapping the City
Representation and Gender

Year 3
Film, Television and Ireland
Photography and the Mass Media
Irish and International DocumentaryResearch Methods
Written Dissertation
British Cinema
Reporting International Conflict
From the Archive to the Internet

Associate awards

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards


Three years (full-time). Four to six years part-time.

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Making History: Skills for Historians

Year: 1

This module is designed to introduce students to the skills required for studying history at degree level and the methods and approaches that inform historical practice.

Irish Government and Politics since 1922

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module investigates the primary forces shaping Irish politics, political institutions and structures, political behaviour, the mass media and policy making.

Early Modern Britain and Ireland

Year: 1

This module is optional

The module tracks the changes through time from a largely feudal polity to the emergence of an internationally powerful British nation state by examining key topics and events from 1500-1800. Part one of the module explores the causes and consequences of the Reformation, Colonisation and Plantation, the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, and finally Restoration and Revolution in Ireland, Scotland and England. Part two explores the problems of governance in contested kingdoms and diverse societies, along with the rise of the fiscal-military state and the impact of the enlightenment on faith, culture and mentalities.

Defining America: Themes in American History

Year: 1

This module is optional

The module aim is to illustrate and then analyse the key themes and issues in American history from colonial times to the present day. Patterns and problems in the development of America will be discussed and consideration of differing interpretations and source evaluations are implicit throughout the course. By the end of the module students should understand how the history of America has been shaped by the key events and controversies that have taken place over the last four hundred years.

The Making of Modern Britain, 1750-1939

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module offers students an introductory survey of the development of modern Britain and Ireland from the mid-eighteenth century till the mid-twentieth. It provides a broad-based coverage in major themes in social, economic, cultural and political history, and also embeds the core study skills needed to study History at this level.

Progress and Barbarism: The Decline and Rebirth of Europe 1914-1990

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module offers students an introduction to Modern European History through a thematic approach in a series of comparative case studies relating to post-1914 Europe.

Year two

Exchange programme 1

Year: 2

This module is optional

This involves an appropriate course taken at the institution at which the exchange year is being spent.

Exchange programme 3

Year: 2

This module is optional

This involves an appropriate course taken at the institution at which the exchange year is being spent.

Exchange programme 4

Year: 2

This module is optional

This involves an appropriate course taken at the institution at which the exchange year is being spent.

Exchange programme 5

Year: 2

This module is optional

This involves an appropriate course taken at the institution at which the exchange year is being spent.

Exchange programme 6

Year: 2

This module is optional

This involves an appropriate course taken at the institution at which the exchange year is being spent.

Exchange programme 2

Year: 2

This module is optional

This involves an appropriate course taken at the institution at which the exchange year is being spent.

The Irish Diaspora 1607-1939

Year: 2

This module is optional

A chronological and thematic module which explores the main patterns of Irish migration since 1607, and examines reasons for migration, emigrants? journeys, processes of adjustment, and also the development of the local, national and transnational socio-cultural, religious and political structures which together comprised an Irish Diaspora.

War and Peace in Human History

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module is designed principally for students studying History, and provides an introduction (in two parts) to some of the main causes of war and advancements in peace in human history; topics covered include:- the origins of war and peace, war and peace and cooperation in historical context, World War I and II, the Cold War period, War in the post-Cold War & post-September 11th period, peace and cooperation until WWI, 20th century peace and cooperation and International Cooperation and Global Governance in contemporary history . The module will provide an introduction to a number of themes that will re-emerge in later parts of the course.

The Great Powers and the Middle East since 1880

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module explores the impact of the West on the Middle East and its contribution to conflict in the region since the end of the 19th Century.

Consensus, Decline and Polarisation: Post War British History

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module examines Britain from the end of the Second World War. It examines the processes of continuity and change in British politics, society and culture. Perspectives taken include analysis of high politics and key economic and social themes such as the welfare state, the impact of the 1960s and Thatcherism as well as the ending of Britain's Empire and global power status.

Ireland and the European Union

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module investigates Irish involvement in European integration which has been a strategic aim of successive governments since 1961. The EU exerts a significant impact on legislation, the economy, social policy, and foreign policy. Membership of the EU has been a catalyst in the redefinition of modern Ireland and its relations with Northern Ireland and with Great Britain. An analysis of the European dimension is essential to an understanding of the contemporary Irish polity and its self-perception.

The Myth and Reality of Imperial Spain

Year: 2

This module is optional

This course examines the rise to power of the Spanish Empire in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and its subsequent decline from the seventeenth century onwards. The following issues will be emphasized: Spain?s Empire building; the image of Spain in the European political discourse; the military, economic, and social crises of the seventeenth century; the Spanish Golden age in art and literature vis-a-vis the concept of decadence; the importance of honor and religion in all realms of society; the racial issue: from the convivencia to the Inquisition; the court of the Habsburgs; and the cultural impact of Spain in the early modern world. In addition, the course will consider the diverse populations constituting the Spanish World, stressing such social and cultural strains as those between: center (Castille), and periphery (for example, Catalonia, Naples, and The Netherlands); Christians and converted Jews/Muslims; Spanish Conquistadores and indigenous populations; and the various racial castes created in the Americas.

Death, disease, and medicine in Britain and Ireland, 1800-1920

Year: 2

This module is optional

An examination of a society under stress, one in which disease and death tested popular attitudes and mentalities, probed society's resources, and exploited its weaknesses. It will also consider debates in the history of medicine, and look at the impact of poverty, class, and gender on social health.

Colonial Violence and Genocide, 1600-1945

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module explores the relationship between colonialism and violence. In doing so it explores the controversial suggestion that European empires were genocidal. Case studies include examples from the British Empire, United States, Dutch East Indies, as well as German and Belgian colonies in Africa. Students will also engage with debates about how the colonial past is remembered and commemorated in the present day.

Global Britain: The British Empire in Asia and the Pacific, 1757-1900

Year: 2

This module is optional

The aim of this module is to explore the development of the British Empire in Asia and the Pacific in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. It will examine the growth of the British Empire in this context across two main themes. First, students will be encouraged to think critically about imperialism. They will explore how colonial hierarchies intersected with ideas about race, gender, class, culture and power. The effects of colonialism on indigenous peoples, settlers and the environment will be considered throughout. Second, this module will demonstrate how globalization ? particularly the movement of ideas, goods and people ? was connected to imperialism. The module will connect British encounters in India, Australia, Pacific Islands, China and Southeast Asia from 1757 to 1900. These case studies will help students to understand imperialism from a range of perspectives and in a number of different contexts.

From Union to Independence: The Irish Experience, c.1800-1922

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module examines key themes in Irish social and political history from the Act of Union to the Revolutionary period. Students will gain knowledge of important events such as the Famine, Land Wars, Easter Rising and War of Independence.

Year three

History Abroad (DIAS)

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. It is a required module for all History students on an intercalary study abroad year between second and final year. It is not open to non-study abroad students. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline of History whilst generating educational and cultural networks.

Year four

Reform, Reaction, Collapse: Late Soviet Communism, 1953-1991

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module examines and evaluates the major issues and controversies in post-Stalin Russia. It details the political, social, and economic challenges faced by the Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev regimes. It will compare and contrast the various responses of the different leaders. It concludes with a debate about why Soviet communism collapsed.

American Foreign Policy

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module aims to promote an understanding of the development of American Foreign Policy from 1945 to the present day. It seeks to examine the complex interaction between the United States and the wider world by looking at key events, issues and debates in American Foreign Policy. The chronological approach will focus on the Cold War, Post-Cold War, and post-September 11th eras, analyzing the administrations of Presidents from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush.

Darwin and Social Darwinism 1859-1914

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module explains and analyses the impact upon culture and thought from 1860-1914 of Darwin?s Origin of Species published in 1859. The Origin of Species is not just a scientific text but a narrative about life, death and sex. Its arguments were read or became familiar to a wide range of people in the nineteenth century. They changed attitudes to religion, politics, society and culture. The module examines the controversies Darwinism provoked between science and religion, the theories of politics to which it gave rise and debates on gender, class and race it influenced. The module also discusses how ideas are diffused by whom and to whom; how different cultures and social position affect how these ideas are diffused and received.

Workers and radicalism in modern Ireland

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module investigates the evolution of the working class in Ireland, and its interaction with capital, labour organization, society, and politics.

Royal Splendours: Politics, Culture, and Patronage in the Courts of Europe 1450 - 1715

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module examines the development of manners and courtly behaviour across early modern Europe. It concentrates on the dissemination of ideas and the relationships that emerged between socio-economic groups. The role of specific courts, especially those of Spain and Burgundy are used as case studies.

Imperial Retreat: The Decline and Fall of the European Overseas Empires

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will examine the historical process since 1945 whereby European colonial powers either withdrew or were driven from formal occupation of their overseas possessions. The module will not only examine various interpretations of imperial disengagement but will also provide an in-depth study of the actual mechanics of European decolonisation for particular territories in South and South East Asia, Africa and the Pacific. It also aims to enhance student skills in evaluating interpretations put forward by historians through allowing them to make a detailed study of one particular colonial possession.

The British World in the age of Global Wars, 1890s-1920

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will examine, comparatively, the historical processes involved in the development of the claim that Britain and her colonies constituted a single cultural zone?a British World or ?Greater Britain??that interacted on social and economic challenges, through migration and cultural exchange, and fought together against internal and external threats during this period.

The Post-War Western Body: Medicine and Society in Britain and America, c.1945-1990

Year: 4

This module is optional

A critique of changing western European and American attitudes to the body and bodily behavior in the post-war period.

From Prison to Nation: Australia, 1788-1900

Year: 4

This module is optional

From the first encounters between Indigenous peoples and Europeans, this module introduces some of the major themes, people, and debates in Australian colonial history up to the creation of the Australian Commonwealth on 1 January 1901. Topics include exploration, convict society, immigration, racism, gender hierarchies, class consciousness, urban development, environmental exploitation, and political uses (and abuses) of history.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBC∆ at A2.

∆ = Applicants may satisfy the requirement for the A level C grade by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.


BTECNational Extended Diploma

Overall BTEC National Extended Diploma profile requires a minimum of:

DMM award profile to include a minimum of 8 distinctions in level 3 units

BTEC National Diploma

The National Diploma may be accepted in combination with other qualifications. Where an applicant offers a profile of Diploma and an A level then the Diploma should be achieved at the upper end of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. if one A level is offered with a Diploma and our standard A level offer is BBC then we normally ask for a BB equivalent at Diploma and the A level at grade C, see further below).

BB = Distinction, Merit (To include 6 distinctions)

BC = Distinction, Merit (To include 5 distinctions)


The Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate may be accepted in combination with A levels. Where A levels are offered as part of a profile then they should be achieved at the upper end of the standard A level offer profile (i.e. if two A levels are offered with a Subsidiary Diploma and our standard A level offer is BBC then we normally ask for BB at A level with the Subsidiary Diploma offer at the appropriate differential to satisfy the A level grade profile (grade C) - see further below).

A* grade = Distinction* (To include 5 distinctions in level 3 units)

A grade = Distinction (To include 4 distinctions in level 3 units)

B grade = Distinction (To include 3 distinctions in level 3 units)

C grade = Merit (To include 5 merits in level 3 units)

D grade = Merit (to include 4 merits in level 3 units)

∆ = Diploma and Sub-Dip applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is grades

H3,H3,H3,H3,H4 at higher level.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades


∆ = applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades


∆ = applicants may satisfy the requirement for an element of the offer grade profiles (equating to the final A-level grade stated in the standard 3A level offer profile - grade C) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by the University.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum of

25 points to include 12 at higher level.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

For Access qualifications validated by Ulster University or QUB the entry requirement is:

An overall mark of 65%

For GB QAA accredited Higher Education Diploma qualifications the entry requirement is as follows:

Award of the HE Diploma in a related subject area, achieving a minimum of 18 credits at distinction and 24 credits at merit in the 45 level 3 graded credits.


Please refer to the University’s general entrance requirements.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements


Applicants holding a HND should achieve an overall merit for entry to Year 1. Those applicants holding a subject-related HND with an overall merit may be considered for entry to Year 2


Applicants holding a HNC should achieve an overall distinction for entry to Year 1 only.

Foundation Degree

Applicants holding a Foundation Degree should achieve an overall mark of 50% in level 5 modules for Year 1 entry. Those applicants holding a subject-related Foundation Degree may be considered for entry to Year 2.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning)

The University will consider applications on the basis of experiential learning for those who do not hold the normal entry qualifications.

Transfer from degree level study at other institutions

Those applicants seeking entry with advanced standing, (eg. Transfer from another institution or year 2 entry) will be considered on an individual basis.

Teaching and learning assessment

Students attend lectures, seminars and screenings and complete a range of assessments including essays, reports, presentations and blogs.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Graduates in Media Studies are well prepared to go into a wide range of careers or further study. These degrees are intended as a broad preparation for working life and Media Studies offers a particularly exciting opportunity to study the role played in our lives by broadcasting, the press and the other powerful media of public communication.

For information on postgraduate research opportunities see:

Students completing a course with History as a minor subject are well equipped to undertake postgraduate work in relevant areas of study. They are also well equipped for employment in a wide variety of careers where priority is placed on communication skills and skills of analysis. These careers include journalism and the media, the creative arts and arts administration, marketing and the public service.

Academic profile

All current History staff have researched and published in the areas in which they teach. These areas include Early Moderrn Irish, British and European History, 19th and 20th century Modern Irish, British, European and International History. Students, accordingly, will be have the benefit of being taught by specialists who contribute significantly to the development of their module subjects.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,000.00  Discounts available
£13,240.00  Scholarships available

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


For further information please contact Sally Quinn:


For admissions queries please email:

For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Communication and Media


Patrick Auld

Patrick Auld- Recent Graduate Patrick studied Media and Film, graduating in 2009 and currently works as independent filmmaker and videographer. Patrick has worked on productions for BBC, Film Four and Universal and has had his worked screened in the local film festival circuit.

"Although the Student life has it's social side, you have to maintain a good balance through your years of study. For my three years, to keep on top of things I would remember my deadlines, essential assignments and most importantly the big dissertation. Your level of commitment, creativity and focus are what matters and will ultimately determine your degree grade. Lecturers will always be patient and open your mind to other areas of interest you may not have known before."

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Matthew O'Neill

Caroline NorrisMatthew O'Neill received his BA Hons in Media with Film studies from University of Ulster in 2011. Since then he has completed an MA in Film and Visual studies from Queens University of Belfast and attended the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University. He is an active Trans Ally whose research focus is primarily looking at the representation of the trans community within the United Kingdom and Ireland. He has just recently published a chapter on the use of YouTube videos and Trans Youth in an edited collection entitled Queer Youth and Media Cultures. He is currently in the process of applying for a PhD programme.

"A Media Degree from Ulster gave me the space to grow as a person, enabled me to think critically of the world around me and equipped me with a set of skills that can be taken to any workplace. Lecturers are attentive in their support and encouragement towards students, but understand the need to develop independent thought, a requisite for a University education."


Dr Orla Lafferty

Mark RobinsonOrla Lafferty studied Media in combination with English and graduated in 2007. In 2013 she completed a PhD in Media studies based on an analysis of UTV's reporting of the Troubles. She has presented her findings at international conferences and published in her work in various media and cultural studies journals. She currently works on a diaspora project with Donegal County Council.

"Completing a B.A. Hons in English and Media Studies gave me a stong foundation in many skills including critical analysis, writing and research. My interest in research lead to me completing a PhD project within the film archive at Ulster Television. While conducting research I also learnt about the day-to-day running of a film archive and its value to the organisation, a truly worthwhile experience which has certainly enhanced my career prospects."