Society, Culture and Media MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a social science or related discipline.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£12,000 (Total)
International fees
£27,250 (Total)

Course overview

two students chatting together

This interdisciplinary course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of key issues, debates and theoretical perspectives on a wide variety of sociological, media and cultural themes. You'll acquire the skills to critically analyse their intersections and implications for how we interact with culture and media in contemporary society.

You’ll be taught by leading researchers in the field, covering key issues and concepts such as media and social media; consumption; audiences; representation; globalisation; migration and place; tourism; inequality; creative work and material culture.

With a grounding in sociological approaches to the study of culture and media, you’ll explore themes around power, inequality and identity, enabling you to think critically about the relationship between gender, class, race and ethnicity in the cultural realm.

In addition to developing specialist knowledge in the field, you’ll also acquire key transferable skills in research, communication, analytical skills, self-management and group working, which will open up a range of career pathways within the media and creative industries and beyond.

Course highlights

  • Benefit from the expertise of the School of Sociology and Social Policy.
  • Gain specialist knowledge in the areas of consumption, traditional media and social media, globalisation, representation, popular culture and more.
  • Tailor the programme according to your interests with optional modules which cover journalism, promotional communication, video games, digital resistance and reality TV.
  • Develop transferable skills including research, analysis, group work and communication.
  • Prepare for careers in academia, communications and media policy, creative industries, media market, audience research and others.

Pre-sessional study at Leeds - watch our recorded talk

Course details

You’ll study core modules that provide a solid grounding in key sociological theories for the study of society, culture and media, and methodological debates and approaches.

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules, enabling you to tailor the programme to pursue your specialist interests.

The final dissertation project will allow you to design, develop and implement your own critical enquiry into an aspect of culture and media.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1 Compulsory Modules

Sociology of Media and Culture – 30 credits

The module equips students with a high-level interdisciplinary and critical understanding of media and culture. By exploring applied examples, students will be able to apply conceptual, theoretical and empirical insights from recent sociology to the study of contemporary issues within the media and culture.

Researching Inequality in the Media – 30 credits

On completion of this module, students will be able to identify the epistemological underpinnings of social research relating to media representations of inequality; understand ethical debates; critically analyse research practice; review and critically appraise media representations in relation to a range of social inequalities including lifecourse, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and social class; and synthesize information and knowledge from a range of sources and perspectives.

During the course of the module students will also have the opportunity to engage with a range of viewpoints on research practice in relation to representations of inequality; demonstrate knowledge of a range of methodologies and strategies for research; and demonstrate their developing skills, knowledge and understanding in a variety of learning and assessment contexts.

Approaches and Methods for Media and Culture – 30 credits

Individuals are embedded in complex networks of international, national, and local flows of culture, media and new media from which we draw our understandings of ourselves and our worlds. This module explores a broad range of methods and approaches used to critically understand media and cultural texts and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed.

Dissertation – 30 credits

This module will support students through the process of designing and conducting a substantial piece of independent research.

Year 1 Optional Modules

Racism, Decoloniality and Migration – 30 credits

This module will provide the skills and knowledge to enable students to develop an advanced understanding of theoretical and conceptual debates as applied to particular substantive cases and examples within decolonial, racism, 'race' ethnicity and migration studies. The module will provide an advanced knowledge and understanding of racism, racial inequality and diversity in the context of global migrations. This will involve the acquisition of advanced knowledge relative to patterns of continuity and change in racism, ethnicity and migration and an awareness of the relationship between ethnic and cultural diversity and social inequality in relation to specific cases in a comparative context.

Reality TV: Truth or Fiction – 30 credits

This module aims to imbue students with the mastery of high level social science skills to assess and evaluate the popular genres of Lifestyle and Reality Television. On completion of this module students will be able to consider a Lifestyle or Reality Television programme of their choice from an international context familiar to them and show how it reflects, challenges or reproduces the key social and cultural values of its national context. Whilst many of the examples used will concern western culture, these examples will be used critically in relation to international cultures.

Videogames and Society – 30 credits

Drawing on some of the most exciting and interesting contemporary research from within the fields of sociology, game studies, political science, and media and communication studies, this module explores the wide-range of issues that have emerged around the medium of videogames, and asks what these tell us about the world we inhabit.

From American malls in the 1980s to internet cafés in modern China, the module will explore the diverse ways that people from across the globe engage with videogames, looking at how videogames are significant mediators in the shaping of selfhood, forming the basis of friendships, communities and livelihoods.

Gender, Sexuality and Popular Culture 30 credits

This module offers students a grounding in debates on gender, sexualities and popular culture, considering what popular culture is, how it is conceptualised by critical theorists and the ways in which feminist researchers have departed from the canon. The module covers a wide range of popular forms and practices, exploring how genders and sexualities are operationalised within media representations, sport, music and fashion subcultures, fandoms and oppositional readings and examines the differences between the popular and populism with respect to contemporary social media personalities.

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies. These will include guest lectures, seminars, presentations, group work, online learning and independent critical enquiry.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


Assessment will include a series of short quizzes, a group project, an essay and a dissertation.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent in a social science, or related subject.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

Please note that meeting the entry requirements of this course doesn't guarantee an offer of a place.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Politics and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Sciences and Arts: Politics and Society (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

International – Friday 28 June 2024

UK – Friday 16 August 2024

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information we will need include:

  • original or certified copies of your transcripts
  • original or certified copies of your degree certificate
  • original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions Office



UK: £12,000 (Total)

International: £27,250 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Sociology and Social Policy usually offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more on the School's scholarships page.

Career opportunities

This course will equip you with key transferable skills and the specialist knowledge required to pursue a career in sociology or media and culture. The national and international growth of the media and creative industries has sparked greater demand for graduates who possess advanced skills and knowledge in the field, opening opportunities in communications and media policy, PR, social and digital media, media markets and audience research or other cultural and creative industries.

Additionally, the sociology element of the programme will allow you to apply your knowledge and skills in fields such as education, statutory and voluntary agencies, NGOs (non-governmental organisations), INGOs (international non-governmental agencies) and charities.

The programme also provides a basis for progression onto a PhD in sociology and media studies, and a strong grounding for an interdisciplinary PhD.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.