Digital Media BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
P390
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAB including one arts, humanities or social science subject. Excluding general studies and critical thinking. (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Digital Media

This course offers a blend of theory and practice, teaching you all you need for a future in digital and interactive media.

You’ll build a portfolio of practical projects and learn to analyse the impact of digital media products on individuals and society. You’ll have the opportunity to gain a range of technical skills using our industry-standard software, including graphic design, programming, animation and post-production, combining these with critical thinking, research and analytical skills.

Shape your degree to suit your interests and career plans through optional modules, whether they relate to creative or technical practice or theoretical analysis of digital media. You can even undertake a work placement to gain experience of this fast-changing sector.

Our links with the digital media industries ensure great opportunities if you’re looking to research, design, build or manage the interactive products and services of the future.

Specialist facilities

You’ll hone your skills in specialist production facilities, including our digital media lab and editing suites where you can produce digital projects using specialist software, such as Adobe Creative Cloud and web hosting services. We also have an extensive free loans service for production equipment and spaces such as a cinema, podcast studio, broadcast-standard radio suite and TV studio with green screen to enable you to carry out industry-standard practical work..

Take a 360 tour of our facilities.

Digital Media lab

Digital media lab

Course details

Year 1

You’ll develop key skills in digital media design and production from your first year, as well as an understanding of different theories and approaches in communication and media. At the same time, you’ll examine the cultural, technological, political and economic contexts that have shaped the development of digital media and the research that will shape its future.

Year 2

Year 2 allows you to build on this foundation, as you develop skills in programming, study visual communication and work on real industry briefs. You’ll also develop your research skills and choose from a range of optional modules to tailor your studies according to your own interests and career plans. You can study from a range of options, including media policy, digital storytelling, motion graphics and design, among many other topics.

Year 3

By your final year, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to produce a substantial piece of independent project work, either applying your research skills to complete a dissertation on a media-related topic of your choice or developing your own digital media project, such as a product, service, campaign or creative installation, from initial pitch through to finished output.

At the same time, you’ll gain a good grounding in legislation, policy and regulation surrounding digital media, and select more optional modules in areas ranging from documentary journalism to information design.

Have a look at some final year projects produced by previous students on this course.

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

Introduction to Media and Communication Research (20 credits) – This module introduces the basic building blocks of media and communication research in order to support the reading, writing and research skills you'll require during your time in the School of Media and Communication. Highlighting the links between fundamental academic skills and research practice, the module allows you to explore how media and communication is studied, and how skills developed for a media and communication degree relate to both scholarly practice and media practice.

Understanding Digital Media (20 credits) – Providing an overview of key issues in the study of digital media, the module focuses on key concepts that have shaped digital media’s brief history and that have been said to differentiate digital media from older media forms. It develops your understanding of the cultural, political, economic and technical contexts from which digital media have emerged. The module forms the foundation for more detailed analyses of digital media in future years.

Interface Design (20 credits) – This module aims to develop industry-standard best practice and skills in the design and creation of websites and other digital interfaces. It illustrates the importance of international standards with regard to usability and accessibility, as well as technological platform independence. The module explores how creative flair can be combined with industry standards to create professional quality products.

Design for Digital Media (20 credits) – Through the study of design concepts, contemporary design software and the conventions of design for different types of media, you'll produce a varied portfolio of design work and analyse, evaluate and reflect upon your work using formal methods of critique. These tasks are intended to develop creative, technical and analytical skills related to design and visual communication.

Introduction to Media and Communication Theory (20 credits) – This module examines some of the main theoretical perspectives and arguments that underpin the study of media and communication. It considers the ways in which these perspectives are linked, why they continue to hold relevance for contemporary media scholars and how they help us to understand the role of mediated communication in society.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

The History of Communication (20 credits) – This module will give you an overview of the main themes in the history of communication. It has been designed to provide not only the story of communication and media, but also the context in which systems of communication were developed and used. The module provides the historical foundation to examine the processes and case studies discussed in other Year 1 modules, and should continue to inform your understanding as you progress through your degree.

Camera and Editing (20 credits) – This module provides a basic grounding in the language, conventions, techniques and practices of micro-budget, mini-crew digital short video production. Providing a fundamental understanding of the complex nature of production, the module will equip you with the skills needed to work with creative clarity and technical efficiency within a small production team, whilst in charge of at least one key production element.

Introduction to Cinema (20 credits) This module equips you with a case study-based historical overview of the principal developments in US and European cinema, from 1895 to the present day. Through a series of ten one-hour lectures and linked screenings, you'll be introduced to the form, culture, economics and ideology of the moving image. Topics covered include early cinema, the emergence of the 'Classical' system, European art cinema traditions, the cinematic gaze, social cinema, film festivals and film technologies.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

One of either:

  • Visual Communication (20 credits) – This module is designed to develop your visual literacy and enable you to read key visual texts, deploying a range of historical, critical and contextual approaches. Over the course of this module, you'll study dominant visual cultural forms such as photography, cinema, television and websites, developing the ways in which we try to understand these key modes of communication.
  • Digital Media and the Senses (20 credits) This module introduces you to the visual and multisensory affordances of digital media using a variety of critical approaches which bring together theory and practice. You'll identify critical issues through analysis of literature and media objects and respond to these through digital research and investigative creative projects. The concept of practice as research is explained and illustrated and you're encouraged to think about the ways that you can respond critically though creative production.

Programming for Digital Media (20 credits) – An opportunity to engage with the practice of programming and explore its impacts, such as the opportunities and challenges presented by the role of code and data in digital media. You'll experiment with different programming languages, platforms, and technologies and use them to create different outputs, generate and use data in different ways and reflect on the opportunities for creative production, digital media and digital research afforded by programming and data.

Working in Digital Media Teams (20 credits) – This module introduces you to processes and issues in digital media work and production. You'll work with your fellow students to respond to digital media briefs, developing project management skills and their ability to work collaboratively. The module is framed by theoretical understandings of work in the creative and digital media industries.

Communication Research Methods (20 credits) – An introduction to key research perspectives and methods in media and communication and to the principles of research ethics. The module combines lectures, required readings, practical exercises in seminars to build skills, and assessments that promote reflection on the research process and the value of different research methods.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Technology in Communication and Media (20 credits) – This module provides you with an academic understanding of the role of technology in media and communications. It illuminates critical and social issues generated by and through technology, discussing and analysing the relationship between technological developments and the societies in which those developments take place.

Podcasting (20 credits) – This module will equip you the creative knowledge and practical skills needed to envision, plan, record and produce your own podcast. Designed for sthose with no prior experience of media production, you'll develop your critical appreciation of storytelling in audio through the study and critique of a variety of podcasting formats. This module will require an ability to work independently (under supervision) and to think creatively about the possibilities of audio as a tool of mass communication.

Communications Skills (20 credits) – You'll gain an understanding of the qualities associated with effective communication and will develop the confidence and practical skills needed to communicate effectively in a range of situations, including academic life, social contexts and the workplace. The module takes a rigorous critical approach to communication norms and requires all students to engage in a series of practical workshops in which they will be urged to think about and work upon their own confidence, verbal expression and non-verbal behaviour.

Digital Storytelling (20 credits) – Examining forms of digital storytelling in the context of traditional and interactive narrative, this module explores the role of digital storytelling in a range of social contexts. You'll develop the skills to create multiform narrative and digital stories that use narrative as a means to educate and entertain.

Digital Cultures (20 credits) – This module explores the interactive leisure forms and practices that are based on, emerge from, and ask questions about, digital technologies. It explores a range of themes and issues that relate to digital cultures, as well as looking at a range of digital cultures and the technologies and social contexts that facilitate the emergence of these cultures. You'll develop an understanding of the political, economic, social and technical contexts from which digital cultures have emerged.

Motion Graphics (20 credits) – This module provides you with intermediate practical skills in motion graphics for film and television including animation and visual effects. You'll gain the skills and knowledge needed to construct motion graphic sequences for film and television production using appropriate software, and understand and demonstrate coherent subject knowledge and appreciate professional design constraints for film and television production.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Internet Policy (20 credits) – This module is designed to examine Internet policy and the changing regulatory, legal, and ethical frameworks surrounding new media. Over the course of the semester, you'll cover a number of key contemporary policy issues and debates, including digital inclusion, accessibility, content regulation, privacy, security, copyright and digital piracy, free and open-source software production, and network neutrality. The aim is to introduce you to the key policy developments and debates in these areas, while also providing you with the critical tools with which to analyse and normatively evaluate them.

Final Year Project, one of either:

  • Digital Media Project (40 credits) – This module guides you through the professional practices of developing an advanced digital media product informed by, and contextualised within, relevant theoretical issues and debates. Working independently, you'll produce a detailed specification for a digital media product, create professional project documentation, pitch your ideas in verbal and written formats, implement prototypes, develop an advanced digital media product, critically evaluate your work and deliver oral presentations at key stages.
  • Communication Dissertation (40 credits) – This module provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent research project and produce a dissertation on a topic of your own choice under the guidance of a supervisor. Lectures introduce you to the research design and structure of a dissertation, including how to develop a research question, produce and organise a literature review, choose and apply a research method, analyse data, and present your findings and arguments. You'll receive individual tutorial support from an academic supervisor, but the emphasis is on independent study.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

The Documentary and Reality (20 credits) – This module provides you with an understanding both of the development of documentary forms and functions and the character of the debates about 'truth' which have surrounded documentary work since the 1920s. You'll explore major stages in the development of documentary practice; criteria used in the evaluation of documentary both by academics and by the public; key visual and verbal components of documentary organisation; narrative and observational structures in documentary; and current tendencies and new technology.

International Communication (20 credits) – This module explores the role of media and communication in the context(s) of globalization, with a special emphasis on the political and cultural implications of contemporary international/global communication practices and products. The module offers both a traditional 'international communications' approach to the study and critique of media and a more contemporary take on the role of other forms of communication (eg design, branding, visual imagery and/or urban environments) in 'global communication'. As well as studying theories, examples and cases, you'll develop your own original analytical and research work on specific dimensions of international/global communication.

Placement (20 credits) – You'll work under pressure in order to meet the exacting deadlines within a media or media-related industry. You'll be required to prove the intellectual and practical capabilities you have acquired at University within the professional industry environment and under the scrutiny of working professionals. The placement assessment develops your ability to critically reflect on practice in your chosen field.

Feminism, Identity and Media (20 credits) – On this module, you'll be introduced to the main theoretical and critical arguments and approaches associated with feminist media studies, exploring both the history of the field as well as contemporary debates. Through a series of ten one-hour lectures, you'll cover the key media and communication areas and issues including gender and new media, gender and television, gender and advertising, gender and PR and gender and music. Topics covered include the politics of representation; feminist theories of narrative and identity; the role of women in the media industries and the relationship between feminism and new media.

Understanding the Audience (20 credits) – An introduction to the main approaches to understanding the relationship between audiences/users and media. You'll consider the development of the concept audience, exploring empirical research and theoretical arguments from a range of perspectives including how scholars have conceptualised the audience, how media industries view the audience, as well as, addressing contemporary debates about the usefulness of the category ‘audience’ in the contemporary media context.

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn under the guidance of academic teaching practitioners and researchers, using a range of teaching and learning methods to give you the knowledge and skills that you need. These methods will include practical classes and workshops, as well as lectures, seminars and tutorials.

In addition, you’ll have a reading list for each module and independent study is a crucial part of the degree, allowing you to develop your own skills and understanding. Your tutors will be available during their office hours to discuss any issues or questions that arise.

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

We use a variety of assessment methods so you can demonstrate different skills. These will include practical production coursework, essays and occasionally exams.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including one arts, humanities or social science subject. Excluding general studies and critical thinking.

Other course specific tests:

If you’re taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) you may receive an alternative offer alongside a standard offer. In this case, the typical offer would be ABB plus grade A in the EPQ.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Offers are made on an individual basis, typically a Pass with 60 credits overall including 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 should be at Distinction and 15 at Merit level.

BTEC

DDD

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

35 overall
(16 at higher level, with 5 at higher level in English or 6 at standard level).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3
AAAABB (pre-2017)

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers
A in an Advanced Higher and AABBB in Highers
AAAABB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

Please note that we don’t currently accept the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate
80% overall.

Find your country to see equivalent international qualifications.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

This course is designed for students whose backgrounds mean they are less likely to attend university (also known as widening participation backgrounds) and who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry to a degree.

The course will give you the opportunity to be taught by academic staff and provides intensive support to enable your development of academic skills and knowledge. On successful completion of your foundation year, you will progress to your chosen degree course. Find out more about the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

International

Find your country to see equivalent international qualifications.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

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
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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 is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

This course is not accepting applications for deferred entry.

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses in the School of Media and Communication. The number of applicants exceeds the number of places available so, to ensure that we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we wait until after the UCAS equal consideration application deadline has passed before making a final decision on applications.

If we put your application on hold for review after the UCAS application deadline, we will send you an email to let you know. Although you may have to wait longer than usual to receive a decision, you will hear from us by mid-May at the latest, in line with the deadline that UCAS sets universities for making decisions on applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline.

Offer decisions are made based on an overall review of applications including predicted grades, breadth of knowledge demonstrated through qualifications, personal statement, extra-curricular and work experience, and contextual information. We look for enthusiastic and talented students who have the potential to succeed in their studies with us and contribute to our community.

Read our admissions guidance and see ‘Application decisions’ for details.

All courses in the School involve rigorous theoretical study, research and presentation. All applicants must therefore provide evidence of completing, or working towards completing, a Level 3 (for example, A Level) Arts/Humanities qualification that demonstrates their ability to research a topic and present high quality written work. In some cases, applicants may also be asked to provide examples of completed essays or assignments in order to assess their suitability.

As part of your application, you'll need to submit a personal statement. Read our guidance on writing your personal statement.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

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 Media and Communication

Contact us

School of Media and Communication Undergraduate Admissions

Email: mediaug@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

Digital media communications play a vital role for almost every organisation. This means career opportunities for graduates are rich and varied.

Our graduates pursue a wide range of careers in media, including web design, social media analysis, content writing, online marketing, advertising, graphic design, project management and e-commerce. Many have built careers in well-known organisations, including the BBC, The Guardian, ITV, MTV and M&C Saatchi.

Careers support

Within the School, we offer opportunities for you to attend talks and workshops led by industry professionals to help you gain insight into a career in digital media.

You'll have the opportunity to take specific modules which involve guest teaching from industry specialists, providing real world insight into the digital media industry, as well as great networking opportunities.

Find out more about careers and employability at the School of Media and Communication.

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.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

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.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

If you don’t want to spend a full year on a placement, you can still choose to take the optional placement module, which gives you the chance to spend around four weeks working at a company or organisation within the media or a related industry. We have excellent links with the local, regional and national creative industries, ensuring that you have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience that complements your learning.

Find out more.