To help you feel prepared for your BA (Hons) Media studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Read on to find out more:
Suggested reading and viewing
You’ll be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.
In the meantime, we’ve collated some suggested texts you might like to read, if you can, before starting your degree. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive. And you may have specific media that you’re interested in. But try at this stage to watch, read and listen to a broad variety. Don’t feel you need to do it all – allow your curiosity to guide you. And, if you can pick some up second hand, borrow from a library, or access online, we suggest:
- Crissell, A. (2006) A Study of Modern Television: Thinking Inside the Box. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Fuchs, C. (2017) Social Media: A Critical Introduction (2nd ed). London: SAGE.
- Morozov, E. (2011) The Net Delusion. London: Penguin.
- Storey, J. (2015) Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction, 7th edition. Harlow: Pearson.
- Thompson, K. and Bordwell, D. (2019) Film History: An Introduction. London: McGraw-Hill.
- Wolfe, T. (1990) The New Journalism. London: Picador.
- Watch a film each week. Include films you’d not usually choose. Make sure there are foreign films, short films and older films in the mix.
- Watch television but be selective; watch a bit of everything rather than only your favourite shows.
- Visit Sky Arts, it’s now free to view. It has critical programmes and documentaries on film directors, photographers and all manner of media products . Watch whatever interests you about media.
Useful websites and podcasts
Get familiar with good quality online resources over the summer months:
- For short but academic views on contemporary media and media histories go to Flow
- Henry Jenkins’ website is full interesting stuff which inspired many of the modules on the course
- British Film Institute
- The Virtual Revolution documentary series also inspired many of the modules on the course. Find it on YouTube
- The history of photography
Things to try over summer
Give some time to these activities. Whatever you write or record, keep them, don’t delete them. Bring them along to Edge Hill to use for inspiration in your first-year modules:
- Prepare a response to this question: What makes an event news? Here’s a journal article to help
- Keep a Media Diary to record all of your media consumption practices over, say, one week or one fortnight. You can even bring it along at the beginning of the Media and Society module and discuss it in one of the seminars.
- Go to The Guardian’s media website and record what is going on right now amongst media organisations, in media policy, political journalism and, more generally, the big challenges that lie ahead for media makers and media consumers.
- Keep a notebook, scrapbook or journal for any creative ideas that emerge. This is a ‘compost heap’ of creative ideas that you can keep adding to throughout your degree and your future career. You can return to it anytime you’re looking for inspiration for any creative work you’re doing.
Throughout your studies you will have access to absolutely all of the facilities and equipment you will need. If you’d prefer to purchase equipment before you start your studies we’d recommend looking into pre-owned options of the following:
- Good quality digital SLR camera (we would recommend Canon)
- Good quality audio recorder and microphone (Zoom H1)