Media studies is a discipline and field of study that deals with the content, history, and effects of various media; in particular, the mass media. Media Studies may draw on traditions from both the social sciences and the humanities, but mostly from its core disciplines of mass communication, communication, communication sciences, and communication studies.
Researchers may also develop and employ theories and methods from disciplines including cultural studies, rhetoric (including digital rhetoric), philosophy, literary theory, psychology, political science, political economy, economics, sociology, anthropology, social theory, art history and criticism, film theory, and information theory.
In the United Kingdom, media studies developed in the 1960s from the academic study of English, and from literary criticism more broadly. The key date, according to Andrew Crisell, is 1959.
When Joseph Trenaman left the BBC's Further Education Unit to become the first holder of the Granada Research Fellowship in Television at Leeds University. Soon after in 1966, the Centre for Mass Communication Research was founded at Leicester University, and degree programmes in media studies began to sprout at polytechnics and other universities during the 1970s and 1980s.
Media studies can be useful in a range of careers including marketing, sales and advertising, broadcast media and performing arts, journalist and publishing, and leisure sport and tourism.
There is a range of vocational qualifications linked to an interest in media studies including: performing arts, broadcast & media, publishing and journalism, advertising and marketing, arts, crafts & design, information technology, travel and tourism.
There is a range of apprenticeships linked to an interest in media studies including: arts, media and publishing, e.g. digital design, digital journalist, advertising & marketing, e.g. digital marketing, social media & digital marketing, information technology, e.g. web developer.
There are many skills and qualities you will learn during your media studies lessons and courses. For example, teamwork, because you'll need to be able to listen to other team members and take on board each other’s opinions and ideas.
Technical ability - You may need particular technical skills and specialist knowledge of how things work or need to be designed and built.
Problem solving - Some jobs particularly require problem solving skills and creative thinking to recognise problems and their causes, to identify a range of possible solutions and then assess and decide the best way forward.
Time management - You’ll need to be able to manage your time efficiently and make deadlines.
Organisation - You’ll need to be able to plan and schedule your tasks. This could include being able to prioritise what needs to be done and by when.
Communication - If your job requires verbal communication, you may need to write or give speeches and presentations. For jobs which require written communication skills, you will need to write clearly and convincingly – you could be producing or dealing with legal documents or writing articles for a newspaper. You may also require good listening skills, the ability to negotiate, or to be persuasive.