One of the newer departments in the College, we combine a long tradition of teaching and researching cultural studies at Birkbeck with the latest ideas and techniques across film studies, journalism, screenwriting, arts management, digital media, Japanese studies and more.
We offer stimulating and highly relevant courses across all levels of higher education, from certificates to BAs and MAs and research degrees. Our teaching ethos is built around student engagement, with classes designed to challenge you intellectually while equipping you with all the requisite skills needed to pursue a career in the media and cultural industries. Our students are impressively diverse in background, age and experience: this makes for a particularly dynamic classroom experience, and you’ll be encouraged to participate fully throughout. Practical courses are all taught by professionals with extensive industry experience, and all our teaching incorporates the latest research in a fast-changing environment.
Most of our classes take place on weekday evenings, with some Saturday daytime teaching on particular modules. You can be flexible in your studies, choosing to study part-time or full-time depending on what else in going on in your life. A BA, for instance, typically takes three years full-time, but if you go part-time you can spread your studies over four. An MA usually lasts two years part-time, but if you elect to study full-time you could complete your course in a year.
We pride ourselves on our research culture, and this means that you’ll have all manner of opportunities to attend special events, debates, exhibitions, screenings, walking tours and guest lectures, many organised through the Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image. You’ll also have access to excellent facilities including an award-winning cinema, newsroom and video production lab, and you might want to get involved in our student magazine, the Lamp & Owl.
Whatever course you choose, we aim to enhance your academic abilities while ensuring you’re fully prepared for professional life. Our graduates go on to great jobs across the media and cultural sectors, and many progress to higher level academic studies.
All of the department’s academic staff are active researchers, keenly exploring the most important issues facing the media and cultural industries today as well as investigating their past. We’re active too in engaging with public debates, communicating our ideas in conferences, speaker events, research projects and in the media.
Our research culture is strongly interdisciplinary, drawing on ideas and methods and from a wide range of academic subjects. This breadth of expertise means that the work we produce frequently challenges conventional thinking, pushing debates in interesting new directions. We also specialise in practice-based research, with several academic colleagues also active in the creative arts.
Take a look at our staff pages to get a sense of what we’re working on at the moment, and be sure to check our research centres’ calendars for upcoming research events.
As well as being in the academic heart of London, Birkbeck is close to one of the greatest concentrations of media and cultural organisations on the planet. In addition to having many famous and influential institutions on your doorstep, central London also plays host to an endless array of pop-ups and start-ups – which together will give you plenty of opportunities to learn about what’s new in the industries, get involved and gain valuable experience.
On the academic side of things, our department is based in historical buildings on Gordon Square which were formerly home to Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes, among others. You can also take advantage of the British Library around the corner, as well as the other colleges in the area.
Find out more about our academic and administrative staff and see who to contact for further questions on our staff pages.