- ADM 3160 Foundations in Photography
This course concentrates on developing the student’s visual intelligence via photography. Technically, students will learn to use digital Single Lens Reflex cameras and Photoshop for image workflow and editing. By looking at the work of a range of artists, students will be introduced to some of the theories that underpin photographic practice and consider photography’s place and role in contemporary culture. Throughout the course students make images which finally result in an edited portfolio of photographic prints. A studio fee is levied on this course.
- COM 3101 Foundations in Media Production: Sonic Media
Radio has been called the first democratic medium, and the internet has enabled a new generation to share their message with a wide audience. This practical course introduces students to key aspects of contemporary audio production through the creation of their own podcasts and sound design for filmmaking. It focuses on the key skills of audio recording and digital audio editing using industry standard hardware and software, while also introducing students to the history of the medium and contemporary examples of professional work.
Plus one of the following:
- COM 3100 Foundations of Mass Media & Communications
This course provides an introduction to the study of mass media in contemporary modern societies. The course will pay particular attention to the production and consumption of mass media, including newspapers and magazines, television, film, radio, and the internet. Thus the course will encourage students to critically analyse the strategies of media giants, the impact of media ownership over democracy, the effects of media over culture, identities and public opinion. Each topic of the course will be examined with reference to contemporary examples of mass media.
- SCL 3100 Foundations of Sociology
An introduction to the study of society. Topics include: the origins and nature of sociology and the social sciences; society and culture; social institutions such as family, education, and work; socialization; social stratification, power, and social change; industrialization; and urbanization.
- GEP 3105 Tools for Change
In this course, students will discuss and respond to social issues in the local area through group work, reflecting on how they can become both collaborative and independent learners. They will research the context of and plan for service learning in the local area. They will learn to use a range of digital platforms for individual and group project work, focussing strongly on effective communication, including oral presentation and written reports using a range of relevant primary and secondary sources.
- GEP 3180 Research & Writing I
This core course concentrates on developing the students’ ability to read and think critically, and to read, understand and analyse texts from a range of genres. How do you successfully negotiate a path through a sea of information and then write it up? Using essential information literacy skills to help with guided research, this course develops the ability to produce effective and appropriate academic writing across the curriculum. This is the first course in the Richmond academic research and writing sequence.
Plus one of the following:
- GEP 3150 Visual Thinking
This course provides an interdisciplinary grounding in the practice and theory of critical visual thinking. Through theoretical frameworks such as semiotics, it explores predominantly photographic images, from across a range of cultures and contexts: the arts, politics, science, sport and technology. Through visual analysis, it considers digital forms of observation and image making, as well as building understanding by visual practice. It examines questions concerning curating, circulating and making public the images we produce. It asks: What are the values and truths hidden in images? How can the practice of image production advance our thinking around images? How, in the context of a range of disciplines, can we learn to communicate ideas visually and verbally?
- GEP 3170 Narratives of Change
This course considers a landscape of global ideas through the lens of contemporary literature. Students will be introduced to pivotal moments of recent thought surrounding gender, race, environment and technology, exploring how literature both shapes and responds to our changing world. Students will analyse literary, political, and theoretical texts from a variety of cultures, exploring the relationship between written form, content and context particularly the ways in which social change might play out in literature. There will be the opportunity to produce both critical analysis in essay form and creative writing that responds to the texts studied.
- AVC 4205 Introduction to Visual Culture
This course explores images and representations across cultural and historical contexts: the way meaning and ideologies can be decoded from such cultural artifacts as advertising, photography, cinema, modern art, sculpture, architecture, propaganda and comic books. Through varied examples, it takes an introductory route through some of the most important cultural theories and concepts.
- COM 4115 Digital Society
This course introduces students to critical studies of the digital society, and how it effects institutions, media, and audiences socially, culturally, and politically. It explores the history of ‘the information revolution’, and how contemporary digital technologies, the internet, and social media are changing identities, relationships, and practices at both micro- and macro-levels. Through engaging with key debates within digital society (e.g. selfhood and social media, participatory culture, sharing economy, surveillance, truth of online information and democracy), students will develop critical understanding of the relationship between digital technologies and society, and reflect on their own use of digital media.
- COM 4400 Introduction to Advertising Practice
This course explores the fundamental principles and tools involved in the professional practice of advertising. It introduces students to the full range of techniques used in advertising and enables and encourages students to apply practical tools with confidence. This includes designing and presenting their own ideas for an advertising campaign. It relates the practice of advertising to contemporary issues and developments in the UK and internationally.
- COM 4405 Advertising, PR and the Media
This course explores public relations, advertising and journalism, examining their history and evolution and how they relate to each other, as well as investigating the political, economic, social and cultural contexts in which they practice and reviewing their relationships with the media industries. It relates the practice of PR, advertising and journalism to international events and contemporary issues and developments, including criticisms of the industries’ role and a range of ethical debates.
- DGT 4100 Coding, Content and Context 1
This is an introductory course that enables students to develop a practical understanding of the syntax of coding languages. It gives hands-on experience of structuring Code to produce and edit games, using mobile applications such as Hopscotch and Swift, progressing to writing full code on platforms such as Processing. Students are introduced to languages such as Python used in software like Open Sesame. This knowledge is then extended and tested across other digital media and objects through an introduction to software for digital audio, image and video editing. Students will be expected to collect and curate a selection of digital tools relevant to their studies. They will produce outcomes across two digital environments, alongside a critically reflective digital note book / blog of their learning. This class is relevant to students of all majors. It is highly recommended that students have access to the use of a laptop and a smartphone for the duration of the course.
- GEP 4180 Research and Writing II
How do you train your critical research and writing skills to be effective in the academic and professional arenas? How do you design and structure an argument that is convincing? This core course focuses on the principles of good scholarship and academic practice that will be required throughout the students’ studies and in the workplace. These skills are developed throughout the course so that students may, with increasing confidence, produce well-researched writing that demonstrates critical engagement with a self-selected academic topic. This is the second course in the Richmond academic research and writing sequence.
- GEP 4105 Social Change in Practice
This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to analyse London-based social and environmental needs. Students will discuss key texts related to service learning and apply a range of planning and research techniques to deliver a community-based project related to a chosen social or environmental issue. Students will use local resources when available including registered not-for-profit and community-based organizations and reflect critically on their ability to create a positive contribution to society. Students will engage in community-based service learning, with guided academic tasks and reflection.
- DGT 4120 Data Analysis for Social Change
How do users engage with digital and social media content, and how can these reactions and behaviours be measured? This course introduces students to the primary tools for analysing and exploring user experience, the mathematical processes underpinning this analysis, and encourage wide-ranging debates about the ethical and social implications of data analysis.
- COM 5130 Principles of Advertising and PR
This course builds upon to the introductory PR and advertising courses at Level 4 and enables students to develop their knowledge of advertising and PR and how these two disciplines can be used to achieve a range of objectives. It will examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two disciplines and their evolving relationship.
- COM 5200 Mass Communications and Society
In this course, "mass communications" is taken in its broadest sense, which may include cinema, television, newspapers, magazines, comics, and the Internet, as well as fashion and merchandising. "Society" involves the people who engage with those texts, from critical theorists to fans, censors to consumers. The course examines the relationship between texts and the people at various points during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from various cultural and national perspectives. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to test and debate established theories by bringing them to bear on everyday popular texts.
- COM 5230 Creating Digital Images
How do we convey meaning through images? In this practical course using industry-standard design software, students first discuss the process of devising and critiquing creative ideas, and how these can be used to persuade and convince. Visual approaches to narrative and research are analysed before moving on to explore key design principles like colour, layout and composition. Training in Photoshop and Illustrator is provided, allowing students to produce images to a brief. No prior design or software experience is required.
- DGT 5100 Coding, Content and Context 2
This course builds on DGT 4100 Coding, Content and Context 1 class. In this course students develop more advanced digital skills using software such as Adobe XD CC, Appery, Appy Pie, AppMkr across the three themes of code, media and objects combined with a critical analysis of their use. At this level, different digital media are combined with haptics to drive user engagement. Coding can be introduced to computer hardware such as MaKey MaKey, Raspberry Pi etc to produce interactive devices. Data sampling is explored through real time visualisation. Outcomes are developed using research through design methodologies where students will design digital outcomes and test them in appropriate digital environments. This course combines transformation design and decolonial theories to critically connect digital practice with its implementation. This class is relevant to students of all majors. It is highly recommended that students have access to the use of a laptop and a smartphone for the duration of the course.
- SCL 5200 Social Research
Familiarizes students with the key elements of social research: the formulation of research questions, the structure of research projects, the most common types of social research methodologies, the use of new technologies in social research, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.
Plus one of the following:
- ADM 5200 Video Production
A ‘hands-on’ video course involving most aspects of production from camera work and sound recording to editing and audio dubbing. The theory and practice of video technology are taught through a series of group exercises and out of class assignments. Students also study a range of classic videos and film as a means of understanding the language of the medium. A studio fee is levied on this course.
- COM 5205 Cultural Theory
This course introduces key thinkers, topics, case studies and theoretical frameworks related to the field of cultural studies. Students will be exposed to different toolkits for analysing everyday cultural practices, with a particular focus on historical, geographical and personal identity. Films, fashion, art, graphic design, video, music and other media objects will be analysed in order to engage with the theoretical frameworks presented. In addition to in-class theoretical discussion, students are encouraged to apply cultural theory in practice, through activities including gallery visits and first-hand explorations of consumerist practices.
- COM 5220 Communications for PR and Advertising
This course examines the theory and practice of writing for PR and advertising. Topics include: analyzing the target audience, considering the medium and the format, writing for product branding, evaluating successful writing, and writing promotional materials in business and not-for-profit sectors. Students will analyze real world examples of effective marketing and business communications and their assignments will reflect contemporary standards in these practices. Students will have a variety of assignments where they will try their hand at writing PR materials and advertising copy as well as a persuasive business proposal.
- COM 5102 Celebrity, Fan Cultures, and the Media
This course charts the development and critical context of contemporary celebrity fan cultures, as well as explores the connections between celebrities and the media industries. It outlines key theoretical approaches to fan cultures through a variety of media, from artists like Andy Warhol and Lady Gaga, to fanfic and other fan culture artifacts, as well as the creation and reception of celebrity texts (such as Harry Potter), and fanhood as a performative critique of celebrity. It will also examine the evolving role of celebrities in the media, from their beginnings in print media, through radio and television broadcasts to the role that digital media play today. Examining a range of examples, it will look at how PR, advertising, sponsorship, and other forms of marketing communication make use of and are used by celebrities.
- MKT 5200 Principles of Marketing
The course introduces students to the principles and operations of marketing. Course work includes an in-depth analysis of the strategic role marketing plays in contemporary business from new product development, marketing research and target marketing to consumer behavior analysis, advertising and promotion and personal selling activities. Each variable of the marketing mix will be covered in detail and the macro and micro business environment will be assessed for their impact on marketing planning. Lectures, discussion topics, case studies, videos and practical exercises are used to cover the course material. Prerequisite: For Business Administration majors: Completion of the Richmond core, MGT 4205, MTH 4120, and MGT 5210. For Communication majors: MGT 4200 with a minimum grade achieved of C, and COM 5200.
Plus one of the following:
- GEP 5101 Service Learning: Digital Collaboration
This Digital Collaboration Service-Learning course is a student community engagement course that aims to provide students from all disciplines and majors with the intellectual, professional, and personal skills that will enable them to build professional links and function well in culturally diverse communities both locally and globally, in a digital capacity. In addition to the hours of field work (typically 30 hours*), the student will also produce a critical reflective progress report of their experience (a learning log), a ‘community action’ portfolio (analytical essay), and a final oral presentation, based on their own creative project. These assessments have been designed to help the student reflect on the application of their specialist knowledge, the skills they are learning, and the benefits gained from the service-learning experience. During this service-learning course, the faculty supervisor work closely with each student to ensure that the community engagement is a successful one.This course enables students engage with organizations and communities outside of the university. Over two semesters, students will devise, plan and construct their own digital project for Charities, NGO’s and non-profit organisations via digital engagement and media networks. This course expands theories from digital global service learning, across different employment sectors, and aspects of society. It equips students to identify the ranges of opportunities for innovation and employment that digital skills offer, using digital resource and community building for physical and mental health. The course examines decolonial theories of global digital community. It is highly recommended that students have access to the use of a laptop and a smartphone for the duration of the course.
- GEP 5102 Service Learning: Leadership in a Changing World
This is a Service Learning course that focuses on emerging forms of leadership. It aims to introduce students from all majors to the professional, intellectual and personal skills to enable them to understand different approaches to leadership and function well in culturally diverse communities globally. In addition to the hours of field work (typically 30 hours* depending on the organisation), the student will also produce a critical reflective progress report of their experience (a project log), and a portfolio of their work (potentially as an analytical essay, or a video or a Report or an oral presentation). These assessments have been designed to help the student reflect on the application of their specialist knowledge, the leadership skills they are learning, and the benefits gained from the critical experiential service-learning. It will also help them determine if their current career goals are the correct fit for them.This course enables students to engage with organizations and communities outside of the university. During the semester, students will consider topics such as negotiation and behavioral influence. They will devise, plan and carry out their own engagement project for Charities, NGO’s and non-profit organisations. This course combines design thinking and behavioural design theories with global service learning theory, across different employment sectors and aspects of society. It equips students to identify opportunities for influence, leadership and employment both in and adjacent to their field. The course is underpinned by JEDI approaches to justice, equality, diversity and inclusion across the global community.
- GEP 5103 Service Learning: Environment and Society
This Environmental Service Learning course is a student community engagement course that aims to provide students from all disciplines and majors with the intellectual, professional, and personal skills that will enable them to build professional links and function well in culturally diverse communities globally and within an Environmental perspective. In addition to the hours of field work (typically 30 hours* depending on the organisation), the student will also produce a critical reflective progress report of their experience (a learning log), a ‘community action’ portfolio (analytical essay), and a final oral presentation. These assessments have been designed to help the student reflect on the application of their specialist knowledge, the skills they are learning, and the benefits gained from the service-learning experience. It will also to help them determine if their current career goals are the correct fit for them. During this service-learning course, the faculty supervisor will work closely with each student to ensure that the community engagement is a successful one.
- GEP 5104 Service Learning: Global Citizenship and Migration
This course examines the theoretical, political and sociological conceptions of citizenship and their limitations. It looks at both the theoretical constructs and the concrete policies that have shaped the experience of the citizen and of the migrant. The course therefore considers the development of the nation state and the establishment of legal and social citizenship. It also examines the border as a mechanism of control and security. The course further addresses the intersection of experiences of citizenship across economic, racial and gender differences in the context of international governance as well as the globalization of economies and environmental issues. This is a Service-Learning student community engagement course that aims to provide students with the analytical and inter-personal skills to support key non-governmental and policy-making actors around the broad theme of citizenship and migration as well as to build an understanding of the needs and challenges faced by key stakeholders and local communities globally. Through consultation with key stakeholders, students will produce analytical written assessments on key questions around the theme of global citizenship and migration, they will also produce a range of work introducing them to a range of key employability skills in a range of key sectors related to citizenship, these might include: the local and global charity sector, local and national policy-making, as well as regional or international organisations. Students will be required to maintain a progress report that tracks learning and can act as a reference point for problem solving in the future.
- ADM 6102 Web Design
The course provides students with the core foundations and practical skills required to design a fully functional and interactive website. It offers a snapshot of the brief history and current status of the medium, and practitioners working within it. Web Design focuses on two main areas: preparation and design of a website, followed by the design build ready for online publication. It is ideal for students who want to showcase a portfolio of work on the web.
- COM 6101 New Media
This course traces the historical development of new media, emphasizing the social, political, and cultural context of new media technologies. It introduces the students to a number of contemporary theoretical debates for understanding the role of new media in contemporary democracies and their impact on identity formation processes. Interfacing practical skills and critical thought, a number of key debates in digital culture are addressed through written texts and the investigation of internet sites and electronic texts.
- COM 6102 Advertising and PR Campaigns
This course builds upon earlier study of advertising and PR and requires students to examine and discuss campaigns involving advertising and PR and to present their own ideas for a fully- fledged campaign bringing together both disciplines. This will include the critical examination and evaluation of past campaigns in a variety of contexts and the planning, pitching and discussion of ideas for campaigns of the students’ own devising.
- COM 6110 Senior Project
In this practice-orientated course, students work together as a group to develop a body of work for a client outside the University. Students are required to use both their individual academic and technical skills (e.g., visual, journalistic, graphic) and their interpersonal communication skills in this final year course for communications students.
- COM 6296 Senior Seminar 1
This research intensive course for the major is the first part of a two semester sequence taken in the Senior year. Students produce a research proposal, a literature review and a substantial draft that feeds directly into Senior Seminar 2 which culminates in a 8,000 - 10,000 word dissertation. Students are guided through the various stages of proposal and dissertation writing, and draft work is supervised regularly in a process of continuous feedback.
- COM 6297 Senior Seminar 2
Senior Seminar 2 is second half of the research intensive course for the major. Building directly on the writing completed in Senior Seminar 1, students produce a 8,000-10,000 word thesis driven research paper. Students are guided through the various stages of drafting and revising their final dissertation, and orally present their research according to conference standards as part of the formative process.
Plus one of the following:
- ADM 6101 Photojournalism
This course concentrates on the reportage area of photography. Students learn about the history, nature, ethics, and techniques of photojournalism by studying the work of eminent practitioners and by shooting, editing, and laying out a number of documentary style projects. This course is recommended for communications, and social science students as well as photographers.
- AVC 6103 New Media and Visual Power
Through theoretical and empirical insights into our image-based culture, this course deals with the multifariousness of contemporary visuality. Integrating traditional elements of visual analysis and visual methodologieswith new media and transmedia approaches, the course enables students to develop a conceptual framework within which to evaluate the role of the visual in contemporary society and culture – moving from issues of production, image dissemination, to consumption (reception theory). The course is based around 4 broad themes: Practices of Looking (Research Methods); Reproduction and Commodification of Images; New Media Visions, Interactivity and the Cybermuseum; and Visual Power and Surveillance Culture. In a program of gallery visits and theoretical discussions, students learn about visual representation and various ways of encountering the complexity of imagery in the twentieth/twenty-first century.
- FLM 6101 Advanced Digital Video
The contemporary practitioner is often called upon to deploy media technologies (filming, sound recording and editing software) in a range of new and unexpected ways and must understand not just the application of these tools but how to sophisticatedly exploit them in the service of a complex, often minimal brief.The course gives students the space to develop their own projects within an open brief that allows them to develop their own interests as a filmmaker and consider the context they intend to work within in the future. Alongside the student-led structure of the class, students will gain advanced skills in using the tools of contemporary production and will need to carefully consider how they apply this new knowledge to their own projects. As part of the class students will need to consider the distribution of their projects, culminating in a collaborative public event.
- FLM 6104 From Script to Screen
From Script to Screen will explore the creative and practical aspects of script writing and advanced video production. The course is intended for students who have experience of video production and want to expand their knowledge and skills.Students will create and produce a video, starting from the inception of the idea through to the realization of the idea as a finished film to be screened at the end of the course. Focusing on the journey from having an idea for a film through to writing a high spec script, students will learn how drama is represented in the written form, analyze and explore scripts from existing films or other forms of drama, and learn more about the film and TV industry and the place of screenwriting in it. In doing so, students have the opportunity to try the different ‘parts’ of filmmaking, from the creative and theoretical – writing, story boarding, workshopping, casting and directing, to the technical – camera operation, sound recording and video editing.
- MKT 6101 Digital Marketing and Social Media
The course will provide insights into new marketing concepts, tools, technologies and business models to enhance the consumer value creation process. New technologies have created some radical changes in the way companies reach their markets and in particular the emerging phenomenon of social media.This course integrates ideas from the process of gaining traffic or attention the rapidly emerging and influential social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. It will provide an understanding of techniques and tools to understand and harness the opportunities provided by best practice social media marketingStudents will have the opportunity to learn about electronic commerce in action; the interplay between the technology and marketing applications; the changing scope and uses of the Internet, along with current management issues facing businesses attempting to use the World Wide Web.
- COM 6901 World Internship in Communications
The Internship in Communications is a student work placement that aims to provide students with the experience of working within the Communications and Cultural industries.Students will develop the intellectual, professional, and personal skills that will enable them to function well in a culturally diverse working environment. All internships are supervised by faculty, and all last a minimum of 9 weeks in length and are carried out full time Monday to Thursday/ Friday. Each student will also complete a series of assessments throughout the internship, such as keeping a written journal of their experience, preparing an internship portfolio, and delivering a final presentation. These assessments have been designed to help the student reflect on the skills they are learning, and the benefits gained from the internship experience, and also to help them determine if their current career goals are the correct fit for them. During the internship, the staff of the Internship Office and a faculty supervisor work closely with each student to ensure that the placement is a successful one. Students’ final grades are based on several factors including, written assignments, presentation, and a report from their workplace supervisor which is taken into consideration.
- COM 6902 Internship in Communications
The Internship in Communications is a student work placement that aims to provide students with the experience of working within the Communications and Cultural industries. Students will develop the intellectual, professional, and personal skills that will enable them to function well in a culturally diverse working environment. All internships are supervised by faculty, and all last a minimum of 9 weeks in length and are carried out full time Monday to Thursday/ Friday. Each student will also complete a series of assessments throughout the internship, such as keeping a written journal of their experience, preparing an internship portfolio, and delivering a final presentation. These assessments have been designed to help the student reflect on the skills they are learning, and the benefits gained from the internship experience, and also to help them determine if their current career goals are the correct fit for them. During the internship, the staff of the Internship Office and a faculty supervisor work closely with each student to ensure that the placement is a successful one. Students’ final grades are based on several factors including, written assignments, presentation, and a report from their workplace supervisor which is taken into consideration.