Student Spotlight: Media & Cultural Studies

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Image courtesy of Vancouver Film School

Studying media has been my passion ever since I toddled along to my first GCSE lesson at the tender age of fourteen. However, as the past six years have gone by and I’ve furthered my education in the subject, I’ve been met with a great deal of criticism and mockery because of my choices. My parents even got involved, especially at the stage when I was applying to university: “But wouldn’t you rather study something more, you know, substantial? Even English would be a good alternative…”

When it came to achieving an A* in the subject and getting into one of the top ten universities in the country, it sort of felt like I’d ‘cheated’ my way to where I was. That was what I’d had subtly drummed into me, despite the fact that I spent four years slogging away at coursework and remembering the names of Russian theorists that were a nightmare to recall in exams. Of course, it didn’t stop once I got to university. Fresher’s Week 2012 brought with it some hilarious jokes from my new flatmates.

Media Studies is actually a really great way to gain a new perspective on the world in which we live and how we are fed information and, contrary to popular opinion, it’s a great springboard from which to leap into a huge variety of careers. A great deal of international students also express a enormous interest in the subject, meaning that I personally meet so many interesting people on my course who can all offer their own perspective on the subject in general and how media differs around the world.

However, with articles like ‘Can Media Studies Ever Be Respectable?’ popping up and the subject being labelled as a “Mickey Mouse” degree by the media itself (how ironic), the sad truth is that our degree choice will, for a long time, be looked down on and regarded as an easy subject. Though it goes without saying that the jokes from my flatmates soon stopped after the 3000 word essay deadlines started pouring in.