Image of the arts

 by Mike Laycock
, posted On 5 Nov '18
 Recruitment, Admissions and Marketing Manager at the School of Arts, University of Kent

Why studying media and arts is ever more important

Support for teachers when discussing University opportunities in the Arts

How times have changed. Thirty years ago, studying arts disciplines such film, TV and media was rare. When Media Studies began, it was frequently dismissed as a ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree, in preference was the more respectable, careers focused degrees.

But the world has changed rapidly. Firstly, the transformation of Polytechnics (the old higher education institutions specialising in practical courses) into universities blurred the boundaries in academic study. Demand for degrees increased, not only from students, but also from employers. And technology itself changed.

Thirty years ago, there were only four TV channels in Britain. Now, there are hundreds. While videotapes meant cinema came into the homes; DVDs introduced alternative features and commentaries. The internet began introducing us to new forms of communication, and a website is a core component of every company. Then the web introduced YouTube, iPlayer and streaming. Television and film were no longer constrained to the ‘little black box’ but were freed up onto laptops and then phones. The media is everywhere today; it’s even in your pocket.

Changes in the job market

And with these changes, the job market changed. Even a small company needs a website these days; while a video was once a luxury, it’s now standard practice.

And with this, universities have had to catch up. Studying film, media, drama and the arts is now an important step in launching a career. The technical skills needed to produce, say, a film, or even run a theatre show, require knowledge of not just the creative skills of scripting, design, staging, but the technical skills of editing suites, sound equipment, camera equipment. Business acumen is needed in promotion, and events know-how in audience management and health and safety.

But not just this: as the world changes, we also need how to understand these changes. In recent years, there’s an increasing awareness of how social media has influenced and altered politics, which in turn, shapes the world we live in. Watching film, television, theatre isn’t a one-way activity; it changes us. And that’s why, more than ever, it’s important that we teach the creative subjects, both in terms of practise, but also in criticism and evaluation.

Therefore studying media, film and drama – like we offer here at the University of Kent – combines a mix of essay writing, watching, reviewing, criticising and, most importantly, understanding the productions being watched.

So the next time someone refers to a Mickey Mouse in reference to a degree subject, it might be wise to remind them that Mickey Mouse, or Walt Disney, is a multi-billion dollar industry that spans the globe and has lasted decades. And understanding why this is the case, helps us understand the world today.

Attend an upcoming Arts taster day

If students are interested in Media and Arts, why not encourage them to attend am Arts taster day? The University of Kent and many other institutions advertise these on UniTasterDays.

Teachers, careers colleagues and support staff: request your FREE UniTasterDays Teachers' Guide to University

This Teachers’ Guide has been produced by in collaboration with HELOA. It has been developed based on the higher education system in England.

Editorial has been provided by colleagues at universities throughout the UK, as well as experts outside of higher education. This includes MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis’s exclusive content on university fees and finance and content from The Student Room about what students studying at university wish they were told about university whilst they were at school!

What else can you expect in the Teachers’ Guide?

This 36 page guide includes advice for teachers on UCAS applications, what universities look for in applications, the different types of events schools can book for their students, university fees and finance, university offers, the Gatsby benchmarks, university support for parents and much, much, more!

New to UniTasterDays? Register Now for our newsletter which includes access to this FREE guide.

Already registered? Login to your control panel with your email address to download now!

In collaboration with the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association
Career Development Institute
Careers England
The Education Resources Awards
Shell LiveWIRE Winner
Cookie Policy    X