University of Sydney Handbooks - 2019 Archive

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Media Studies

The Media Studies major is only available to students in the combined Bachelor of Arts /Bachelor of Law degree and students in the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications) who are eligible to exit the Media and Communications program after 3 years of study (144 credit points). These students will be awarded the BA (Media Studies), which is the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Media Studies.

About the major

Media and Communications offers students professional training in the main areas of media production and an advanced education in the history and theory of the field. Core units of study focus on media production, the structure of the media and communications industries, the media's role in culture and politics, and contemporary legal and ethical issues prevalent in the field. You will explore these areas through a diverse range of disciplinary perspectives and relevant critical theories and develop in-depth professional skills in the fields of written news and feature journalism, audio, video and social media.

Requirements for completion

A major in Media Studies requires 48 credit points from this table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level major core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level major core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level major selective unit
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level major core units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level Interdisciplinary Project unit

First year

In their first year, students will engage in critical theoretical debates in the field of media and communications. First year units provide a foundation in media and communications theory and an overview of contemporary issues including the evolving digital communication landscape. Students will develop an understanding of the origins and development of the field of study and its broader relationship to society and culture. Students will learn fundamental skills in introductory units in media production and professional news writing. These core theoretical and practical underpinnings provide a MECO student with the necessary skills for the following three years of undergraduate study.

Second year

The second year provides students with the opportunity to develop their understanding of internet cultures and public relations, and focus on skill development in audio and video production units. They will create media products including video packages and podcasts and develop skills in corporate communication. Students will engage in contemporary theoretical debates and learn about current industry practice across all units and, having been exposed to a wide range of production experiences, will begin to consider their future specialisation within the field. This will be complemented by second year level study in their chosen major.

Third year

In the third year of Media and Communications, students will explore the regulatory, ethical and legal aspects of the media and communications industries. Focusing on local and global policy landscapes, students will gain insights into the impact of media and communications on government, society, economics and culture. Simultaneously, students will study the interplay among the global, regional and local in communication systems as well as the role that new technologies play in contemporary formations of global media. Building on their audio and video skills, students will create social media projects and develop their teamwork skills. Students are also provided the opportunity to further develop their professional writing skills through an advanced media writing unit. Students are also encouraged to study abroad for one semester, typically within their third year of study. A student may exit the program with a Major in Media Studies at this point.

Please refer to the Media and Communications stream section of the handbook for further information about Advanced Studies in Media and Communications.

Contact and further information

Department of Media and Communications website:
School of Literature, Art and Media website:

Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr Jonathon Hutchinson
Phone: +61 2 9351 2821

Honours Coordinator: Dr Fiona Giles
Phone: + 612 9036 6272
Example pathways

Illustrative pathway for Media Studies Major

Year 1

Sem 1

MECO1001 Introduction to Media Studies (major core)

MECO1004 Introduction to Media Production (program core)

1000 level unit

1000 level unit in  another major/minor from Table A or S

Sem 2

MECO1002 Media and Communication Landscapes (major core)

MECO1003 Principles of Media Writing (program core)

1000 level unit

1000 level unit in  another major/minor from Table A or S


Year 2

Sem 1

MECO2601 Media Production: Audio Design & Podcasting (major core)

ARIN2610 Internet Transformations OR ARIN2620 Everyday Digital Media (selectives)

2000 level unit/OLE

2000 level unit in  another major/minor from Table A or S

Sem 2

MECO2602 Media Production: Video (major core)

MECO2603 Public Relations (program core)

2000 level unit/OLE

2000 level unit in  another major/minor from Table A or S


Year 3

Sem 1

MECO3603 Media, Law and Ethics (major core)

MECO3606 Media Production: Advanced Media Writing (program core)

2000 or 3000 level unit/OLE

2000/3000 level unit in  another major/minor from Table A or S

Sem 2

3000-level Interdisciplinary project unit

MECO3605 Contemporary Issues in Global & Digital Media (major core)

2000 or 3000 level unit/OLE

3000 level unit in another major from Table A or S