Independent Study: Leicester Media School MA/MSc PG Dip/PG Cert

This course provides you with an opportunity to design your own individual programme of master’s-level studies within the Leicester Media School, while being supported and supervised by leading national and international scholars.

Postgraduate Coffee Morning: 10am-1pm on Saturday 11 January 2020. Book your place


Reasons to study Independent Study: Leicester Media School at
De Montfort University:

  • Flexible course tailored around your interests
    you can structure the course to fit around your career aspirations, with the opportunity to choose your exit award
  • Benefit from excellent academic support
    the expertise of our experienced academics from diverse backgrounds will support you in your learning
  • Learn alongside our award winning research groups
    benefit from a variety of research fields across the Leicester Media School, ensuring that you can draw upon a wide range of subject expertise including our Institute of Creative Technologies, Media Discourse Group and Cinema and Television History Research Centre
  • Take advantage of our placement opportunities
    opportunity to incorporate local, national or international placements or academic exchanges into your studies
  • Develop research skills
    you will develop and enhance your research skills, methods and problem solving enabling you get a feel for independent research study, and develop your skills accordingly to progress to PhD if you wish
  • Excellent graduate prospects
    graduates could go on to work in national and international creative industries such as PR, digital and broadcast media as well as going into further academic study towards a PhD

There is a wide range of subject expertise you can draw upon to create your programme of study. You can create a programme within existing disciplinary boundaries or one that is inter-disciplinary. Example subject specialisms include journalism, media and communication, film, social media, new media technology, community media, radio and TV production, graphics, animation and music.

If you are interested in a different specialism, please contact programme leader Professor Ian Hunter using the contact details below. He will investigate whether we can support your research.

This programme offers you flexibility to tailor the course to your interests, with a structure that fits into your lifestyle. As part of our commitment to graduate employability, you can also take advantage of the opportunity to incorporate local, national or international placements or academic exchanges into your studies

This course is aimed at students from a variety of backgrounds: 

  • Graduates wishing to pursue postgraduate study as preparation for a research degree
  • In-service teachers or other professionals wishing to develop their academic profile and subject knowledge for career purposes
  • Mature students wishing to return to study to update their knowledge and skills 
  • Graduates who wish to change their direction of study and move into media studies from unrelated disciplines 



International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students.

More courses like this:

Global Media MA

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Duration: One year full-time (with optional one year placement available), 18 months for January starts, two part-time or three to five years distance learning

Start date: January and September

Fees and funding:

For 2020/21 full-time fees will be £6,450 per year.

Part-time fees will be £538 per 15 credits.

EU Students: Find out about student loan information and scholarships.

Apply for the Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship, worth up to £6,000.

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs and optional extras associated with this course

Contact us: For more information complete our  online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Key facts for international students

Duration: One year full-time, 18 months for January starts, two years part-time or three to five years distance learning

Start date: January and September

Fees and funding:

For 2020/21 tuition full-time fees will be £9,560 per year.

Find out more about course fees and available funding and scholarships.

Additional costs and optional extras associated with this course

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Entry criteria

You should have the equivalent of a 2:2 or above honours degree, typically in a media, humanities, technology, science or related subject area. We welcome non-standard applications from a wide range of areas, and all non-standard applications will be carefully considered. 

If English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English language tuition is available at DMU both before and during the course if required.

As part of your application for the course, you will be asked to submit a research project proposal.

The first part of the proposal should briefly describe the area you want to study, specifying the media subjects your project will draw on (such as game art, media production, media and communication, creative technologies, etc.). You should also outline any background you have in these areas, and mention whether you have previously discussed your idea with any staff members (if so, please indicate who). This part should be a maximum of approximately 100 words.

The second part of the proposal should define and provide details of the project, including the main theme of investigation, the scope of study and the methods you expect to use (e.g. creative exploration – audience research, theoretical and critical research). This section should have the maximum length of 500 words.

You should also submit a list of 2 or 3 references which will inform your research; these can be both academic and media sources.

Whilst the University tries to ensure that all of its programmes run as advertised it is sometimes necessary to make significant changes to the structure of the programmes or to discontinue a programme entirely if for instance there are insufficient student numbers or staff changes. This will sometimes happen between an offer being made and enrolment.

Where changes are made the University will endeavour to inform applicants as early as possible to minimise the potential disruption to the application process. Where possible an alternative programme will be offered in a similar subject area.

In cases where programmes are changed or discontinued the University will send a communication to you electronically and/or by hard copy outlining your options.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Academic expertise


The programme is made up of three stages, each of which, on successful completion, can function as a stand-alone award: a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and the Master of Arts. If you wish to proceed to the next stage you will not normally be awarded with the intermediary awards.  

The first stage includes three modules:

  • Online Research Methods – This module is delivered online and will develop your postgraduate research skills, providing you with the opportunity to familiarise yourself
    with a range of research methods and identify the one(s) appropriate to your 
  • Research Project Proposal – You will develop your research project, reading programme and focus of study, culminating in the submission of your learning contract
  • First Negotiated Module – the main body of your exploratory and developmental work will be discussed and designed in consultation with your mentors. This module will be the initial stage of your research project, developing and testing your project-specific knowledge and skills through two assignments


The second stage builds on the work undertaken and the credits gained for the Post Graduate Certificate. It is made up of two modules. Each module will have been designed by you in conjunction with your mentors as part of your learning contract, to further develop and test your research and communication skills and project-specific knowledge.

The third and final stage is that of the master’s award, which builds on the work undertaken and the credits gained for both the PG Cert and the PG Dip. It consists of a single module – your research project or dissertation. This final module is designed to showcase the skills and knowledge you have developed, and culminates in two assignments – a dissertation or piece of research, and a report or a piece of practical work.

Once you have identified an area of research deemed appropriate for master’s-level research in the Leicester Media School, you will begin to design your programme of study with your mentors (your first and second supervisors). You’ll be able to design a programme where you develop the aims and objectives of study and the assessment criteria by which your work will be judged.




Depending on the focus of your research, the course can be studied online or offline.  The minimum, requirement is that you have fortnightly tutorials with your mentor. 

A variety of assessments will be used. The first two modules, Research Methods and the Research Project Proposal, have prescribed assessments. Following on from that you can choose how to be assessed, as long as the mode of assessment is appropriate to your research project and the aims and objectives you have set out for the relevant module. All students will be encouraged to present at least one assignment as a conference paper and one as a short article for a peer-reviewed publication.

The online Research Methods module will be assessed through an initial commentary on the range of methods available, and an in-depth analysis of three potential methods that might be used for your project. You will be required to research, test and critically evaluate each of the three methods through their application to a case study relevant to your research. 





The Research Project Proposal will be assessed through an initial critical review of literature relevant to your project review; an essay, report or presentation; and supporting presentation or paper identifying the focus of your study and the main case studies you will use. It will culminate in the submission of your learning contract. Your learning contract will outline the detail of what you will be assessed on and how, for each negotiated module and your final independent study.

Contact and learning hours
Supervision hours are 45 hours per year per full time student, 22.5 per part-time student. Self directed study is 145 hours for a 15 credit module, 291 hours per 30 credit module and 590 hours for the 60 credit module. 

Your work will be supervised by scholars, researchers and practitioners whose work is most closely assigned to your area of interest, drawn from the Leicester Media School.

Research groups within the Leicester Media School include:

Cinema and Television History Centre
The Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre is the natural extension of a momentum that has been building over the last decade. Although work on these British media constitutes the core activity of the CATH Research Centre, it also embraces the wealth of high quality research that is being done on, for example, European cinema and Hollywood history.

Institute of Creative Technologies IOCT 
The Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT) is a unique research institute which sits at the intersection of science and technology, the arts and humanities. The IOCT functions as a cross-institutional hub for research across many of the University’s disciplines. IOCT Research focuses upon three areas Computing, Interactive Arts and Media and Networks and Collaboration.

Interactive and Media Technologies Research Group
A multidisciplinary group of academics creating a unique research environment where, for example, researchers working in video processing meet and work together with researchers working in haptic and audio interaction, in hearing science, in education, serious games, and e-learning.

Media Discourse group
The Media Discourse group, chaired by Stuart Price focuses on studying the ‘textual’ evidence of interaction and address, they also include the research interests of those individuals active in the analysis of Mediated communication in general. The group also look at the development of New Media, in particular, those methods that represent a challenge to the ways in which communication forms are both circulated and understood.

Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre 
Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTIRC) encompasses a broad and continually evolving range of artistic creation and theory focused on innovative application of new technologies to music. It emphasises electroacoustic music and sonic art.

Facilities and features

Leicester Media School

Leicester Media School brings together students from across technical and creative disciplines, allowing them to push boundaries by cross working.

Flexible use of our industry standard facilities means our students get hands on experience of applying up to date research to real world challenges in their chosen fields.

Research activity in the School is very broad, from production and analysis in video, film, television, audio, music, radio, journalism, and Internet through to cutting-edge engineering research in the creation of media technologies and their applications. This spectrum helps to ensure that media practitioners are aware of the latest technological developments, and that design engineers are aware of the needs and trends amongst practitioners. 

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and the The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Library services

The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.

The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.

Opportunities and careers




This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.



Graduate Careers

This course will develop and enhance your research skills and methods, problem solving, independent learning, ability to work in consultation with others, communication and presentation skills. Graduates can go on to work in the fast growing national and international creative industry sector, in public relations, digital and broadcast media. You also have the opportunity for further academic study towards a PhD and a career in research.

Order a prospectus

Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

Order your copy

How to apply

We welcome applications from UK and international students with a wide range of qualifications and experience. Applications should be preceded by a Research Project Proposal Form.

Find out more

More about your DMU

Up to 50 per cent off select PG courses
Postgraduate events
Research at DMU
Leicester guide

Up to 50 per cent off select PG courses 

We are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study, which is why we offer the Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship. This gives DMU graduates a tuition fee discount of up to 50 per cent on selected full-time and part-time postgraduate courses, based on academic achievement and merit. Find out more.


Postgraduate events

The perfect way to find out more about DMU is to attend one of the postgraduate open evenings or events that take place all year round. If you can't visit the university in person, you can also sign up for one of our online chats. Find out more.


Research at DMU

De Montfort University (DMU)’s growing reputation for research which benefits society has been confirmed with the publication of the REF 2014 results. Find out more.


A city like no other

Studying here gives easy access to the vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping and culture that is Leicester. There are clubs, bars and pubs, as well as festivals, live music, theatres and cinemas. Leicester City Football Club play in the Premier League while Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs. Find out more.

Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Discover the DMU campus
Discover the DMU campus

Take a look around DMU by exploring our virtual campus.