Film, Media & Cultural Studies» open the printable major» search for more Areas of Study
The Film, Media and Cultural Studies major provides students with opportunities for integrated, in-depth explorations of film, media and culture that will equip them with detailed knowledge and a critical understanding of the pivotal role of the media in contemporary societies. As an interdisciplinary major, Film, Media and Cultural Studies complements other media and sociology courses, as well as courses offered in visual and performing arts, leisure and tourism, marketing, and IT. Courses within the major explore the historical, textual, political and social contexts of media and culture, with an emphasis on practical investigation of both local and global debates.
Graduates of this major are well-prepared for careers in the arts and media but also other sectors where they are valued for their ability to articulate concise arguments, for their highly developed written skills and their critical analysis. Further study may increase employment opportunities in some areas, though practical experience and a passion for the discipline area are also well-regarded.
A placement elective is available to Bachelor of Social Science Students, which involves completing a social science research project with a relevant organisation.
For more information about Film, Media and Cultural Studies, visit the School of Humanities and Social Sciences site.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following the film and cultural studies major include:
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
The following list provides some example jobs available to those majoring in Film, Media and Cultural Studies. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, and some may require further study.
- Arts Administrator
- Arts Manager
- Broadcast Journalist
- Commissioning Editor
- Cultural Development Officer
- Cultural Heritage Officer
- Cultural Interpreter
- Cultural Resource Manager
- Festival/Events Co-ordinator
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for graduates with the skills gained majoring in Film, Media and Cultural Studies.
Some of these jobs will depend upon the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, and the combination of other majors and electives studied, for example some may require further study.
- Community Development Worker
- Diplomat / Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- Grants Officer
- Immigration Officer
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Graduates in Film, Media and Cultural Studies may find employment opportunities in small, medium or large organisations of varying industries. Below are some examples of organisations that may recruit those holding this major.
Check employers' websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.
- 2HD Radio (Newcastle) (Australia)
- Allen & Unwin (International)
- Australia Council for the Arts (Australia)
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) (Australia)
- Belvoir Street Theatre (Australia)
- Beyond International Films (International)
- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia)
- Foxtel (International)
- National Archives of Australia (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Advertising Federation of Australia (Australia)
- Arts Law Centre of Australia Online (Australia)
- Arts NSW (Australia)
- Association for the Study of Australian Literature (Australia)
- Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (Australia)
- Australian Librarian and Information Association (Australia)
- Australian Publishers Association (Australia)
- Australian Society of Authors (Australia)
- Australian Writers' Guild (Australia)
- Communications Council (Australia)
- Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (Australia)
- Community Broadcasting Foundation Australia Ltd (Australia)
- Hunter Writers Centre (Australia)
- Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (Australia)
- National Association for the Visual Arts (Australia)
- Regional Galleries Association of NSW (Australia)
- Screen Hub (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Those completing their major in Film, Media and Cultural Studies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect:
- Advanced social research skills: In-depth knowledge and skills in the design and conduct of social research, including the capacity to collect, organize, critically assess, and present information in written and oral forms.
- Specialist Social Science knowledge: Comprehensive knowledge of one or more specialist areas in the Social Sciences.
- Critical thought and informed decision-making: The ability to structure and present logical arguments, critically analyse material and opinions, and make informed decisions.
- Effective management and teamwork skills: The ability to work autonomously and collaboratively, including effective leadership skills, teamwork, organisational and program management capabilities.
- High-level communication, interpersonal and presentation skills: Advanced level of written, oral, and interpersonal skills, including the effective use of information and communication technologies.
- Ethical and socio-cultural sensitivity: An understanding of ethical issues, standards, and public responsibility in relation to professional practice. An appreciation of cultural diversity and sensitivity towards vulnerable and Indigenous groups.
You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.Sample
Job Ads & Tips
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.