Media and Culture in Scotland

An image of Stirling
Students will be immersed in the digital information process, creating a multimedia information package suitable for online delivery.
Location: Stirling, Scotland
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer
Academic Disciplines: Journalism
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: Yes
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Participate in an immersive media experience to explore how media is produced in Scotland
  • In four weeks, explore the rich Scottish history and culture
  • Participants will develop content that adds to their professional portfolios
  • Students have an option to take an additional course from University of Stirling faculty, including an option to add four additional weeks to earn an additional six KU credits

The BBC Scotland operates two national TV stations that are the primary national news sources for Scottish citizens. BBC Radio Scotland and four national daily newspapers also provide news in traditional formats and online.

However, how news is covered in Scotland is substantially different than in the U.S. Traditionally, United Kingdom media avoid the salacious nature of U.S. news and reporting. The coverage is issue-focused and not house fires, car crashes, common crimes, and the latest celebrity gossip (although there is some of that).

Although participants in this program would not necessarily work directly with the national news outlets, examining how media covers issues, and replicating that coverage would afford the opportunity to learn beyond traditional U.S. media.

The rich English-speaking Scottish culture allows participants to engage with local sources using techniques they’ve learned while at KU, but affords them the chance to add to their toolbox of skills.

Students will enroll in JMC 500 Topics in Journalism: Media and Culture in Scotland (3 credits), and optionally one course taught by the University of Stirling from June 8 to July 6, 2024.

Stirling, Scotland, the gateway to the Highlands, is an ancient fortress town dominated by its famous castle and ancient residence of Scotland’s kings. In the last century, the city of Stirling has developed into a modern town of about 40,000. Stirling is one hour by rail from Edinburgh and a half-hour from Glasgow, and is ideally situated for travel to London, exploring the UK, or traveling to Europe.

Students enroll in JMC 500 Topics in: Media and Culture in Scotland and one University of Stirling International Summer School course (recommended, but not required).

Prerequisites: JMC 304 and good standing as a major in the KU School of Journalism and Mass Communications. For courses taught by the University of Stirling, a cumulative 2.7 GPA is required.

Students may also elect to stay and take either one or two additional University of Stirling courses from July 6 to August 3 for an additional fee.

University of Stirling Courses Offered During June 8-July 6, 2024:

  • Audio Podcasting (ISSU9AP) [KU's JMC 445]
  • Video Editing (ISSU9VE) [KU's JMC 211 (1 credit) + JMS 409 2 credits)]
  • Lochs and Glens: Landscape Photography in Magical Scotland (ISSU9LP) [KU's JMC 610]
  • Eating Well, Living Well (ISSU9EW) [KU's HSES 300]
  • Sport Management and Culture: A British Perspective (ISSU9SM) [KU's HSES 380, Goal 3SS]
  • Education and Learning: A Scottish Perspective (ISSU9EL) [KU's C&T 598]
  • Issues in Moral Philosophy (ISSU9MP) [KU's PHIL 200]
  • Aliens and Earthlings: Science Fiction Literature (ISSU9SF) [KU's ENGL 506, Goal 6]
  • Brief Encounters: An Introduction to Writing Short Stories (ISSU9BE) [KU's ENGL 220, Goal 2.1]
  • Celtic Religion (ISSU9CR) [KU's REL 316, Goal 3SS or 4.2]
  • Religion and Conflict (ISSU9RC) [KU’s PCS 555 or REL 137, Goal 5]
  • Scotland in the 18th Century: Union, Rebellion, and Enlightenment (ISSU9TJ)

University of Stirling Courses Offered During July 6 to August 3, 2024 (additional fee applies):

  • Crime and Justice in Scotland: The Criminal in Scottish Society (ISSU9CJ) [KU's SOC 360]
  • International Relations (ISSU9IR) [previous approval as KU's POLS 170, Goal 3SS or 4.2]
  • Witchcraft in Early Modern Scotland (ISSU9WS) [KU's HIST 367, Goal 4.2]
  • Junkies and Jezebels: Scotland and Gender (ISSU9JJ) [KU's ENGL 390 or WGSS 397]
  • Monsters and Vampires: The Impact of British Gothic on Contemporary Popular Culture (ISSU9MV) [KU's ENGL 302 or FMS 304]
  • Scotland the What? Contemporary Scottish Literature & Identity (ISSU9SC) [KU's ENGL 390]
  • Scotland on the Screen (ISSU9SS) [KU's FMS 304]

Throughout the schedule of class meetings, students will be introduced to Scottish history and culture through guest lectures, local field trips and event participation. Through the University of Stirling courses, there will be a group excursions to Saint Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and a full program of social activities including pub quiz nights, Movie nights, guided hikes and walking tours to Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, and to other nearby places of interest.


Students will be housed in on-campus apartment-style accommodation in a single-occupancy room with a shared kitchen and social space.

The campus is surrounded by beautiful walking trails, the University’s loch, golf course, and is flanked by the towering hill called Dumyat. It is about a five minute walk to all teaching buildings, library facilities, shops, theatre, cinema, public transportation links and social areas from the campus accommodation.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check ourIdentity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Open to KU and non-KU students having completed JMC 304 and good standing as a major in the KU School of Journalism and Mass Communications. For courses taught by the University of Stirling, a cumulative 2.7 GPA is required.

KU Journalism students must have completed required courses as determined by their major or may request instructor permission to register for the course. This course fulfills an elective requirement in the School of Journalism. Any other student may register for the course with instructor permission.


Cal Butcher is the Director of Media Crossroads, the Sports Media Liaison for the J-School/KU Athletics, and full-time faculty in the KU School of Journalism and Mass Communications. 

Prior to teaching at KU, he spent a year (2011-2012) in Europe following and observing sports media of the Tour de France and the London Olympics.  At KU, he is the PA voice of the Jayhawks' Volleyball, Cross Country, and Track & Field Programs; in addition to his role as faculty advisor and executive producer of the Playmakers Sports Media coverage.

Cal's family is from England and he has been travelling throughout Europe his entire life, with extensive time in the United Kingdom and Italy.  He is excited for this opportunity not just to work with students in a unique program, but also to share KU student knowledge and experience with those people living and working in the field of UK Sports.