2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
COMM2910 Communication Research Methods
20 creditsClass Size: 112
Module manager: Dr Giles Moss
Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable
Year running 2016/17
Pre-requisite qualificationsNormally completion of Level 1 BA Communication Studies
This module is not approved as a discovery module
ObjectivesResearch is how humans explore and answer questions, and design and research techniques are central to social research. To explore methods used routinely in media and communication research, the module combines brief required readings, discussion about readings explaining the tools and about examples of how researchers apply them, independent practical exercises and co-teaching to build students’ skills, and intensive work at a field site to deepen their understanding. The module provides a mid-term opportunity to reflect on their first-hand knowledge of the merits, usefulness, and limitations of different research methods in an initial essay and culminates in a research report of their independent practical fieldwork.
On completion of the module students should be able to:
1. Identify and describe a range of research methods used in media and communications study.
2. Devise a media and communications research question
3. Apply at least one methodology to address a media and communications research question
4. Critique research projects in terms of ethics and methodology
5. Communicate research findings in a range of styles
Lectures are interactive introductions to the key issues, ethics, and methods of research in communication studies. Seminars offer opportunities to practice methods from the lectures and to debate the pros, cons, and implications of different techniques by discussing key readings. Students complete brief required readings before each lecture and deeper seminar readings. Weekly assignments prepare them to do field work, find interesting results, analyse what they find, and produce a research essay.
Activities throughout the semester encourage the development of skills and prepare students for the assessments. To build skills with at least one method, students create teams to study readings in a method. Students with different methods form groups to identify potential fieldwork sites; establish a working relationship based on informed consent; conduct fieldwork and take field notes; and identify a software package to use for analysing notes. Students prepare the first essay while conducting fieldwork and the second essay following completion of fieldwork, presenting results to field site members for feedback.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||179.00|
|Total Contact hours||21.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private studyStudents are required to spend an estimated 8 hours per week on seminar preparation. The remaining private study time should be dedicated to field research and preparing and writing the essays.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackAttendance will be monitored at lectures and seminars. Office hours will be available for students to come and discuss the module and assessment (e.g. essay plans) throughout the semester. Students will submit an assessed essay mid-semester to reflect on the fieldwork experience, which will help prepare them for reporting research results about their fieldwork site in the second essay.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||1 x 1500 - 2000 words||30.00|
|Essay||1 x 3,500 - 4000 words||70.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 23/02/2017
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