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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP5365M Approaches and Methods for Media and Culture

30 creditsClass Size: 220

Module manager: Professor Ruth Holliday

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

SLSP5301MResearching Society and Culture

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Individuals are embedded in complex networks of international, national, and local flows of culture, media and new media from which we draw our understandings of ourselves and our worlds. This module explores a broad range of methods and approaches used to critically understand media and cultural texts and the contexts in which they are produced and consumed.


The module provides an advanced understanding of contemporary approaches to the study of media and culture. The module critically engages with a number of methods and epistemologies to explore their potential for producing different kinds of data, evidence on, and interpretation of, media and cultural forms and practices.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

- demonstrate an understanding of and critical engagement with the key conceptual, theoretical, empirical and critical debates within the sociological investigation of culture and the media,
- apply conceptual understanding to the analysis of contemporary debates and issues
- demonstrate a mastery of the key texts and approaches from the field of the social science concerned with the investigation of media and culture
- display advanced abilities for critical thinking and in-depth analysis of existing scholarship on media and culture;
- demonstrate the ability to produce and present a piece of individual analysis of media or cultural text or practice that employs appropriate methodological and conceptual frameworks and critical inquiry.

Skills outcomes
The ability to design research to investigate media and cultural forms and practices and to produce a research proposal.


The module equips students with high-level interdisciplinary and critical approaches to the investigation and understanding of media and culture. By exploring applied examples students will be able to apply methodological, conceptual, theoretical and empirical insights from recent sociology to the study of contemporary issues within the media and culture.

Introduction to methods
Science, epistemology, objectivity, situated knowledge
Researching cultures – Ethnography, ethics
Decoding Culture – Semiotics/ Deconstruction/ psychoanalysis
Researching Media – Content analysis
Researching Media – Discourse Analysis
Researching Audiences – Interviewing
Researching Audiences - Focus Groups
Researching New Media – Netography
Researching Media Work and media production
Designing Research/ Writing a proposal – primary and secondary data

Please note that whilst the module takes media and culture as its objects of study it will contribute all necessary approaches required by the ESRC for RT recognition not covered by 30 credits focussed specifically on Qualitative and Quantitative methods.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours267.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

3 readings for each seminar, preparation to discuss, preparation to present.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Timely feedback will be given on poster presentation to feed into Research Proposal preparation.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Research Proposal4,000 words70.00
Poster Presentation500 words30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit for the poster presentation will be by a written assessment "Appropriate Methods for Different Research Questions" (750 words)

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/05/2020 11:33:41


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