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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM1700 Understanding Digital Media

20 creditsClass Size: 53

Module manager: Tom Tyler

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should be able to ...
This module provides students with an overview of key issues in the study of digital media. The module focuses on key concepts that have shaped digital media’s brief history and that have been said to differentiate digital media from older media forms. It develops students’ understanding of the cultural, political, economic and technical contexts from which digital media have emerged. The module forms the foundation for more detailed analyses of digital media in future years.

Learning outcomes
1. a knowledge of contemporary issues in digital media;
2. the ability to carry out analysis of digital media in their social and technological context;
3. the ability to extract information from secondary sources and utilise them in a coherent piece of discursive writing;
4. The ability to use evidence to construct informed arguments about digital media.

Skills outcomes
Analysis of digital media in social and cultural contexts


Indicative topics:
Thinking about digital media
Digitisation and convergence
Interaction, participation, creation
“Information wants to be free”
Identities online
Trolling, flaming and cyberbullying
Digital natives and digital divides
Privacy, surveillance, counter-surveillance

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will:
- read set reading and beyond (45 hours)
- undertake research to identify digital media examples which illuminate the topic of the week (30 hours)
- prepare to present their findings in seminars (5 hours)
- research for and write their assessments (90 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored via participation in seminars, including informal presentations, and tutorials.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Literature Review1 x 1,500 - 2,000 words30.00
Essay1 x 3,000 -3,500 words70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students who resit this module must submit a Comparative Review of two texts that they choose for themselves (assignment 1) and/or a Task Reflection on one of the seminar tasks (assignment 2). Briefs for both of these are in the Module Handbook.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:34:32


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