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2017/18 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5260M Understanding the Audience

30 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr. Nancy Thumim

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module looks at the field of audience studies, considering both its history and contemporary debates about changing audience practices. Lecture topics will include: Audiences and the popular, audiences from a political economy perspective and multiplatform convergence and its implications for studying audiences. Seminars will consist of activities and discussions developed to ensure students’ understanding of lecture material and assigned readings.


The course introduces students to the main approaches to understanding the relationship between audiences/users and media.

We will consider critically the development of the concept audience, exploring empirical research and theoretical arguments from a range of perspectives including how scholars have conceptualised the audience, how media industries view the audience, as well as, addressing contemporary debates about the usefulness of the category ‘audience’ in the contemporary media context.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students should be able to:

1. Critically evaluate audience research and audience data from a range of sources – both academic and practice-based
2. Demonstrate advanced understanding of the key concepts, issues and research practices associated with audience studies
3. Critically engage with key texts from the field of audience studies in the context of writing about media audiences.
4. Describe and contribute to debates about media audiences


Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours280.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will use private study time for independent studying, seminar preparation, reading, researching and preparing for the assessments
Weekly reading/seminar preparation: 68 hours
Research and planning for assessments: 212 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Office hours will be available for students to come and discuss the module and assessment (e.g. essay plans) throughout the semester. Progress will also be monitored by performance in seminars and assessment preparation material.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2500-3000 word essay50.00
Essay1 x 5000 word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 27/04/2017


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