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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM3180 International Communication

20 creditsClass Size: 48

Module manager: Dr Nely Konstantinova

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the role of media and communication in the context(s) of globalization, with a special emphasis on the political and cultural implications of contemporary international/global communication practices and products.The module offers both a traditional 'international communications' approach to the study and critique of media and a more contemporary take on the role of other forms of communication (eg design, branding, visual imagery and/or urban environments) in 'global communication'.As well as studying theories, examples and cases, students will develop their own original analytical and research work on specific dimensions of international/global communication.


- To develop an understanding of the relationship between communication, the media and culture in the context(s) of globalization;
- To trace the technological, economic, political and cultural changes that characterize the contemporary shift from 'international communications' to 'global communication' processes and practices;
- To gain insight into how the key tension of global interconnectivity between homogenization and heterogenization plays out across communication contexts;
- To expose and discuss the significance of international/global communication for the broader field of media and communication studies;
- To illustrate the cultural, political and economic elements of international/global communication and the debates around them;
- To develop an understanding of the complexity of international/global communication and its implications on local, national and transnational levels;
- To examine specific case-studies and controversial issues within the field, especially the relations of power involved in international/global communication (eg issues of ownership and control of global media and communication technologies, issues tied to the representation and communication of ethnic, national, regional and trasnational identities).

Learning outcomes
1. Explain key theories and debates in the field of international/global communication
2. Describe the key power structures and flows of communications products and practices characteristic of the contemporary global media environment
3. Analyse specific media examples using the methods and approaches of international/global communication scholarship
4. Work independently and as part of a team and express ideas in a range of styles.

Skills outcomes
- Critical thinking and analytical skills in relation to key contemporary cultural, economic and political processes and phenomena related to international/global communication
- Ability to apply theoretical constructs to specific case-studies and everyday life contexts
- Research skills (eg case-study design, archival and field research) that may be useful and transferable in careers relating to media production, branding/public relations, public/institutional communication, community planning/activism, etc.


This module begins by introducing key concepts including processes such as decolonisation, globalisation, and mediation, and explores the vital role of technological change and the impact of resultant “digital divides”. At mid-term we focus on developing countries and how they, and the development process, are portrayed, along with a broader examination of systems of international journalism. In the second half of the term we focus on the dichotomy between global and local media production, and how these shape identity, before concluding by examining controversies such as the role of communication in conflict, in environmental crises, and the growth of state and corporate surveillance.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours176.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be required to read 5-6 articles and/or book chapters a week, for a total of about 8 weekly hours of reading (88 hours over 11 weeks). Each student should spend approximately 55 hours working on the completion of the individual essay assignment, and 34 hours on the group project assignment.

The instructor will support students’ private study and independent learning through the active use of VLE capabilities (e.g. by posting resources, encouraging online exchange on key themes/topics, etc.)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students taking this module are expected to attend classes regularly. A register will be taken and absences will be justified only if there is a documented exceptional reason for missing class.

The assessed assignments are designed to build student skill and confidence in international communication research in the group project, which is supported by regular tutorials, and then permit students to apply those skills in their individual assignment which is due at the end of the teaching semester.

Students will be expected to read in advance of classes and participate in weekly discussions. Those who fail to do so will be encouraged and/or met out of class to discuss any problems.

In addition, the module leader will meet with groups of students during office hours for support and advice in relation to their group projects (see tutorials). Ideally, groups will meet with the module leader at least once during the semester, although individual students will be encouraged to see the module leader regularly during office hours.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,500-3,000 word essay60.00
Group Project1 x 2,500-3,000 word group project40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The essay is an individual assignment focusing on the conceptualization and analysis of key dimensions of globalization in the media and communication. Students will be required to write 3,000-3,500 words for this assignment. A re-sit of this will require a new essay title tobe chosen from the list. The group project will require for students to conduct original research on a specific set of international/global communication practices or cases. Students will work in groups and will produce a group report of 3,000-3,500 words based on their research and analysis of their findings. The envisaged size of each group is 4-5 students. The group project will be given a group marking taking into account students’ individual contribution (e.g. through peer assessment). A re-sit of thiscomponent will require the student to choose an alternative essay question from the list.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 09/12/2021


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