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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM1210 The History of Communication

20 creditsClass Size: 225

Module manager: Chris Anderson

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is intended to give you an overview of the main themes in the history of communication. It has been designed to provide not only the story of communication and media, but also the context in which systems of communication were developed and used. The module provides the historical foundation to examine the processes and case-studies discussed in other year 1 modules, and should continue to inform your understanding as you progress through your degree.


This module provides students with a background in the history of the media. It allows them to develop an understanding of the relationship between the media and social change, and to understand specific media texts within appropriate cultural, political and economic contexts. The assessment of the module requires students to link together macro-scale changes with individual textual products. Therefore students are directed to form an understanding of the interconnectedness of texts and contexts essential to making sense of the communications industries and their products. The lectures, by taking a thematic approach, help students to situate changes in context and to make sense out of claims of novelty and continuity.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the historical forces that have formed and frames the communications industries and their products
2. Carry out analyses of media texts in their historical, social and technological contexts
3. Extract pertinent information from secondary sources and utilise them in a coherent piece of discursive writing
4. Use evidence to support academic arguments relating to the history of communications


This module will explore a variety of historical perspectives on issues including the development of news; the historical antecedents of modern day citizen media; the birth and growth of feminine media spheres; the establishment of commercial culture; the history of radical and alternative media; cultural values, moral regulation and media content; & political change and the media.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours172.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are required to complete background reading for each seminar (est. 10 hours per seminar). The remaining private study time should be dedicated to researching, preparing and writing the essay and annotated bibliography.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored in seminars primarily. The module contains a formative assessment in the form of an annotated bibliography. This will provide an opportunity for students to have meaningful feedback on their selection and understanding of readings in time to inform their final essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,500-3,000 word essay70.00
Literature ReviewAnnotated Bibliography (7 - 10 references; 1,500 - 2,000 words30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit: Students are able to resit both components.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:23:00


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