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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5260M Understanding the Audience

30 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Dr. Nancy Thumim

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

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


The module 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.

Learning outcomes
1. Critically evaluate audience research and audience data from a range of sources and approaches, 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 critical debates about media audiences.


Lectures will address the history of the field of audience studies, as well as contemporary debates. Lecture topics will include audiences and the popular, audiences from a political economy perspective and implications of convergence and datafication for audiences
Seminars will consist of activities and discussions to ensure students’ understanding of lecture material and assigned readings.

Teaching methods

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

Private study

Private study time should be used for seminar preparation, researching, preparing and writing the written assignments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

In weekly seminars – required.
In office hours – optional.
Via assessment 1 which is returned with feedback before the submission of assessment 2.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Reflective log1500-2000 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:38:12


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