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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5005M Contemporary Debates in Media and Communication

30 creditsClass Size: 96

Module manager: Helen Kim

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module initially offers an overview for students of the ways in which theories are used and applied by media scholars. Following an initiation session concerning the nature of theory and relationship between schools of thought and philosophical traditions which underpin them, the module then looks at a number of case studies, drawn and adapted yearly in order to ensure that the issues remain current and reflect research in the School of Media and Communications.


The aim of the module is to allow students to consider broad debates within media and communications studies from multi-disciplinary perspectives. The module will link together formal theoretical approaches in the discipline to their operationalisation in recent research and shows how the emergent issues in the landscapes of modern media can be approached through communications theories.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Describe key debates within media studies and their historical contexts.
2. Critique key theorists in media and communications studies
3. Examine and evaluate the complexities and significance of modern media, in local, national and transnational contexts.
4. Critically analyse specific case-studies and controversies within the field

Skills Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
5. Critical Thinking – The ability to weigh up different arguments and perspectives in different areas of media and communications research, using supporting evidence to form opinions, arguments, theories and ideas.
6. Academic Writing – the ability to write in a clear, concise, focused and structured manner in response to an essay brief on media texts, media industries or media audiences that is supported by relevant scholarship.

Competence Standards
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following competence standards:
1. Knowledge of the purpose and development of media theories and their interconnections.
2. Effective use of conceptual understanding of media and scholarship, to form original critical arguments.


Introduction: The purpose of theory and research
Section one: Industries
Section two: Texts
Section three: Audiences
Conclusion: The value of media literacy

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided in seminars and through discussion of seminar readings. In each session students are asked to reflect on the ways in which researchers have interpreted core issues in media studies and the avenues of research this opens up or forecloses. Lectures are supported by a range of seminars and mid and end semester lectures draw together the strands of the case studies.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Literature Review1500-2000 words40.00
Essay3000-3500 words60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit available through original assessment format.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 20/06/2024 14:03:56


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