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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5260M Understanding the Audience

30 creditsClass Size: 48

Module manager: Dr. Nancy Thumim

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

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.


The module aims to give studies an overview of the field of audience studies, considering both its history and contemporary debates about changing audience practices. In lectures, you may explore topics such as audiences and the popular, audiences from a political economy perspective, and convergence and datafication. In seminars, you will participate in activities and discussions developed to ensure understanding of lecture material and set readings.

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

1. Explain and critique key concepts, issues and research practices associated with audience studies.
2. Critically evaluate scholarly research on audiences and its associated fields
3. Contribute to critical debates about media audiences and their importance to the creative industries.

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:

1. Reflective skills - The ability to recognise and express knowledge and understanding on their own audience experiences and to demonstrate learning and growth from the experience.
2. Critical thinking skills - The ability to weigh up different arguments and perspectives on audience studies in the field of media and communication, using supporting evidence to form opinions, arguments, theories and ideas.
3. Communication skills - The ability to write in a clear, concise, focused and structured manner on set essay briefs on an aspect of audience studies, supported that is supported by relevant evidence and scholarship in the field of media and communication.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

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

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
Essay2,500 – 3000 words60.00
Reflective log1,500 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/05/2024 09:20:42


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