Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Research Methods in Media & Politics
Code COMM747
Coordinator Dr A Wozniak
Communication and Media
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 15


To introduce students to some of the fundamental aspects of research design, including ethical considerations and procedures.

To familiarise students with a variety of approaches to political communication research.

To provide practical guidance on selecting methods appropriate to research questions in the field of political communication.

To help students to develop a number of transferable skills in project planning, critique and analysis, as well as verbal and written communication.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will acquire broad foundational knowledge of research methods design, research philosophy, and research ethics policy and practice.

(LO2) Students will be able to locate their research within its field.

(LO3) Students will understand several key approaches to political communication research.

(LO4) Students will be able to design a research project using appropriate methodology.

(S1) Information skills - critical reading

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - media analysis

(S3) Time and project management - project planning



The module content will be delivered in four blocks of workshops. The first of these will be delivered to all PGT students registered on Communication and Media programmes and will provide broad foundational knowledge required for research methods design, research philosophy and ethics, and a pathway towards preparation of a research project proposal, which is the common assessment across all Communication and Media PGT programmes.

This block will cover the basics: what research is, what philosophical principles and frameworks exist, the difference between primary and secondary research, and research ethics (issues, policies, best practice), etc.

The next block will focus on the systematic analysis of media content: text-only, visual, and multimodal; quantitative and qualitative; as well as content analytical and discourse analytical approaches.

This block will focus on the study of people's cognitions, attitudes, an d beliefs via survey research, interviews, and focus groups.

The last block will be dedicated to practical exercises, Q&As, and final assessment report.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching method: Workshop
Description: Weekly lecture combined with interactive discussion.
Scheduled directed student hours: 24
Unscheduled directed student hours: 126
Attendance recorded: Yes
Notes: Each session will introduce a key theme or perspective (lecture), and include time for small group work and discussion (seminar).

Description of how self-directed learning hours may be used: Reading module learning materials (key and suggested literature, lecture slides, additional reference material provided); assessment preparation.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           24

Timetable (if known)           120 mins X 1 totaling 24
Private Study 126


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Empirical study report - 1,500 words Research opportunity: Yes Anonymous: Yes  1350-1650 words    50       
Research project proposal - 1,500 words Resit opportunity: Yes Anonymous: No  1350-1650 words    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.