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 Social Media, Politics & Society
Code COMM313
Coordinator Dr P Goncalves Da Conceicao Rossini
Communication and Media
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2022-23 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15


This course aims at enabling students to better understand the impact of social media in society, as well as to critically examine the role of social media in democratic life. By covering the impact of social media in different subfields of communication, such as computer-mediated communication, journalism, and political communication, this module will expand students' expertise in these areas to the understanding of the democratic and societal implications of social media in public and private life.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will understand the debates on the role of social media in contemporary political communication processes in democratic societies.

(LO2) Students will be able to evaluate the effects of social media on news consumption, political attitudes and behaviour.

(LO3) Students will be able to appreciate the various methodologies that can be used to study political behaviour on social media and the different challenges that they entail.

(LO4) Students will develop empirically founded knowledge of social media that is relevant to different fields and actors of political communication, such as parties, social movements, news organisations, and citizens.

(S1) Critically analyse social media communication strategies and public arguments.

(S2) Understand social media analytics and metrics to assess the effectiveness of social media campaigns.

(S3) Prepare and deliver professional presentations in a short period of time.

(S4) Produce advanced written material in the form of essays.



Taking aside the first introductory week, which gives an overview of the module and sets out the assessments and expectations, and the final week of classes, which will be dedicated to preparing students for their final assessment, the remaining classes will cover the following topics:
Key Concepts and Definitions, Computer-Mediated Communication and the History of Social Media, Platformization of the Internet, User-Generated Content & Participatory Cultures, Social Media and Journalism, Political Discussion Online, Political Participation Online, Political Campaigns and Political Leaders on Social Media, Digital Threats to Democracy (e.g. misinformation and disinformation, online abuse).

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching method: Workshop
Description: This module is based on 2hr weekly workshops, which will provide a mix of lectures and in-class activities, such as group activities, case studies, group discussions and hands-on social media analytics. Formative assignments will be mainly completed during the workshops, with guided in-class activities to be completed individually and in small groups, while summative assignments will be completed individually.
Schedule directed student hours: 24
Unscheduled directed student hours: 126
Attendance recorded: yes
The module may be taught online or on campus and teaching methods may be subject to change.
Description of how self-directed learning hours may be used: reading in preparation for classes, preparing assignments.

Teaching Schedule

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

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 126


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Group work - Social media campaign Students will create a social media campaign and submit a reflection document analysing their campaign performance.    40       
Students will give short presentations based on in-class group work and readings.         
Essay    60       
Quiz - students will have sporadic pop-in quizzes using an online platform to assess their knowledge of the readings (6-8 questions).  15         

Recommended Texts

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