Media and Communication: Digital Culture and Communication pathway MA

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: September 2020
  • Entry requirements: You will require a good Honours degree (2:1 or equivalent) in a relevant field, such as Politics, International Relations, Communications and Media, Sociology, Journalisms.
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Module details

Compulsory modules

Culture, Media and Everyday Life (COMM731)
LevelM
Credit level30
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

​To examine key theories and debates relating to ​​the impact of cultures of communication and media on everyday life in the digital age

To develop a critical understanding of the relationship between media, modernity and everyday experience

To develop a reflexive understanding of the role of digital technologies and media in contemporary social and cultural life

To explore the role of digital media cultures and spaces in relation to issues of globalisation, consumption, and transnational/translocal mobility

Learning Outcomes

​Students will acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of key theories and debates relating to the impact of cultures of communication and media on everyday life

​Students will be able to critically analyse theoretical approaches to media, modernity and everyday experience

Students will gain a reflexive understanding of the role of digital technologies and media in contemporary social and cultural life

​Students will be able to display practical understanding of digital media cultures in relation to key themes explored in the module

Digital Media and Society A (COMM732)
LevelM
Credit level30
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module has five main goals:

* To provide students with an appreciation of the breadth and depth of interaction between digital media and society at large.

* To provide students with an appreciation of the scientific, technical and organisational underpinnings of contemporary digital media.

* To engage students in exploring the social and cultural policy implications of digital media.

*To explore the benefits provided and risks posed by each new form of digital media.

* To explore the deeply linked connections between digital media and society, social change and individual experience.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of academic theory and debates relating to the relationship between digital media and society
.

(LO2) Students will acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of the technical, organisational and policy aspects of digital media use.

(LO3) Students will be able to critically analyse the academic and policy research approaches to digital media use.

(LO4) Students will be able to critically and empirically analyse and evaluate the social impacts of digital media use through a focus on selected contemporary issues.

(S1) Digital scholarship participating in emerging academic, professional and research practices that depend on digital systems.

(S2) Problem solving critical thinking and creativity in analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate conclusion or solutions.

(S3) Media literacy online critically reading and creatively producing academic and professional communications in a range of media.

(S4) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, influencing, presentations.

(S5) Research and ansalytical planning and delivery, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying approprite research methods, applying ethics.

Research Methods in Communication & Media (COMM715)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

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 media and communication research.

To provide practical guidance on selecting methods appropriate to research questions.

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

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) On completion of the module, students should have an understanding of the place of ethics in research.

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

(LO3) Students should understand several key approaches to media and communication research.

(LO4) Students should feel 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.

Dissertation (COMM716)
LevelM
Credit level60
SemesterSummer (June-September)
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To construct an extended and original research project on an appropriate topic which is clear and realistic in scope and seeks to make a distinct contribution both to your own learning and to debates within your chosen field To develop independent research skills. To develop professional standards for the presentation of research material.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be encouraged to demonstrate a deep knowledge and understanding of their chosen topic and a critical awareness of the relationship of their own research to other work in the field.

(LO2) Students will be encouraged to identify and apply research methods which are appropriate for their project.

(LO3) Students will be encouraged to apply core theoretical and conceptual approaches in the study of politics and media in order to construct a coherent and sustained argument as appropriate to the research project and method of enquiry.

(LO4) Students will be encouraged to present research information and argument in an appropriate form and to a professional standard, applying recognised academic methods of referencing to bibliographic material.

(S1) Proficient use of electronic resources and tools for research as required by the chosen research project.

(S2) Time management, organisation of work, proficient use of English, referencing.

(S3) Understanding and application of appropriate terminology and analytical criteria.

(S4) Identifying and accessing relevant sources of information and materials.

Optional modules

Politics and the Media I: Theories and Cases (COMM713)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To examine key theories and debates relating to the relationship between politics and media. To encourage an understanding of the media-political relationship within a context of change in political culture and in media and information technology. T o assess and examine the power dynamics, contested representations and consequences of media reporting of selected contemporary political conflicts. To subject the underlying rationale for media representation and reporting of politics to scrutiny.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of key theories and debates relating to the relationship between media and politics.

(LO2) Students will be able to critically analyse the theoretical approaches to media/politics relationship.

(LO3) Students will be able to evaluate media power through a focus on selected contemporary cases and controversies.

(LO4) Students will acquire an advanced understanding of different models of the relationship between media, society and the state.

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral.

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills).

(S4) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity.

(S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation.

Politics and the Media 2: Economy and Society (COMM714)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

Students will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of neoliberalism and the relationship with/impact upon media texts, discourses and communication more generally. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical attitude towards media ownership, and processes/conventions of media production. Further, they will be given opportunities to analyse the ways in which these influences manifest themselves in media texts. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical and analytical understanding of various media discourses of and under austerity.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will have a familiarity with and understanding of theories of neoliberalism and late capitalism, in relation to media and communications.

(LO2) Students will have a familiarity with and understanding of media production contexts and their bearing on media discourses.

(LO3) Students will have a critical awareness of how austerity ideology/ies is/are naturalised in various media texts, and how this positions certain (vulnerable) groups.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills).

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation.

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Media analysis.

(S4) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - visual.

(S6) Global citizenship - Relevant economic/political understanding.

Media and Human Rights (COMM724)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To examine key debates relating to the interaction between news media and human rights. To critically understand the changing nature of human rights representation and the role media play in representing and responding to critical human rights issues. To subject the underlying rationale for media representation and reporting of critical human rights issues to scrutiny. To assess and examine specific cases of media and human rights interaction.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will develop and demonstrate an advanced understanding of the key theories of human rights and the development of international norms of human rights.

(LO2) Students will be able to analyse and compare the political and institutional structures involved in addressing human rights.

(LO3) Students will be familiar with and critically evaluate the historical and current changes in the relations between media and human rights.

(LO4) Students will be able to understand and critically explore a range of salient media issues which relate specifically to the definition, construction, protection or abuse of human rights.

(LO5) Students will acquire in-depth knowledge and assess, using case studies, specific issues that are problematising and, at times, re-defining the relations between media and human rights.

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation.

(S3) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity.

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills).

(S5) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information.

(S6) Research management

American Independent Cinema (ma) (COMM725)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of this module is to examine the ways in which American independent cinema represents a distinct mode of filmmaking from mainstream Hollywood by exploring:   The industrial and economic conditions that have given birth to independent films in the post-1980 period.  The aesthetic choices and representational strategies filmmakers of independent films have made and how those might differ from choices and strategies associated with dominant aesthetic and representational regimes. The relationship of a number of independent films to broader social, cultural, political and ideological landscapes (such as Reaganite politics, racial and gender politics, neoliberalism, etc.). 

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will develop a critical understanding of the debates that surround the concept of “independence” in contemporary American cinema.

(LO2) Students will familiarise themselves with the manner in which independent film was mobilised to respond to particular economic and social-cultural changes in the United States.

(LO3) Students will develop an understanding of the aesthetic choices employed in a number of independent films.

(LO4) Students will develop skills in reading and critically evaluating moving image texts and their discursive contexts.

(S1) Problem solving skills.

(S2) Commercial awareness.

(S3) Organisational skills.

(S4) Communication skills.

(S5) Digital scholarship participating in emerging academic, professional and research practices that depend on digital systems.

(S6) Global perspectives demonstrate international perspectives as professionals/citizens; locate, discuss, analyse, evaluate information from international sources; consider issues from a variety of cultural perspectives, consider ethical and social responsibility issues in international settings; value diversity of language and culture

(S7) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

(S8) Media literacy online critically reading and creatively producing academic and professional communications in a range of media

(S9) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

(S10) Self-management readiness to accept responsibility (i.e. leadership), flexibility, resilience, self-starting, initiative, integrity, willingness to take risks, appropriate assertiveness, time management, readiness to improve own performance based on feedback/reflective learning

News Media and Society (COMM301)
Level3
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

​To examine the structures and dynamics of news productionand reception

To critically assess the professional practices andideologies of journalists in democratic contexts

To examine the effectiveness and quality of journalism in avariety of specific cases

Learning Outcomes

​Students will gain a good understanding of the democraticrole and performance of journalists in contemporary society

​Students will possess a good understanding of key theoriesand perspectives within the sociology of news

​Students will be able to discuss contemporary perspectiveson journalism and how social, political, economic and technological changes areaffecting the way news is produced and consumed


Students will be able to apply wider theories about newsproduction and representation to analyse a range of particular issues or cases

Media and Campaigning (COMM735)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module aims to equip students with knowledge and understanding of the role of the media in in electoral campaigns.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To become aware of the history of campaigns and the media

(LO2) To gain a knowledge of the role the media plays in the shaping of political opinions and political outcomes

(LO3) To be aware of these effects within the broader context of the forces that affect electoral outcomes

(LO4) To be able to critique the media coverage of elections and the potential effects of this on politics and democracy

(LO5) To understand how electoral campaign media is regulated

(S1) Learning and Study Skills

(S2) Information Literacy Skills

(S3) Communication skills

(S4) Analytical skills

(S5) Ability to analyse theories and concepts and apply knowledge

Stardom and Celebrity (COMM729)
Level1
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module is designed to introduce students to the academic disciplines of star studies and celebrity studies, and to help develop students’ understanding of vocabulary, theoretical perspectives, and advanced concepts related to the areas of stardom and media celebrity. It will encourage students to differentiate between historical periods in stardom and mediated identities, and across different media platforms and contexts. It will encourage students to widen their knowledge of public figures and celebrities via conceptual, technological, economic, political and formal approaches to the topic, and to make connections between the idea of stardom/fame and other media topics and discourses.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) The student will demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts in and theoretical approaches to stardom and celebrity.

(LO2) The student will critically evaluate historical shifts in celebrity cultures.

(LO3) The student will analyse the roles played by audiences, actors, employers and different media forms in the construction of stardom.

(LO4) The student will analyse the way in which case studies of specific examples illustrate stardom and celebrity.

(LO5) The student will relate this analysis to wider concerns within mainstream filmmaking and media performance, across cinema, television, advertising, digital media, and alternative media forms.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Media analysis

(S2) Time and project management - Personal organisation

(S3) Improving own learning/performance - Reflective practice

(S4) Ability to analyse theories and concepts and apply knowledge

(S5) Ability to construct and convey a coherent argument in written form

(S6) Proficient use of electronic resources and tools for research as specified and required

Queer Film, VIdeo and Documentary (COMM305)
Level3
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To introduce students to queer theory and queer politics through the history and analysis of the production and reception of moving images. To encourage students to develop advanced moving image analysis skills and use them to differentiate between the forms and practices of film, video and documentary. To introduce key concepts and key theories around LGBTQ+ identity as historically, culturally, and politically situated. To encourage students to widen their knowledge and understanding of LGBTQ+ equality and diversity through the theory, history, ethics, and politics of queer moving images. 

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of queer film, video and documentary.

(LO2) Students will demonstrate familiarity with key concepts and debates in queer theory.

(LO3) Students will demonstrate skills in advanced moving image analysis.

(LO4) Students will demonstrate a practical ability to facilitate a workshop discussion.

(LO5) Students will demonstrate a practical ability to conceive of a thematic queer film season for an LGBT+ film festival with underpinning rationale and theory.

(S1) Teamwork.

(S2) Organisational skills.

(S3) International awareness.

(S4) Ethical awareness.

(S5) Commercial awareness.

(S6) Problem solving skills.

Media, Culture and the City (COMM726)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

1.         To provide students with an introduction into the different ways that cities and urban life are represented, experienced, and engaged with as spaces of culture. 2.         To explore the mediation of cities from a number of strategic perspectives, encompassing both representations of cities 'in media' (e.g. film, advertising, maps, museum displays) and media 'in cities' (e.g. billboards /urban screens, locating filming, mobile and 'locative' screen media). 3.         To introduce students to a wide range of key perspectives and debates on cites from across the film, media and cultural studies literature.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of some of the core theories and concepts on cities and urban space in the media and cultural studies literature.

(LO2) Students will be able to understand and apply these theories to specific examples and case studies.

(LO3) Students will be familiar with debates on the role of culture in processes of urban regeneration and renewal.

(LO4) Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the impact of digital cultures and technologies in shaping perceptions, experiences and the consumption of cities.

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation.

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation.

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills).

Issues in Photography (COMM730)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module aims to:

• Develop students’ ability to read, discuss and write critically about the photographic image, by recognising its aesthetic components, its role in memory politics, and the ethics of the photographic gaze and consumption.

• Provide students with an introduction to the history of photography, from the daguerreotype to the digital photograph.

• Examine key theoretical frameworks and contemporary debates on photographs of suffering and human rights violations.
In helping students to develop their understanding and evaluation of photographic texts, the module seeks to enhance their critical and analytic skills, as well as their comprehension of the social and ideological discourses photography participates in more broadly.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) The capacity to identify the components of a photographic image; its different private and public uses; and its historical changes.

(LO2) The ability to discuss relevant theories, debates and key concepts in the analysis of photographs.

(LO3) A critical awareness of the impact of photography in key events related to the violation of human rights that took place during the second half of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

(S1) Research-related skills — locate, discuss, analyse, evaluate information from international sources.

(S2) Literacy skills — oral literacy, including listening and questioning; the application of literacy demonstrated through the ability to produce clear, structured written work.

(S3) Problem solving/critical thinking skills — analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

(S4) Ethical awareness — identify and utilise international/global perspectives as professionals and citizens, consider issues from a variety of cultural perspectives, consider ethical and social responsibility issues in international settings; value diversity of language and culture.

Mediating the Past (COMM727)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module aims to provide students with an advanced understanding of key issues relating the representation and mediation of cultural heritage and memory. The module will enable students to acquire both theoretical and practical insights into the mediation of heritage and memory. The module will provide students with a broad knowledge of the range of practices and discourses of cultural heritage, from the broadcast media, to museums, and archives and archival practices. The module will provide students with practical research skills in observing, as part of a heritage/museum field trip.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of key theories and debates on media, heritage and cultural memory.

(LO2) Students will be able to understand and apply these theories and debates to specific examples and case studies linked to the media and heritage industries.

(LO3) Students will be able to demonstrate practical research and dissemination skills relating to media, heritage and cultural memory.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (including referencing skills).

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking.

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation.

Young People and the Media (COMM728)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To explore the relationship between children and young people, society and the media.

To provide a critical overview of the main debates and theories on the role of the media in children's and young people's lives.

To investigate the media's role in key processes such as socialisation and social identity.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to evaluate the main debates on the role the media play in children's and young people's lives.

(LO2) Students will be able to explain the relationship between children/young people, society and the media by drawing upon relevant theoretical frameworks.

(LO3) Students will be able to analyse key processes in children's/young people's lives that the media contribute to such as socialisation and social identity.

(LO4) Students will be able to synthesise evidence from a range of sources and present well-structured arguments.

(S1) Intellectual skills: Critical thinking; Synthesis and analysis of data and information; Evaluation

(S2) Transferable skills: Communication skills; Information Retrieval; Research

(S3) Subject-specific skills: Citizenship

Popular Culture, Language and Politics (COMM738)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the role of popular culture in society, and politics in particular. It aims to enable students to critically consider the role of writing, speech, imagery and sound in articulating political discourses in popular culture. It will provide an advanced understanding for students to either advance in their postgraduate studies and/ or be used in communicative careers such as in media and public relations. It will also create opportunities and understanding for independent projects and thesis which consider communication discursively.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Critically consider similarities and differences between the communicative properties of various modes of communication.

(LO2) Apply linguistically-derived concepts to a range of popular cultural texts.

(LO3) Advance understanding of theoretical issues within which the study of media language is a part of.

(LO4) Learn to critically analyse texts through a range of discursive approaches.

(S1) Collate, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, oral or other forms.

(S2) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, influencing.

(S3) Engage critically with major thinkers and debates within the field, putting them to productive use.

(S4) Make critical judgements in the understanding and evaluation of these forms.

(S5) Appreciate and apply ethical consideration and judgement to analysis of production, distribution and consumption in communication, media, film and culture.