Communication and Media with Game Design Studies

Key information


comms-and-media-6

Module details

Due to the impact of COVID-19 we're changing how the course is delivered.

Programme Year One

Everybody who studies with us takes core Communication & Media modules in Year One. These introduce key ideas and theories in Communication and Media and offer a basic understanding of many of the key areas of the subject in which you may choose to specialise later on. Besides introducing students to Communication & Media and Game Design Studies as subjects, our first year is designed to support you as you acquire and practice the academic and analytical skills you will need to succeed as a student and in your chosen career.

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Introduction to Communication and Media Studies A (COMM101)
    Level1
    Credit level30
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to provide students with foundational knowledge in the field of communication and media.

    The module gives students exposure to the development of communication and media from a historical perspective with a focus on the social, political, cultural and economic changes brought about by new technologies. It also provides students with an overview of the development of Media and Communication Studies as a broad academic field, including new trends.

    It aims to provide students with a critical understanding of some key approaches and theories to the study of mass media communication from a wide variety of perspectives and introduces students to relevant seminal work and key debates in the field.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will develop a broad understanding of the historical development of communication and media.

    (LO2) Students will develop a critical understanding of the role of communication and media in relation to social, political, cultural and economic changes.

    (LO3) Students will develop a basic understanding of different approaches to the study of mass media communication.

    (LO4) Students will demonstrate some familiarity with seminal work in the field, and recognise its diversity.

    (LO5) Students will develop an understanding of contemporary trends in Communication and Media studies and issues surrounding them.

    (S1) Students will develop key academic skills including how to use the library; how to cite and reference correctly; how to avoid plagiarism, etc.

    (S2) Students will learn how to critically engage with a review of literature and how to use it effectively when constructing arguments.

    (S3) Students will develop their abilities to engage effectively with essays as a form of academic writing.

  • Media Industries and Institutions B (COMM110)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims
    1. To provide students with an understanding of the social, political and economic environment within which media and communication industries and institutions operate.
    2. To provide students with an understanding of labour and employment factors and issues as these pertain to media industries and institutions and how these shape the production and dissemination of media texts.
    3. To expose students to the material and regulatory environment in which media work takes places. To analyse address explore the contemporary environment shapes our contemporary world.
    4. To introduce students to debates around the ways in which industrial and institutional factors influence media content.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to identify key social, political and economic factors that shape operations of media industries and institutions.

    (LO2) Students will be familiar with a range of factors impacting on contemporary industries and their working practices, such as globalisation and upgrade culture.

    (LO3) Students will be able to demonstrate a familiarity with ethical, media ownership and/or regulatory issues, including relations between industries and institutions.

    (LO4) Students will be able to understand relations between industrial and institutional structures and media content.

    (S1) Students will engage critically with major thinkers and debates within the field.

    (S2) Students will engage in individual research, in this case via a case study.

    (S3) Students will improve research skills through a review of literature and experience a close study of media industries, case studies.

  • Communication, Culture, and Media Analysis A (COMM111)
    Level1
    Credit level30
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    - To introduce students to some of the key concepts, themes and perspectives that they will encounter throughout their studies, such as the interplay between media and reality, identity, ideology, power, and hegemony;

    - for students to gain knowledge of different schools of thought and analytical approaches in the field of media and communication studies, such as Cultural Studies and Social Sciences, and related approaches and research methods;

    - for students to gain a basic understanding of the ways that theory and theoretical perspectives can be applied and put into practice as tools of analysis in the study of media, communication, and culture;

    - for students to gain their first experience in conducting their own textual analysis.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to identify the key concepts, themes, and perspectives in the field of communication and media studies.

    (LO2) Students will be able to understand how (Western) philosophical ideas underpin the study of media realities.

    (LO3) Students will be able to recall common approaches and methods used in the study of communication, media, and culture.

    (LO4) Students will be able to apply theory to the analysis of media texts.

    (S1) Students will develop their ability to prepare for an exam.

    (S2) Students will develop their skills in academic writing.

    (S3) Students will develop their ability to prepare for an exam.

  • Digital and Social Media (COMM114)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    1) To provide students with an understanding of the ways in which digital media are similar to, and different from, more traditional media.
    2) To encourage students to think critically about how technologies shape digital communication.
    3) To introduce students to the changes in information dissemination brought about by social media, and provide an understanding of the potential impact on knowledge acquisition.
    4) To consider the different ways in which digital technologies can impact and affect democracy.
    5) To provide an understanding of the concept of digital subcultures and their roles in the cultural dynamics of digital infrastructures.
    6) To offer students an understanding of the reproduction of wider social inequalities through aspects of online communication and its infrastructures.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will understand the ways in which digital media are similar to more traditional media, and the ways in which they are different.

    (LO2) Students will think critically about and understand how technologies shape digital communication.

    (LO3) Students will understand changes brought about by social media in information dissemination and the potential impact on knowledge acquisition.

    (LO4) Students will critically understand the different ways in which digital technologies can impact and affect democracy.

    (LO5) Students will show an understanding of the concepts digital subcultures and their roles in the cultural dynamics of digital infrastructures.

    (LO6) Students will show an understanding of the reproduction of wider social inequalities through aspects of online communication and its infrastructures.

    (S1) Students will acquire skills in workshop preparation, including how best to read set texts in preparation for these sessions.

    (S2) Students will acquire group work skills from working with others in the workshops and from the presentation.

    (S3) Students will acquire critical thinking skills from reading and thinking about the topics covered throughout the module.

    (S4) Students will learn how to plan and write a blog via the first summative assignment.

    (S5) Students will improve their analytical skills via the empirical research group assignment.

  • Introduction to Game Design Studies (SOTA101)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    1. To introduce students to the study of games from a variety of academic perspectives. 2. To introduce students to the specificity of video games as a particular media text, media audience, and media industry. 3. To encourage students to widen their knowledge of media forms and industries through video game culture and the contexts in which we make sense of them. 4. To introduce students to key concepts, theories, and debates related to the study of video games.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to describe key concepts and theories related to the study of video games.

    (LO2) Students will be able to explain the different aesthetic, social, political and industrial contexts of video games.

    (LO3) Students will be able to report on key aspects and institutions of the video game industry.

    (LO4) Students will be able to identify features of a game's design that are particularly relevant to or revealing of its context as media object.

    (S1) Organisational skills

    (S2) Communication skills

    (S3) IT skills

    (S4) International awareness

Programme Year Two

Your Year Two modules in Communication & Media offer plenty of options, so you can begin to specialise in the areas which interest you most or which might prove valuable for your chosen career. For example, you can delve more deeply into film and the entertainment industry, the representation of self and society, or the interplay between global media and war. Or you can explore some of the practices associated with media writing and promotional media.

Alongside these, you will take a compulsory module in Game Design, SOTA202, and must take another Game Design-related module – COMM211, ENGL297 or MUSU273 too. All students also take two modules which will introduce you to academic research and support you to practice and develop your research skills.

Year Two Compulsory Modules

  • Communication and Media Research I (COMM207)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    1. To introduce students to key terms in academic research and the main elements of a research study.
    2. To provide an overview of key research methods in communication and media studies.
    3. To provide students with a range of opportunities to explore the key techniques used in generating and conducting primary research as well as in interpreting research findings and presenting them to audiences.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will demonstrate knowledge of the key principles of research, including design frameworks and methods

    (LO2) Students will demonstrate awareness of research ethics

    (LO3) Students will identify and analyse relevant academic studies on a topic

    (LO4) Students will analyse and synthesise evidence from a range of sources and present reasoned and coherent arguments

    (S1) Research skills

    (S2) Global citizenship skills

    (S3) Study skills

    (S4) Digital fluency skills

    (S5) Critical thinking skills

    (S6) Communication skills

  • Communication and Media Research II (COMM208)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    1. To provide an overview of key research methods in communication and media studies.
    2. To provide students with an opportunity to design their own proposal for a final year project/dissertation.
    3. To provide students with an opportunity to present their ideas for final year project/dissertation to their lecturers and their peers.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will demonstrate knowledge of the key principles of research, including design frameworks and methods

    (LO2) Students will identify and justify a suitable research idea/topic/question in the field of communication and media studies for potential exploration in an academic dissertation or a major project

    (LO3) Students will test their research idea by conducting a small scale study

    (LO4) Students will analyse and synthesise evidence from a range of sources and present reasoned and coherent arguments

    (S1) Research skills

    (S2) Global citizenship skills

    (S3) Study skills

    (S4) Digital fluency skills

    (S5) Critical thinking skills

    (S6) Communication skills

  • Different Play (SOTA202)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To introduce students to the work of key queer theorists concerning games. To develop students' understandings of the ways in which games, rule sets and digital systems relate and contribute to broader culture. To broaden students' ideas of the kind of games it is possible to make. T o support students' ability to create work that challenges discrimination and marginalisation.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students should be able to explain the relationship between queerness and play.

    (LO2) Students should be able to identify the key themes of queer theory relating to games, including representation, community, failure, appropriation and power.

    (LO3) Students should be able to analyse game design tropes and clichés and their role in reinforcing cultural norms.

    (LO4) Students should be able to relate their own creative ideas to social norms and expectations.

    (LO5) Students should be emboldened to challenge repressive and oppressive systems through the design of play experiences.

    (S1) Students will develop their skills in thinking critically about societal assumptions and unspoken conventions.

    (S2) Students will enhance their ability to present theoretical material through creative and descriptive expression.

    (S3) Students will develop confidence in considering previously unfamiliar ideas and approaches.

    (S4) Students will develop their ability to concisely convey the relevant details of a project or proposal.

    (S5) Students will enhance their ability to take seriously the views of others of different and marginalised identities.

    (S6) Students will develop the ability to recognise and understand the implicit meanings of cultural artefacts and media.

    (S7) Students will learn to contextualise artistic features within aesthetic and cultural theory.

    (S8) Students will develop their ability to work independently.

    (S9) Students will develop their ability to identify and isolate relevant details of complex media works.

Year Two Optional Modules

  • Children, Culture and Cinema (COMM214)
    Level2
    Credit level30
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To encourage students to explore how norms and values are constructed, reinforced and challenged within children's films.
    To provide insight into the audiences children's films address.
    To encourage students to think about children's and family films beyond innocent entertainment.
    To introduce students to the child as both a consumer and a subject of cinema.
    To explore the relationship between children, culture and cinema.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of children's films and culture.

    (LO2) Students will analyse how norms are constructed in children's cinema.

    (LO3) Students will critically analyse filmic texts and demonstrate this ability through visual and auditory means.

    (LO4) Students will evaluate the main academic debates and concerns around children's cinema.

  • Documentary (COMM231)
    Level2
    Credit level30
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting40:60
    Aims

    This module seeks to introduce students to ideas about the form and function of documentary work as it has developed internationally since the 1920s in film and later television. Through lectures, screenings, reading and discussion, students will be encouraged to develop an analytical knowledge of:
    • The range of purposes claimed for documentary work.
    • Key forms and approaches employed at different moments in the history of documentary.
    • Relationships between documentary work and the 'real world' to which it refers.
    • Issues of 'truthfulness' and the ethics of documentary representations.
    • Documentary-makers' strategies to appeal to audiences or yield responses from them.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate a critical awareness of debates surrounding the representation of 'the real' in film and television texts.

    (LO2) Demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of the terms and concepts used in describing and evaluating documentary work in film and television.

    (LO3) Demonstrate a familiarity with and understanding of key visual and verbal components of documentary organisation.

    (LO4) Demonstrate the ability to read and critically evaluate film and television texts based on real subjects.

    (S1) Proficient use of electronic resources and tools for research as specified and required.

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

    (S3) Analysis of film and television texts; understanding and application of appropriate terminology and criteria.

    (S4) Understanding and analysis of ethical obligations of documentary film-makers.

  • Games Playing Roles (ENGL297)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    ​This modulewill introduce students to the ways in which literature reflects trends ingaming and gamification, and the ways in which authors have used “games”,understood either as literary experiments or as imagined games, within theirworks. The format of the module (weekly seminars on texts, interspersed withworkshops) are intended to develop the ability to work independently, but alsoenhance students’ ability to discuss, evaluate, and implement ideas as agroup). Moreover, as it forms part of both the literary studies and gaming studies programmes, it will enable students from different disciiplinary backgrounds to engage with each other and encourage peer-to-peer learning.

    Learning Outcomes

    ​On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate

    1.  an understanding of the ways in which gamesrelate to contemporary literature at the level of form, structure, and content.


    ​2.  knowledge of the ways in which literary textscan engage with specific aesthetic, cultural, and historical contexts.

    ​3.  insight into the similarities and differencesbetween literary and ludic forms.

    ​4. plan, research, and execute an assignment that demonstrates theabove, alongside analytical skills and the ability to deploy appropriate terminology.

  • Global Hollywood: From Film Art to Media Entertainment (COMM201)
    Level2
    Credit level30
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The aims of this module are:
    To introduce students to the role played by the Hollywood film industry in the development of modern trans-national entertainment networks.
    To enable students to understand the relationship between film style (aesthetics) and structures of industrial organization at various points in Hollywood's history.
    To provide students with an understanding of the ways in which national / cultural identities in Hollywood films relate to changing industrial and social contexts of film production and consumption.
    To help students understand recent debates about media convergence and the globalisation of media entertainment.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be familiar with a number of terms and concepts used in film criticism and analysis.

    (LO2) Students will have developed an understanding of the role played by US films in mobilising social and cultural identities, especially around particular formations of nationality and gender.

    (LO3) Students will have the ability to identify the commercial imperatives of film and television texts.

    (LO4) Students will be able to demonstrate how economic, industrial and institutional factors shape film and television texts.

    (S1) 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

    (S2) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

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

    (S4) Team (group) working respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

    (S5) Commercial awareness.

    (S6) Communication skills.

  • Global News, Media and War (COMM212)
    Level2
    Credit level30
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To examine the interplay between global news, media and war in the context of rapidly evolving communication technologies and journalistic practices.

    To compare and contrast the contexts and challenges in which journalists operate across the world.

    To trace the evolution of foreign reporting.

    To explore and analyse media management approaches and audience responses to the reporting of distant conflict.

    To assess and examine the differing ways in which media coverage frames war and humanitarian crisis and the theoretical perspectives that underpin such frames.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to define and critically evaluate key theories and concepts that explain the interplay between global news, media and war.

    (LO2) Students will be able to discuss the current state of media freedom and journalistic practices around the world as well as the main contextual factors that influence those practices and the role journalists play both in the global South and in the global North.

    (LO3) Students will be able to identify and analyse the history and ethics of foreign correspondence and explore the key factors that have contributed to the evolution and decline of foreign correspondence.

    (LO4) Students will be familiar with and critically analyse different perspectives on the way states manage and audiences relate and react to distant conflict.

    (LO5) Students will be able to articulate knowledge and a critical understanding of the historical shifts and continuities in war reporting in the modern era.

    (S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S2) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, communicating in a foreign language, influencing, presentations.

    (S3) 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.

    (S4) 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

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

  • Feminist Media Studies: Texts and Audiences A (COMM204)
    Level2
    Credit level30
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    1. To introduce students to key concepts and debates relating to gender and the media.

    2. To provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the relationship between gender and media and ways of disrupting normative gender constructions.

    3. To assess and examine specific theories of the relationship between media texts and their audiences.

    4. To give students practical experience of designing and carrying out audience research amongst their peers.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students should be able to recognise the ways that women and men are treated differently in mainstream media.

    (LO2) Students should know and be able to discuss research on various aspects of the relationship between gender and media.

    (LO3) Students should gain a good understanding of the key methods used in audience research.

    (LO4) Students will be able to design and carry out a piece of qualitative audience research

    (S1) Communication (oral, written)

    (S2) Academic writing (including referencing skills)

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem-solving

    (S4) Research skills

    (S5) Working in groups and teams

  • Immersive Media and VIrtual Worlds A (COMM210)
    Level2
    Credit level30
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To introduce students to the histories of immersive media and virtual world forms. To introduce students to theories and conceptual approaches to immersion, digital realism, cognition and simulation. To encourage students to develop advanced textual analysis skills in relation to virtual images. To encourage students to widen their knowledge and understanding of the industry contexts in which immersive experience and virtual worlds are produced and consumed.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the histories and theories of immersive experiences and virtual realities and worlds.

    (LO2) Students will demonstrate the capacity to develop critical insight and textual analysis skills of virtual reality texts.

    (LO3) Students will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate and accurate terminology and concepts when explaining immersive and virtual reality technologies.

    (LO4) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the industrial and entertainment contexts around, and uses of, immersive experiences and virtual realities.

    (S1) Problem solving skills.

    (S2) Commercial awareness.

    (S3) Teamwork.

    (S4) Organisational skills.

    (S5) Communication skills.

    (S6) International awareness.

  • Immersive Media and VIrtual Worlds B (COMM211)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To introduce students to the histories of immersive media and virtual world forms To introduce students to theories and conceptual approaches to immersion, digital realism, cognition and simulation. To encourage students to develop advanced textual analysis skills in relation to virtual images. To en courage students to widen their knowledge and understanding of the industry contexts in which immersive experience and virtual worlds are produced and consumed.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the histories and theories of immersive experiences and virtual realities and worlds.

    (LO2) Students will demonstrate the capacity to develop critical insight and textual analysis skills of virtual reality texts.

    (LO3) Students will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate and accurate terminology and concepts when explaining immersive and virtual reality technologies.

    (LO4) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the industrial and entertainment contexts around, and uses of, immersive experiences and virtual realities.

    (S1) Problem solving skills.

    (S2) Commercial awareness.

    (S3) Organisational skills.

    (S4) Communication skills.

    (S5) International awareness.

  • Introduction to Music Psychology (MUSI290)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To introduce and explore a set of multidisciplinary topics central to the field of music psychology
    • To allow students to gain a broad understanding of how music influences listeners in everyday contexts and the essential physiological and psychological mechanisms and processes involved in different kinds of music-related activities
    • To appraise existing scholarship in the field of music psychology and be able to argue how the theoretical and empirical issues are connected
    • To become familiar with research methods commonly utilised by music psychologists

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will acquire general and specific knowledge on various topic areas in the multidisciplinary field of music psychology and develop new perspectives on how the human mind processes and responds to music.

    (LO2) Students will be able to critically evaluate existing scholarship in the field and demonstrate awareness of the relationship between theoretical and empirical contributions to music psychology.

    (LO3) Students will be familiar with music psychology research and how it helps understanding the uses of music in everyday life.

    (LO4) Students will be able to integrate literature and research into a logical argument and communicate (orally and textually) effectively and appealingly presenting research findings to a lay audience.

    (S1) Intellectual skills (curiosity, research and exploration, critical understanding, analytical demonstrations).

    (S2) Creative and re-creative skills (presentation, interpretation).

    (S3) Information technology and media literacy.

    (S4) Teamwork and collaboration.

    (S5) Oral and written presentation skills.

  • Media, Self and Society (COMM235)
    Level2
    Credit level30
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To critically examine key debates and perspectives relating to issues of selfhood, body and identity in a global media age.

    To develop critical insights into the construction, consumption and regulation of selfhood and identity in a global media age.

    To develop critical insights into the impacts of digital cultures and technologies on practices of selfhood and identity in a global media age.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will gain a critical awareness of debates and perspectives relating to issues of selfhood, body and identity.

    (LO2) Students will gain understandings and knowledge of some of the key concepts used in theoretical approaches to media, self and society in the media and cultural studies literature.

    (LO3) Students will demonstrate knowledge of issues and debates relating to selfhood and the media.

    (LO4) Students will critically apply knowledge of these issues and debates to specific examples and case studies.

    (S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S2) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning.

    (S3) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, communicating in a foreign language, influencing, presentations.

    (S4) 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.

  • Music in Gaming (MUSI273)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide students with an overview of technological development and a basic (non-technical) appreciation of how sound and music are generated via gaming software/hardware; and to understand the role of the former in determining compositional design across different 'generations' of gaming hardware.

    To provide students with an understanding of the relationship between music and gaming contexts (eg genre, narrative function, immersion, emotion, and character portrayal).

    To provide students with an understanding of the relationship between game-music and other forms of music (eg orchestral styles, film music, popular music in compiled tracks).

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the development of gaming hardware/software and the extent to which this determines, by limiting or affording, the incorporation of sound/music.

    (LO2) Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relationship between music in gaming and other gameplay factors (such as narrative, immersion, game-cues).

    (LO3) Students will be able to demonstrate an awareness of broader critical, cultural, and ludomusicological issues, as presented and discussed in both historical and contemporary scholarship.

    (LO4) Students will be able to be able to apply knowledge, understanding, and awareness (as described in the prior learning outcomes) to original case-study examples.

    (S1) Communication skills.

    (S2) Research skills.

    (S3) Comprehension.

    (S4) Critical thinking.

    (S5) Writing skills.

    (S6) Applied skills.

    (S7) IT skills.

  • Music in World Cinema (MUSI270)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    - To study the musical practices of film traditions outside the Anglophone world and their cultural contexts, with particular emphasis on comparisons to classical Hollywood practice - To build on knowledge acquired in first year modules on world music and music in audio-visual media - To develop students' ability to think and write about music in audio-visual contexts

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Ability to demonstrate familiarity with ideas about music and film in several other cultures.

    (LO2)  Ability to explain the relationship between theory and the cultural context in which it has arisen, as well as the challenges of applying theories to texts from cultures outside that context.

    (LO3) Ability to deploy comparative and cross-cultural perspectives in the understanding of the relationships between music and film as well as their cultural contexts

    (LO4) Higher level analytical and essay-writing skills, including Higher level analytical and essay-writing skills, including more advanced argumentation and handling difficult bibliographic challenges.

    (S1) 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

  • Professional and Career Development (SOTA260)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The module aims to prepare students for a smooth transition into a year in industry and, more broadly, to develop lifelong skills, attitudes and behaviours that will help students lead flexible, fulfilling careers working as professionals in their field, and enable them to contribute meaningfully to society.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will analyse a range of employment and enterprise opportunities in an industry of their choosing.

    (LO2) Students will compare the process of applying for two placements/internships/jobs including researching industries and opportunities, and evaluating application and selection processes.

    (LO3) Students will evaluate the development of their professional skills, attitudes and behaviours using reflective thinking and writing.

    (LO4) Students will propose an authentic solution to a commercial or cultural challenge experienced by an employer.

    (S1) Career and identity management online: managing digital reputation and online identity.

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

    (S3) Information literacy online.

    (S4) Positive attitude/ self-confidence. A can-do approach, a readiness to take part and contribute; openness to new ideas and the drive to make these happen.

    (S5) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S6) 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.

    (S7) 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.

  • Propaganda and Censorship (FILM202)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide students with an insight into the interaction of film and political authority, the structures which the authorities use or have used in order to exert control on the cinema and the ways in which cinema’s power over its audience has been harnessed, manipulated or occasionally feared to the point of suppression;

    To examine specific films, scenes from them and the controversies around them as case studies of the interaction of film and political and /or other authority;

    To introduce students to theoretical debates about propaganda and censorship in Film Studies.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will gain a differentiated understanding of the way in which political and other authorities have sought to control, harness and curb the power of film in different historical situations.

    (LO2) Students will gain an awareness of film’s position in national institutional structures and the effect of these onthe finished product and a historical perspective on the perceived purpose of and limits on film production in Europe.

    (LO3) Students will develop an alertness to the ways in which film may seek to manipulate the viewer and a critical attitude to the theories that have been constructed regarding the effects of film on its audience.

    (LO4) Students will develop an ability to use different kinds of textual evidence to present a balanced and sophisticated argument about complex issues of representation and control and to reach a reasoned conclusion recognising the power of social attitudes and desires in the formulation and conduct of debates in these fields.

    (S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

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

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S4) Research skills - All Information skills

  • Public Relations Cultures and Writing Practices A (COMM232)
    Level2
    Credit level30
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The aims of the module are to enhance critical understanding of PR industries, contexts and practices as part of promotional culture and to develop practical skills which enhance employability for students wishing to work within PR, media writing and related communication fields. The first block provides students with an understanding of the historical development of PR in the West including its part in the growth of neoliberal capitalism and branded cultures, and enables critical reflection on its relationship with the wider reporting media and its industries. Further, the course aims to provide students with knowledge of mainstream and alternative organisations’ perspectives on the role of public relations in building images, reputations and brands as part of wider promotional activities, and on the ways they approach the practice of media writing. The second block develops knowledge and experience of media writing skills including those associated with PR such as news releases and media packs, and those associated with journalism such as news and feature writing. The course aims to support students to develop practical skills though critical engagement with theoretical frameworks and tools, case study analysis and practical exercises. The module also aims to develop student understanding of legal, regulatory and professional frameworks associated with PR, media writing and journalism and the role of social media and networked journalism in the contemporary communications workplace.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Critical understanding of PR cultures, theory and practice.

    (LO2) Understanding of teamwork and presentation skills.

    (LO3) Understanding of professional frameworks for PR, media writing and journalism.

    (LO4) Practical skills in persuasive and journalistic media writing.

    (LO5) Understanding of workplace cultures and practice, and what it means to be a creative professional in the PR or media writing industries.

    (S1) Academic writing.

    (S2) Media writing.

    (S3) Critical thinking.

    (S4) Creativity.

    (S5) Teamwork.

  • The Cinematic City (FILM201)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To explore ways in which global cinema has made use of the urban space (cinema having been described as an urban art-form par excellence ); Through a wide range of films from different European countries, to introduce students both to issues relating to the imaginary conception of cities, and to concepts in film theory regarding the construction of space, the position of the observer, and the nature and purpose of representation and of narrative construction;

    To introduce students to relatively complex theoretical constructions, in an immediate and approachable way, which will give them confidence in their ability to handle concepts in critical theory and to apply them successfully;

    To develop their capacities in expressing their ideas, both in discussion and in written work, with regard to more advanced material than they were required to study in the first-year module;

    To alert them to the conceptual links which film studies has with other theoretical fields; To introduce students in a simple way to the practical problems of audiovisual representation.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Awareness of issues of urban theory, of the spatial implications of cinematic expression, and of the interaction of these;

    (LO2) Awareness of the ways in which cinema has been used to articulate the self-construction of urban societies

    (LO3) Global citizenship: Alertness to the ways in which the modern world is constructed through representations

    (LO4) Ability to handle theoretical concepts confidently in written and oral modes, to carry on a discussion and sustain an argument by applying those concepts.

    (LO5) Authentic assessment: Awareness of some of the practical issues involved in creating an audiovisual piece.

    (LO6) Confidence: Ability to plan the translation of experience of the city into audiovisual form.

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

    (S2) Confidence: Communication (oral, written and visual) - Media analysis

    (S3) Active Learning: Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S4) Information skills - Critical reading

    (S5) Confidence: Communication (oral, written and visual) - Communicating for audience

    (S6) Peer-led learning: Team (group) working respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

    (S7) Confidence: Handling audiovisual material

  • Working in Music Industry (MUSI252)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    • To identify the skills necessary to advance careers, whether as a musician or within a music company of some kind.
    • To inform student musicians of ''what to expect'' should they pursue music as a career into the future.
    • To introduce students who might want to work in music industry of the types of specialisms available to them and the role demands of each specialism.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate occupational skills and professional preparation in the context of the contemporary music industry.

    (LO2) Apply generic and discipline-specific skills in the development of professional presentation materials.

    (LO3) Respond to employment and enterprise opportunities within the music industries

    (LO4) Demonstrate the skills required to apply for a music industries related job.

    (S1) Learning and Study Skills.

    (S2) Research Skills.

    (S3) Information and Digital Literacy.

    (S4) Employability Skills.

    (S5) Writing Skills.

    (S6) Applied Skills.

    (S7) Maths Skills.

Programme Year Three

Your final year offers an even wider range of options, designed to provide opportunities to specialise further in your chosen areas of the subject and to strengthen your employability and research skills. Some modules encourage you to deepen your understanding of the topics studied in Year Two, but you can also learn to study magazines and design your own, explore how media represent human rights issues or the environment, or discover areas as diverse as photography, strategic communication or queer film, for example. All of our students undertake a project involving their own sustained, research-based work in their final year, whether by taking the Dissertation module, collaborating on staff research, producing brief videos to client or by applying the skills you have learned by taking our Work placement module.

Students must choose one of the following modules in the list below: COMM401, COMM342, COMM335 or SOTA300.

Students also take two compulsory modules in Game Design Studies.

Year Three Compulsory Modules

  • History of Academic Game Studies (SOTA302)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To introduce students to the key themes of academic game studies. To enable students to develop skills in analysing and criticising academic work on games. T o develop students' ability formulate and present arguments that relate academic theory to contemporary structures and conventions of games culture and industry.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students should be able to critically engage with academic theorising about games in relation to the actual business, design and consumption of games.

    (LO2) Students should be able to deploy fundamental concepts of game studies such as the magic circle, ludus and paidia, agon, alea, mimicry and vertigo etc.

    (LO3) Students should be able to break down particular industrial, cultural and historical contexts to show how these influenced the formation of key movements in academic game studies, especially ludology.

    (LO4) Students should be able draw historical connections between different periods and movements in the study of games.

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

    (S2) Students will develop their skills in thinking critically, analysing problems and analysing and assessing arguments.

    (S3) Students will enhance their ability to identify the issues that underlie debates.

    (S4) Students will develop confidence in considering previously unfamiliar ideas and approaches, and their ability to identify presuppositions and to reflect critically upon them.

    (S5) Students will enhance their ability to marshal arguments and present them in writing.

    (S6) Students will develop the ability to perform bibliographical searches, to include (to professional standard) citations and bibliographies in their work and to plan, organise and produce essays.

    (S7) Students will enhance their written communications skills and develop skill in explaining complex material in a precise manner.

    (S8) Students will develop their ability to work independently.

    (S9) Students will develop their ability to sift through information, assessing the relevance and importance of information.

    (S10) Students will develop their skills in making appropriate use of information technology, information on the World Wide Web and reference works and databases relevant to the discipline.

  • Philosophy of Play and the VIrtual (PHIL343)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To introduce students to the main contemporary issues around play and games. To develop students understanding of the relationships between play, labour and virtuality. To enable students to reflect on their own preconceptions of play and value.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to explain the importance of play as a topic for study.

    (LO2) Students will be able to analyse common topics of discourse around play and games, especially digital games: violence, addiction, therapeutic and educational effects, and gamification.

    (LO3) Students will be able to identify philosophical issues arising from specific games/instances of play.

    (LO4) Students will be able to explain some of the philosophical literature around play, make-believe, choice and responsibility, and virtual worlds.

    (LO5) Students will be able to trace connections between surface controversies and deeper philosophical concerns.

    (LO6) Students will develop their ability to reflect on their own preconceptions and how these contribute to both philosophical and popular discourse.

    (S1) Students will develop their skills in thinking critically, analysing problems and analysing and assessing arguments.

    (S2) Students will enhance their ability to identify unifying philosophical issues in everyday discussions and mass-media environments.

    (S3) Students will develop confidence in considering previously unfamiliar ideas and approaches.

    (S4) Students will develop their ability to identify their own presumptions and to reflect critically upon them.

    (S5) Students will enhance their ability to marshal arguments and present them orally and in writing.

    (S6) Students will develop the ability to perform bibliographical searches, use and reference academic sources, and to plan, organise and produce presentations and essays.

    (S7) Students will enhance their oral and written communications skills and develop skill in explaining complex material in a precise manner.

    (S8) Students will develop their ability to work independently.

    (S9) Students will develop their ability to sift through information, assessing the relevance and importance of the information to what is at issue.

    (S10) Students will develop their skills in making appropriate use of information technology, including online sources, video and screen capture and editing, and visual presentation aids.

Year Three Optional Modules

  • American Independent Cinema (COMM316)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    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, especially in the post-1980 period.   To examine the ways in which American independent cinema represents a distinct mode of filmmaking from mainstream Hollywood by exploring 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.   To examine the ways in which American independent cinema represents a distinct mode of filmmaking from mainstream Hollywood by exploring the relationship of a number of independent films to broader social, cultural, political and ideological landscapes such as Reaganite politics, the politics of counter-culture, racial and gender politics, etc.  

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the debates that have surrounded the concept of independence in American cinema.

    (LO2) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the manner in which independent film has been mobilised to respond to particular economic and social-cultural changes in the United States.

    (LO3) Students will be able to identify the key aesthetic choices employed in a number of such films and the ways in which they differ from dominant regimes of representation.

    (LO4) Students will be able to understand American independent cinema as an industrial product determined by a specific mode of production and circulation/distribution.

    (S1) Commercial awareness.

    (S2) Problem solving skills.

    (S3) Teamwork.

    (S4) Organisational skills.

    (S5) Communication skills.

    (S6) IT skills.

  • Aspects of Cinematic Realism (FILM302)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    The module will introduce students to the theoretical and practical implications of the realist aesthetic as it has been interpreted at different times and places in the history of film. Using this central concept as a base, the module aims to make students aware of the evolution of critical and theoretical approaches to film, its function and its mode of operation, from classical film criticism, through the semiotically-based analyses of the sixties and seventies, to more recent concentration on spectatorship and audience reception;

    The module aims to encourage a critical evaluation of realism as aconcept and of particular film-texts in the light of the theory underlying their production;

    The module aims to equip students with skills to engage in careful textual analysis and to assess comparatively how different stylistic choices mediate audience engagement with the reality that is notionally represented;

    At final-year level this module aims to enable students to work at a level of some theoretical sophistication and to show ability to relate complex general ideas to particular instances.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Familiarity with key concepts in film theory and ability to handle them with relation to specific texts.

    (LO2) An awareness of the critical and practical debates which have been engaged in Europe around the artistic potential and the vocational function of cinema, ability to assess the various positions critically and to formulate rigorous arguments to explain the student's own position.

    (LO3) Understanding of the various complex implications of an apparently simple concept.

    (LO4) Ability to express ideas succinctly and to carry out independent textual (visual) analysis.

    (S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification

    (S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

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

    (S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Media analysis

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

    (S6) Information skills - Critical reading

    (S7) Information skills - Information accessing: Locating relevant information and identifying and evaluating information sources

    (S8) Global citizenship - Cultural awareness

  • Curation and Heritage (MUSI353)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To develop an understanding of how popular music heritage has been defined by various agents.

    To critically examine different case studies to explore how popular music heritage has been represented, mobilized and interpreted.

    To develop an understanding of debates about cultural value.

    To develop critical awareness, interpretation skills, and essay writing skills.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Have an understanding of how popular music heritage has been defined by various agents.

    (LO2) Have an awareness of the different ways in which constructions of heritage have been represented in different contexts.

    (LO3) Have an understanding how conceptions of heritage relate to debates about cultural value.

    (LO4) Have the ability to identify, discuss and present relevant material and ideas and to prepare well-organised and well-researched written work.

    (S1) Organisational skills.

    (S2) Communication skills.

    (S3) Analytical and critical skills.

  • Dissertation (COMM401)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To facilitate students 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 facilitate students to develop independent research skills.

    To facilitate students to develop professional standards for the presentation of research material.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will 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 identify and apply research methods which are appropriate for their project.

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

    (LO4) Students will 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.

  • Environmental Communication: Politics, Science, Activism, and the Media (COMM304)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims at enabling students to better understand the strategic nature of stakeholder communication on the environment, the challenges that journalists and other content providers face in communicating the complexities of environmental issues, and the variegated effects different modalities and frames of environmental communication can have on audiences. The module also aims to expand students' expertise in critically engaging with the significance and characteristics of power dynamics in mediated debates and political communication more generally. Finally the module aims to develop students' skills in conducting their own empirical, theory-driven, and critical analyses of communicating texts.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to identify the main issues as well as the core concepts and perspectives from the academic field of environmental communication.

    (LO2) Students will be able to understand the role of power dynamics between different types of actors - political, economic, scientific, societal, and journalistic - in the mediated debates on environmental issues.

    (LO3) Students will be able to analyse and critically evaluate mass media portrayals as well as campaign communications of environmental issues.

    (LO4) Students will be able to predict and evaluate the effects of different types of journalistic and strategic frames of environmental issues on regular audience members as well as decision-makers.

    (LO5) Students will be able to design and implement their own empirical case study based on theoretical considerations and utilizing established methods of data collection, data analysis, and data visualization.

    (S1) Critical thinking and problem solving skills.

    (S2) Written communication skills.

    (S3) Communication skills - critical debate and argumentation.

    (S4) Analytical skills and data literacy.

  • Final Year Project (COMM335)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    1. To provide opportunities for students to develop practical research skills through engaging them in enquiry and other forms of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research activities.
    2. To provide opportunities for students to undertake a capstone research- or enquiry-based project.
    3. To provide opportunities for students to present the results of their research- or enquiry-based project in an appropriate format.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Plan a final year project

    (LO2) Develop a comprehensive review of the academic literature and/or non-academic sources on a relevant topic within the field of communication and media studies

    (LO3) Undertake a final year capstone research- or enquiry-based project

    (LO4) Apply relevant research- or enquiry-based skills in the execution of their final year project

    (LO5) Present the results of their research- or enquiry-based project in an appropriate format

    (S1) Research skills

    (S2) Global citizenship skills

    (S3) Study skills

    (S4) Digital fluency skills

    (S5) Critical thinking skills

    (S6) Communication skills

    (S7) Time management skills

  • Games and Algorithmic Culture (COMM309)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    - Investigate how videogames are responding and contributing to the current technological and cultural changes in the use of AI, data mining, procedurally generated content, metrics and automation.

    - Provide a fundamental knowledge of the videogame industry, the contemporary trends of digital entertainment, and new techniques of game development and distribution.

    - Understand videogames in relation to the history of computing and cybernetics, and through theories of governmentality, posthumanism, and procedural rhetoric.

    - Understand how the medium of the videogame is entangled with the technical, aesthetic, social and economic changes brought by contemporary digital culture.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to critically analyse how the use of AI, data mining, procedurally generated content, metrics and automation is changing our lives and culture, including our contemporary forms of entertainment.

    (LO2) Students will understand and critically analyse the key trends of the videogame industry through documents and reports produced by academic research and industry representatives.

    (LO3) Students will understand and critically analyse how theories of cybernetics, computing, governmentality, procedural rhetoric and posthumanism emerge through contemporary forms of digital play.

    (LO4) Students will identify areas of intervention and of critical analysis through original and independent research.

    (S1) Analysis of academic texts and industry documents

    (S2) Critical skills

    (S3) Analysis of case studies

  • Introduction to Strategic Communication (COMM312)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The module seeks to provide students with:
    1. Critical understanding of the strategic functions of communication for organisations and institutions.
    2. Awareness of the positive and negative impact of strategic communication practices on society.
    3. Knowledge of the interdisciplinary field of strategic communication.
    4. Ability to critically analyse strategic communication phenomena in different social contexts.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to explain the different roles and functions of strategic communication in different types of organisation and institutions.

    (LO2) Students will demonstrate critical understanding of the impact of strategic communication practices on society, including the ability to engage in discussions regarding the positive and negative influences of strategic communication on democracy, human relations and markets.

    (LO3) Students will demonstrate knowledge of the main theories and models which constitute the interdisciplinary field of strategic communication research.

    (LO4) Students will be able to analyse and evaluate strategic communication phenomena by utilising concepts and methods developed within the academic discipline.

    (S1) Use of relevant theories for the critical understanding of strategic communication processes.

    (S2) Ability to analyse strategic communication phenomena by identifying and reconstructing contextual and textual elements.

    (S3) Application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work.

  • Issues in 'cult' Television (COMM300)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide students with an understanding of the historical development of the idea of ‘cult TV’ and the canon of texts associated to it.

    To give students the opportunity to engage in debates about what constitutes ‘cult television’.

    To provide students with knowledge about cult fandom and contemporary cult texts in the context of the development of the US and UK television industries.

    To develop students critical and theoretical capabilities by analysing cult television texts through intersecting issues including genre, identity politics, promotional culture and the role of industry.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) An understanding of the overall make-up of the UK and US television industries including key debates about changes in the industry and relationships to the politics of representation through the prism of cult TV.

    (LO2) An ability to critique cult television texts and their forms in terms of genre, history, identity politics and industrial perspectives.

    (LO3) An ability to both deconstruct, and write, journalistic pieces about cult TV.

    (LO4) An understanding of the promotional and branding practices associated with cult TV.

    (S1) Researching and locating materials through the effective use of library and information services, bibliographies and electronic sources of knowledge and information.

    (S2) Critical evaluation of academic and cult TV texts.

    (S3) Academic writing.

    (S4) Creative thinking and writing techniques.

    (S5) Time management and project planning.

  • Issues in Photography (COMM323)
    Level3
    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.

  • Media and Campaigning (COMM302)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    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.

  • Media and Human Rights (COMM317)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To examine key debates relating to the interaction between news media and human rights. 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 be familiar with the key theories of human rights and the development of international norms of human rights.

    (LO2) Students will be familiar with political and institutional structures involved in addressing human rights.

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

    (LO4) Students will be able to understand and 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, using case studies of specific issues that are problematising and, at times, re-defining the relations between media and human rights.

    (S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation.

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills).

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

    (S4) Time and project management - Personal organisation.

    (S5) Information skills - Information accessing:[Locating relevant information] [Identifying and evaluating information sources].

    (S6) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity.

  • Mediating the Past (COMM339)
    Level3
    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 an online museum analysis.

    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 gain insights into museum practices and exhibition curation.

    (LO4) 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.

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

    To examine the structures and dynamics of news production and reception.

    To critically assess the professional practices and ideologies of journalists in democratic contexts.

    To examine the effectiveness and quality of journalism in a variety of specific cases.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will gain a good understanding of the democratic role and performance of journalists in contemporary society.

    (LO2) Students will possess a good understanding of key theories and perspectives within the sociology of news.

    (LO3) Students will be able to discuss contemporary perspectives on journalism and how social, political, economic and technological changes are affecting the way news is produced and consumed.

    (LO4) Students will be able to apply wider theories about news production and representation to analyse a range of particular issues or cases.

    (S1) Critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

    (S2) Communication skills (oral and written).

    (S3) Information skills - information gathering and critical reading.

    (S4) Communication skills - critical debate and argumentation.

  • Popular Culture, Language and Politics (COMM318)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    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 who wish to either continue in 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 or Dissertations in the final term of the third year for projects which consider communication discursively.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) The student will critically consider similarities and differences between the communicative properties of various modes of communication.

    (LO2) The student will apply linguistically-derived concepts to a range of popular cultural texts.

    (LO3) The student will gain advanced understanding of theoretical issues within which the study of media language is a part of.

    (LO4) The student will 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.

  • 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 conceive of a thematic queer film season for an LGBT+ film festival with underpinning rationale and theory.

    (S1) Organisational skills.

    (S2) International awareness.

    (S3) Ethical awareness.

    (S4) Commercial awareness.

    (S5) Problem solving skills.

  • School of the Arts Work Placements Module (SOTA300)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To develop materials and/or undertake tasks within a practical or vocational context. To apply within that practical or vocational context professional, pedagogical, theoretical and other knowledge relevant to the development and delivery of the placement materials and/or tasks. To apply academic and/or theoretical knowledge within a practical context, and reflect and report on the relationship between the two. To develop and identify a range of personal/ employability skills, and reflect and report on this development.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) To demonstrate an ability to develop materials and/or undertake tasks, according to a given specification and requirement, within a practical or vocational context.

    (LO2) To reflect on and evaluate the efficacy of the materials developed and/or the tasks undertaken.

    (LO3) To identify the connection between academic and/or theoretical knowledge and its practical or vocational application.

    (LO4) To identify, reflect and report on a range of personal/employability skills.

    (S1) Commercial awareness - Relevant understanding of organisations

    (S2) Improving own learning/performance - Self-awareness/self-analysis

    (S3) Improving own learning/performance - Personal action planning

    (S4) Improving own learning/performance - Record-keeping

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

    (S6) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

    (S7) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Report writing

    (S8) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S9) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

  • Social Media, Politics & Society (COMM313)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    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.

  • Sound Studies (MUSI322)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The module aims to: Develop a critical understanding of sound in society by examining the way in which the production and consumption of sound are bound up in social relations and practices.  Introduce students to key theoretical approaches and perspectives from the emerging field of sound studies. Develop critical listening skills. Adopt a comparative perspective, enabling students to reflect critically upon their own music-related practices, ideas and values.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) On successful completion of this module students should be able to: Demonstrate understanding of key terms, concepts and methods within the emerging field of sound studies.

    (LO2) Demonstrate developed critical aural skills.

    (LO3) Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical ideas in relation to reflections on their own experiences and observations of social life.

    (LO4) Have the ability to discuss relevant material and ideas, and to prepare well-organised and well-researched written work.

    (S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S2) Communication skills

    (S3) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

    (S4) 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

  • The Media, the Internet and Political Science (POLI319)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To introduce students to the ways in which contemporary notions of what constitutes political science have a bearing upon what we think we know about conventional and new media;

    To explore the way in which conceptions of power are related to our understanding of how the old and new media function in contemporary society;

    To explore a range of themes that connect the new media to its conventional counter parts (including the political economy of journalism, web-based political mobilisation, citizen journalism and mediate elections);

    To explore particularly illuminating examples of power exertion by or through the mass media. 

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to understand what constitutes the 'canons and conventions' of contemporary Political Science, and how these relate to research on, and evidence about, the old and new media.

    (LO2) Students will be able to appreciate the role and importance of the various media in power structures of society.

    (LO3) Students will be aware of how the old and new media relate to each other, both nationally and internationally, and how both relate to contemporary political realities.

    (LO4) Students will have a grasp of the key themes and case studies that link media practice, to politics/politicians, and the principal power models.

    (LO5) Students should be able to communicate their understanding in cogent form in a varierty of non-written media.

    (S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - critical analysis

    (S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - creative thinking

    (S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - presentation skills - written

    (S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - presentation skills - visual

    (S5) Working in groups and teams - group action planning

    (S6) Working in groups and teams - negotiation skills

  • Understanding Magazines B (COMM341)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide a critical overview of the (predominantly UK) magazine industry from its origins to the present day. To encourage students to consider contexts of production and reception in relations to magazine texts. To provide students with opportunities to evaluate existing research on magazines and produce their own analyses using similar approaches.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be able to discuss the conditions of magazine production in different times and contexts.

    (LO2) Students will be able confidently to discuss and reflect on the impact of digital technologies on magazine production

    (LO3) Students will critically reflect on the relationships between magazines and readers

    (LO4) Students will have demonstrated the ability to analyse various magazine texts and evaluate them in relation to key issues in the literature

    (S1) Media literacy online critically reading and creatively producing academic and professional communications in a range of media

    (S2) Organisational skills

    (S3) Communication skills

    (S4) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

  • Viral VIdeo (COMM342)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The module aims to provide students with both theoretical and practical skills and experiences which develop their understanding of communication and media roles and industries and enhance their commercial awareness, employability and enterprise skills.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will develop a critical awareness of viral video theory, production and practice.

    (LO2) Students will ideate original content by designing and producing viral videos.

    (LO3) Students will respond professionally and creatively to ‘client’ and tutor briefs.

    (LO4) Students will promote videos on public video-sharing and social media networks.

    (LO5) Students will demonstrate critical reflective thinking.  

    (S1) Communication skills.

    (S2) IT skills.

    (S3) Commercial awareness

    (S4) Teamwork

    (S5) Reflective thinking

  • The Film Music of John Williams (MUSI370)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide students with an account of John Williams' film music output (including stylistic development and compositional technique). To provide students with an understanding of the relationship between John Williams' film music and the narrative and dramatic content of the relevant films. To provide students with an understanding of the relationship between John Williams' film music and traditional or historical compositional techniques. To provide students with an appreciation of the contextual issues relevant to understanding John Williams' film music (e.g. Hollywood; directorial vision; populism etc).

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the development of John Williams' film music output (from a stylistic perspective).

    (LO2) To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relationship between John Williams' film music and earlier compositional traditions and conventions.

    (LO3) To be able to relate elements of John William's compositional technique to specific film contexts or mechanics.

    (LO4) To demonstrate an awareness of broader critical and cultural issues, as relevant to situating John William's film music in context.

    (LO5) To be able to apply knowledge, understanding, and awareness (as described in the prior learning outcomes). To original case-study film examples.

    (S1) Research skills

    (S2) Communication skills

    (S3) Comprehension

    (S4) Writing skills

    (S5) Applied skills

    (S6) IT skills

    (S7) Critical Thinking

  • Digital Cultures in the Americas (HISP348)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To introduce students to key conceptual debates on the production and context of mainstream and non-mainstream moving and still images;  

    To develop students ability to apply key theoretical debates to the study of digital cultures, platforms, and online content from across the Americas';

    To encourage students to examine the use, reuse, curation and distribution by professionals and amateurs of materials online and in film;

    To enhance students' skills of critical analysis and independent thinking.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Show an awareness of the key theoretical and conceptual debates on the creation and distribution of non mainstream moving and still images.

    (LO2) Demonstrate an applied knowledge of the wider historical context in which non mainstream moving and still images circulate.

    (LO3) Apply theoretical approaches or critical secondary literature to the analysis of non mainstream moving and still images.

    (LO4) Successfully apply close textual analysis of a range of material produced by non mainstream creators.

    (S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

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

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

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

    (S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Communicating for audience

    (S6) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Media analysis

    (S7) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S8) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

    (S9) Information skills - Critical reading

    (S10) Skills in using technology - Online communications skills

  • Media, Politics and Climate Change (POLI345)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    Introduce students to the political and scientific realities of climate change and energy, as they are currently understood and contested;

    Explore journalistic practice in the realm of climate change and energy security, and the economic and political imperatives that drive it;

    Investigate how a range of media (and media genres, like documentaries) cover climate change and energy security, and with what impact on those exposed;

    Review the social and political implications of media (under) representations of climate change, and what this tells us about contemporary democracy.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will be achieve a basic understanding of the science behind climate change and energy security, alongside an appreciation of how politics impinges on climate change address/policy and the mediation of the topic

    (LO2) Students will be able to appreciate how journalists struggle to engage with the climate change and energy security issues, and do so in an increasingly pressured environment

    (LO3) Students will become aware of how the conventional and new media cover climate change and energy security; how climate scepticism impinges on the framing of stories; and how exposure to coverage influences public perceptions

    (LO4) Students will develop a grasp of what the mediation and politicisation of climate change tell us about power and democracy in contemporary society

    (LO5) Students should be able to communicate their understanding in cogent form in a varierty of non-written media

    (S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

    (S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

    (S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - visual

    (S5) Working in groups and teams - Group action planning

    (S6) Working in groups and teams - Negotiation skills

The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.


Teaching and Learning

Weekly lectures and seminar discussions may be supplemented by screening sessions, presentations and opportunities for group work where appropriate. We regularly invite expert speakers and practitioners to speak to our students about their work. Some modules also make use of our specialist equipment or software.

Dissertation and work placement modules involve more independent study, but always under the careful individual supervision of a member of academic staff.


Assessment

We are committed to using a range of different forms of assessment, so types of assessment vary widely from module to module. Depending on your choice of modules, these may include coursework projects, essays, blogs, reports, literature reviews, writing exercises, presentations, online tests and unseen examinations.