Module code: SOC1044

Module Overview

This compulsory Year 1 module offers insight into central theoretical and conceptual debates in the field of media and communications as a social science. The module locates media and communications as an interdisciplinary field, introducing students to sociological, cultural, political-economic theories which shape the way we have approached media and communications, paying attention to changing communication environments and the transforming role of media and mediation in contemporary media and data-saturated societies. The course introduces students to classical scholars and thinkers in the field, paying attention also to the rise and fall of debates which have shaped the way we understand media and communications today.

Module provider


Module Leader

HODKINSON Paul (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

• Mediation and mediatisation
• The political economy of communication
• Critical cultural theories in media and communication
• Democratic theories of media and communication
• Globalisation and communication

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1000 WORD ESSAY 40
Examination 1 HOUR EXAMINATION 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to conduct independent library research, focusing on research published in academic journals, on a current topic relevant to theories and concepts in media and communication.

The first assignment (40% of the grade) is a 1000 word essay which focuses on finding and making use of academic sources relevant to the essay question set. It assesses the ability to write a critical essay using these sources.
The second assignment (60% of the grade) is a 1 hour unseen examination which builds on the feedback students receive for their first assignment.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive feedback within the seminars on their progress as seminar questions are responded to and discussed. The summative assessment in the first assignment also provides formative feedback which is directly relevant to the second summative assessment

Module aims

  • To introduce students to foundational theories and concepts in media and communication studies
  • To encourage students to critically engage with these theories.
  • To begin to explore what it means to live reflexively in mediated/mediatised societies of contemporary times

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Evaluate critically several approaches to communication theories and concepts CK
002 Apply theoretical ideas to cases and examples in mediated societies CK
003 Identify scholarly literature relevant to the module CPT
004 Organise ideas and thoughts and speak about these in seminar discussions PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

1. The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Offer students lectures that provide a critical overview of various topics relevant to media and communication theories in contemporary mediated societies. Students expand on this knowledge base through a weekly programme of essential readings supplemented by their choice of background reading.
Give students the chance to experience each of the topics in action, through seminar exercises which focus on case studies or exercises covering the range of topics examined in the module.
Support confidence in independent literature research through a focus on journal article(s) in the lecture and exercises on finding and critically appreciating journal articles.

The learning and teaching methods include:

11 one-hour lectures which cover key topics.
11 one-hour seminars carrying out work on exercises and case studies relevant to the key topics.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC1044

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Media and Communication BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.