Module code: SOC2088

Module Overview

This module provides an overview of key methodological
approaches to the study of media and digital
communication in society. The focus will include printed
texts, such as newspapers and magazines, in addition to
television, radio and the Internet. Research designs for
applications within sociology, criminology and media
studies will be explored.

Module provider


Module Leader

HINE Christine (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • The design of research within specific traditions of media research

  • Analysis of textual and visual content, including semiology, quantitative content analysis and discourse analysis

  • Analysis of audiences and users, including ethnographic, survey-based and experimental methodologies

  • Analysis of institutions and of the production of media technologies

  • Methods for media research using the Internet

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have understood how to apply each of the individual methods, have a critical appreciation of the strengths and limitations of the various methods, and can draw on this knowledge to create plausible research designs of their own.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • one initial 800 word report and a further portfolio of four workshop reports amounting to 3000 words, together covering research design, data collection and analysis techniques. Students are urged to produce critical reports which draw on relevant literature. Some reports draw on more than one workshop activity, in order to promote critical comparison.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive feedback within the workshops on their progress with the workshop tasks. An additional opportunity for individual formative feedback on written work is provided by the initial summative assessment. Feedback on the first workshop report will be designed to give students information on how to improve future reports.

Module aims

  • To provide an overview of the key methodological
    approaches to the study of media and digital
    communication in society.
  • To offer students experience in designing and carrying out
    research on media and digital content.
  • To give students an appreciation of the processes of
    media and digital content production and reception in order
    to contextualise research on media and digital content.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the basic practicalities of different approaches to media research KT
002 Recognise the links between methodological approaches and particular traditions or bodies of media research KC
003 Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to media research in relation to case studies KC
004 Carry out small-scale media research projects appropriate for sociology, criminology or media and cultural studies KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Offer students a critical overview of the various methods uses in researching media via lectures. 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 methods in action, through workshop exercises which allow them to carry out research design, data collection and analysis. These workshop activities also provide the grounding for students to develop a critical understanding of the strengths and limitations of the various approaches.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 10 1 hour lectures introducing key topics in researching media

  • 10 1 hour workshops carrying out exercises in research design, data collection and analysis

  • a final two-hour session drawing together the strengths and limitations of the various approaches and supporting students in finalising their portfolios

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: SOC2088

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Media and Communication BSc (Hons) 2 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 2023/4 academic year.