Module code: SOC2086

Module Overview

This module expands student knowledge of the role of media and media industries in contemporary societies, placing particular emphasis on questions of domination, influence, regulation, control and inequality. We examine contrasting perspectives on the ways in which societies should regulate and manage media, covering public service broadcasting, neo-liberalism, ownership and control and questions of censorship. Students will also examine the relationship between media, social cohesion and different forms of social division and consider global perspectives to media, power and regulation.

Module provider


Module Leader

WEIDHASE Nathalie (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 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • The distinction between public service and neo-liberal approaches to media

  • Theoretical critiques and frameworks of the role of media in contemporary societies

  • Contrasting approaches to censorship of ‘harmful’ or ‘offensive’ forms of content

  • The historical development and contemporary fragmentation of the national media audience

  • The relationship between media and social divisions/inequalities

  • The implications of recent developments – including digitalisation and deregulation – for questions of media, power and control

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation ONLINE PARTICIPATION 40
Coursework ESSAY 60

Alternative Assessment

Alternative assessment for online participation: Written commentary on an appropriate module topic, 40%, addressing learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Assessment Strategy

  The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

Their knowledge of key concepts and theories in media, power and regulation, and their ability to apply these concepts to a range of contexts and examples. Assessment one assesses students’ ability to convey and discuss ideas in an online forum throughout the semester. Discussion topics tie in with lectures and readings at the time each one takes place. Assessment two focuses directly on the final learning outcome but also assesses the first three learning outcomes, centred on familiarity with concepts, connections between theoretical and practical approaches to policy and application of theory to examples.


  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Online Participation (40%), requiring students to contribute to a range of discussion topics throughout the semester, drawing upon reading and examples and interacting with the comments of others (addresses learning outcomes 1,2,3, and 4)

  • A written essay (60%), chosen from a list that covers the key issues and topics discussed on the module (addresses learning outcomes 1,2,3, and 5)


  Formative Assessment and Feedback

Students gain formative feedback throughout the semester via the interaction of their ideas with peers and the lecturer, both in class and via the online discussions. All students are encouraged to ask questions and test ideas in relation to the assignments during the weeks preceding their submission. Extensive feedback from class and assessment 1 will be available before assessment 2. 

Module aims

  • To outline different approaches to the purpose, significance and impact of media in contemporary societies.
  • To identify and scrutinise different perspectives with respect to questions of media regulation and control.
  • To engage with theory and research which relates to broader questions of media, power and inequalities.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a familiarity with key terms and concepts relating to the study of media, power and regulation KCPT
002 Recognise the distinction between different theoretical and practical approaches to the question of media regulation KCT
003 Apply theories relating to the relationships between media and power to examples relating to content, industry, technologies or audiences KCT
004 Discuss a series of topics relating to media, power and control in relation to contemporary examples both in class and online KCPT
005 Draw on the range of material covered on the module in order to construct arguments and explanations in an essay, with essay writing and referencing skills KCPT

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:

provide students with an introduction to key theories, frameworks and topics regarding the relationship between media, power and regulation. Lecture components serve to introduce core background knowledge and theoretical concepts, enthuse students about the significance and importance of the topics and arguments, and develop the understanding of core concepts and examples. Seminar discussions enable students to develop greater depth of understanding through practical exercises and discussions centred on reading and key contemporary case studies, and let students connect examples and discussions to key concepts from the lecture. SurreyLearn discussions take place throughout the module and enable interaction and feedback on a range of ideas and understandings. Students complete compulsory readings each week as preparation for class discussions.

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: SOC2086

Other information

The School of Sociology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:


Students will deepen their knowledge about media industries, and develop a clearer understanding of media policy. They will strengthen their transferable skills, including communication, writing, and time management skills.

Digital Capabilities

The module deepens understanding of the relationship between media, digital technology and society, with a particular focus on media industries and their relationship to power. Students will further develop their digital communication skills through the online participation assignment.

Global and Cultural Capabilities

The module critically explores globalized media industries, considering questions of media ownership and the possibilities and impossibilities of transnational media regulation. Students will also encounter theoretical approaches to media systems that question and expand on dominant Western theoretical perspectives.  


The relationship between media and social inequalities is explores on the module as part of the relationship between media, power and regulation. Students will investigate the role and responsibilities in reinforcing and challenging social inequalities with a specific focus on gender and race.

Resourcefulness and Resilience

The online participation assessment will build student resilience as they are in conversation with their peers. They will be able to test ideas and get peer feedback through the online discussion that develops their argument-building skills for the final essay.

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 2025/6 academic year.