Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

Learn more about the modules study abroad students can take at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

Module codeMC2107
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module is organised to provide a conceptual overview of feminist research approaches to contemporary media.  Important theoretical and methodological issues will be examined in relation to case studies to illustrate the media's role in the construction of contemporary gender relations.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeMC3517
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module introduces students to a range of concepts and issues centring around the study of television, taking TV drama as its primary focus. Firstly, arguments concerning how to approach television from a scholarly perspective, and why the study of TV drama has been central to academic discussions of television, will be outlined to provide you with a solid understanding of television as a media form shaped by social, cultural, technological and, crucially, industrial factors. This will involve tracing the historical development of television from eras of ‘TVI’ to the contemporary digital or ‘TVIII’ era whilst recognising the types of drama produced by the industry as a response to these changes. Students will also be introduced to how industrial policies and cultural perceptions of television impact upon aspects of television form (such as narrative, genre etc.) and come to structure TV dramas such as Lost, Sex and the City and Doctor Who. Finally, debates concerning television audiences are approached highlighting how forms of audience measurement, and relationships between fans and producers, are constructed from an industrial perspective and the impact these have on making TV drama.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Report: 20%
  • Written assessment: 40%
Module codeMC3549
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

The first part of the course looks at the history of propaganda and its organisation and practice in one-party states, including Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.  The second part of the course looks at the development of war reporting and war propaganda from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 40%
  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Seminar: 10%
Module codeMC3551
LevelL5
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module will provide an introduction to the theoretical principles of media research, as well as developing skills for undertaking your own research on the significance, influence or use of media in society. The module teaches the necessary skills for data collection and analysis, as well as for critiquing published research. It will thus provide a foundation for all second year students before you embark on third year modules, which require primary research, or for those intending to write a dissertation. This module will provide the necessary information and tools for undertaking an academic study: focusing on choosing the right research question; designing valid and reliable measures; as well as providing basic skills for analysing the results. The module will include instruction on a range of different methodologies used in media research, both quantitative and qualitative, including surveys, interviews, content analysis and focus groups.

Assessment

  • Portfolio: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codeMC3566
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module will introduce students to the histories, development and interrelationships of visual media, focusing on early media devices, photography, cinema, television and digital media. We will review technological developments and conceptualisations of visual media forms in their wider historical and cultural contexts, exploring the ideas and forces that have shaped their evolution. We will examine the roles of key pioneers of visual media technologies and debate topics such as: aesthetics, “art vs. science”, industry and “truth-telling”.  In doing such, this module will survey both practical and theoretical aspects of media ranging from early histories to modern times, including a variety of subjects and styles.

Assessment

  • Oral/aural assessment: 10%
  • Class test: 20%
  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Written assessment: 40%
Module codeMC3577
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module focuses on some of the major themes and topics in the realms of popular culture. It introduces students to the most common examples and forms of what is taken to be popular culture, and examines the film, media, journalistic, political and academic debates associated with these examples. The module introduces students to the forms and developments of common debates, and develops students’ knowledge of the specific contributions of media and cultural studies scholarship in these areas. In doing so, the module equips students with a developed awareness of popular cultural debates and the specificity of cultural studies orientations to popular culture.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeMC3585
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module considers the historically complex relationship between media and childhood in western societies.  It will examine a number of longstanding debates on media and children with the aim of understanding contemporary views and responses to children’s media use, representation and production as well as wider issues around media education, policy and children’s rights.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 20%
  • Presentation: 30%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeMC3589
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This is NOT a practical module; it is an academic study of news culture. Aims include:

1) To examine evolution of news, particularly the development of and competition between public service and commercial broadcasters.

2) To draw on research into 24-news, elections, devolution and wider international issues.

3) Overall, to unpack contemporary news practices and evaluate how effective news is in communicating information to audiences.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codeMC3593
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

Following 9.11 and the 7.7 London tube bombings, stories about terrorism were rarely absent from media headlines. Religious and cultural difference in Britain became a politically hot topic, and multiculturalism was subjected to vigorous critique for supposedly fuelling social division and conflict. Meanwhile, concerns about national and border security have featured within in a hostile public debate about immigration, asylum and refugee issues, and alarming stories about the rise of gun and knife crime have pervaded the news in recent years, presenting images of violent urban youth cultures and dangerous city streets.

Media, Racism and Conflict will explore a range of contemporary issues, focusing upon how these have been constructed as conflicts in the media and the extent to which racism has played a role within these conflicts. The module will critically examine print and broadcast news media, but also current affairs and documentary programming, film and television drama in order to explore a series of questions about racialised conflict in the media, including how boundaries are drawn between ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’ cultural identities, the role of policing and counter terrorism and the media’s role in public debates about cultural diversity, national identity and public security.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 75%
  • Oral/aural assessment: 25%
Module codeMC3595
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

Some of the biggest problems we face as a species hinge on our ability to deal with the social, political, and ethical issues thrown up by science: how should we respond to man-made climate change? Should we eat GM foods? Should we invest in a new generation of nuclear power? What food is it safe to eat?

How should we tackle our big public health challenges?

Most of what the public knows about science comes from the media, but many argue the news does not (and perhaps cannot) give us the kind of high-quality, independent, information we need in order to properly answer those questions. This module aims to introduce, explore and analyse key issues related to how science, the environment, and health are covered in the news. Students will be introduced to key ideas and theories which will allow them to critically evaluate how and why these stories are reported in the news media

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codeMC3599
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

Widespread understandings of contemporary politics suggest that news media bridge the gap between citizens and their representatives, informing society at large about political issues and debates, providing a platform for politicians and institutions to announce proposals and policies, and informing representatives (and citizens themselves) about the state of public opinion. New media, in turn, have often been perceived as the ultimate democratic panacea, enabling all citizens to publicly express their concerns and to participate directly in democratic politics.

 

This module will explore the relationships between journalism, new media, and citizens’ political participation, following relevant academic debates. Amongst many others, the module will shed light over the following questions: Does journalism foster citizens’ political participation? Does it contribute to citizens’ alleged disenchantment with politics instead? Have new media increased citizens’ political activism? Are social media (facebook, twitter…) contributing to making contemporary politics more inclusive, participatory and democratic? 

Assessment

  • Study: 10%
  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeMC3600
LevelL5
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module focuses on:

  1. The principles underpinning the way media law operates in the UK. This will include examining a number of legal problems associated with the internet in the context of reporting the courts and protecting reputation.
  2. How the law seeks to balance the support for freedom of expression while at the same time offering remedies for those whose reputations have been unfairly attacked by the media. Too much legal constraint can lead to allegations of censorship.
  3. Reporting the courts: an analysis of the way reporting restrictions can offend against the principles of open justice and freedom of the press.
  4. Contempt of Court and how to avoid falling foul of the laws. Pre-trial publicity.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codeMC3607
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module will critically evaluate the variety of roles that media play in a number of different conflicts situations. This will include an examination of the role of the media in representing political protests and demonstrations.It will also involve an examination of the way the media has represented and influenced the course of a number of sub-state conflicts including Israel-Palestine, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Rwanda. In these conflicts the media has served very different roles, from the incitement to genocide to the promotion of peace and reconciliation. The module will also examine the impact of the media on foreign policy decision making and question whether graphic coverage of distant suffering can trigger humanitarian interventions from Western states, the phenomenon dubbed the ‘CNN Effect’. In the latter part of the semester we will examine the role of key actors in mediating conflict including journalists, documentary makers and NGOs.The module will conclude by examining the multiplicity of roles played by the media in the ‘War on Terror’ and the significance of new media in the 2011 Arab revolts.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeMC3608
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

The ‘creative industries’ constitutes one of the fastest growing employment sectors in the UK covering film, TV, video games, advertising, performing arts, architecture, museums and galleries, software design and fashion (for example).  This module will provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the ‘creative economy’, help them to understand the emerging synergies between these different areas of activity, and give them an opportunity to think about how they might wish to position themselves in relation to them going forwards.

Students will take a critical approach to the term ‘creative industries’ and the rhetorics of ‘creativity’, ‘innovation’ and ‘impact’ that often accompany its use. They will be required to evaluate the practicalities and possibilities of creative/media work, and reflect on how such work impacts on the look, feel and prosperity of ‘place’.

Assessment

  • Class test: 30%
  • Written assessment: 70%
Module codeMC3610
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module takes at its starting point the posing of the question ‘what is television now?’ As a social, cultural, technological and political form television has undoubtedly changed, and continues to change, within the twenty-first century. No longer is it simply a domestic technology. ‘Television’ has instead mutated to now be available across a variety of media platforms whilst its content spills outside of its traditional boundaries to generate additional content such as online material. Similarly, the television industry has altered from purely addressing national specificities to instead encapsulate a globalised network that includes co-productions and the selling of programme formats (including reality TV franchises) to individual nations. This module will introduce you to the key debates and practices affecting all areas of British television nowadays by tackling the important and ever-changing developments affecting both industry structures, the production of television content and how audiences engage within British television in the digital era.

Assessment

  • Presentation: 15%
  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codeMC3611
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

The ways in which media are produced and consumed are undergoing fundamental changes. Citizen journalism is both complementing and challenging the journalist profession, grassroots media production has expanded people's opportunities to raise their voice and provide alternative accounts, tactical media and alternative forms of cultural expression are interfering with established media processes and messages, community broadcasting is increasingly recognized as ‘third media sector’ next to commercial and public service media, and online activism has been at the core of recent political transformations such as the Arab Spring.

In this module we will explore the variety of citizen-based and participatory media practices, from community radio and the alternative press to cyber-activism and social media uses. We will discuss the theoretical and conceptual background of alternative and civil society-based communication, analyse key characteristics and investigate its role in cultural, economic, social and political dynamics. This module will help students understand the broader range of non-mainstream media practices, the scholarly debate on citizen media, and current trends in this field.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 60%
  • Written assessment: 40%