Skip to main content

Introduction to Media, Journalism and Culture

This course is currently unavailable for booking

There are currently no upcoming dates available for this course. Be the first to know when new dates are announced by joining the mailing list.

What we see in the media isn’t always a mirror image of what’s happening in the world.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to different ways of reading and examining the media, which will include researching and theorising media production, content, and audiences as well as exploring where these topics fit in the wider context of Media, Journalism and Cultural Studies.

As a useful foundation ahead of any specialism within media analysis, it is an essential examination of the scholars, practitioners, institutions, corporations and topics that have shaped the modern landscape of journalism and news-production.

This course provides a specific focus on news as a crucial contemporary issue, as well as exploring the history of media and news production.

Overall, this course enables a wider understanding of contemporary multi-dimensional news platforms by examining the theories that feature within journalistic practice and scholarship today.

This course is the core module on the Pathway to a degree in Media, Journalism and Culture.

Learning and teaching

This course consists of 12 weekly meetings and two Saturday day schools taught via blended delivery.

Each weekly meeting comprises a 2.5-hour session (some in person and some online), while day schools run from 10:00 to 17:00.

These sessions will include lectures, class discussions and debates, pair-work and group work, source analysis activities and exercises to develop your academic skills.

There will also be an emphasis on learning outside the classroom which will be facilitated by recommended reading and the university’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central.

Students will be supported by academic staff with a keen interest in adult learning, who understand what it means to return to learning.

Provisional syllabus

  • Week 1 – Introduction (in person)
  • Week 2 – Big Ideas (online)
  • Week 3 – More Big Ideas (online)
  • Week 4 – Digital (online)
  • Saturday Day School 1 – Advertising (in person)
  • Week 5 – Television (online)
  • Week 6 – Print (in person)
  • Week 7 – The Public Sphere (online)
  • Week 8 – Media Audiences 1 (online)
  • Saturday Day School 2 – Constructing News (in person)
  • Week 9 – Media Audiences 2 (online)
  • Week 10 – Citizen/Community Journalism (online)
  • Week 11 – Fake news (online)
  • Week 12 – Summing up (in person)

Coursework and assessment

The course is assessed through a variety of different ways, including a reflective account, a literature review portfolio, in-class assessment, an essay plan and an essay.

The course gives you the chance to try out different kinds of short assessment methods and to build up a portfolio of work throughout the term.

Each piece of assessed work builds upon the skills you learn throughout the course and will give you the confidence to go on to studying further courses on the Pathway to a degree in Media, Journalism and Culture.

Reading suggestions

  • Allan, S.(2010). News Culture. Maidenhead: Open University Press
  • Corner, J. (1999). Critical Ideas in Television Studies. New York: Oxford University Press
  • Curran. J. (2002). Media and Power. London: Routledge
  • Devereux, E. (2003). Understanding the Media. London: Sage
  • Devereux, E. (ed). (2007). Media Studies: Key Issues and Debates. Los Angeles: Sage
  • Dyer, G. (1996). Advertising as Communication
  • Fenton, N. (2010). New Media, Old News: Journalism and Democracy in the Digital Age. London: Sage
  • Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press
  • McQuail, D. (2010). McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory. London: Sage.

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.