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Media Studies: Key Thinkers and Approaches


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Dr Joel McKim (subject to change)
  • Assessment: an academic writing exercise of 1200 words (20%), intellectual biography of 1800 words (30%), take-home examination of three essay questions, 2000 words total (50%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to many of the key figures, theories and approaches within media and cultural studies, providing a critical and intellectual foundation for further study in this vibrant academic field. Each week we present an important debate, scholarly perspective or school of thought within the discipline: from medium theory, to notions of the public sphere, to questions of digital media.

A particular focus is placed on primary texts written by influential figures within the history of media studies, and you will be given guidance on how to engage with this challenging, but rewarding, theoretical material.

Indicative syllabus

  • Media history
  • Medium theory
  • Audience reception
  • Discourse
  • The public sphere
  • Semiotics
  • Ideology, hegemony, power
  • Media industries
  • Digital media