Media and film studies

Debates in Media Studies A

Module code: P4061
Level 4
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar, Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework

Throughout this module, you'll encounter some of the most well-known and widely regarded theoretical and critical approaches used in the study of media today. It will help you to identify and analyse the debates circulating around those approaches. In asking ‘what is the subject of media’ and ‘how should we study it?’, different approaches come up with very different answers. Media can be approached as ritual, (global) industry, meaning-maker, technology, dreamworld, everyday life, work place and sensual pleasure machine. Focus can switch from media production and organisation to analysis of media output, from exploration of consumption and use to the bigger issue of media in society.

In carving a way through this complexity, the module will introduce you to a few key frameworks – for example ‘political economy’, ‘critical race studies’, ‘psychoanalysis’, ‘feminist media theory’ – and alert you to how differences of approach have emerged depending on the specific medium or cultural form (radio, TV, cinema, internet, newspaper, advertising, music etc). However, a repeated reference point for the module is the cultural output of media and methods analysis, especially modes of textual analysis.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the work of key scholars associated with particular approaches and begin to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their studies.
  • Demonstrate an ability to mobilise appropriate approaches in the analysis of selected media examples and texts.
  • Develop ideas and arguments effectively in written form.
  • Show evidence of planned collaborative work and developing skills in presenting a team effort.