Media and film studies

Questioning the Media A

Module code: P4006
Level 4
30 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module examines ways of questioning media forms, texts and systems. It explores the breadth of media studies through attention to the ways in which media matter in the formation of individual and collective identities and in the practices of everyday life. In the more public world, to what extent are media key to providing knowledge and enabling the debate necessary to the practices of democracy? The module enables you to build on your own experiences of media as consumers, audiences and users. It encourages critical attention to how the field of media studies has historically been forged through its key figures and to the tools for questioning the media they have developed.

The module ranges across media and genres, engaging with both contemporary and historical material. Topics may include: audience pleasure and identity; representations and power; public knowledge; the social impact of the rise of digital media.

Key terms may include: criticism, critical thinking, identity, textual analysis, representation, semiotics, power, public knowledge, institutions.

Embedded in the module is the development of study skills appropriate to the study of media at undergraduate level, including organising study time, note taking, essay writing and referencing, with particular attention being paid to constructing arguments and being critical.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding and deployment of basic theories and concepts, for example, 'identity', 'pleasure', 'representation', 'discourse', public service, 'public sphere', 'ideology' in the analysis of media.
  • Demonstrate a range of relevant study skills, including taking concise and relevant notes on reading; writing an essay; researching bibliography on a set topic; organising time.
  • Demonstrate awareness and knowledge of particular authors and an ability to evaluate some aspects of their scholarship in the media field.
  • Demonstrate qualitative evaluation and interpretation of media texts.