Social Media and Critical Practice B (P5089)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

Social media has become the way of framing much internet and mobile media and the implications of this turn are important. We use social media platforms in our everyday life and they have become influential in journalism, promotional culture, education and across the media industries. However, their pervasiveness and significance go unchallenged and are largely celebrated through the language of participation, communication and freedom. This module aims to stand back from the everyday ubiquity of these forms to question and analyse them by using them critically and creatively.

The module examines a range of social media platforms and equips you to analyse them critically. We look at the promise and perils of these new forms, the histories of their emergence, their institutional and structural shape and power, and the politics, economics, aesthetics and pleasures attached to them. In particular we look at the way in which race and gender intersect with issues such as algorthmic bias and surveillance. Critical methods are supplemented by digital methods used to analyse social media data which are developed across a series of workshops.



29%: Practical (Workshop)
71%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 28 hours of contact time and about 272 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: