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Research is a vital activity of media professionals and academics. This subject offers a critical introduction to the traditions, approaches and methods used to conduct research into media industries, texts, audiences and platforms. This subject is designed to introduce students to major approaches to media and communications research at an intermediate level. It covers approaches drawn from both humanities and social sciences, including approaches to the analysis of media texts, investigating media audiences, media engagement and media use. Students completing this subject will gain a deeper understanding of a range of different theoretical perspectives on media, and the way in which these are connected to different heuristic and methodological approaches to investigation and research. To this end, the subject draws on a variety of case studies and applications which students will be invited to critically consider. On completing this subject, students will have developed an understanding of different perspectives on and approaches to investigating media, as a basis upon which they can go on to design and undertake their own research projects.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- the ability to understand a variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, and the relationships and differences between them, that are relevant to the study of media and communications;
- the ability to compare and contrast different approaches, recognising their different emphases, strengths and weaknesses;
- the ability to identify how different approaches can be applied to the investigation of particular problems, as a grounds for pursuing their own research; and
- the ability to critically engage with media texts using scholarly methods and reflect on one’s own practices.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- be able to demonstrate competence in reading relevant academic literature and in reflecting critically on that body of literature;
- be able to demonstrate conformity to appropriate forms of written presentation in academic work; and
- be able to demonstrate a general awareness of the role of theory in understanding social life.
Last updated: 28 July 2023