COM8057 : Media Analysis

  • Offered for Year: 2013/14
  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Deborah Chambers
  • Lecturer: Dr James Ash
  • Teaching Assistant: Dr Gareth Longstaff, Miss Lina Khoulani, Dr Stephen Walls
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


•       To enable students to gain a sophisticated understanding of sociological and cultural debates about the media and society through a number of case studies
•       To advance students’ knowledge of the changing role of the mass media in a global context
•       To provide a critical understanding of the concepts of media globalisation, media ethics, and key theories of the media
•       To enable students to gain a comprehensive understanding of social and cultural theories of old and new media
•       To provide students with the opportunity to extend their knowledge of the relationship between media production, forms, texts and audiences
•       To enable students to comprehend the political economy of the media and the formation of policy and organisational processes and practices
•       To enable students to gain an understanding of media representations including the relationship between media texts and readers/audiences
•       To provide knowledge of the production, communication and interpretation of meaning in traditional and new media

The module offers students the opportunity to gain an advanced knowledge of key theories, concepts and debates required to analyse the intersection of media and society. Through a series of case studies, students will be introduced to contemporary debates about media, power and publicity through the following topics: globalisation, new media technologies, the political economy of the media, the public sphere and media organisations, and the relationship between production, and consumption of media texts. Theories, concepts and debates about media and society will provide students with the analytical tools needed throughout the course to engage critically with contemporary approaches to the media.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will include the following topics:

Introduction to media analysis
Approaches to media analysis
Media representations, semiotics and stereotypes
Discursive approaches to analyzing representations
Media technologies and cultural forms
Social media and changing relationships
The political economy of the media
Defining media globalisation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1172:00172:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module aims to advance students’ knowledge and understanding of media analysis through the study of a range of key concepts theories and case studies. Lectures introduce and develop ideas and case study material and the seminars allow students to consider, assess and debate material in further detail. Seminars will involve small group work, spoken presentations. This will be combined with private study and essay writing.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M30Individual project of 1000 words consisting of a media analysis exercise
Essay1A70Individual essay of 3000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assignment 1:
Individual analysis exercise
For the first assignment, students are asked to produce an individual analysis exercise of 1000 words. This assignment allows students to develop the skills needed to analyze a media text. Students are asked to demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of the key concepts and approaches media studies required for such an analysis. One of the following media texts are to be selected for analysis:

Newspaper article or photo
TV programme
Magazine article or photo
Video game

Assignment 2:
For the second assignment, students are required to write an individual essay of 3000 words. Students are asked to analyse an aspect of the media by engaging with a particular contemporary issue. Students must assess the strengths and weaknesses of approaches and theories in the study of the media, culture and society. The summative assessment will allow students to familiarise themselves with theories, problems and issues raised in the module and to develop a critical understanding of the intersection of media and society.

Reading Lists