Module Catalogue 2019/20

MCH2088 : Feminist Approaches to Media Analysis

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Karen Ross
  • Lecturer: Dr Anne Carruthers
  • Teaching Assistant: Ms Marloes Jansen
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims to introduce students to some of the key themes associated with the relationship between media and gender, using key theoretical concepts such as patriarchy, framing and agenda- setting to explore the varied forms of gendered media relations. We will look at the ways in which versions of masculinity and femininity are routinely circulated in popular media through a discussion of examples drawn from newspapers, TV and radio. We will also explore the kinds of gendered relations which exist within media industries themselves, looking at the gendered political economy of the sector. Who speaks in the media says important things about voice, agency and authority and we will be looking at the ways in which women and men as public and private figures are encouraged to or prevented from speaking in the media. We will also discuss the ways in which women and men have subverted the media’s agenda by developing their own media artefacts from both within mainstream media but also in the independent sector. Gender is more complicated than simply the biological differences between women and men and turns on the constructed and normative nature of those differences and the module will aim to unpack this casual term by interrogating the implicit forms of difference such as ‘race’, disability, sexuality, class and age which are also constructed and contested terms. Importantly, module content and the readings associated with each topic are historically grounded in research theory and practice and draw on current research practice and findings as disseminated through discipline-based journals with an international focus. Constructed notions such as gender and ethnicity are both culturally and geopolitically situated and it is important to understand local, regional, national and international contexts when exploring gender and media, not least because so much media is now globally accessible and distributed. Students are expected to use electronic databases and other bibliographic resources to access contemporary examples of current research in a global context.

Outline Of Syllabus

Theories of gender in/and media
The disciplined body
Disruptive identities
Race and sex
Ageing bodies
Gendering media industries
Gender in/and the news
Shifting masculinities
Criminal intent
Gender and digital media

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of the module, students should have an understanding of the ways in which issues of gender inflect different kinds of media and different genres within media. They should understand the ways in which gender is constructed in and through the media and how characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, sexuality and disability, work with gender to produce multilayered subject positions, for both consumers and texts. More specifically, they should have knowledge of, and be able to discuss critically:
•       theories about the relationship between gender and media;
•       research on different aspects of the gender-media dyad, including at the level of reception, content and production;
•       the ways in which women and men are differently represented within mainstream media texts and the extent to which those differences are consciously played
•       the ways in which new media challenge or confirm traditional, sex-based differences in both use and representation.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students will also have developed intellectual and practical attributes in:
•       critical review and engagement with work in different social science disciplines, noting the distinctiveness of different theoretical and methodological approaches;
•       analysis and argument, drawing on a wide range of bibliographic materials;
•       understanding how qualitative and quantitative research approaches have been used in research;
•       presentation skills;
•       problem-solving;
•       reflective practice;
•       practical research skills, eg identifying relevant examples to illustrate the topics under discussion and being able to talk about such choices;
•       writing succinctly via responses to discussion list questions;
•       you will develop graduate attributes including a professional and ethical approach to work, curiosity about the world and understand how to be a global citizen.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures constitute the primary building blocks to develop knowledge and understanding and seminars provide opportunities for students to discuss the key issues presented each week, using their own reading and media examples to better understand theory, practice and research and how current social issues have a gendered dimension and impact on our lives in different ways. The combination of lecture and seminar enables the learning outcomes to be met.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M30See rationale
Poster2M10in-class presentation/poster
Essay2A602,000-2,200 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2Min-class feedback on presentations
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Providing a variety of courseworks enables students to demonstrate a range of skills, both practical and intellectual.
Encouraging students to engage with the literature and/or contemporary media enables them to participate in
seminars in a more meaningful and thoughtful way and embeds learning in a way more likely to be internalised and understood. Spreading the assessment load across the module’s time span is especially helpful in a third-year module, when students are also likely to be undertaking large-scale assessments such as dissertations. Elaboration of assessment components:
Summative assessment comprises two pieces of coursework and a presentation.
CW1 (30%) - portfolio of short research reports produced on each week’s lecture topic, either summarising one of the week’s readings OR a relevant reading of their own choice OR discussing a relevant media example) – each report to be produced in powerpoint comprising one slide in poster format and uploaded to the module’s blackboard page at least 24 hours before the seminar. At the end of the module, the reports/posters will be composited into ONE document and submitted as ONE piece of coursework. If students present more than once during the module, they can choose which one they want to be assessed.
CW2 (10%) – powerpoint (or similar) presentation of at least one research report to be presented and discussed during one of the weekly seminars.
CW3 (60%) – essay of 2000-2200 words (excluding reference list) – topics to be provided in week 1.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.