Module Catalogue 2020/21

MCH3168 : Cultural Phenomena and the Role of the Media, Digital/Social Media and PR (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Iain Wheeldon
  • 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 will explore (the concept of) cultural phenomena and the role that mainstream media (broadcast media, digital media, print media), social media and PR campaigns can play in how cultural phenomena are formed, shaped, sustained and decline.

This is explored through a series of key themes; ‘Cultural Phenomena’, 'Virality & The Internet’, ‘Social Currency’, ‘Triggers,’ Emotion', ‘Public’, ‘Practical Value’, ‘Stories, 'Blockbusters', 'Audiences', 'Events/Festivals' 'Branding' 'Consumer Culture' and 'Cultural Capital'.

The module will utilise (both historical and topical) case studies drawn from current and past Exhibitions, Artworks, Music, Films, Sporting Events, Festivals and Regional, National & International Events.

The module will encourage students to engage with the changing nature of media and through their own interaction with case studies and literature. This will allow them to critically examine their own engagement with different forms of digital cultural communication, and reflect on how they themselves implicitly/ explicitly contribute to the growth and decline of cultural phenomena.

Outline Of Syllabus

- Key themes in this module will include; Virality & The Internet, Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, Stories, Blockbusters, Audiences, Events, Branding, Consumer Culture, Cultural Capital.

- The module will also include assignment briefing and surgery.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to

1.       Understand and critically analyse the key characteristics of Cultural Phenomena
2.       Use a wide variety of research methods to gather and interpret examples appropriate to the module themes
3.       Understand and critically analyse the role of different media platforms in relation to the module themes
4.       Develop familiarity with key theoretical frameworks used for analysing media and PR material and how they apply to the module themes
5.       Deepen their critical understanding of their own role in the development and decline of Cultural Phenomena

Intended Skill Outcomes

On completion of the modules, students should be able to

1.       Understand and critically analyse the characteristics of Cultural Phenomena; specifically how they develop, grow and decline.
2.       Understand and critically analyse the role of social media, PR and mainstream media in the development, growth and decline of Cultural Phenomena
3.       Utilise a range of effective research methods appropriate to identifying historical and current examples of Cultural Phenomena
4.       Independently evaluate and apply a range conceptual frameworks appropriate to the module themes.
5.       Carry out various forms of advanced research, identifying case studies for small group teaching and essays.
6.       Deliver work to a specified length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MCH8168Cultural Phenomena and the Role of the Media, Digital/Social Media and PR
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures in the module will introduce students to the key concepts, debates and ideas relating to Cultural Phenomena.

Small group teaching will enable these theoretical issues to be discussed and explored in a more informal setting and will include the presentation of case studies and readings relevant to the themes of the module.

The ongoing presentation/ use of case studies will allow students to develop awareness of the subjects and consolidate theoretical concepts, methodological approaches as well as allow them to reflect on practical implications/ impacts of their own use of media and communication tools.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study2M301,000 word case study from a recent media report, film, television programme, publicly used image or exhibition on a relevant topic
Essay2A703,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Part one of the assignment is the analysis of current or historical case study. This is a written assignment and should be based on a relevant example of a cultural phenomenon. Students will be asked to discuss and analyse the case study in relation to the key module themes.

The second part of the assignment is an essay, selected from a list of questions relating to key topics and themes addressed in the module. Critical thinking, academic research, writing and referencing skills will be assessed across both modules.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 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 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.