Module Catalogue 2024/25

MCH1023 : Media Studies

MCH1023 : Media Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Joss Hands
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr James Ash
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This introductory module aims to enable students to:
1.       Gain critical knowledge of the role of mass media communications.
2.       Reflect on the ways in which mass media industries shape and frame social and political understanding.
3.       Analyse and assess some of the principal themes and issues in contemporary mass media.
4.       Examine the role of politics and power of mass media in global and local contexts.
5.       Consolidate and apply critical and evaluative skills concerning engagement with, and interpretation of, the outputs of mass media

Outline Of Syllabus

This module may include, but is not limited to, learning activities that are concerned with developing students’ understanding of:

1.       Key theories of media.
2.       Key theorists of media.
3.       The history and evolution of media technologies and institutions.
4.       Politics and media.
5.       Identity and media.

A number of critical frameworks will be used to help make sense of the above, paying particular attention to power, politics and technology.

The module encourages students to undertake close readings of a range of specific media texts and practices and to understand how producers and consumers make sense of contemporary mass media

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

A student successfully completing the module will have:
K1. Introductory knowledge of key terms, concepts, ideas and approaches relevant to understanding the role of mass media communications in contemporary cultures.
K2. An ability to link ideas and theories from media and communications studies to texts, practices, institutions and the identities within audiences.
K3. A developed understanding of how media power impact different ways of life.

Intended Skill Outcomes

A student successfully completing the module should have the following skills:
S1. Analysis – students will acquire an ability to critically analyse a range of primary texts and some of the key themes and issues that underpin the study of media and communications studies.
S2. Organisation – students will learn to demonstrate skills in synthesising and articulating key organising frameworks through which an increasingly diverse media can be understood.
S3. Sources – students will utilise a variety of primary and secondary material in the effective analysis of media as text, technology and institution. They will be given opportunity to analyse closely, interpret, and show the exercise of critical judgement in the understanding and evaluation of key concepts in media studies. S4. Confidence and independence – students will exhibit increased confidence in their communication of their understanding of the media. They will be asked to gather, organise and deploy ideas to formulate arguments and present them effectively in written and oral forms. They will be assessed on the basis of their ability to consider and evaluate academic issues and debates.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Assessment 1 Key Word exercise (750 words).
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Assessment 2 End-of-module Essay (1500 words).
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading114:0044:00Weekly readings and/or viewings.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00On-campus seminars. Can be delivered synchronously online if necessary.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study153:0053:00Independent study.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module aims to encourage the comprehension of contemporary mass media and communications in relation to content, production, consumption and use. Lectures will introduce and develop core ideas (i.e. media theories and concepts) each week, which are then later applied through task-based seminars involving students working in smaller groups to consider a theory and/or concept in more practical detail.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M35750 words. Choose one media studies keyword from list provided. Define and illustrate the meaning and importance of the term for understanding media using theorists from the module and at least one media example.
Essay1A651500 words. Answer one question from choice of topics covered in the module.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first assessment asks students to engage with key concepts from media studies in order to introduce them to engaging with subject specific academic ideas and language in a formal way. The aim is to prepare them for longer essay assignments in this module and future modules.

The final essay allows students to demonstrate their ability to research and critically analyse a particular issue or topic relating to media theory. Students choose to answer one of several questions provided in the module handbook.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 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 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.