Module Catalogue 2019/20

MCH3077 : Politics, Power and Communication

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Majid Khosravinik
  • Lecturer: Dr Joss Hands
  • 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



The module aims to:

•       familiarise students with the key theoretical frameworks and current debates in the field of political communication;

•       provide an understanding of the impact of the media on democratic processes at national level and the shaping of international relations in a global context;

•       equip students with skills to undertake research in the field of political communication, to be able to analyse political discourses in the media (the production, distribution and consumption of these discourses);

•       engage students in a critical discussion of various theoretical models and their validity at both national and global level, especially in the context of the changing nature of technology and communication patterns that impact on the public sphere;

•       provide a thorough understanding of the ethical dimensions of political communication processes;

•       familiarise students with the processes of political marketing and advertising and the role of PR in political communication;

•       explore the processes involved in reporting on conflicts.

Outline Of Syllabus

Media and Democracy
Media politics and economy
Political Discourse Analysis
Political Campaigns, Advertising and Public Relations
Mass/new media and power
Digital Media and politics of identity
Digital Techno-Discursive Analysis and populism
Digital Democracy
New media politics and critique

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

The module provides students with:
An advanced understanding of the relationship between media and politics;

Familiarity with the research methods and practices used in field;

A thorough understanding of theoretical frameworks that conceptualise the relationship between media and politics;

Sophisticated understanding political communication in social, cultural and political contexts;

Conceptual knowledge of power in society and how power operates through forms of political communication;

Conceptual knowledge on issues of politics of digital media as well as politics within digital media practices.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The module will enable students to:
• critically appraise key academic debates about political communication
• apply complex theories to changing media organisations, forms, texts and audiences
• independently carry out various forms of research for assignments involving sustained independent enquiry
• evaluate and draw upon the range of sources and the conceptual frameworks appropriate to research in political communication
• deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem-solving approach
• independently gather, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively, orally and in written form.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study154:0054:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MCH8177Politics, Power and Communication
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module examines the practices of political communication in contemporary society and introduces key theoretical and methodological approaches for the study of production, distribution and consumption of political discourses. It uses the formal lectures to provide an initial guide to impart this knowledge via interactive sessions. The sessions provide the basis through which advanced study designed to engage with the forefront of academic study can take place. Alongside the lectures, seminars provide a space where students can engage in critical discussions of the theoretical frameworks presented during the lectures as well as a relevant range of case studies and examples. A number of optional tutorials with the students will take place that will provide extra support as and where necessary. These tutorials will invite students to reflect on their own learning practices, leading them to consider the areas they need further support and guidance.

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 study2M401500 words case study
Essay2A60Essay, 2500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The theoretical essay will allow students to make proof of advanced analytical and critical skills, to develop their information literacy skills while exploring the relevant body of literature and practice their writing skills. They will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the chosen theoretical framework, its importance in developing a clear and coherent argument, as well as its limitations.

The assessed case study will test students’ research skills, problem solving abilities, adaptability and initiative, as well as the student’s critical use of relevant research and theoretical perspectives based on the collection and submission of empirical material.
Both assessments allow students to develop critical and evaluative skills and stress the importance of working to deadlines and goals.


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.