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Module

MCH1025 : Introduction to Scholarly Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andrew Shail
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module trains students in the principles and methods of the scholarly study of both the general field of human phenomena and the specific field of media and culture. It dispels widespread popular misconceptions about both the study of humans and the study of media and culture, and it demonstrates the many ways that scholarly rigour and precision can be used to produce knowledge in these fields.

The module introduces students to relevant taxonomies of media and cultural objects, processes and organisations, and to orthodox and unorthodox methods of gathering and analysing a variety of types of both quantitative and qualitative evidence from all of these phenomena. These phenomena include contemporary and historical media companies, markets and audiences as well as the ‘works themselves’.

The module also explores the forms of inquiry that scholars in the field conduct, and in so doing illuminates the significant variety of scholarly disciplines and methods that bear on the study of media and culture. The module places particular emphasis on mastering a spectrum of skills, from the minutely practical – e.g. producing a detailed description of a components of a given work, such as a scene in a film – to the loftily conceptual – e.g. identifying the position that any given work’s most buried subtext takes on the political compass.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is divided into two phases:

1.       The principls of scholarly integrity, with teaching materials designed to equip students to work in the study of media and culture at university level. Topics include the principles of scholarly inquiry, avoiding logical fallacies and the sceptical handling of published scholarship.

2.       Theories and methods suited for the analysis of phenomena in media and culture, with teaching materials designed to equip students to identify patterns, politics and ideologies in media/cultural ‘texts’.
In their online seminars, students will delve further the models and distinctions explored in lectures, while in their in-person workshops, they will practice applying these models and distinctions.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials182:0036:0018 online lectures, 2 per week, each lecture equating to 2 hours of delivery
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Formative Assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion151:0051:00Essay
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading94:0036:00Weekly required reading and viewing
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities11:001:00Library briefings. Online non-synchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00PiP workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study138:0038:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Synchronous online seminars
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module is delivered in just the first semester of stage 1 to provide students with an intensive grounding in knowledge and skills that will be fundamental across the rest of their degree. Online lectures provide students with accounts and rationales of the principles and methods of good scholarly practice. In online seminars students will explore these methods and in present-in-person workshops they will apply them to selected examples of cultural works. The library briefing complements this grounding in academic integrity by outlining an array of methods for finding primary and secondary resources.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000-word account of why a very flawed essay by a fictional student deserves a specific mark according to our criteria of assessment
Essay1A502000-word essay answering a question selected from a list provided by the module leader
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay 1 requires students to employ the skills and knowledge of sceptical inquiry practised during phase 1 of the module in identifying the many ways that a piece of student work might be flawed, in this case using a piece by a fictional student (an example deliberately written, by the module leader, so as to be riddled with flaws). By requiring students to explain what mark this fictional student deserved for this essay and why, Essay 1 also familiarises students with the criteria of assessment that will be used in marking their work throughout their degree. Essay 2 tests the skills and knowledge analysis of media and cultural works learned in phase of the module.

Reading Lists

Timetable