Media and Communications MSc

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Comments about Media and Communications MSc - At the institution - Uxbridge - Greater London

  • Objectives
    The course will meet the needs of advanced students with backgrounds in media, sociology and other relevant disciplines, as well as professionals in the communications/broadcast industry seeking to gain a more sociologically informed understanding of those industries. Staff have a wide range of research expertise covering numerous aspects of the new information and communication technologies, as well as content analysis, ethnography, and discourse and conversation analysis.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements Normally a good Honours degree from a UK institution; preferably in the field of sociology; media; communications; or information; an equivalent overseas qualification or an equivalent professional qualification. Students whose first language is not English must have IELTS of at least 6.5 or equivalent.
  • Academic title
    Media and Communications MSc
  • Course description
    This course offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of new media and communications practices. It focuses on a critical understanding of the rapid changes in media and communications and their social and cultural consequences within an international context. The course combines theoretical and empirical study of the media including issues of media audiences together with the study of developments in information and communication technologies.

    Course Details

    Modules are subject to variation and students are advised to check with the School on whether a particular module of interest will be running in their year of entry.

    Modules (all core)

        * Media Audiences
          Main topics of study: theoretical approaches to media audiences, gender and genre: cross-national and 'subversive' audiences; Domestic technologies; media power and 'minority' readings; media production and audiences; television audiences and contemporary public issues (news and politics, health and illness, sexual violence); media effects/ influence debates; 'active' audience theory.

        * Qualitative Methods in Social and Cultural Research
          Main topics of study: developing research questions; research philosophies; ethnography; interviews; focus groups; surveys and sampling; quantitative and qualitative data analysis; politics and ethics of research.

        * The Information Society
          Main topics of study: the relationships between current transformations in the areas of new media communications and global governance; the interplay between new media, the public sphere, and processes of globalisation; the work of key information society and communications theorists such as Castells; the work of contemporary cultural and social theorists of global capitalism such as Hardt and Negri, Beck, Jessop and Urry.

        * Global Media and Popular Culture (subject to approval)
          Globalisation, media and culture - Introduction
          The Hegemony of Liberal Political Economy: Media Markets
          Mediating 'the clash of civilisations'
          Anarchy in Action? The anti-Globalisation movement and the alternative media
          Pornography, Power and Representation - Feminism and 'the Porn Wars'
          Celebrity and Popular culture
          Media and National Identity
          Post-modernity and the Rise of the Cultural Industries
          Advertising and the Aesthetization of Everyday Life
          Cultural Industries and the City

        * Dissertation
          A dissertation of approximately 15,000 words is completed over the summer period in consultation with a supervisor. You are encouraged to conduct primary research in an area relevant to the course in preparation for the dissertation.

          Examples of recent dissertations undertaken by students on the course include:
              o British Press Coverage of the Iraq Invasion
              o TV Consumption, Identity and Lifestyle: A study of the Chinese Community in Los Angeles 
              o The construction of femininity in Sex and the City
              o Media bias and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
              o Constructing a female cyberspace? A case study of Chinese women and the web

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    Assessment is by a mixture of essays or report writing.

    Teaching Methods

    Taught modules are delivered via the traditional lecture/seminar format along with workshops and other set group activities (eg, critical analysis of print and audio visual media; keeping diaries of technology consumption).


    Students typically go on to further advanced academic research or to pursue careers within the media industires (eg, press/communications officer).

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