MA Media and Communication comprises four core units and two optional units at Postgraduate Diploma level, with two further core units comprising the Master’s level of the course. An outline of the units is provided below:
Communication theory (20 credits)
This unit provides an exploration into the study of communication theory, with an emphasis on the role of the media and its relationships with societies and cultures. Students will explore the historical development of the mass media and theoretical approaches to the study of mass communication and its processes, with a particular focus on the professionalisation of communication and its impact on the public sphere. It will engage with contemporary issues associated with communication theory. The purpose of this unit is to enable students to develop a critical awareness of the role and influence of communication in contemporary society.
Media in transition (20 credits)
This unit explores how media institutions are evolving as a response to societal, economic and technological changes. It seeks to provide contextual knowledge to underpin the remainder of the course and students would be expected to develop an advanced critical understanding of an area within media and communication which interests them and supports their future employment aspirations.
Research Methods in Media and Communication (20 credits)
This unit concentrates on helping students to develop an appreciation of the key principles and practice of research within the field of media and communication. The unit offers students a broad grounding in methods and processes of social science research and prepares them with the understanding and skills needed to rigorously design, conduct, report and evaluate research. Students will also be introduced to opportunities and challenges of conducting applied research using some of the main data collection and analysis techniques used by industry. The course is built around three complementary strands: Generic social science research training; subject specific research training; industry specific research commissioning and interpretation.
Communicating Ideas (20 credits)
Students are expected to emerge from their educational experience as Masters’ level researchers who are able to deliver research outcomes in a variety of ways, including text, video and audio. This unit seeks to develop students’ ability to communicate research outcomes via these methods. The unit’s intention is to enhance students’ ability to communicate with a wider range of audiences and in doing so generate impact from the research which emerges from their educational experience, but also impact from future research projects in which they might be involved. Students will develop their skills within a new language of academic expression, and their fluency with media technology will enhance the articulation of their ideas. This element of the course will benefit from the practice-led research expertise which exists and is developing within the School.
Exhibition (20 credits)
Students will be provided with the opportunity to disseminate the key ideas and thinking within their master’s research project to an audience comprising students and academics. The skills developed in Communicating Ideas will enable students to convey their ideas using a range of media technology. Clearly students’ exhibited work will also be informed by the underpinning provided within Research Methods in Media and Communication.
Master’s project (40 credits)
Students will generate an individual piece of research which may adopt either a humanities or social sciences approach. Such work is likely to draw from the underpinning provided by options selected during the post-graduate diploma stage of the course. It is possible that the master’s research project will embrace a practice-led research project option for those students excelling in the production skills generated in Communicating Ideas. An ethnographic approach to a case study underpinned by the placement experience, is one alternative which might be pursued within this project.
Optional units (choose two)
Students will be able to choose from a range of optional units, taken from the list below*:
Media focused options:
Women, gender and media
Critical perspectives in media communication
Media and fictional violence
Media and digital literacy
Youth culture and the media
Cross-platform media: Theory and practice
Extremisms and the media
Media, journalism and the environment
Media, conflict and power.
Communication focused Options:
Brands and brand communication
Exploring word-of-mouth communication