for Liberal Studies (Media & Communications)
This module builds upon critical theoretical traditions in order to enable students to critically analyse and understand the complex relationship between media, communications and culture. This module aims to enable students to develop a comprehensive overview of the field of media and communications, marked by a well-developed insight into key areas of influential and current research. This module allows students to explore theoretical traditions and examine the multiple ways such traditions can and have been applied to contemporary phenomena and vastly transforming media processes, practices and platforms. Students are expected to develop a broad understanding of the intersections between media economics, politics and culture and to develop a sophisticated knowledge base for analysing today’s dynamic media systems and environments.
This module introduces students to core concepts and theories outlining the role, purpose and functions of journalism within society. These theories draw from core principles relating to the freedom of information such as liberty of the press and freedom of speech. This module examines the early history of journalism including the revolutionary history of the printing press, yellow journalism and penny dreadfuls, followed by the growth of media ownership from 18th to 21st Century press barons. Students are expected to understand the close relationship between journalism, politics and democracy by bridging theoretical foundations with case studies mapping the history and development of journalism in society. Current research and practice around media work and practice in news production informs analysis of changing journalistic practice and its social impact. Contemporary case studies illustrate the tensions prevalent in theoretical foundations, rapid developments in the field and emerging issues and debates related to journalism.
This module introduces students to social media through its history and development, focusing on current thinking about social media. Leading research informs critical examination of the role of social media in contemporary societies, interpersonal relations, culture, politics and technology. This module focuses on dominant social media platforms (such as Facebook, YouTube, Wikis, Apps etc.) and bridges contemporary theory with practice through applied exercises exploring the purpose and functions of each of these platforms. This module aims to equip students to critically understand the role of social media within society and within the social media landscape. Students are expected to apply these skills to specific social media platforms. This course is informed by prominent social theories like convergence, network society and participatory culture.
The module will allow students from a broad range of disciplines to gain a level of media production literacy. It will combine both theory and practical experience in planning, preproduction, video and audio recording and post-production. The module should be viewed as both an introduction to the more technical aspects of media production as well as grounding for further production related courses within the school.
This module covers the basic concepts and practice of digital photography, including understanding and use of the camera, lenses, and other basic photographic equipment. The module will address aesthetic principles as they relate to composition, space, exposure, light and colour. Technological requirements of digital formats will be discussed, such as formats and resolution. Students will learn basic digital manipulation of images in preparation for creating a photo portfolio of images. Students will produce photographs in response to seminars looking at the work of notable photographers, and give an oral presentation about the work of a photographer of their choice.
This module introduces the descriptive and normative philosophy of ethics to students in relation to media including journalism, photography, film, video, digital and social media, public relations and advertising. This module focuses on current and influential cases where difficult ethical decisions must be made based on professional, social and legal standards. Students evaluate the logic and ethical reasoning informing media professionals within rapidly changing industries. Based on a mix of practical review of specific cases and ethical theory, students learn to analyse core ethical issues and consequences in contemporary media practices. This course prepares students for understanding and practicing applied ethics in professional and applied media contexts.
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the ways in which intersectional identity is portrayed in the media. The module will investigate film, television, journalism, gaming cultures and social networking in light of theories of race, class, gender identity, sexuality, disability, age and others. Students will learn about the cultural context behind the development of each theory in relation to media representation as well as the conceptual impact of identity theories, along with their current and possible future effects on the global community.
This module will introduce students to an understanding of the relationship between politics and media in contemporary societies. Students will become aware of contemporary debates about the evolving role of the media in domestic and international politics and the relationship between politics, society and media will be the focus of study. The module will encourage individual research and participation in debates based on empirical knowledge, and strengthened by the application of theoretical discussions.
This module introduces core research methods in media and communications, including research design, qualitative and quantitative methodologies and the logic informing particular research traditions and practices. Students are expected to become familiar with a wide range of research methods and current debates related to particular approaches. Based on applied exercises, students will broadly understand research principles and techniques and will be expected to develop expertise in selective quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as research design. This module aims to provide students with essential practical and theoretical skills so that they are able to develop and conduct accurate, original and high quality media and communications research.
This module offers students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of cinema beyond the norms of global Hollywood. Through the study of films and film cultures from around the world, you will learn how and why stylistic, thematic variations in world cinema have emerged from different national, historical, social and political contexts. Ultimately, the module aims to expand student awareness of ‘alternative’ forms of film production, distribution, exhibition and to develop a critical appreciation for the spaces and circumstances that allow these to flourish.
This module aims to offer participants a thorough grounding in various legal disciplines that underpin Media Law. It focuses on the ways relevant legal provisions apply to traditional media and explores how the law has struggled to respond to the growth of 24/7 news and the new world of social media. Ample emphasis is placed on seminal cases and cutting edge issues, as the law cannot be divorced from media practice.
In particular, the module seeks to cultivate an appreciation of the centrality of human rights to the development of the law in this field, to inform learners how the law approaches social media communications and help them navigate the risks involved in the use of social media tools, to equip participants with a critical understanding of the crucial role of intellectual property rights in protecting innovative and creative endeavour in the media sector and, finally, to engage learners in a critical evaluation of domestic media law as compared to the constraints affecting the media in other jurisdictions, especially the USA and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights.
Participants will acquire a sound grasp of various legal issues which will enable them to make justified and informed decisions, and persuasively argue how those decisions can be applied within a dynamic multi-mediated and more digitally-connected world.
Students focus on understanding critical television studies from its foundations to recent developments such as video-sharing platforms (e.g. YouTube and Vine) and internet television (e.g. Netflix and Web TV). The module introduces research and theories exploring the role of television in human societies from its early development to current practices in television, video and related industry. Students investigate and study questions elicited through reading, discussion, research and industry insights. This course critically examines the role of television in shaping social trends such as the rise of celebrity culture, factual entertainment, and participatory media.
This is an open module designed to facilitate advanced studies of emerging and cutting-edge issues relevant to media and/or public relations related fields. This module reflects the dynamics of subject areas which are marked by rapid change, widespread innovations and the continual emergence of contemporary issues and phenomena. This module may examine particular topics, cases, theories and/or practices related to the fields of media and communications and/or public relations. Broadly, this module addresses current issues relevant to students in preparation for a variety of professional contexts. This module may focus on any subject related to change or traditions in media and public relations disciplines and practices. Some topics could include content on: diaspora and media; reality television: theory and practice; branding, advertising and image in politics; new media and society; marketing and culture; global trends; or other timely topics.
The module is designed to build upon the student’s previous experience and knowledge of Media Production, but now specifically within the field of TV studio production. Students will research some of the existing television and live broadcast formats and discuss their advantages, disadvantages and limitations. Working in groups, students will write, produce and record their own new magazine programmes, helping them to gain understanding of the reality and limitations of live television, broadening their existing technical terminology and gaining practical experience in many aspects of studio production.
The purpose of this module is to bring together the breadth of a Liberal Arts student’s learning and experience to bear on a major project. Starting from the student’s major area of study the project will reach out to incorporate elements from the totality of learning on the programme and the realisation of the breadth that a Liberal Arts graduate has achieved. The Capstone can take the form of a reflective practice-based project or a traditional written dissertation subject to meeting the word-length equivalencies below. The Capstone will run over two semesters and will be supervised by a minimum of one supervisor although two may be allocated depending on the nature of the work.