Sociology Of Media: Issues Of Production, Information Supply And Content SOCIO4046

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course investigates issues in the production, content and reception of contemporary mass media.

It will examine issues such as how has the rise of spin doctors and the public relations industry affected politics and the wider democratic process as in the work of David Miller and Stauber and Rampton. It will also explore the question of whether the public receive accurate and 'balanced' reporting in wartime or in a range of other areas which generate controversy, using contemporary empirical work including that of the Glasgow University Media Group. This will also require a detailed study of methodologies in content analysis and the comparison of approaches such as thematic analysis with critical discourse analysis. It will show how these inform contemporary theoretical debates. These will include those which focus on centralized control and political power such as in the work of Noam Chomsky, through to new theoretical work exploring the impact of new technologies on news gathering.


20 contact hours over the course of a single semester. This will normally consist of 2 hours per week and may be a combination of lectures and seminars/workshops.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Sociology requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Sociology 2A and Sociology 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses






1 x 4000 work essay (100%)




Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification.

Course Aims

The general aims of the course follow from our subject area's aim of developing a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the academic discipline of Sociology. In particular, this course aims to:

■ provide a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the sociology of media;

■ focus on issues of production, information supply to media institutions and content of media products;

■ build on the work of the first year course, progressing students through advanced theoretical debates in the above areas;

■ enable you to enhance your transferable and inter-personal skills, particularly in communication, time management, individual and group research work, critical appraisal of social issues, and the informed use of information technology;

■ provide you with a wide range of skills that will meet the demands of the modern labour market.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Explain the structure of contemporary mass communications focusing on key processes in the production and content of media messages.

■ Document these issues through a critical examination of a series of case studies in areas such as political news and war reporting.

■ Have a clear understanding of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches in this area

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.