Media, Communications and Journalism: Criticism and Theory SOCIO5080

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course allows students to critically explore media, communications and journalism studies, focusing on key debates and issues such as journalism ethics and practices, commercial versus public service broadcasting, public relations and spin, patterns in media content and regulation of the media. The analysis of these issues is contextualised in the broader transformations in the social, economic and political environments and the global impact of digital technologies.


10 x 2 hour seminars during a 10 week semester.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





There is one formally assessed assignment for this course which counts for 100% of the course mark: a 4000-word essay which provides an opportunity for the students to demonstrate their critical understanding of current ideas, research and literature in the area of media and communications.

Course Aims

The aims of the course are:

■ To explore international media and communications from a social science perspective through analysis of the key issues within contemporary critical communications and journalism studies.

■ To enhance students' understanding of media, communications and the journalism industry.

■ To equip students with the critical and analytical skills to contribute to the public debate on the role of the media in the development of a range of social issues and policy formation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Critically assess the key debates in media, communications and journalism studies and contextualise these in the broader social, political and technological developments of recent years, including the evolving digital culture.

■ Identify and evaluate the impact of the production processes and commercial pressures journalists are subject to in the course of their work.

■ Identify and critically analyse the key academic literature in the areas of journalism, media and communications theory.

■ Apply the latest social science research and evidence to critically evaluate contemporary issues in media and communications.

■ Analyse critically, from a range of different perspectives, journalistic content across broadcasting, print and online.

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.