Researching Audiences and Media Representations SOCIO5082

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will develop a broad understanding of media audiences and will equip students with the range of research skills that they will need to complete a dissertation in critical audience and communications studies.  Students will critically engage with different methods for the study of audiences and public understanding including content analysis, focus groups and data analysis journalism.


10 x 2 hour seminars during a 10 week semester.

Requirements of Entry


Mandatory Entry Requirements

Excluded Courses





There is one formally assessed assignment for this course which counts for 100% of this course mark: a 4000-word assignment which provides an opportunity for the students to demonstrate their understanding of audience theory and current research.

Course Aims

The aims of the course are:

■ To develop students' knowledge and comprehension of the range of theoretical approaches to understanding media audiences and to contextualise them in the evolving digital culture.

■ To develop students' critical skills in media research across a broad range of methodologies.

■ To examine the appropriateness of a range of methods including content analysis, audience reception, focus groups and data analysis journalism for tackling specific areas of research

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

Identify and provide a critical assessment of the key academic literature in the area of media audiences.

Evaluate the role of the media in the construction of public understanding, and its impacts on social action including policy formation.

Apply appropriate theoretical and empirical methods to critically analyse media production, content and reception.

Use a range of methods for identifying and measuring the consumption patterns and responses of different audience groups.

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.