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Study information

Perspectives on Communications

Module titlePerspectives on Communications
Module codeCMM1001
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Neil Ewen (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module will develop your analytical skills as you engage with communications narratives, from propaganda to reportage and social media.  By reflecting on how these narratives inform representations of power and constructions of identity, you will consider how cultural consumption and production has adapted and transformed in response to digital communications. Through the application of relevant theory, and by engaging with empirical case studies, you will develop your understanding of differing methods and models of communication and apply them to a range of contemporary contexts.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to:

  • Explore the historical development of a range of communication technologies
  • Encourage you to consider the potentials and limitations of different forms of communication in their particular socio-historical contexts
  • Motivate you to critically analyse the potential of ‘new’ media technologies to challenge historical structures of power and to create ‘active’ audiences.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate a broad and comprehensive knowledge of key developments in the history of communication technologies
  • 2. Demonstrate understanding about the changing nature of audiences and users with the rise of the network society

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Engage critically with relevant communication and media theory
  • 4. Engage with a range of theoretical approaches and concepts pertaining to the analysis of communication technologies and media texts

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Communicate effectively and fluently orally and/ or in writing
  • 6. Demonstrate skills in the selection and organisation of primary and secondary sources
  • 7. Elaborate a strong and convincing argument

Syllabus plan

Key topics on this module may include

  • The historical development of a range of communication technologies
  • The power of mass media and new media to produce, reproduce and challenge dominant ideologies
  • The rise of the network society
  • Convergence
  • Passive and active audiences

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching1111 x 1-hour lecture
Scheduled learning and teaching2211 x 2-hour seminars
Guided independent study103Seminar preparation
Guided independent study164Research and assignment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan500 words3-6Verbal feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Annotated Bibliography401500 words1-6Written feedback
Essay602000 words1-7Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Annotated bibliographyAnnotated bibliography1-6Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay (2000 words)1-7Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Briggs, A. and Burke, P. (2010). A Social History of The Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Hodkinson, P. (2017). Media, Culture and Society: An Introduction, 2nd ed. London: SAGE.
  • Jenkins, H et al. (2013). Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. New York: NYU.
  • Jenkins, H. (2008). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: NYU.
  • Marvin, C. (1990). When Old Technologies Were New: Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century. Oxford: OUP.
  • Siapera, E. (2018). Understanding New Media, Second Ed. London: SAGE
  • Winston, B. (1998). Media, Technology and Society: A History - From the Telegraph to the Internet. Abingdon: Routledge.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Communication technologies, Media History, Network Society, Audiences, Users, Internet, Convergence

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date