MC4M1 Half Unit
Methods of Research in Media & Communications (including Qualitative & Quantitative Analysis)
This information is for the 2013/14 session.
Dr Pollyanna Ruiz (STC.S214) - Michaelmas Term
Dr Ellen Helsper (STC.S119c) - Lent and Summer Term
This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Politics and Communication. This course is available on the MSc in Gender, Media and Culture. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
The aims of the course are to provide students with a general training in research methods and techniques, including research design, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and to enable students to evaluate critically their own research and that of professional researchers.
The course has three components:
i. Principles of Research in Media and Communications: a series of lectures offered by media and communications staff in MT. The lectures will normally cover the following topics central to research design across the social sciences, with a specific emphasis on their application to media and communications contexts: the general nature of research as social inquiry, interviewing, critical discourse analysis, content analysis, visual analysis, survey design/questionnaires, case studies, ethnography and participant observation, as well as research ethics.
ii. Principles of Social Research: a series of ten three-hour workshops (each comprised of two 1.5-hour sessions) offered by media and communications staff in the LT. Students are required to participate in two of the workshops.
iii. Quantitative Analysis: Students have to take the following course offered by the Methodology Department: MY451M Introduction to Quantitative Analysis. Please note that this statistics course is compulsory and automatically included when you register for the standard MC4M1 course. (Students may be permitted to substitute a more advanced Quantitative Analysis course offered by the Methodology Department in place of MY451, with the approval of the MC4M1 course convenor and subject to timetabling constraints.)
i. Principles of Research in Media and Communications: Lecture (one hour) x 10 MT; Lecture on Writing Methodological Critiques (one hour) x 1 LT.
ii. Principles of Social Research: Workshop (three hours) x 2 LT (each comprised of two separate 1.5 hour sessions).
iii. Quantitative Analysis MY451: Lecture (two hours) x 9 MT; Computer class (one hour) x 9 MT.
i. Principles of Research in Media and Communications: All students are expected to complete advance readings and submit one essay of 1,500 words in week 9 of MT.
ii. Principles of Social Research: All students are expected to complete advance readings and submit workshop assignments.
iii. Quantitative Analysis: Most statistics courses require weekly assignments
Adams, R. C. (1989) Social Survey Methods for Mass Media Research, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates;
Alasuutari, P. (1995) Researching Culture, Sage;
Bryman, A. (2001) Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press;
Bauer, M. W. & Gaskell, G. (Eds) (2000) Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound: A Practical Handbook, Sage;
Bell, A. and Garrett, P. (eds.) (1998) Approaches to Media Discourse, Oxford: Blackwell;
Burton, D. (2000) Research Training for Social Scientists: A Handbook for Postgraduate Researchers, Sage;
Deacon, D. et al. (1999) Researching Communications: A Practical Guide to Methods in Media and Cultural Analysis, Oxford University Press;
Dillman, D.A., Smythe, J.D. & Christian, L.M. (2009) Internet, Mail, and Mixed-mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method (3rd edition). John Wiley & Sons;
Flick, U. (1998) An Introduction to Qualitative Research, Sage;
Hansen, A. et al. (1998) Mass Communications Research Methods, Macmillan;
Habermas, J. (1997) Knowledge and Human Interest, Polity;
Jensen, K. B. & Jankowski, N. (Eds) (1991) A Handbook of Qualitative Methodologies for Mass Communications Research, Routledge;
Kent, R. (1994) Measuring Media Audiences, Routledge;
Krippendorf, K. (2004) Content Analysis: An introduction to Its Methodology (2nd edition), Sage;
Robson, C. (1993) Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner Researchers, Blackwell;
Rose, G. (2011) Visual Methodologies (3rd edition). Sage;
Schroeder, K., Drotner, K., Kline, S., Murray, C. (2003) Researching Audiences. London: Arnold;
Silverman, D. (Ed) (2010) Doing Qualitative Research (3rd Edition), Sage;
Vis, F. & Thelwall, M. (January, 2014) Researching Social Media, Sage;
Webster, R. P. (1985) Basic Content Analysis, Sage.
Yin, R.K. (2013) Case Study Research: Design and Methods (5th edition), Sage;
No one book covers the entire syllabus; students will be expected to read widely in appropriate journals, and a list of references will be provided at the start of the course and in advance of the workshops. In Lent Term students will be provided with examples of journal articles in which the discussed research methods are applied.
1. Coursework: One written assignment of not more than 3,000 words, relating to the combination of Principles of Research in Media and Communications and Principles of Social Research to be submitted in ST (80%).
2. A two-hour examination in the ST relating to Quantitative Analysis (MY451M) (20%).
Department: Media & Communications
Total students 2012/13: 195
Average class size 2012/13: 11
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Specialist skills