MC4M1 Half Unit
Methods of Research in Media & Communications (including Qualitative & Quantitative Analysis)
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Dr Ellen Helsper (MT) and Dr Jean-Christophe Plantin (LT and ST)
This course is available on the MSc in Gender, Media and Culture, MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and UCT), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Data and Society), MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media, Communication and Development, MSc in Politics and Communication and MSc in Strategic Communications. This course is not available as an outside option.
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, social network 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 five 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 Department of Methodology: MY464 Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Media and Communications. Please note that this course is compulsory and automatically included within the MC4M1 course.
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 MY464: Lecture (two hours) x 10 MT and x 1 ST; Computer class (one hour) x 9 MT.
iv. Methodology pilot drop in clinic: Workshop (two hours) x 1 LT and ST.
i. Principles of Research in Media and Communications: All students are expected to complete advance readings and submit one essay of 1,500 words to their supervisors in week 11 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
• Alasuutari, P. (1995). Researching Culture: Qualitative Method and Cultural Studies. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications Ltd.
• Bauer, M. W., & Gaskell, G. D. (2000). Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound: A Practical Handbook for Social Research. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications Ltd.
• Bell, A., & Garrett, P. (1998). Approaches To Media Discourse. Oxford; Malden, Mass: John Wiley & Sons.
• Bertrand, I & Hughes, P. (2005) Media Research Methods. Audiences, Institutions and Texts. New York: Palgrave.
• Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
• Deacon, D., Pickering, M., Golding, P., & Murdock, G. (1999). Researching Communications: A Practical Guide to Methods in Media and Cultural Analysis. London: Hodder Education.
• Flick, U. (1998). An Introduction to Qualitative Research. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications Ltd.
• Kent, R. (1994). Measuring Media Audiences. London; New York: Cengage Learning EMEA.
• Rose, G. (2012). Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications Ltd.
• Schroder, K., Drotner, K., Kline, S., & Murray, C. (2003). Researching Audiences: A Practical Guide to Methods in Media Audience Analysis. London: New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
• Silverman, D. (2013). Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Exam (20%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (80%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Description of assessment:
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 Week 1 (80%).
2. A two-hour examination in the ST relating to Quantitative Analysis (MY464M) (20%).
Students have to complete both assessments (written assignment and statistics exam) on this course.
This course confronts you with your own biases; it shows how using different methodologies and ways of observing the world lead to asking different questions and, therefore, different answers and relates this to the ethical and moral implications of doing research.
Student performance results
(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Department: Media & Communications
Total students 2017/18: 268
Average class size 2017/18: 16
Controlled access 2017/18: No
Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (MT)
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Specialist skills