MC418      Half Unit
Theories and Concepts in Media and Communications II (Processes of communication in modern life)

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Myria Georgiou STC. S119a


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Media and Communications and MSc in Media and Communications (Research). This course is available on the MSc in Gender, Media and Culture. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course examines key concepts and critical perspectives on the processes of communication that underpin social, economic and institutional relations across diverse spheres of modern life. It takes an interdisciplinary and theoretical perspective, comparing the claims and contribution of selected key theories of communication in order to understand and critique the symbolic and material power of communication media. With a substantive focus on the shifts from mass to networked media and from national to globalised communication processes, the course is divided into two parts. First, it offers a selective introduction to key theories in communication. Second, it examines a series of critical perspectives, drawing on current research debates in the field of media and communications and beyond. The course is team taught by active researchers in the field of media and communications and aims to enable students to develop their critical understanding of the communication processes central to the contemporary media and communications environment.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to complete advance reading, prepare seminar presentations, and submit an essay of 1,500 words. In addition, there will be a one-hour theories and concept mapping exercise in class in last week of term.

Indicative reading

A reading list will be provided for each topic. General works relevant to the course include:


Braman, S. (ed.) (2003), Communication Researchers and Policy-Making, MIT Press; Castells, M. (2009) Communication Power, Oxford University Press; Dutton, W.H. (2013) The Oxford Hhandbook of Internet studies. Oxford University Press;  Gill, R. (2007) Gender and the Media, Polity Press; Hall, S. (ed.). (1999) Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices, Sage; Jenkins, H. and Thorburn, D. (eds) (2003) Democracy & New Media, MIT Press; Mansell, R. (2012) Imagining the internet: communication, innovation, and governance. Oxford University Press; McLuhan, M. (2001[1964]); Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Routledge; Meyrowitz, J. (1985) No Sense of Place, Oxford University Press; Routledge; Silverstone, R. (2007) Media and Morality, Polity Press; van Dijk, J.A.G.M. (2006) The Network Society: Social Aspects of New Media, Sage.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 20.2
Merit 56.7
Pass 21.5
Fail 1.6

Teachers' comment

This course offers a critical understanding of processes of communication and the ways they shape political, cultural and economic life.

A stimulating and challenging entry point to theories and concepts associated with processes of communication, this course provides students with tools to understand the formation and consequences of communication for social, political and cultural life.

Students' comments

"Theories are useful for dissertation/other classes on the course."

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2014/15: 114

Average class size 2014/15: 16

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills