MC423      Half Unit
Global Media Industries

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Bingchun Meng TW2.7.01H


This course is available on the MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media and Communications (Research) and MSc in Media, Communication and Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

In order to accommodate academic staff research leave and sabbaticals, and in order to maintain smaller seminar group sizes, this course is capped, meaning that there is a limit to the number of students who can be accepted.

Course content

This course aims to present a critical view of theories, research and practices of media industries in the context of globalization. The central theme of the course is how media industries have been transformed by the recent political economic, cultural and technological changes on a global scale and how such transformation impact the content circulating across media platforms. Topics of interest include: new ways of organizing media production and distribution; digital media as a potential source of both resistance and control; media industries and creative cities; media policy and regulation at the global level. We will not only discuss key issues of media industries such as convergence, commodification, digital platforms, creative labour etc., but will also utilize different approaches such as political economy, cultural studies and sociology to analyze cases of media production.

Course objectives:

This course aims to help you:

• Understand different approaches to the study of media industries

• Examine the transformation of media industries in the context of globalization

• Critically analyse the relationship between institutional arrangements of media industries and the content being produced and disseminated

• Critically evaluate global regulatory attempts to establish a new communication order and the dynamics of alternative media

Topics are structured as follows:

• Media production and distribution in a globalised era

• The many lives of media commodities

• Creative labour in media industries

• Convergence: Top-down and bottom-up

• Policy and regulation

• Political economy of film industry

• The neoliberal theatre of Reality TV

• Media industries and creative cities

• Sociology of news production

• Summary and reflection


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 one essay of 1,500 words.

Indicative reading

Harvey, D. (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity. Oxford: Blackwell;

Hesmondhalgh, D. (2012) The Cultural Industries (3nd Edition). London: Sage;

Maxwell, R. (2016) The Routledge Companion to Labor and Media. London: Routledge.

Miller, T. et al. (2005) Global Hollywood 2. London: British Film Institute;

Mosco, V.(2014) To the Cloud. Boulder: Paradigm;

Turow, J. (2011) The Daily You. New Haven: Yale University Press.


Essay (80%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Case study (20%) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16.3
Merit 60.3
Pass 22.7
Fail 0.7

Teachers' comment

This course examines the transformation of media industries in relation to the recent political economic, cultural and technological changes at the global scale. We will also explore how such transformation impact the content circulating across media platforms.

Students' comments

"It is a very stimulating course with good readings and diverse topics, very relevant to current issues."

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2016/17: Unavailable

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Controlled access 2016/17: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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