MC424      Half Unit
Media and Communication Governance

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Seeta Peña Gangadharan FAW 7.01I


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance). This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Data, Networks and Society. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course begins from the assumption that media and communication can only be fully understood if their governance and its implications for citizens and consumers, as well as producers and providers, are understood. Communication governance includes all attempts by public bodies to fund, licence or otherwise regulate or govern communication services or the providers of those services, usually for an alleged public benefit. The term 'governance' refers to the norms, rules and resources together with their theoretical underpinnings that inform the production and consumption of media and communication services. This course provides students with core theoretical perspectives and concepts required to critically analyse both the substance and processes of media and communication governance. Students will compare different rationales used to justify regulation of media and communication services. Students will also develop an understanding of regulatory instruments, institutional arrangements and institutional practices that help public authorities, corporations, citizens and consumers decide how to allocate public resources for the provision of such services. Illustrations are drawn from national and international contexts, thereby presenting a multi-levelled analytical approach to governance issues in the field.

Some of the questions addressed in this course include: Under what conditions should platforms be governed? Are industry professionals or regulators best positioned to determine when broadcasting institutions adequately serve the diverse information needs of a population? To what extent should legacy media laws and policies be relaxed in the light of technological change? In what ways can 5G providers serve the public interest? These and other questions reflect the course’s focus on developing a critical, informed and authoritative account of ‘why’, ‘who’, and ‘how to’ govern media and communication services.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to complete advance reading, participate in seminar activities and contribute to online discussion on Moodle. Students are also expected to complete an oral exam in MT.

Indicative reading

Additional content:


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2018/19: 26

Average class size 2018/19: 12

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16.8
Merit 62.4
Pass 19.8
Fail 1