Modes of Communication
Studying journalism at degree level, traditionally takes two discrete pathways. The first considers the critical analysis of journalistic outputs now extended in the digital age to incorporate creative content more widely. Scholars consider the motivations of message creation, the way they are transmitted to audiences and their reception. The second path incorporates a practice heavy curriculum to teach the practical skills associated with journalism and content creation. These might include technical know-how, for example, software and storytelling tools, married with traditional communication skills such as writing for a range of audiences or the delivery aural content to specific stakeholder groups. This innovative module recognizes and acknowledges the requirements, in today¿s fast changing media landscape, to master both of these skill sets. Accordingly, students will learn how to disseminate information within a purely academic realm, moving onto all manner of professional forms of communication including interpersonal presentations, writing journalistic copy, advertising copy, press releases and how to construct private communication on a professional basis.
Delivering and Decoding the News
This is a theory and practice module. This first half is dedicated to the study of journalism and the role it plays in our lives and in wider society. It will explore the normative theories of journalism and contemporary practices so that we can consider what journalism should be, and how it has developed and evolved over time. Once students are familiar with the theoretical underpinning of journalism and what constitutes best practice we will then explore the fundamental elements of news operations to enable students to produce their own journalism texts. This part of the module will focus on the study and practice of news values, the conventions of news writing, news gathering, interviewing and ethical considerations in news reporting. The module starts with a series of lectures and later incorporates workshops for the practical section of the module. Sessions are designed to incorporate discussions and evaluation of current news events and their coverage.
Investigating Text, Process and Audiences
Investigation is central to both the academic and practical approaches to journalism and communication. For example, journalists need to mine sources, data-sets and human experiences in order to create their stories. On the other hand, to make meaningful contributions to scholarship, students need to be able to synthesize key findings from a wide body of journalistic output by applying rigorous research methods. This module recognises that investigation has to take place as an academic, journalist and original content creator. Moreover, any graduate entry job in any realm will involve an element of data mining, investigation, objective analysis and the development of reasonable and justifiable conclusions. These two (academic and practical) approaches have considerable synergy since both necessitate interpersonal skills that are particularly useful when interviewing sources of academic or journalistic narratives. Furthermore, basic numeracy skills enable data-sets to be interpreted to develop scholarly understanding as well as materials that are central to the aims of storytelling. With a very strong emphasis on developing generic employability skills, this module offers students the opportunity to develop theoretical and practical knowledge, not only to support their third year project but to provide a cutting edge within the media sector job market.
This course introduces the practice of dissertation writing and research approaches for the study of media forms. texts and systems and their contribution to social life. It begins to explore the breadth of media studies through attention to the ways in which media matter. In what ways, and how significant are the media in the formation of individual identities and in the practices of everyday life? In the more public world, to what extent are media key to providing knowledge and enabling the debate necessary to the practices of democracy? The course enables students to build on their own experiences of media as consumers and users. But it also encourages critical attention to how the field of media studies has historically been forged: through argument and contestation between different academic approaches and disciplines.
This dissertation enables students to engage in long term, in-depth research on a topic of their choice subject to the approval of the Department.
Paradigms of Journalism
Much research in journalism studies is preoccupied with the democratic role of news reporting. While this scholarly approach offers insights into the civic responsibilities of news it often neglects the views of news audiences and marginalizes journalism genres that fall outside of the fourth estate principles. This module begins by examining the democratic value of news but branches out to consider the wider diet of information that audiences require from contemporary journalism. Areas of analysis will include alternative news sources like TV satire and political blogging and genres of journalism such as lifestyle, celebrity, travel and sport. By introducing students to different paradigms of journalism practice and scholarship the module will highlight the key debates in journalism that move beyond the political and democratic nexus. Furthermore, students will develop a deeper understanding of news reception and how this speaks to audience satisfaction, learning, identity and emotion.
Dissertation or Project
An innovative practice-based alternative to a Masters dissertation. Students are encouraged to develop projects across more than one area of media practice and to do so with dual supervision that embraces both theory and practice. Work produced should be at a professional level, accompanied by a reflective essay and presentation exploring the contextual, theoretical and practical issues raised by the project.
MA Project and Dissertation Preparation
This core module comprehensively prepares students for their Master¿s project or dissertation, which is an integral part of the requirements for the degree. It
incorporates several key themes and issues across the communications, media practice and PR industries. It is a challenging, and stimulating module ¿ both for professional practitioners and those new to communications and media practice. The module encourages students to unite theory and practice in productive ways. It introduces students to a number of important research and project management methods essential for undertaking a successful project or dissertation.
Digital Journalism Portfolio
This module offers a comprehensive guide to the practices, techniques and skills used in the research, development and production of journalism in an online environment. It aims to increase both students¿ employability and their self-employability by showing them how to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities offered by online journalism.
This module allows students to develop their knowledge and critical understanding of journalism through a sustained piece of independent academic study on a subject of their choice within the field.
The dissertation enables students to engage in in-depth research on a topic of their choice subject to the approval of the Department.
Study Group: Media and Communications (Year 1)
2 hour weekly Study Group for Media and Communications students (Year 1)