module specification

SM5013 - Media and Communities (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Media and Communities
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
30 hours Placement / study abroad
189 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   2,000 word essay
Group Presentation 20%   10 minute presentation
Coursework 40%   10 minute audio document
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module combines critical engagement with theories of community, citizenship and participatory culture; study of the ways media have been used to rebel and empower; and training in research and media practice.

Students will study the theory and practice of community media, oral history, and documentary traditions. They will engage in interviewing, audio-visual recording and editing.  They will use social media in researching, producing and disseminating their own audio-visual document.

Students will also participate in fieldwork, visit community media and oral history projects. Additionally, several weeks are allocated to research within a chosen community-based organization.

Module aims

• To develop a critical understanding of participatory culture and contemporary citizenship, with particular focus on community media, including their use by different social groups, and community development
• To enable students to research, produce and disseminate their own audio-visual document
• To enable students to gain direct experience of community media and oral history projects via study visits and research into a community-based organisation


Theories of community and community development
Concepts of citizenship
History and theory of participatory culture
Social movements and participatory and rebellious media
Politics of representation
Significance of auto/biography
Memory and oral history
Theory and practice of interviewing
Research ethics
Documentary traditions
Digital storytelling
Fieldwork involving visits to community media projects
Fieldwork involving visits to community oral history projects
Research within a chosen community-based organisation
Sound/video recording
Editing sound/video
Using social media in research and dissemination of audio-visual document

Learning and teaching

Teaching methods include lectures, workshops, seminars, screenings, fieldwork/visits, media lab work, library sessions on research methods and tutorials.  Students are expected to attend lectures and seminars: in the seminars they will at times work in small groups and be given practice in listening to each other’s contributions and offering constructive criticism, and in chairing and reporting discussion to the plenary seminar group. The module booklet will be available online, as will lecture outlines and some readings. Weblearn or its equivalent will also be used for communication with students individually and as a cohort. Students are expected to engage in self-directed learning including reading, use of Weblearn, and assessment preparation.  In addition to guided reading, students are expected to read and to use variety of sources (primary and secondary) and use seminars and tutorials to raise issues, questions and seek feedback.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to

• Critically appraise concepts of participatory culture, community, community development, citizenship
• Analyse closely the role community and participatory media forms play in contributing to cultural debate and contesting social power
• Apply the theory and practice of community media and oral history
• Conduct independent research drawing on a range of sources and the conceptual frameworks and methods taught
• Conduct, record and edit an oral history interview
• Produce an audio-visual document in collaboration with a community group or organisation
• Evaluate their own work in a reflexive manner, with reference to academic and/or professional issues, debates and conventions

Assessment strategy

The summative assessments listed below will be interspersed with regular formative assessment (including self-assessment) and feedback.

Students will be asked to

• Write a 2,000-word essay (40%) [LO1, LO2]
• Make a presentation in class (20%) [LO3, LO4]
• Produce an audio document (40%) [LO5, LO6, LO7]


Couldry, N. (2010) Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics After Neoliberalism.  London:
Sage Publications
Couldry, N. & Curran, J. (eds) (2003) Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked
World. Lanham, USA: Rowman & Littlefield.
Downing, J. (2001) Radical Media: Rebellious Communication and Social Movements. London:
Sage Publications
Lewis, P.M. & Jones, S.(2006) (eds) From the Margins to the Cutting Edge – Community Media
and Empowerment. Catskill, NJ: Hampton Press
Perks, R. and Thomson, A. (eds) 2006. The Oral History Reader. London and New York: Routledge.
Plummer, K. 2001. Documents of Life 2: an invitation to critical humanism.  London/Thousand Oak/ New
Delhi: Sage Publications.
Rennie, E (2006) Community Media: a Global Introduction. NYC/Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield
Richie, D.A. 1995. Doing Oral History, New York: Twayne Publishers.
Rodriguez, C. (2001) Fissures in the Mediascape Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Thompson, P. 2000.  The Voice of the Past. 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Woodward, K. (ed) 1997.  Identity and Difference. London/ Thousand Oaks/ New Delhi: Sage
Publications/ Open University.

AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Stations),
Community Media Association,
The Oral History Society: