SM6P05 - Media and Communication Dissertation (2023/24)
|Module approved to run in 2023/24
|Media and Communication Dissertation
|Credit rating for module
|School of Computing and Digital Media
|Total study hours
|Running in 2023/24(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
This module is focused around the production of an engaged and lengthy piece of independent research and academic writing. It provides students the opportunity to specialise in one area of the curriculum in their Honours year. Students may choose to develop a structured dissertation describing an independent primary research project (Route A), or a semi-structured extended literature review based on an independent secondary research project (Route B). This module aims to:
● To enable students to conduct a piece of independent primary or secondary research.
● To encourage students to draw on their previous studies in synthesising their personal perspective on a topic related to Media and Communications, and to develop their individual academic interests.
The module combines a series of taught lectures and seminars, and a period of independent research supported by supervision. The lecture and seminar series will introduce major research methods in Media and Communications, the conventions of the academic dissertation, research ethics, research theory, and provide guidance on choosing and developing a primary or secondary research topic.
The independent research period will be based primarily on the student’s own course of independent study. The syllabus will therefore be a product of negotiation between the student and supervisor and will depend on the topic of research. All students will be asked to consider academic, methodological and ethical issues in their work and supervisors will supply an indicative and provisional reading list at the outset of dissertation research. Students are expected to expand on this list and conduct further research in the area to produce both the literature review and the main body of the thesis.
Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 5
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
This module will be delivered through a combination of modes of delivery, including formal lectures, seminars, and individual supervision meetings. The mixed-mode module delivery will used to encourage a supportive environment for individual and peer-group learning.
A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities including on-line discussions, evaluation of online resources, and access to electronic reading packs. The VLE will also be used to facilitate formative non-contributory assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by research institutions, academic publications, professional organisations and other relevant sources.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Formulate a research question
2. Undertake independent primary or secondary research
3. Utilise appropriate theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of a communication or cultural phenomenon
4. Analyse and synthesise themes and issues emerging from the relevant literature
5. Complete an extended writing project to a high standard
The assessment strategy aims to develop research skills and engagement with media research through a series of contributory assessments that build to the submission of the final dissertation. These are:
A) 500 - 1000 Word Proposal
B) 2500 - 3000 word literature review chapter
C) 8000-10,000 word dissertation / extended literature review
Assessment B should be incorporated into the final dissertation / extended literature review as a single chapter, possibly in revised form after feedback. The overall word count of the dissertation / extended literature review reflects this. That is to say that the total word count of the individual independent elements of the assessments reflects the faculty guidelines, and therefore the total word count for all assessments is slightly higher than the faculty guidelines. Students may pass on aggregate
The structured dissertation (Route A) should normally consist of the following chapters:
● Literature review
● Methodology including reflection on research ethics
● Results / Analysis (either as a single chapter, or two separate chapters)
The semi-structured extended literature review (Route B) should normally consist of the following chapters
● Introduction including outline of literature search strategy
● Three substantive chapters exploring different aspects of the research topic
These requirement may be varied by agreement with supervisors.
● Bertrand, I. & Hughes, P. (2018), Media Research Methods: audiences, institutions, texts,
● Deacon, d. et al (2010) Researching Communications: A Practical Guide to Methods in Media
and Cultural Analysis, London: Bloomsbury.
● Stokes, J. (2020) How to Do Media and Cultural Studies; 3 rd edition, London: Sage
● By negotiation with the dissertation supervisor