module specification

SM6P05 - Media and Communication Dissertation (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Media and Communication Dissertation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Dissertation proposal
Coursework 30%   Literature Review
Project 60%   Dissertation
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module is focused around the production of an engaged and lengthy piece of independent research. It provides students the opportunity to specialise in one area of the curriculum in their Honours year.

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • To enable students to conduct a piece of independent research. 
  • To encourage students to draw on their previous studies and to develop individual interests.
  • To enable students to apply research methods to their own ideas.
  • To develop the student’s ability to conduct independent research and to plan, organise and write a lengthy research dissertation.


The dissertation is based primarily on your 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 and methodological 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 and teaching

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars/discussion groups, field trips, and guest presentations. Students will be expected to attend sessions organised by the module convenor and attend specific sessions with a designated supervisor.  The student will primarily engage in independent research under the guidance of a supervisor.  There will be a specific timetable of deadlines for draft research to be presented to a supervisor and the student is expected to time manage in such a way as to meet these deadlines. Students will be expected to read from primary and secondary sources.

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 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.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Formulate a research question
  • Undertake independent research, including some original material
  • Utilise appropriate theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of a communication or cultural phenomenon
  • Engage with and analyse themes and issues emerging from the relevant literature

Assessment strategy

A) 500-1,000 Word Proposal
B) A 3,000  word literature review
C) 9000-10,000 word dissertation

The proposal and literature review should be included with the final dissertation submission and will count towards the overall word limit.

Students may pass on aggregate


Deacon, d. et al (2010) Researching Communications: A Practical Guide to Methods in Media and Cultural Analysis, London: Bloomsbury.
Stokes, J. (2008) How to Do Media and Cultural Studies, London: Sage