module specification

MC4062 - Media Culture and Society (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Media Culture and Society
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 100%   Group Presentation
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Morning
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

In an age of mass communication we are constantly bombarded by messages through advertising, content marketing, editorial, programming and other forms via the press, television, radio, film, music and the internet.

As such, the media is a powerful dynamic force and cuts through gender, class, race, creed, and nationality to form bonds between groups of people who may exist in totally different circles, potentially bringing us closer to a global culture. Social & cultural values are largely shaped and reflected by the consumption of media and this module seeks to provide students with an insight into the media industry and also act as introduction to models and tools designed to enable them to engage in a more deeply informed debate on this constantly changing subject.

The module aims to introduce students to the nature and make-up of the media industry and undertakes a critical examination of the role of culture and society in determining its development. It will examine both traditional and new media/digital platforms as part of a wider analysis of its influence on culture & society.  Additionally the module aims to provide an introduction to the learning strategies that students will need to successfully study in higher education.

The module also aims to assist students in the acquisition  and development of the following skills:

1. Academic Reading 
2. Research
3. Application of Knowledge and Presenting Data
4. Communicating/presenting – orally & collaborating / working with others
5. Critical Thinking and academic Writing
6. Self- assessment/reflection

Prior learning requirements




The module syllabus will cover:
(certain aspects of the below may be amended/fine-tuned following deeper discussions with subject group heads/teams etc)

● The media industry – Industry structure, ownership  & integration LO1
● Environmental factors impacting on the media industry (Advertising, Digital Marketing & Content, Public Relations, Sponsorship) LO1
● Channels of mass communication -  Media formats -TV, Radio, Digital, Print, Film, Music LO1
● The communication process Introduction to classic communication models eg. Shannon & weaver 1949 LO2
● Media users & mass audience - Discovering Mass audiences, Audience Measurement Principles & Techniques, Analysis & Reaction LO2
● Media content – Media texts, levels of meaning, Introduction to genre & discourse analysis LO2
● Media effects – Two step flow, users & gratification, encoding decoding meaning, semiotics signs, signifiers. The role of Perception in communication, theories of persuasion, hypodermic syringe theory, Reception theory , effects theory LO2
● Cultural perspective  - Audiences as producers of culture, ethnographies of audience fans and users , popular culture LO2
● Media Identity & Culture – stereotypical representations, promoting positive images, constructions of feminism and masculinity & beyond gender. LO3
● Media communities  - Homogenisation and  Anatomization , fans & identity  sub cultures targeting communities –local, niche magazines  and theories of  on line communities LO3
● Saturation of media & loss of meaning – Consumerisms, modernism, post modernism, celebrity culture & hyper reality, identity & fragmentation. LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered over a 12 week period and consists of a 2 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar per week.   The weekly lectures will focus on key theories, concepts models and frameworks for the analysis of contemporary media. 

The seminar sessions will relate the generic topics and attributes to subject specialist media channels/content etc in order to identify and discuss how, for example, new media is adopted within the fashion industry or aviation industry.
Such discussions with encompass debates, video, cases, questions and answer sessions to build on the generic topics covered in the lectures.   The seminars, will as such anchor knowledge imparted in the lectures and provides a forum for:

● A better understanding of lectures through small group discussions, case study, video journal article/problem solving analysis and interchange of questions and answers.

● Applying understanding of technical skills required for carrying out  communications & media research & academic writing as applied to specific industries.
The facilities of Web Learn will be used as part of a blended learning approach and will be central to the delivery of module and weekly material will be loaded & external web links will be used to form the basis of class discussions. In particular students will be encouraged to use the web learn discussion forum on a regular basis.

Students are also expected to begin the adoption of an increasing degree of independent learning in line with the on-going roll-out of the module.

Learning outcomes

At end of the module students should be able to:

1. Identify and critique the role of mass communications in a contemporary marketing communications context across a number of identified subject areas including the Creative industries, Fashion, Aviation and the wider field of Marketing.

2. Identify and analyse the basic principles & theoretical approaches and methods adopted in broad media and cultural studies ie beyond the narrow context of marketing communications.

3. Be able to describe the ways in which the mass media industries and digital platforms/tools shape genres, messages and narratives in order to construct a sense of what the social 'world' is or how it works.

Assessment strategy

The group assessment (Assessment 1 of 1) will be summative and is designed to add a greater sense of student community and encourage bonding within the context of carrying out specific media-related and marketing communication tasks.

It is designed to develop appropriate learning outcomes in the field of media channels, understanding trends relating to media adoption and usage. In addition, it will also test student’s ability to apply marketing communication practice within a real world context.



Core Text: Vivian J.(2018) Media of Mass Communication: Pearson New International Edition, 11/E  Pearson (e book)

Recommended Texts:
Hodkinson  P. (2011) Media Culture & Society  An Introduction  Sage publications
Severin W. (2014) Communication Theories: Pearson New International Edition: Origins, Methods Pearson publication (e book)

New media and society
Mass communication & society
Journal for communication and culture
International Journal of Advertising
International Journal of communication
Journal of marketing & communication
Journal of Marketing communications
Journal of public Relations Research
Public relations journal
Public relations review

The Professional Publishers Association (PPA)
BBC Learning
AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Stations),
Community Media Association,
The Advertising Association –
The Advertising Standards Authority –
The Office of Communications-
The History of Advertising Trust –
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising-
Internet advertising Bureau
Think Box
Cinema Council
Screen digest

Social Media Sources: