Theories of Media and Communication

Module code: 5MEST007W
Faculty: Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design 
Credit Level: 5
Credit value: 20
Available to: Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design students only, however students on some courses are unable to choose Westminster Electives  – see list of exemptions. Please note elective modules are subject to availability.

The module provides a comprehensive introduction to the theories that have informed our thinking on media and communication. It covers a range of theoretical approaches in a loosely historical sequence, showing the development of theoretical reflection around the media and the interconnections between different ideas.

Drawing on contemporary examples, the module encourages you to use these theoretical tools to reflect on current developments in media and communication. These may include, for instance, social media surveillance, the discourses and ideologies promoted by the news, radio and television, or the role of digital media in contemporary propaganda techniques.

By the time you complete the module, you will be able to describe the main currents in thinking about media and communication, and define the key concepts and terms involved. You will also be able to explain the historical development of thinking about media and communication, critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, and demonstrate the utility of these theories for understanding current developments in media and communication in different countries.

The module will be delivered through a combination of weekly lectures and seminars, individual tutorials, and independent study. Assessment is based on three key pieces of coursework – a weekly blog (up to 500 words), a class presentation, and a 2,000-word essay.