AD3028 - Media and Society

What will I learn on this module?

This module will develop your core knowledge and understanding of the connections between media, culture and society. You will explore those ideas at the intimate personal and local level by reflecting on your own uses of media. Equally, you will connect those daily uses of media to broader debates, spanning out to the international context. The module will introduce you to major concepts and approaches in media and cultural studies. You will explore not only how media representations are influenced by external factors such as regulation, ownership, and audience behaviours, but also how media has transformed our social relations, altered our understandings of world events, and impacted on what matters to us (our cultural and societal values). You will also examine how media technologies have developed over time and have altered how we communicate with each other. You will also develop your skills in critical thinking by analysing examples taken from contemporary media and culture, and by discussing ideas with your tutors and your peers.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will be delivered via a series of lectures, seminars, and peer-learning sessions. The lectures will introduce you to key theoretical concepts, contextualizing these within the wider field of media and cultural studies, demonstrating how scholarly ideas help us to understand media objects, and the world around us. The lectures will introduce issues that you will discuss in the linked seminar and peer-learning screening sessions. The peer-learning sessions will be based around the screening of a documentary that relates to the lecture content. The tutor will provide relevant discussion questions so that each student can critically engage with the content. You will then engage in discussion of those questions with your peers ahead of the seminar. The seminars will be based around tutor-led activities, debates and questions that provide you with an opportunity to critically assess theoretical ideas (that you will draw from lectures and set reading). The seminars will also provide you with case study examples to analyse together. The seminars will allow you to further develop your own critical position with the tutor’s guidance. Together, the combination of peer and tutor feedback on your ideas will enable you to further reflect on the topics covered and to assess their significance.
Throughout the module, emphasis will be placed on you developing your knowledge and understanding of the methods, approaches and key ideas that define media and cultural studies. As you progress through the module, you will develop confidence in your ability to articulate your ideas by drawing on scholarship (academic books and articles).

How will I be supported academically on this module?

On the module you will be academically supported in the following ways:

• The seminars provide a supportive environment in which you can voice and develop your ideas by engaging with your classmates’ views and the module tutors’ questions. Seminar group discussions and activities will help you to develop problem your solving skills by collaborating with others
• Peer Learning sessions provide opportunities to learn from the variety of experiences the diverse student group bring to the module’s subject-matter, and to build a solid peer support network
• One-to-one tutorials with academic staff (arranged in person, via email or over the telephone) provide opportunities for individualised guidance on academic matters and progress. Each tutor has designated drop-in times in which students can individually discuss the ideas or raise queries about assessment with the tutors
• The module’s online electronic learning portal website (Blackboard) acts as a repository for learning materials (lecture slides), assessment information, a reading list with direct access to the library, and additional examples for you to use at any time. Online discussion boards will be used to encourage engagement with the ideas and with your peers outside of the timetabled sessions.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• 1: You will develop a foundation level of knowledge of the theoretical perspectives that inform the study of media and how it connects to society and culture in a national and international context.

• 2: You will gain a basic understanding of a range of factors that shape media industries and communication systems, and in turn how media impacts our social, political and cultural life.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• 3: You will develop and demonstrate the skills needed to study media in higher education, including gaining experience of locating and retrieving appropriate forms of information, then communicating the results of that research effectively.

• 4: You will gain experience of being able to critically assess media images and cultural practices.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5: You will show an appreciation of your position as a citizen, and as a media consumer, in a global age.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment
The summative assessment for this module is comprised of two components

1) Discussion board contributions (worth 30% of the overall grade): each fortnight, you will attend a peer-learning session based around a documentary screening. The tutor will provide discussion questions about the content in advance, and you should engage in unsupervised peer-discussion with your classmates about those questions after each screening. The same questions will be presented on the eLP site discussion boards. After each peer-learning session, you will be expected to respond to one of those questions via the eLP. Your response must be at least 150 words long. A meaningful response to one question about one documentary will receive 10 marks (an entry that fails to engage with the question or the documentary in a significant way will attain a mark of 0). You can receive a maximum of 10 marks per documentary (so answering more than one question about one documentary will not result in further marks). There are 10 documentaries, so you have the opportunity to attain 100 marks overall by submitting at least one meaningful response of 150 words or more for each documentary. You can achieve up to 30% of the overall module grade via this component (MLO 1,2,4,5)
2) Take-away exam paper (worth 70% of the overall grade): at the end of the module, you will be provided with a take-away exam paper, consisting of questions based on the module’s content. You will have one week to answer two of the questions set. You will be expected to write 1000 words for each (so 2000 words in total). You will then submit your responses via Turnitin on the eLP. Summative marks and feedback will be provided via Turnitin 20 days after the Deadline. (MLOs 1 – 5)

You will be supported with feedback through formative (i.e. informal) tasks within the module seminars to prepare for the summative (i.e. formal) assessment for the module.
You will be given opportunities to receive formative feedback on your discussion board tasks throughout the module. You will also receive peer formative feedback throughout the module by engaging with our classmates in the peer-learning sessions.
You will also be able to seek formative feedback on your progress during tutors’ tutorial and feedback drop-in times throughout the semester.





Module abstract

Media is now central to our social, cultural and political lives. The rise of YouTube and streaming services such as Netflix have meant that even film and television are no longer separate entities: they are types of media. The interactions we have with others about our daily lives are routinely communicated via social media. World events are no longer exclusively presented to us in newspapers: they are communicated online, and commonly include images captured by everyday people who witnessed those events. ‘Media and Society’ aims to provide you with knowledge of how media shapes our understanding of the world around us, at both personal and international levels. You will explore not only how media representations are influenced by external factors such as regulation, ownership, and audience behaviours, but also how media has transformed our social relations, altered our understandings of world events, and impacted on what matters to us (our cultural and societal values). You will also examine how media technologies have developed over time and have altered how we communicate with each other. As we explore these ideas, you will engage with key concepts and approaches that media and cultural studies scholars use to analyse the world around us. That knowledge will provide a vital foundation for further study of media and related disciplines (including film) in higher education.

Course info

UCAS Code P320

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022 or September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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