MP6021 - Mass Communication Case Study

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What will I learn on this module?

This module will provide a space to familiarize yourself with the case study as a tool for the investigation of social, economic, cultural and technological phenomena connected with the field of mass communication studies. Whether your interests lie in how working class people or standards of beauty are represented in the media, success stories in the market of mobile apps, use of social media for marketing purposes or how Twitter is used in discussion of popular television, this module will offer you a mix of knowledge, materials of reference and guidance to engage in choosing, planning, conducting and writing a case study for your assessment. A key component of the module will involve the study of iconic case studies such as Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Google, News International Corporation and Al Jazeera, through which you'll be able to identify the characteristics of well-designed study cases. The module will be a valuable experience to learn aspects of the research process you could apply for writing essays, under- and postgraduate dissertations, whilst providing you with skills you could apply in a variety of professions such as journalism, marketing, public relations, and policy-making.

How will I learn on this module?

Your learning will be supported by tutor-led lectures in which definitions, characteristics, formats, structures, vocabulary, referencing systems, methodological choices and iconic case studies will be discussed so you'll be able to familiarize yourself with the main subject of the module. Brief team and independent activities will be embedded within the taught sessions to verify your understanding, which you will further demonstrate by raising relevant questions, personal arguments and ideas for case studies. At seminars you will be able to discuss the key themes reviewed in lectures, and make presentations of case studies you will have identified to complement the material from lectures and to support your progress toward the design of your own mass communication case study.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The provision of essential and further reading materials, examples of case studies will enable you to make an in-depth incursion in the subject matter of this module. The module will require you to participate in individual and collective activities through which you'll be able to test your understanding of lectures, reading material and seminar discussions. Your tutor will create individual space for you to express doubts, raise questions, give feedback to your peers and advance ideas, activities that will pave the way toward the design and completion of your own assessed case study. Your tutor will take every opportunity to provide you with feedback enabling you to keep track of your conceptual and practical progress in the module.

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• KU1: You will use the case study as a tool via which to formulate an appropriately sophisticated investigation of social, economic, cultural and technological processes within mass communications (both as a discipline and an industry)
• KU2: You will draw upon the transferable skills you have developed to-date in order to reflect on the structure of case studies and their potential to complement various dimensions of the academic research process

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• IPSA1: You will demonstrate your confidence in identifying appropriate primary and secondary sources, evaluating their significance, constructing research questions, formulating solutions to complex problems
• IPSA2: You display your confidence in challenging ideas, negotiating problems, accounting for divergent viewpoints and working independently

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed on the basis of a 4,000 word multiple small-scale case study. Your choices of analysis will be justified in strategic terms based on actual and updated evidence obtained from a multiplicity of sources. The multiple cases will enable you to look at a variety of examples illustrating a trend within an industry, professional practice or symbolic content. Alternatively, you may use your specific small scale cases for drawing comparisons between individual instances of mass communication which would serve you to establish differences that account for the complexities within a given media process. Your assessment will be based on criteria commensurate with what is expected from third-year undergraduate students. This includes the extent to which your manuscript reflects that you worked hard developing a problem of study, and that your selection of the instances of investigation (i.e. the cases themselves) are justified and useful to enhance understanding of the studied phenomenon. Your familiarity with relevant literature will also determine your mark. In this context, your conceptual framework and hypothesis will be informed by a small selection of authors linked to your problem of investigation. The quality of your research will also be central to your final mark. Your background will consider multiple dimensions informed by news articles and analysis, as well as by information from statistics, official reports, information from companies and institutional websites. Finally, the structure and presentation of your module will have a significant bearing on your assessment’s outcome.

You will receive formative feedback from your tutor, who will make observations about your participation in class, your interest in the themes discussed in lectures, your constancy in tackling the set reading material and in interacting intellectually with your peers. You should consider these forms of engagement as important to keep track of your progress in the module.
Under normal circumstances, you will receive written feedback on your summative submissions within 20 working days. The feedback will normally be supplied electronically as part of the ESAF process. This feedback will provide a detailed account of your research/methodological skills, critical engagement and communicative ability, as well as supporting future learning by indicating areas for development. You can also request additional verbal feedback on your submissions by arranging a meeting with the module tutor.

Pre-requisite(s)

NONE

Co-requisite(s)

NONE

Module abstract

In this module you will be familiarized with the nature of case studies as a tool for the investigation of social, economic, cultural and technological processes connected with the field of Mass Communication. Whether your interests lie in how working class people or standards of beauty are represented in the media, trends in the market of mobile apps, use of social media for marketing purposes or how Twitter is used in discussion of popular TV shows, this module will offer you a mix of knowledge, materials of reference and guidance to engage in choosing, planning, conducting and writing a case study for your assessment. The module will involve the study of iconic case studies such as Apple and Google, through which you'll be able to identify the characteristics of well-designed study cases. The module will be a valuable opportunity to learn aspects of the research process you can apply to the writing of essays, under- and postgraduate dissertations, while providing you with skills you can apply in a variety of professions such as journalism, marketing, public relations, and policy-making.

Course info

UCAS Code P391

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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