MP7010 - Managing Mass Communications in the Digital Age

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What will I learn on this module?

In taking this module you will familiarise yourself with a sophisticated conceptual framework for the study of mass communication, particularly when it comes to understanding the decision-making actors and processes which shape dynamics of production, distribution and consumption of broadcast, audiovisual and print media, and their integration within the digital communicational landscape. Lectures will emphasise two main dimensions: a) the transition from analogue to digital technologies in media content dynamics, thereby reflecting upon theoretical and practical changes and continuities that pertain to the business models of film, TV, journalism, and the videogames sectors, as well as to the various forms of impact upon consumer trends and behaviours; b) the challenges and opportunities that come with various forms of disruption at the economic, political and technological level, and which shape the work, knowledge and skills of individuals with management responsibilities. The developments in question will also provide an avenue to explore the changing profiles of media content which are now found in the form of streaming television and music, e-advertising and books, and the effects of algorithms on consumer choice. The ultimate aim of the module will be to endow you, as a student enrolled in the MSc Mass Communication Programme, with an understanding of the relationship between actors within the cultural industries and the various forces that shape mass communication in the digital age.

How will I learn on this module?

This is a taught module where you will learn on the basis of lectures delivered by various academic researchers with expertise in the themes established for every lecture. Staff will provide a balanced mix of theoretical approaches, statistical evidence and examples that will give you a rounded understanding of mass communication processes of relevance for professionals with managerial responsibilities across the cultural industries. Time will be opened during lectures for brief activities requiring you to engage in group discussion with your peers to adapt learned concepts to contemporary examples, based on your intellectual and career interests. Another key source of learning will come from reading key set book chapters, articles, and reports, some of which you will be required to identify and make sense of during time allocated for self-guided study. You will have an opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve acquired subject relevant knowledge at seminars, where you will be expected to individually present the material and to complement it with examples that you will have identified from researching subject-relevant information. Finally, in the form of your final essay, you will need to demonstrate in-depth understanding of key authors and concepts on one of the lecture themes, and the ability to develop your own, critically-informed argument. The latter will stem from your engagement with the reading material, discussion of examples and of evidence based on your own research of up-to-date information and documents in the public domain.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

A handbook laying out the main questions and issues faced at present by professionals in the creative industries will allow you to explore in advance the main approaches to be considered throughout the module and to identify your main subjects of interest. Through such a form of support you shall be capable of directing your reading to your main areas of personal and intellectual interest as well as engage in advanced work towards your assessment. Key books, chapters, specialised articles, reports, and surveys will be readily available to you on an electronic reading list, which will include links to online versions of the bibliographic material or digitised copies of the material for your convenience. Technologically-enabled learning will be further underpinned by the module’s eLearning Portal, through which you will be able to obtain slides of lecture presentations as well as submit your assignments. The widely available specialised content will enable you to prepare for lectures and seminars, and to make the best of the opportunities for personal interaction with teaching staff and your peers. Access to the teaching staff will be extended to you via set office hours and the possibility of booking a one-to-one tutorial with your choice of lecturer.

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 - By the end of the module, you will have gained a thorough conceptual and practical understanding of the transformation of mass communication, its new theories, processes, business models and the work of decision makers in the cultural industry

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1 – You will demonstrate ability to conduct research with the purpose to identify and understand subject-relevant academic texts, relevant policies and sources of information
2 - You will evidence detailed familiarity with novel theories that explain the consequences of technological and economic developments on the cultural industries, and the way ini which said developments influence contemporary cultural landscapes Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1 - You will have developed a critical and enquiring personal perspective, enabling you to engage in the open discussion and debate of ideas connected with your field of scholarship

How will I be assessed?

You will have access to formative spaces of assessment throughout the module in the form of individual and group-based learning activities within lectures and seminars. Seminars in particular will offer conditions for you to present your thoughts and reflections about set reading material, as well as to receive input from your tutors in regard to your academically-minded observations.
At a summative level, students will submit a 2500-word essay that will develop an original argument in response to a question that will ask you to cover a range of concepts, debates and examples related to specific cultural industries. In addition, you will maintain and deliver an analytical blog to be integrated by 5 entries (300-words each). Each entry will use and define concepts from five lectures of your choice, (which you will identify with a tag). You will deploy these concepts to analyse developments in a particular creative industry. Your entries will have to include at least one link to a reliable source of secondary information, which you will draw upon with the purpose to underpin your own analysis (K&U; IPSA1, 2; PVA1).





Module abstract


Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time (with advanced practice in the second year)
2 other options available

Department Social Sciences

Location Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or January 2020

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