MP5023 - Media Industries

What will I learn on this module?

You will examine mass communications in the context of contemporary practices, trends, developments and trajectories that have developed and are developing within contemporary mass communication industries. The module takes a distinctive pedagogic approach in that the core of the module consists of three team-taught and research-led ‘symposiums’ that address a specific debate, development or controversy within the field of mass communication industries (broadcast, digital, advertising) and enable you to acquire a critical, multi-perspective, and evaluative grounding in the issues shaping such industries. Complementing and reinforcing the Media staff-led symposiums will be a series of lectures provided by industry guest speakers (from television, radio, advertising and digital/web companies) that will provide practical and state-of-the-art insights into key issues underpinning mass communication operations and developments. Finally, two workshop sessions will be based upon you undertaking personal research into salient issues (the front-facing components of Apple stores, the ‘brand’ and customer typology) and research-informed reflexive approaches to social networking technologies.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. The taught component of the module will consist of two-hour lecture slots accompanied by one-hour seminar slots across the year. Every lecture will have a corresponding seminar in which the issues will be explored in greater depth. The lectures will mainly be concerned with introducing the key theoretical contentions, historical/political/social contexts, and issues. The lecture slot is long as to allow space for the tutor to: a) introduce theoretical, industrial and practical ideas; b) demonstrate the ways in which these examples can be understood in relation to theories of mass communication; and c) delineate areas of contention raised by the examples. The connections between the theoretical ideas and the issue at hand will be explored further in the seminars. The module includes a significant time allowance for self-directed study. During this time, you will be expected to engage in seminar preparation (for example, by engaging with relevant scholarship). You will be expected to come to the seminars prepared (i.e. having attended the lecture and having conducted independent preparatory reading). The major theoretical texts are available from the campus library and electronic library, thereby ensuring that you can access the literature required for seminar work and assessment preparation. You are encouraged to read extensively beyond the taught components of the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module tutor has weekly office hours during which you can drop in for academic support. All students are also provided with an academic tutor who also has hours to support student learning. The seminars will allow you to engage in group discussion and problem-solving with the module tutor and your peers, thus developing a constructive support network. The delivery of the module will be supported with learning and lecture materials that are accessible via the e-learning portal.

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:
• KU1: Develop a detailed understanding of the methods, approaches and practices that characterise contemporary mass communication industries
• KU2: Develop a detailed understanding of the impacts that technological and cultural transformations have on contemporary mass communication industries

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• IPSA1: Reflect on and develop your ability to critically evaluate debates relating to mass communications industries, both independently and in group discussion

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• PVA1: Develop detailed understanding of the mass communication landscape, accounting for social, political and cultural considerations that have led to the development of contemporary mass communications industries.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment for this module consists of a 3000 word essay in which you are expected to engage critically and reflectively with both work that you have studied on the module and that which you have independently explored.

The assessment strategy with respect to this module is designed to develop:

• The ability to present a well-organised, well-supported academic discussion on the chosen topic following all the academic conventions for example referencing.
• The ability to engage critically with the knowledge and understanding acquired
• The ability to communicate effectively complex information in a variety of different formats
• Independent research skills of information retrieval and organization

You will receive formative feedback on your ability to conduct analysis of events and cultural objects during the seminars. Class discussion will test your ability to critically engage with advanced mass communication theory in an academic fashion and allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the theoretical concepts raised in the lectures. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your ideas with your peers, working together to find solutions to theoretical dilemmas and so forth.
Under normal circumstances, you will receive written feedback on your summative submissions within 20 working days. The feedback will normally be supplied electronically. 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.





Module abstract

Mass Communication Industries combines conceptual thinking, practice-informed debate, and experiential learning into a distinctive and innovative matrix that will enable you to obtain a fully-rounded critical understanding of the ways in which mass communication industries function and the challenges and opportunities that face them in the immediate future. The module acts as a complement to other Mass Communication modules such as Media Culture and Convergent Communication.

Course info

UCAS Code P3N5

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

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy