MP5021 - Media Methodologies

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What will I learn on this module?

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to key theories and approaches employed when researching media, and provide you with the practical skills needed to undertake a major independent research in your final year (the dissertation). In the first half of this module, you will engage with the key processes involved in designing an academic research project, undertaking the research work and analysis, and presenting the results. In the process, you will be shown how to position your work in relation to an intellectual context; construct research questions that are practical and realistic; implement appropriate methodologies; write research proposals; and structure longer written projects (such as dissertations). The second half of the module will put research approaches in focus; academic experts will provide sessions on particular methodological approaches such as analysing media texts and archival research.

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 11 two-hour lecture slots accompanied by 10 one-hour seminar slots across the semester, plus one-to-one tutorial sessions during key weeks (corresponding to the assessments). 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 methodological contentions and issues. The lecture slot is long so as to allow space for the tutor to: a) introduce research study examples; b) demonstrate the ways in which those examples can be understood in relation to methodological practice; and c) delineate areas of contention raised by the examples. The connections between the methodological ideas and the examples 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 scholarly 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: 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)

The reading list will be comprised of materials that are already available in the library. Indicative reading may include the following:
• Messenger-Davies, M. & Mosdell, N. (2006), Chapter 2 ‘What is Your Research Question?’, Practical Research Methods for Media and Cultural Studies: Making People Count, Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, pp. 17-32.
• Collins, H. (2010) Part 1: Defining the Research Problem, Creative Research: The Theory and Practice of Research in Creative Industries, Ava Publishing: Lausanne, pp. 25-60.
• McMillan, K. & Weyers, J. (2011), Chapter 9 ‘Analysing and Evaluating Source Material’, How to Write Dissertations and Project Reports, Pearson Education: London, pp. 85-93.
• Hart, C. (1998), Chapter 1 ‘The Literature Review in Research’, Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination, Sage: London, pp. 1-25.
• Punch, K.F. (2016), Chapter 6 ‘Writing the Proposal’, Developing Effective Research Proposals, Sage: London, pp. 65-78.
• Oliver, P. (2010) Chapter 1: Ethics and Research, The Student’s Guide to Research Ethics, Open University Press: Maidenhead, pp.3-25.
• Stokes, J. (2013) Chapter 2 ‘Why do we do Media and Cultural Studies’, How to do Media and Cultural Studies, 2nd edition, Sage.
• Barker, C. (2007). Cultural Studies: Theory & Practice. (Sage, London).
• McRobbie, A. (2005). The Uses of Cultural Studies: A Textbook. (Sage, London).
• Banks, M. (2015). Visual Methods in Social Research. (London, Sage).

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Demonstrate familiarity with key concepts and debates relevant to understanding the different approaches to media research
• Make connections between devising and developing an independent research project and the content of your taught programme

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Put into practice the skills required for conducting independent research including understanding methodology, constructing research questions, critically evaluating different source materials, compiling a literature review, assessing ethical implications, and managing time effectively
• Apply these skills and knowledge to the development and planning of an independent research project
• Display your ability to develop independent research, apply your critical thinking skills, and highlight the value of these skills in relation to both academic and vocational contexts

How will I be assessed?

The final assessment for this module will be a 3000-word submission comprised of two elements. The first element is a 1000-word reflective analysis of an academic publication. You will assess a published piece of scholarship, evaluating it according to the different aspects of research practice covered during the module. The second element is a 2000-word independent research project proposal. In this, you will develop and refine a research plan that is suitable for a final year dissertation project, taking into account the various methodological considerations covered on the module.

You will receive formative feedback on your understanding of and ability to apply various research methods during the seminars. Class discussion will test your ability to critically engage with the relevant ideas and techniques raised in the lectures. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your ideas with your peers, working together to find solutions to research problems 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 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)

NA

Co-requisite(s)

NA

Module abstract

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to key theories and approaches employed when researching media, and provide you with the practical skills needed to undertake a major independent research in your final year (the dissertation). In the first half of this module, you will engage with the key processes involved in designing an academic research project, undertaking the research work and analysis, and presenting the results. In the process, you will be shown how to position your work in relation to an intellectual context; construct research questions that are practical and realistic; implement appropriate methodologies; write research proposals; and structure longer written projects (such as dissertations). The second half of the module will put research approaches in focus; academic experts will provide sessions on particular methodological approaches such as analysing media texts and archival research.

Course info

UCAS Code P3N1

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

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

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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