Approaches to Media Research

Subject MECM20011 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 102-hours across the semester, including class time.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

100-204 Media and Communications Research; MECM20001 Media and Communications Eesearch; MECM30014 Media and Communications Research

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:



Subject Overview:

Research is a vital activity of media professionals and academics. This subject offers a critical introduction to the traditions, approaches and methods used to conduct research into media industries, texts, audiences and platforms. This subject is designed to introduce students to major approaches to media and communications research at an intermediate level. It covers approaches drawn from both humanities and social sciences, including approaches to the analysis of media texts, investigating media audiences, media engagement and media use. Students completing this subject will gain a deeper understanding of a range of different theoretical perspectives on media, and the way in which these are connected to different heuristic and methodological approaches to investigation and research. To this end, the subject draws on a variety of case studies and applications which students will be invited to critically consider. On completing this subject, students will have developed an understanding of different perspectives on and approaches to investigating media, as a basis upon which they can go on to design and undertake their own research projects.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • the ability to understand a variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that are relevant to the study of media and communications;
  • the ability to compare and contrast different approaches, recognising their different emphases, strengths and weaknesses;
  • the ability to identify how different approaches can be applied to the investigation of particular problems, as a grounds for pursuing their own research.

A media analysis (1500 words ) 40% (due mid-semester), a research essay (2500 words) 60% (due in the examination period). This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A Subject Reader will be available.

Recommended Texts:
  • Media Resarch Methods: Audiences, Institutions, Texts I Bertrand & P Hughes (2005) Palgrave, Basingstoke
  • Research Communications: A Practical Guide to Methods on Media and Cultural Analysis D Deacon, M Pickering, P Golding & G Murdoch (eds) (1998) Arnold, London
  • Analyzing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research N Fairclough (2003) Routledge, London
  • Mass Communication Research Methods A Hansen, S Cottle, R Negrine & C Newbold (1998) Macmillan, Houndsmills
  • A Handbook of Qualitative Methodologies for Mass Communication Research K B Jensen & N W Jankowski (eds) (1991) Routledge, London
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students successfully completing this subject will:

  • be able to demonstrate competence in reading relevant academic literature and in reflecting critically on that body of literature;
  • be able to demonstrate conformity to appropriate forms of written presentation in academic work;
  • be able to demonstrate a general awareness of the role of theory in understanding social life.

This subject is also available to students enrolled in the BA (Media and Communications), BA (Media and Communications)/Bachelor of Commerce, and BA (Media and Communications)/Bachelor of Laws. Formerly available as 100-204 Media and Communications Theory, MECM20001 Media and Communications Research and MECM30014 Media and Communications Research. Students who have completed 100-204 Media and Communications Theory, MECM20001 Media and Communications Research or MECM30014 Media and Communications Research are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Media and Communications
Media and Communications
Media and Communications

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