Social Media and Change

Subject MECM90019 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 11-Jul-2016 to 15-Jul-2016
Assessment Period End 15-Sep-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 12-Jul-2016
Census Date 29-Jul-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 26-Aug-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 32 hourws: a 4-day intensive course of lectures and workshops from 9am-5pm.
Total Time Commitment:

120 Hours


Admissions into the Master of Journalism or Master of Global Media Communication programs.

An application process applies for enrolment into this subject. Please contact the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences for further information.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr David Nolan, Dr Margaret Simons


Subject Overview:

This subject, is a select entry subject to be co-taught by staff at the University of Melbourne and Fudan University, will critically engage with the role of emergent social media platforms in contemporary forms of public communication, with a particular focus on their impacts on and challenges for journalism and political communication. To this end, the subject will engage with debates surrounding the social and public impact of technological transformations, and how these can be understood; the challenges and opportunities presented by changing media forms and platforms for media industries, media professionals and frameworks of media regulation; the degree to which the affordances of digital media may work to challenge and/or extend existing social relations; and, finally, how social media serve to contribute to shifting spaces and practices of public communication, and contemporary debates surrounding the significance of this. In doing so, this subject will consider the relationship between processes of media transformation and their relation to broader processes of global social change, focusing in particular on how these have impacted on China and Australia respectively.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion students will have:

  • A deepened understanding of debates surrounding the relationship between social and technological change;
  • Examined the challenges of media convergence and media regulation for media industries, professionals and regulators;
  • Examined the problems and opportunities for journalism practice in China and Australia, with reference to both theorectical debates and practitioners' perspectives;
  • A deepened understanding of the actual and potential impacts of social media technologies, platforms and practices for social and political relations.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • Be able to develop competence in advanced library searches and information retrieval;
  • Be able to demonstrate critical skills in engaging with and writing about key debates relating to contemporary media and journalism;
  • Be able to demonstrate conformity to academic protocols of presentation and research procedures.

Essay, 2000 words, due 3 weeks after the end of teaching (40%)

Case study analysis, 3000 words, due 2 months after the end of teaching (60%)

Students are required to attend a minimum of 100% of classes in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A compiled subject reader will be made available

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • High level ability to analyse writing techniques and affects
  • High level ability to express thoughts, ideas and observations in accessible written English.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Global Media Communication
100 Point Master of Journalism
150 Point Master of Global Media Communication
150 Point Master of Journalism
200 Point Master of Global Media Communication
200 Point Master of Journalism

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