SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1P325448
Module Leader Andrew McWhirter
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Media and Journalism
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

This module introduces you to the key theoretical concepts and ideas necessary for the academic textual analysis of a wide variety of media texts - with a text taken to be anything that communicates meaning. The material explored covers news, society, film, television, arts, audiences and advertising across online and offline contexts. Screenings are used throughout the module to offer an easier in-road to some complex issues and as a leaping point for discussion. The beginning of the module introduces you to how we receive all of these media texts as audiences in the active and passive modes. before providing you with key concepts and theories that can be used in textual analysis, such as semiotics, ideology and psychoanalysis. These established analytical frames help students to get to grips with the wide variety of ways that we can critically analyse using visual methodologies and thus the many ways we can interpret visual materials. This foundational underpinning is then explored in specialist areas such as film studies and onto key debates around what the media tells us about society through a variety of different topics: criticism, news values, realism, advertising, and genre.


Part I: Introduction to media audience studies; introduction to core concepts in textual analyses: semiotics, ideology, psychoanalysis. introduction to the language of film: product design, lighting, camera, editing, sound; Part II How all of these then relate to specific areas of media: art and cultural criticism; news analysis, values and reporting; realism and reality TV; advertising; genre & intertextuality

Learning Outcomes

1 Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this module, the student should be able to: (1) Understand the impact media and communication systems have on audiences in actives and passive modes and how language, both written and visual, can shape perceptions in multiple contexts.(2) Undertake detailed analysis of a variety of media texts, using relevant analytical and theoretical concepts.(3) Present complex ideas in a well-structured and coherent form and under pressure in both seminar presentations and written work.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

There will be a lecture per week, discussing theory and technical vocabularies and supported by examples and analyses from film, TV, online and other media sources and seminars and tutorials, based on lectures, set screening, set reading and seminar topic/question. Being year-long, the module utlises a formative and summative written assessment as well as a continuous seminar assessment. Students are required to complete set reading(s) and/or complete tasks to feedback on in Assessed Seminars. Working with their partner in preparation for the seminar, each student will answer a 'question' or offer a response to a 'position' posed by the content of the curriculum. Working with a partner enables the Notional Student Effort hours to be utilised as a form of 'pre-work' building confidence, a sense of belonging and preparation skills for new level 1 students.

Indicative Reading

Books and articles: Balnaves, Mark (2009) Media theories and approaches: a global perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristin (2013) Film Art: an Introduction, 10th edition, New York: McGraw-Hill Castells, Manuel (2010) 'Communication power: mass communication, mass self-communication, and power relationships in the network society' in Curran, James (2010) (ed) Media and Society (5th edition). New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 3-18. Chandler, Daniel (2007) Semiotics the basics. Taylor & Francis Ltd Eagleton, Terry (2007) Ideology: An Introduction, London, Verso. Freeden, Michael (2003) Ideology: a very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press Haywood, Susan (2013) Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts, London, Routledge. Hill, John (1986) 'Narrative and Realism' In Sex, Class and Realism: British Cinema 1956-1963. pp. 53-66 Kolker, Robert (2009) 'The Pitch: Advertising' in Media studies: An introduction. Oxford: Blackwell publishing. pp.88-130 Lyn, Gorman (2009) Media and society into the 21st century: a historical introduction. Blackwell publishing. Meikle, Graham and Young, Sherman (2012) 'Creative Audiences' in Media Convergence: Networked digital media in everyday life. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan Milton, Jane, Caroline Polmear and Julia Fabricius (2011) A short introduction to psychoanalysis. London: Sage O'Donnell, Hugh (2008) ''Nae bevvying, Nae Skiving' language and community in the Scottish Soap Opera'' in Blain, Neil and Hutchinson, David (eds) (2008) The Media in Scotland. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Pp. 123-136. O'Donnell, Hugh and Castello, Enric 'Life after Genre: Television in the New Millennium' in Mikos, Lothar (Editor) (2014) Fernshehen: Europaische Perspektiven UKV, Munich Don't worry, the article is in English! pp 51-67 Ott, Brian L. (2010) Critical Media Studies: An Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell Rombes, Nicholas (2014) 10/40/70: Constraint as Liberation in the Era of Digital Film Theory, Hants: Zero Books. Rose, Gillian (2016) Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials. Sage Publications Ltd: London Stam, Robert (2000) 'The phenomenology of realism' in Film Theory: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing ltd. pp. 72-83. Online sources <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Self-confidence Independence Desire to go on learning Ability to reflect Time management Presentational skills Ability to work in teams

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures 22.00
Independent Learning Hours 124.00
Assessment 30.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Seminars 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Individiual Essay n/a 30.00 35% Individual Analytical Essay, Wk 3 Tri B, 1500 words
Assessed Seminars n/a 30.00 35% Assessed Seminar Performance and Reflection; Tri A wk-6 - Tri B wk-10; 250 word reflection Wk 14 Tri B
Individual Porfolio n/a 40.00 35% Individual Portfolio, Wk 12 Tri B, 1500 words